Swat is a district of province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, located on the bank of Swat River. The district is bounded by other attractive Pakistan sites such as Gilgit Baltistan, Lower and Upper Dir, Chitral and Shangla. It is the 5th largest district of the province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the capital of the district is Saidu Sharif.
The average elevation is 3220 feet (980 meters). The district contained a population of 23, 09,570 inhabitants. The tribe of Yousafzai is the oldest tribe of the region who came to the city in the 16th century. The district is famous for its tourist attraction sites, and people all over the country come every year to enjoy the beautiful and pleasant tourist destinations.
According to Friday Time, Queen Elizabeth II came to Swat (Yousaf Zai) and called it “The Switzerland of East”. This article has all the information about the region, including Swat History.
|City Council:||Govt of KPK|
|Type:||A River valley and district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa|
|Local Language Name:||Urdu, Pashto, English|
|Coordinates :||35°23″N 72°11″E|
|Government Type:||Govt of KPK|
|Total Area:||5,337 km2 (2,061 sq mi)|
|Density:||236/km2 (610/sq mi)|
|Total Population:||2,161,000 (2014)|
|Time zone:||PKT (UTC+5)|
|Vehicle registration:||Three letters beginning with S and random four numbers|
The district’s history goes about 2000 years back, and it was known as Udyana. Later the name was changed to “Suvastu”. Alexander the Great occupied the region in 327 BC, followed by Buddhist invasions. Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi attached Buddhists and destroyed their famous Buddhas and took hold of the region for many years.
Mughals occupied the region after the decline of the Ghaznavid Empire followed by British rulers in 1857 till Pakistan’s independence. Muslim Saints and Akhund (Safi Mohmand) are considered to be the later originators of the region.
The region is famous for its natural beauty and has many tourist attraction sites, but due to the militant attacks in Swat, the region lost its fame.
The district is administratively divided into seven tehsils which comprise 65 union councils. The names of tehsils are given below.
- Khwaza Khel
According to the 2017 census of Pakistan, the district had 2309570 inhabitants, making it the 3rd populated region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
The native language of the people is Pashtu and considered to be the most spoken language of Swat. Other languages Torwali and Kalami are also spoken by the people in some of the areas.
The region’s climate is temperate having an average temperature of 20 degrees centigrade in summer while the lowest recorded temperature is -1 degree centigrade in the winter season.
The region is connected with the other major cities of Pakistan through National Highway. Grand Trunk Road (G.T Road) also links the district with the nearby areas. The people use Bacha Khan International Air Port and the International Airport of Islamabad for their foreign travel.
The region is known for its peaches and different varieties of apple produced in the district in a large quantity. There are 18 varieties of apple produced in the region and exported to the other areas of Pakistan and other countries.
Peaches of the region are very famous and have branded under the mark of Swat Peaches. 80% of the peaches production of the whole country is of Swat. The production of different varieties of apple is due to the temperate season of summer.
The district is ranked 86th/155th, and the literacy rate is 53 per cent. (Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Ranking, 2017). There are many schools in the region, but unfortunately, there is no university in the district. The people go far hundreds of kilometres to get higher education.
The district has a pure Pashtun culture. Some of the region’s festivals include Eid -ul- Fitr, Eid -ul- Adha and the celebrations of marriage include “Mehandi” and “Janj/Baraat”. These festivals are celebrated under Islamic traditions, while the celebrations in marriage contain music and dances.
The people are fond of sports, and they play different games, including cricket, volleyball and football. Other traditional games such as Kabaddi and Chindru are played in the rural areas of Swat.
The region has got fame for its natural tourist sites. Some of the tourist sites are given below.
Malam Jabba considered being the famous tourist site of Pakistan, located at a distance of 314 kilometres from Islamabad. The region has a 2804 meters high ski resort which is under control of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. Taliban destroyed the resort in 2008.
Kalam is famous for its snow-capped mount Falaksir which is 5918 meters high from the sea surface. The region is located at a distance of 100 kilometres from Mingora. It was a part of Chitral and then merged with Swat after partition.
Kundol Lake is a beautiful attraction point for tourists as it has covered by the beautiful pine trees and ends in green Ladu Valley. One can easily visit the place from Kalam through Utror road.
The museum is known for its old Gandhara Civilization, located between Saidu Sharif and Mingira. The museum owes old Buddhist wooden articles and ancient jewellery which preserved with great care.
Pari Lake is one of the lakes in Swat located at the highest mountains peaks, located in the northeast of Utror Valley. It is a belief about the lake that the fairies used to bathe in the pure, beautiful and sweet water. The lake covered by beautiful natural scene containing flowers and greenery.
Notable people of the region are given below.
- Rahim Khan
- Nazia Iqbal
- Nasirul Mulk
- Anwar Ali
- Badar Munir
- Rahim Shah
- Murad Saeed
- Malala Yousufzai
- Jamila Arshad
- Late Ghazal Javed
- Sabra Shakir