Location and Geography

Swat has a total area of 1772 square kilometers. It is located in Northern areas of Pakistan. To the south are the Malakand and Buner. To Swat's east are Shangla and Kohistan. To its west is Dir. To Swat's northwest lies Chitral and to the northeast lies Gilgit. Click here to see a map of Swat. Area 1772 km2

Co-ordinates

34°50′00″N 72°22′00″E

Altitude

Mingora 850 meter – Khwazakhela 1170 meters AMSL

Climate

Summer (May-August) 14 - 23 degree Celsius.
Autumn (September - November) 18 - 5 degree Celsius.
Winter (December - February) -10 - 5 degree Celsius.
Spring (March - April) 5 - 10 degree Celsius.

Population

1.5 Million (1998)

Religion

Muslims (99.5%), other minorities (0.5%)

Clothing

Because Pakistan is a conservative society revealing clothing (sleeveless tops, shorts, miniskirts, tight or body-hugging items of clothing) are unacceptable. Women should be prepared to cover their head and chest when in the mosque, in a crowded bazaar or in conservative company. Sunbathing in public view other than in a hotel is not acceptable.

Communications

The international dialling code for Pakistan is +92. The outgoing international code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g.0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)51 for Islamabad, (0)21 for Karachi. There are several GSM 900 and 1800 mobile networks in operation, providing fair coverage, concentrated in urban areas. Internet cafes also exist in the main towns and cities.

Languages

The main language of the area is Pashto. The people of Swat are mainly Pashtuns, Kohistanis and Gujars. Some have very distinctive features and claim to be descendants of the army of Alexander the Great. The people of the Kalam region in northern Swat are known as Kohistanis and speak the Torwali and Kalami languages. There are also some Khowar speakers in the Kalam region. This is because before Kalam came under the rule of Swat it was a region tributary to both Yasin and Chitral and after Yasin itself was assimilated into Chitral the Kalamis paid a tribute of mountain ponies to the Mehtar of Chitral every year.

Currency

Basic unit of currency is Rupee which is further divided into 100 paisa. Currency notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 are in use. Coins of one , two and five Rupee are in circulation.
 

Weights and Measures

Metric system is used as an official system of weights and measures.

Electricity

220Volts, 50-60Hz AC

Time Zone

PST (Pakistan Standard Time) or GMT + 05.00

Business Hours

Governments Offices:
Monday to Thursday and Saturday 08:00 – 15:00 hrs
Friday 08:00 – 12:00 hrs
Banks: Monday to Thursday and Saturday 09:00 – 13:30 hrs Friday 09:00 – 12:30 hrs

Private Offices:
Monday to Thursday and Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 hrs
Friday 09:00 – 12:00 hrs
 

Weekly Holiday

Sunday

Driving

All traffic runs on the left side. All international licenses are valid. Minimum age for driving is 18.

Tipping

10% to 20% of the total bill is usually accepted.

Newspapers

Nearly all the major newspapers, magazines and periodicals are available in the district. Few of them are
• Jang
• Mashriq
• Millat
• DAWN
• Frontier Post
• Statesman
• The News
• Pakistan
• Khabrain
• Nawaiwaqt and many more

How to Come to Swat

By Air

Swat is linked by air with all major cities of Pakistan. You can come by air from all the major cities of Pakistan to Saidu Sharif airport Mingora. Click here for more information on PIA Schedule and booking

By land

From Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera, Faisalabad and many other cities in Punjab, you can come by Sammi Dawoo Service: Near PSO Filling Station, Amman Kot, G.T.Road, Mongora, Swat. 92-936-729101-6, UAN is area code + 111007008. For Complete Information about Dawoo Bus Service click here Coaster Service: Runs from major cities of Punjab and NWFP

Full AC Coaches

Shahid Coaches Mingora (0946-812434) Shahid Coaches Lahore (042-8404533, 0300-9079701) Swat Coaches Mingora (0946-725175)

Flying coaches

Runs from all part of the NWFP and Punjab to Mingora

Traveling within Swat

Air

There is no air transport available for traveling within Swat.

Road

You can use local transport or your private transport for traveling with in Swat.

Where to Stay

 There are moderately priced hotels, motels and rest houses in Swat at Saidu Sharif, Mingora, Marghazar, Madyan, Miandam, Bahrain, Kalam and Ushu. PTDC also has its Motels at Saidu Sharif, Miandam, Malam Jabba and Kalam. Click here to see a detailed list of the Hotels available in Swat For local assistance, please contact: Tourist Information Centre, PTDC Motel, Saidu Sharif. Tel: (0946) 9240159 Fax: (0936) 9249156 or visit Pakistan Tourism website

What to Buy

• Local handicrafts
• Embroidered linen
• Hand woven rugs and Shawls
• Tribal Jewellery
• Carved wood work and many more
 

What to Eat

 Eating in Swat is a rich and unique experience. Most local restaurants serve delicious Pakistani and local dishes. Few of them are • Meat
• Fishes
• Vegetables
• Seekh Kabab and Chappal Kabab (Minced meat grilled on skewer or fried)
• Tikka (Barbecued Mutton, Beef or Chicken)
• Sajji (Barbecued leg of Lamb)
• Mutton and chicken Curries
• Rice dishes (Pullao, Biryani)
 

What to Wear

 Lightweight cottons clothes are advisable in summer, while dense or woolen clothes in winter. Casual Shalwar suits are worn by all women and most men in public. Women should dress modestly with some sort of hijab.

What to See

 The beautiful sites of the valley are Kalam, Madyan, Miandam, Bahrain, Malam Jabba, Marghazar, Saidu Sharif and many more

Saidu Sharif

Saidu Sharif is the capital of swat, joint with the Mingora city. In the time of princely state Saidu Sharif was the capital of swat state, now it is the capital of Malakand division. All the district administration offices and two hospitals and one college is there. Recently Saidu medical college is also established there. The altitude of Saidu Sharif is about 3500 feet above from the sea level. Saidu Sharif houses the Swat Museum that contain of the finest collections of Ghandhara art in the world.

Mingora

Mingora the twin city of Saidu Sharif has yielded magnificent pieces of Buddhist sculpture and the ruins of great stupas.

Butkara

 (Butkada Stupa), one of the most important Buddhist shrines in Swat is near the museum. Take the dirt track on the left (north) side of the museum for one kilometer (about half a mile). The stupa is 400 meters (above a quarter of mile) across the fields to the left (north). The Stupa, which dates from the second century BC, was possibly built by the mauryan emperor Ashoka to house some of the ashes of the Buddha. In subsequent centuries, it was enlarged five times by encasing the existing structure in a new shell. Italian excavators working in 1955 exposed the successive layers of the Stupa, each layer illustrating a stage in the evolution of building techniques.

Marghazar

Marghazar 16km away from Saidu Sharif is famous for its “Sufed Mahal” the white marble palace of the former Wali (Ruler) of Swat.

Malam Jabba

At 2,636 m above sea level, 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. Amidst its natural beauty and imprints of Gandhara civilization, lie the modern tourist facilities of a 52 rooms 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 competitive prices. The summer temperatures of 10oC to 25oC give way to lush green meadows and thick green forests of Pine & Deodar trees. In the winter when the temperature falls to –5oC to –10oC, the angel white snow makes it an ideal place for skiing.

Miandam

At 1,830 m above sea level, Miandam Valley is 50 km from Saidu Sharif and recommended for those looking for a peaceful place full of fragrance and scenic beauty. Miandam is 32 miles away to the north east of Mingora. The altitude of Miandam is about 6000 feet from the sea level. This place is also very cold and beautiful. In summer thousands of tourists visit here. You can find many hotels and rest houses here for night stay and meal. On Kalam road at the spot of Fatehpur one road is going up to Miandam.

Madyan

Madyan is situated on main road of Kalam 32 miles away from the main town of Mingora. This place is also a cold and well known tourist spot of swat. Here you can find hotels and guest houses at cheap rates. One of the trout farm is also there. The areas to visit in Madyan are Chail and Bishigram Lake. Madyan is 4235 feet above from the sea level.

Bahrain

It lies at a distance of seven miles from Madyan. The meaning of its name is "two waters". It is situated at the confluence of Daral and Swat rivers. Because of two rivers the atmosphere of Bahrain is always pleasant. The tourists visit here throughout the year. For staying there you can find many hotels with a reasonable rate. Bahrain is 4500 feet above from the sea level.

Kalam

The most popular tourist spot in Swat Valley (2,073 m) is 100 km away from Saidu Sharif. In addition to PTDC’s seasonal coach service, there is a regular private bus and van service between Mingora and Kalam. Kalam is the galaxy of about 150 hotels, land of waterfalls, lakes, pastures, site of hiking and glaciers, having all the latest facilities of the modern age. It is surrounded by lush green mountains, covered with forests and vegetation, diverse and oldest cultural values to witness and above all the friendly and hospitable people. Strawberries are found everywhere in the forests of Kalam. Don't forget to have a gesture of it.

Ushu, Matiltan

This is the most spectacular area of upper Swat Valley. While staying overnight at Kalam, you can enjoy a day trip by jeep to these beautiful tourist spots. Distance is just 13-16 km from Kalam.

Utror-Gabral

Another scenic valley of upper Swat, located 21-29 km from Kalam. The road is jeepable and jeeps can be hired from Kalam. A day trip with picnic lunch is recommended.

Festivals and Holidays

In Swat Muslims festivals are celebrated according to the lunar calendar and may occur some 10 days earlier each successive Christian year.
  • Shab-e-Barat: Religious festival celebrated on 14th of Shabaan, the 8th Islamic month
  • Eid-ul-Fitr: Religious festival celebrating end of fasting month on 1st of Shawaal, the 10th month of Islamic calendar.
  • Pakistan Day: Commemorating the anniversary of Pakistan resolution passed on March 23, 1940.
  • Eid-ul-Azha: Religious festival commemorating the great sacrifice offered by Prophet Abraham is celebrated on 10 Zilhaj, 12th month of Islamic calendar.
  • Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi: Birthday of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him) is celebrated on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal, the 3rd month of Islamic calendar.
  • Independence Day: Independence Day is celebrated on 14th August.
  • Pakistan Defense Day: on 6th September

Distance Chart

Location

Distance in Km

Abbottabad

262

Bahawalpur

952

Bela

1985

Chitral

216

DI Khan

491

Faisalabad

593

Gilgit

399

Hyderabad

1625

Islamabad

249

Jhelum

344

Karachi

1804

Kohat

224

Lahore

511

Larkana

1424

Mohenjo-Daro

1448

Murree

222

Multan

859

Mirpur

392

Peshawar

159

Quetta

1718

Rawalpindi

236

Sargodha

844

Sialkot

453

Sukkar

1313

Taxila

209

Thatta

1726

Turbat

2399

Don'ts

In Swat please do not photograph military location, major bridges and the Saidu Sharif Airport. Taking photographs of women is also prohibited and should be taken with their prior permission. Please do not travel at night on mountain roads and do not swim in the river especially in the fast flowing streams.