Swat Valley is a high-altitude tourist destination situated in the North-West Mountain region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The Swat Valley is situated on the Swat River about 247 Km (153 Miles) distance from the capital city Islamabad in Pakistan. The destination is one of the best travel spots for tourists.
The region is noted for its unique culture and traditions, including its Barech Festival. The name was given to the state by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The word “Swat” is derived from Suvastu, which means “clear water”, and is the historical name of the Swat River. The region formed a part of the historical Gandhara kingdom, which was one of the 26 princely states of Pakistan.
Swat valley is known for its snowy peaks, spectacular waterfalls, ancient Buddhist ruins, and a long tradition of rugged independence. It is located between the Hindu Kush Mountains to the north and the Sulaiman range to the south. A verdant valley, its history is intertwined with that of Myanmar, as Swat was ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Monywasee Min for about 400 years during the 14th century.
The History of Swat
The Swat Valley, although geographically isolated by mountains from the Peshawar plains. The valley has been the main interacting place for the important civilizations of the world, throughout the swat history valley linked China with Central Asia and Europe, Alexander the Great, Mahmood of Ghazni, and Babar, the Mughal King, entered India via the lower part of Swat valley.
It is a beautiful river valley surrounded by snow-clad mountains of the Hindu Kush. It is strategically placed at the crossroad between Central Asia, and South Asia. The people of Swat are known as Swati and speak a distinct language from the rest of Pakistan. The valley is in Hazara Division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
The lower part of Swat remained an important communication center for the last 2000 years. The areas of lower Swat are very rich in archaeological and historical sites. During the Muhammadan period, it was the seat of a famous Hindu dynasty known as the Swati dynasty which ruled for about 90 years.
The people of Swat have a legendary connection with the Mughal King Babar, who ruled entire South Asia in the 16th century. Babar was a renowned emperor in Asian history and left a legacy that is noteworthy still today. Babar belonged to the Timurid dynasty and gave the perfect model of a cultured prince. After conquering Hindustan, Babar came to the now-famous Swat Valley.
Buddhism in Swat
Swat valley is a historical and touristic place. In ancient times it was considered a holy place for Buddhism. The famous Chinese Buddhist travelers Fa-Hsien (403 AD), Sung Yun (519 AD), and Hsuan-Tsang (630 AD), came to swat. Also, Wu-kung (752 AD) came to swat valley through the present Shangla pass after crossing the Hindukush Mountains. Having traveled along the Swat River, he named it Su-lo-ho, which means the river of flowing water.
Swat – the Switzerland of Asia
Swat is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, which is considered the Switzerland of Asia. The valley is famous for its scenic beauty and pleasant weather. Swat is also very rich in culture, history, and traditions. The rich culture of Swat is a combination of varied elements including Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.
Nowadays, Swat is also famous for its sports activities. Swat valley is blessed with unlimited natural resources. It has beautiful mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers. For the tourists, it is a land of plenty and a place to be.
Saidu Sharif Stupa
The Saidu Sharif Stupa is a reminder of Buddhist presence in swat. It the evidence of Buddhist in the swat valley between 25 BCE and the end of the 1st century. Another important tourist attraction in Saidu Sharif in the Swat Museum which displays thousands of objects of the Buddha era as well as historic artifacts of the pre-Buddhist era.
Mingora Bazar – The Business Centre
Mingora is the main city of Swat Valley and is situated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Mingora Bazar is the central business hub of swat which is adjacent to Saidu Sharif at a 2.6 km (1.6 miles) distance. People around the valley come to the downtown Mingora bazaar (Market) for shopping and other business activities. Due to its location, Mingora Bazar is also known as “Shahra-e-Bangla” (the street of Bangla).
Swat valley is in the north of Pakistan in the province of KPK. The valley has a rich history and culture, which attracts people from all over the world. Swat is one of the most beautiful valleys in the world, which is considered the Switzerland of Asia. In the valley, there are three main seasons: summer, autumn, and winter. In the summer season, the temperature rises to about 40 degrees Celsius in the plains and about 20 degrees in the mountains. In winter, the temperature falls to about 4 degrees Celsius in the plains and about -1 degrees Celsius in the mountains. The most pleasant weather is in autumn when the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. The valley is very green in the summer, with beautiful grass and colorful flowers. The animals in the valley include rabbits, foxes, and antelopes. The most famous historical places in the valley are The Great Buddha Temple and the Minara Masjid, both in Mingora city.