INTRODUCTIONThe lush green and historic Swat Valley lies between 34°-40′ to 35° N latitude and 72′ to 74°-6′ Elongitude and is part of the Provincially Administrated Tribal Area (PATA) of the North-West FrontierProvince of Pakistan. The valley is an integral part of the strategic and significant region where three partsof the Asian continent–South Asia, Central Asia and China, meet.The names found in ancient sources for Swat are Udyana and Suvastu because of the scenic beauty of thevalley and the name of the river respectively. The historical and cultural remains of the area provideevidence about human activities covering a large span of time. (Alam, 2005)The valley is sprawled on 5737 sq. kms with the average elevation of 2800feet above the sea level. Malakand is southern boundary of swat valley located at adistance of 91 km from Peshawar, 211 km from Islamabad. The Physiology of the valleychanges from south to north as elevation increases. River swat is flowing in the axis ofthe valley. Swat is known as historical and scenic tourist destination all over the world. Itis one of the most beautiful, green and fertile than valleys further north. Lover Swatvalley including Swat ranizai is wide and the fields are on the either side of the river, thevillages are prosperous and surrounded by fruits laden orchards. In the upper swat valley,the river flows through respectively narrow valley while Swat Kohistan is the northernmountainous part of the valley where alpine forests are in abundance in snow cappedmountains. The highest peaks in these mountains are Mt Falaksir and Mt Mankial. Swatoffer some of the outstanding walking and hiking in Pakistan, as well as excellent groundfor skiing, fishing, trekking, rafting, gliding, and climbing.Alexander the Great came here in 327 BC en route India and conquered Bazira and Ora.At his departure the inhabitants of the area threw off Greek yoke, and enjoyed eitherindependent or semi-independent status subsequently. In the meantime Buddhismpenetrated here and Swat became center of Buddhist/Gandhara civilization. The TurkiShahis incorporated Swat in their kingdom but at the decline of their power it remainedexposed to Hindu Shahis’ influence.In early tenth century CE/AD, the Muslims occupied Swat. Consequently, Afghans from different tribes,commonly called Swati Pukhtun, came and settled here. They remained independent of the neighboringpowers.The Yusufzais conquered Swat in the first quarter of the sixteenth century and emerged and remaineddominant segment. Instead of forming a government they lived in the tribal fashion, divided into two dalas(factions) headed by their own tribal chiefs called Khans and Malaks. The Swat Yusufzai enjoyed freedomand neither had paid taxes to Delhi or Kabul not yielded obedience to any foreign law or administrativesystem. They fought Akbars mighty arms for years and incurred great losses over them.History of Swat from ASSAKENOI to ASHOKA (1500 - 300 BC)(Khan, ) The valley of Swat is of great historical significance including the cradle of many Buddhist partof Gandhara. Gandhara remains vast area extended from Sind in south to swat on north, where Buddhismwas in peak. The art that developed in Gandhara is known as Gandhara Art. Gandhara was specialized insettlement architecture and stone carving.The itineraries and travelogues of the Tibetan and Chinese pilgrims who visited this scared land fromtime to time provide the reliable source of information on Swat valley. Due to specific geographicalposition of the valley kept sandwich between the great powers of the history from one period to another.
The intrusion was from all side central Asians from west, chine’s and Tibetan from north. Iranian, andIndian from south. This is why the region in invaded population.On the basis of the earliest reference found in RIG VEDA the ASSAKENOI occupied this part of landthey were Burhaminic and organized people living in fortified cities and were traders of horses andcattle’s. Mahabarta reveilles that the ARYAN peoples migrated to this part of northern India between1500-500 BC. They were settled along the bank of river swat. The remains of 17th century BC are alsoexcavated at Aligrama a village on the Right bank of river swats on Kabul road. Swat was subjected byIranian king DARIS in 518 BC. This was followed by a continuous tug of war between the rival tribes forannexation of the area for long period.In the early 4th century BC recorded a new phase of development in swat. When Alexander the greatcross the mountains through Kunar valley to Nawagai in to Masaga. After capturing Masaga the armysplit into two on crossed river swat at Chakdara moved north word to subdue the prosperous towns andthe inhabitant of Bazira (Bari kot), )Ora (udigram).Alexander moves with his mobile forces and crossed the river near Bandai to subdue the Manglawarabout 18 km radius from Mingora. After the siege of Manglawar, the queen of the king IRNAS madepeace deal with Alexander in Manglawar the n Alexander moved to Kund. Swat remains under the Greekadministration from 327 to 307 BC, only for 20 years but it stamped deep impacts on its culture and sociallife of the people.In 308 BC, king CHANDRA GUPTA MAURYAIN annexed the area in his territory. The Mauryandynasty remained stable, secure and powerful up to the grandson of Chandra Gupta known as ASHOKA.ASHOKA was dedicated and faithful follower of Buddhism, he devoted all his resources to thepropagation of Buddhist instructions and as a result Buddhism deeply penetrated in the culture of the wholeregion.During this period, a large number of Stupas and monasteries were created, these monasteries were thecenter of learning and spreading of knowledge, books were copied, development of literature took placewith the death of ASHOK in 232 BC, disintegration of the Murya dynasty started.Written by irfan khan..swatian.comHistory of Swat from BACTRAIN till Yousafzai(300 BC - 1500 AD) (Qayum, 1990 ) The BACTRAIN Greek king invaded the region in 185 BC. MENANDER was themost successful of their king between 155-130BC. The Bactrain was followed by SEYTHIAN also calledSakas; they were the central Asian nomadic tribe who was dislodged by YEUHI-CHI tribes from the shoreof Aral Sea. The sythian were over thrown by PARTHIAN. Parthians were the Iranian people who broughtGreek culture and western artistic culture in to the Gandhara. Ghandara school of Arts is developed duringthis period.The Parthian rule was dismantled by KUSHANS in 60 AD. The kushan was a branch of the yeuhi-chinomadic tribe. This period was the most significant rule of the history of the area. They not only ruled butalso expanded the culture of this region beyond its boundaries. The western and eastern touches arecombining in the image of Buddha. The touches are combining in the image of Buddha. The famous kingkanishka built most of the religious monuments, who was a stronger preacher of this faith. He transformedGhandhara in to a holy land.WHITE HUNS (HEPHTALITA) (W.K. Tytler Frazier ) a fierce barbarian from central Asiaoverthrows the kushans Dynasty. The Buddhists were forced to far-plung northern areas. While the end of
Huns rule cause destruction and killing of monks, some escaped and took shelter in the mountains. The fallof white Huns calls TURK SHAHI and after them HINDU SHAHI occupied the area.In the eleventh century SULTAN MAHMOOD GHAZNAVI defeated the last ruler of Hindu shahiknown as Raja Gira under the command of khushal khan (pir khushhal Baba) at Udigram. The Ghaznaviedwere accompanied by Dilazaks pathan and swati pathan (both are pathan tribes) than after mohmoodsettle down pathan tribes while pushing the Aryan race natives in to the mountains. After hundreds of yearthe name of Ghandhara was replaced. The population was slowly converted in to Muslim by the efforts ofMuslim kings and sufia where it presents 99.6% of the population representing Muslims strong hold.The Gahaznavied were replaced by GURIED and continued by other Muslim rulers and different tribesfrom time to time. But what is important the arrival of YOUSAFZAI PAKHTUNS in swat I 1525 underthe leadership of Malik Ahmad and Sheikh Mali with a possession to Dilazaks and the swati pathan. SultanOwas was their king in Manglawer as their capital. After a tug of war between the yousafzai and swatis,The swatis ere ultimately expelled to Hazara in the Block Mountains. The yousafzai divided the landamong the clans and became the landowners of the Valley.Yousafzai Struggle for Surviving (Mughal - British)(Britannica) The important aspect in swat history was the arrival of Yousafzai Pakhtuns in swat (1525)under the leadership of Malik Ahmad and Sheikh Mali with a possession to Dilazaks and the swatipathan. Sultan Owas was their king in Manglawer as their capital. After a tug of war between theyousafzai and swatis, The swatis ere ultimately expelled to Hazara in the Block Mountains. The yousafzaidivided the land among the clans and became the landowners of the Valley.The Mughal king Babar became worried over the growing power of Yousafzai, he attacked over swat,which was defended by Yousafzai after a peace deal. During the Akbar era Mughal and Sikhs once againtried to subdue the inhabitant of swat but they were retreated, Birbal and Abulfath lost their lives in thiscampaign. The mogul’s did not get any direct rules on swat valley but they had their political influence onother sources.When Peshawar fell to British rules in 1849 the yousafzai became worried and tried to from government inthe valley to preserve their independence. Akhund of swat played a vital role in the unity of Pakhtuntribes and formation of Islamic Pakhtun rule in swat valley. Sayed Akbar Shah (grandson of pir Baba ofBuner) became their king in 1850, as proposed by Abdul Ghafoor(Akhund of Swat popularly known asSaidu Baba). Sayed Mubarik Shah became he king after the death of his father syed Akbar shah in may11th 1857 but the unity was not processed onward.During this period the British government also took interest in this part of the subcontinent and extendedthe British rule and also kept an eye on Russia and west. In 26th October 1863 Akhund of swat call jihadagainst the British rule (Battle of Bun er). The pathan tribes started resistance to the extension of Britishrule in swat and Buner. During the PATHAN UPRISING IN 1897,, Mullah Mastan (mad Mullah) andSandal Mullah took part in reuniting or the swatis. The sheathed baa (spleen sheathed) and the Britishgraveyard in Alaskan reveal the bloody story of resistance-faced bye the British government in Alaskanpasses. Due to the importance of Alaskan pass, the territory of lower swat valley was declared a AlaskanAgency in 1901 by the British government.In April 1915 Sayed Abdul Jab bar shah is made a king by a jirga in kabal but after two and half years ofrule, he was unable to hold the pakhtuns and with the political and religious antagonist with the mianguls.However he was enforces by jirga to leave swat valley. Till 1917 the area remained a tribal society inwhich the conduct of citizens was governed bye pathan code of customs and traditions.
It was only in September 1917 it was again the Mianguls(the Grand sons of Saidu Baba) to reunite theswatis. The grandson of Akhud of swat Mianguls shahzada abdul Wadood founded the state of swat,which was officially recognized bye he British Government of India. Like other princely states in thesubcontinent the state was given autonomy in its domestic affairs so long that it remained loyal to theBritish Crown. It went with Pakistan in 1947. The founder ruler of swat was popularly known asBadshah sahib. He abdicated the throne in favor of his son and successor Miangul Jehanzeb popularlyknown as Wali sahib on 12 th December 1949 . The Wali of swat Miangul Jehanzeb ruled till 29 th July1969 when the state was merged with Pakistan . During the 52 years of mianguls rule, swat valley againrun on the trek of progress and developments. The people of swat still reveal the phase as the golden era ofswat. The Mianguls family is highly respected by the swati. They have their strong and deep political rootsin the valley.The valley (District swat and Malakand Agency now Mkd protected area) was administered by twodifferent administrative systems. The district swat was administered by the commissioner and theMalakand agency by the commissioner and the Malakand agency by the political agent till 2001, afterimplementation of the Devolution plan, a full-pledged district government has been established. The newadministration is headed by the District nazim who is assisted by a District Naib Nazim, DistrictCoordination Officer (DCO) IG (for swat district) commandant Malakand levies (Malakand protectedarea), Tehsil Nazimeen, Union Council Nanzimeen and heads of all the district departments. The system isrunning with its first electory period with some complications and simplifications. There is moreexpectations from this local level setup to solve the problem on door step and explore the natural resourcesto uplift and distinguish the valley in the new scenario of the economic prospective.Swat Pakistan - History(Pakistanpaedia) In ancient times Swat was known as Udyana, the probable birthplace of VajrayanaBuddhism. There are many archaeological sites in the district, and Buddhist relics are common.Swat is a former state in the northwest frontier province of Pakistan. It has for centuries been a home toYousafzai, a tribe of the pakhtun. As explained by Sir Olaf, the northern areas of the province were settledby the hard speaking dialect, compared to those living in the south, who are known as pashtun.The people of the Kalam region in northern Swat are not Pashtuns, but are a group known as Kohistaniswho speak the Torwali and Kalami languages. Their are also some Khowar speakers in the Kalam region.This is because before Kalam came under the rule of Swat State it was a region tributary to both Yasin andChitral and after Yasin itself was assimilated into Chitral the Kalamis paid a tribute of mountain ponies tothe Mehtar of Chitral every year.In Pakistanâ€™s tribal region in the North-West Frontier Province, the princely frontier states weremaintained till 1971 when all states were abolished by merger into the republic, all princely titles beingabolished in 1972. There had actually still been a new hereditary salute granted in 1966 : 15 guns for theWali of Swat, one of the last princely states to be created 1926.Before Swat was granted a gun salute there were already four other Gun-Salute States in Pakistan.Bahawalpur, Kalat, Khairpur and Chitral.Swat is the most historically interesting valley in Pakistan. It is also one of the most beautiful - certainlymuch greener and more fertile than the valleys further north because it lies withinThe people of Swat are Pathans (Pakhtuns) , Kohistanis and Gujars. Some have very distinct features andclaim to be descendants of Alexander of Mecedonia.
Swat has been inhabited for over two thousand years. The first inhabitants were settled inwell-planned towns. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great fought his way to Udegram andBarikot and stormed their battlemens. In Greek accounts these towns have been identifiedas Ora and Bazira. Around the 2nd century BC, the area was occupied by Buddhists, whowere attracted by the peace and serenity of the land. There are many remains that testifyto their skills as sculptors and architects. In the beginning of the 11th century AD,Mahmud of Ghazni advanced through Dir and invaded Swat, defeating Gira, the localruler, near Udegram. Later on, when the King of Kabul Mirza Ulagh Beg assasinated 900dominating cheifs of the Yousafzais, while they were set to eat, in return they had toleave their land, they took refudge in hilly areas of Swat, Bajawar of the swatis Country,the whole country was dominated by the Swati Sultans of Swat, the last of the SwatiSultans were Owais Jahangiri and Mir Haider Ali Gebri of famous Jahangiri dynasty,streched from Jalalabad to Jehlum and Dilazaks of the Peshawar plain, who in turn wereousted by the Yousafzais. Majority of the aboriginal inhabitants of Swat migrated toHazara region of Pakistan, to this day a large predominant Tribe use the surname Swati,which reflects their link to the region.The arrival of Afghans (Rome, 1992) In eleventh century, Khwaja Ayyaz went on the Right Bank of SwatRiver and conquered the areas of Adenzee, Shamozee, Nekpikheil and so on. Mahmoodwent on the Left Bank of the river, when he reached Hudigram, there was the fort of RajaGira, strongly built on a high peak. Mahmood commanded the conquest of this fort to anadroit general, Peer Khushal. The conquest of the fort was much more risky, but the orderof the supreme commander was complied with.Taking charge, the creative minded general besieged the fort for three days and cut offthe underground connection of water link. On the forth day, he attacked the fort. Theattack was a serious one and many soldiers were martyred, including Peer Khushalhimself, but the fort was captured and since then Mahmood proceeded on and capturedthe whole Swat.After conquering Swat, Mahmood settled two tribes of Afghan here, i.e. Swati andDalazak, and went back. Both these tribes were living a happy life till they were drivenaway by the Yousafzai tribe of Pathans.Dr. Sultan-I-Rome, Swat State under the Walis (1917-69), Ph.D. Dissertation, P 28-35Swat: The Valley Of Paradise(Asif,1963) The whole of Swat state is gifted with scenic beauty and natural charms parexcellence; some of the more notable are briefly described below:KALAM VALLEY:
Twenty-five miles upstream from Bahrain, it is a beautiful spot where the River Swat hascut broader banks on both sides among the high mountains. As we travel up the road, thesnow-topped peaks and expansive green parks impress our minds with a sense of being inan unearthly place.BAHRAIN:Situated at the confluence of two winding, affluent streams, it presents a beautiful scene.Their roaring, bounding currents which reflect the flanking hills in their crystal breast, arethe source and means of livelihood and prosperity for thousands of persons inhabitingtheir bands in the upper and the lower regions, when joined with numerous others theyform a river flowing through plains and providing the much-needed water for the thirstylands of many a poor farmer, as well as power for the mills and industrial undertakings ofseveral others. Bahrain is the gateway of Kohistan. It is an ideal town to spend a fewpeaceful and serene hours of life.MADYAN:It is seven miles this side of Bahrain. Here the narrow valley opens up a little andpresents wider prospect. Amenities of modern life are all found at Madyan, and its hotelis first class.MIANDUM:A road branches off to the right to Miandum from Fatehpur, a town twenty-six milesaway from Mingora en route to Bahrain. At the height of six thousand feet, Miandum is apretty spot where a snug, spacious Rest house has been built by the State.MURGHZAR:TH THE SOUTH WEST OF Saidu Sharif is the beautiful valley of Murghzar. Startingfrom the third mile from the capital it continues for five more and ends at the foot of Mt.Illam. The entire valley is owned by Badshah Sahib, but all are welcome to visit it. Usedby him as a summer resort, Badshah Sahib has built here a white marble palace, calledSafaid Mahal. The hills around Murghzar are now being used for fruit-gardening, theapples grown in them are superior to those from Kashmir and Kabul, both in appearanceand taste.Famous Mountains of Swat:Mt. Mankial is the highest mountain in Swat, its two peaks Mankial 18500 feet andFalakser 21000 feet are covered by snow all the year around.My. Dosari rises to a mazimum height of 10,000 feet.
Mt. Ilam, 9,500 feet high, is famous for its thick forests and green slopes. At its stop thereis a platform which is reputed among the Hindus as being a place where Ram Chanderajilived for some time during his exile.All the mountains and hills of Swat are rich in herbs and plants valuable for theirmedicinal properties.LAKES:Daral and Saidai are the important lakes of Swat. The River Daral which flows throughBahrain has its source in the former, situated high among the hills near the town. Its wateris pure, crystal clear and health giving. Eight miles from Daral is the lake of Saidgaiplaced in equally charming surroundings. It is difficult to reach these lakes but it is hopedthat better means of communication will soon enable the tourists to visit them.RELIGION:Besides a population of six lac Sunni Hanafi Muslims, there are two hundred Hindus andSikhs in Swat and Dependencies. They have the same rights and privileges as the others.They lead peaceful lives, secure from any danger to their persons or property, likesresponsible citizens of the State.The People of Swat:Generally, the people are hard-working, enterprising, and therefore well to do. No longerare they an ignorant and backward lot, engaged in constant feuds and fights, on contrary,being alive politically they appreciate the vast advantages of living peaceably andpeacefully. Unfortunately, having come in closer contact with the outside world, westerninfluences are finding their way among them, yet they are still not totally devoid of theirinnate simplicity. How long they will continue to have it remains to be seen. Equippedwith humanistic and scientific education and other requites of the present day, thesevaliant sons of the mountains stand shoulder to shoulder with their brothers in Islam, apledged to the service of their country and the nation at large.References: 1) Alam Mohammad (2005), Swat valley past, future and prospects.1st ed, Swat, Shoaib Sons Publishers & Booksellers. 14,15. 2) Amin irfan, (2005), History of Swat from Assakenoi to Ashoka( 1500-300 BC). Retrieved from http:// Swatian.com/history/history_swat.html. retrieved on 04/03/2011. 3) Encyclopedia Britannice, Yousafzai struggle for surviving. P 763. 4) Fraser Tytler w.k (1967), Afghanistan history, (3rd), London, Oxford university Press. P.362.
5) Pakistan paedia, Swat valley. Retrieved from http:// www. Pakistanpaedia.com/land/swat/valleys-of-pakistan-Swat.html. Retrieved on march 04, 2011.6) Qayum Abdul, (1990), The Charming Swat. Retrieved from http://www.Swatian.com/ history/swat_history.php.7) Rome-i-Sultan, (1992), Swat State Under Walis.(1917-69), Ph.D. Dissertation, P 28-35. retrieved from. http://www.valleyswat.net/history/prestate_p3.html. retrieved on 04/03/2011.