Shanku and Bashigram Valleys
Both the valleys of Shanku and Bashigram are located near to each other. Shanku is situated on the right side of the stream above the road. Most of the house are built on the mountain terrain and are scattered far and wide. The maximum to reach this charming valley from Madyan is thirty minutes in a vehicle. The area is provided with all basic facilities of telephone and electricity. There is a small market place where every thing of daily use can be easily procured. Most of the people are involved in farming but the new generation is evolving and is taking interest in education and modern professions. The population of the area is exceeding 1500 according to 1998 census. The surrounding mountains are covered with dense forests and foliage, which provides ideal habitat for several species of wild animals and birds. Kohistani is the major language spoken in the area but everyone understands Pashto.
The sprawling valley of Bashigram is the last village on the road. The houses are built like gigantic steps on the uneven landscape of the mountain. The total time to reach the valley from Madyan is forty minutes as the road is not in good condition. Several other small hamlets surround the valley, which can be approached by trekking for an hour or a half. The track to Bashigram Lake starts from this village and that's how it has taken its name. Lush green forests surround the valley, which receives heavy snowfall. Several springs and streams scattered throughout the valley. Electricity and telephone facilities are available in the valley.
The area is no more secluded and the people visit the nearby town of Madyan almost on daily basis to merchandise their goods and buy the daily consumable items. The communication gape that once isolated these areas no more exists. The population of the area including all surrounding villages exceeds 2000 and the area has formidable vote bank. Less than twenty percent of the people are educated but the trend is changing slowly and the new generation is diverting to literacy. Most of the inhabitants live permanently here while the adjoining hamlets are deserted during winter and are occupied in the summer again.
The people are very hospitable and welcome everyone in their beautiful locale. Most of the people rely on farming and grow maize and off-season peas, which pick them lucrative prices in the market. The people speak both Pashto and Kohistani languages but the latter is the dominant language in the area. Their dialects are different. The people are very traditional and some old customs related with matrimony are still followed there. Some small shops in the area provide the daily consumable items. Due to harsh and hard surrounding and life, the people are physically rough and tough, and their complexions sunburned as the area is situated at a fairly altitude from sea level. The beauty of the valley and hospitality of the people are some of the wonderful memories, which the visitors take back with them after visiting the rustic and pastoral locale of Bashigram.