Swat, the land of legend, romance and prettiness, Buddhist tradition embraces that the Buddha himself came to swat during his last re-embodiment as the Gautama Buddha and preached to the people here. It is state that the Swat was filled with fourteen hundred impressive and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education. There are maximum 400 Buddhist sites covering and area of 160 Km in Swat valley only. Among the vital Buddhist mine in swat a significant one is Butkarha-I, hold the original remainder of the Buddha.
Swat Valley Sceneries:
The lush-green valley of Swat, with its hastening fast-moving water, icy-cold lakes, fruit-laden orchards and flower-decked hill is perfect for visitors. It has a affluent historical past, also. This is "Udayana" (The Garden) of the ancient classic; the land of engrossing beauty, where Alexander of Macedonia fought and succeed some of his major battles before crossing over to the delta of Indus River. This is the "valley of hanging chairs", as described by the prominent Chinese pilgrim-chroniclers, in the fifth and sixth centuries. Swat was once the hold of Buddhism of all of its schools – Mahayana, Hinayana and Tantrayana, where once 1,400 monasteries prospered.
It was the home of the renowned Gandhara School of statue that was an appearance of Greco-Roman shape in the local Buddhist custom. Swat was also the historical land where the Muslim conquerors, Mahmood of Ghazni, Babur of Ferghana and Akbar fought their battles introductory to the take-over of South Asia. The valley of Swat spread out over 10,360 sq. km at an average altitude of 875 metres. The maximum temperature in July is 38 C and minimum (during January) is 1 C. The normal temperature is maximum 21 C and minimum 7 C. The tourist season is year-round.
Tour Places Swat:
Saidu Sharif, Mingora & Murghzar: Headquarters of Swat Valley, Saidu Sharif dwelling the Swat Museum that include one of the optimum collections of Gandhara art in the world. Mingora, the twin city of Saidu Sharif, has capitulated wonderful pieces of Buddhist sculpture and the remains of great stupas. Marghazar, 16 km from Saidu Sharif, is well-known for its “Sufed Mahal” the white marble palace of the former Wali (Ruler) of Swat. Kabul is 6 km from Saidu Sharif with its outstanding golf course.
This city is above to sea level 2,636 metres, Malam Jabba Ski Resort stands on top of a mountain of the Hindukush range, north east of Saidu Sharif. It is 314 km from Islamabad and 51 km from Saidu Sharif. After driving for 10 kms on Saidu Sharif-Kalam road, turn right from Manglor for Malam Jabba. The city includes the trace of Gandhara civilization. For staying there are motel, 2 skiing platforms, chairlifts, roller/ice skating rinks, restaurant, telephone and snow clearing equipment etc.
The food, lodging and skiing facilities are all managed by foreign trained staff and offered at viable costs. The summer temperatures of 10oC to 25oC yield to lush green paddock and thick green forests of Pine & Deodar trees. In the winter when the temperature falls to –5oC to –10oC, the white snow creates it a supreme place for skiing.
Places to visit around Swat:
Miandam: At 1,830 metres above sea level, Miandam Valley is 50 km from Saidu Sharif and suggested for those who desire for a peaceful place full of fragrance and scenic attractiveness.
Madyan & Bahrain: Both the towns are an excellent break in your journey while traveling from Saidu Sharif to Kalam. Madyan is prominent for its trout (kind of fish) hatcheries and Bahrain for its reunion of two rivers and its handicrafts.
Kalam: The nearly all well-liked tourist spot in Swat Valley (2,073 m) is 100 km away from Saidu Sharif. Besides to PTDC’s motel seasonal coach service, there is a usual private bus and van service between Mingora and Kalam.
Ushu, Matiltan and Mahodand Lake: This is the mainly impressive area of upper Swat Valley. While staying overnight at Kalam, you can take pleasure in a day trip by jeep to these gorgeous tourist spots. Distance is just 13-16 km from Kalam.
Utrot-Gabral: An additional scenic valley of upper Swat, located 21-29 km from Kalam. To visit you will take jeep to reach there and jeeps can be hired from Kalam. A day journey with picnic lunch is optional.
How to go to Swat:
Swat is connected by road and by air with Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Peshawar. There is regular bus and van service between Rawalpindi and Mingora. A seasonal tourist coach service for Saidu Sharif and Kalam is run by PTDC from 1st June to 30th August every year.
There are reasonably costs hotels, motels and rest houses in Swat at Saidu Sharif, Mingora, Marghazar, Madyan, Bahrain, Kalam and Ushu. PTDC also has its Motels at Saidu Sharif, Miandam, Malam Jabba and Kalam.
Local handicrafts comprise:
Carved wood work.
Food and Drinks:
Sag gosht (spinach and lamb curry).
Chapli kabab (beef grill).
Shomlay (Desi Lassi-Misxture of yogurt, salt and cold water).