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The "Swat Valley" of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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The history of Swat is spread over two centuries. The initial settlers were invaded by the Alexandrian army in 327 BC. The serenity in the valley is the focal point of attraction: Gradually, the valley was invaded by the Buddhists, who were real struck by the tranquility of the country. The ruin proved that the Buddhists were experts in the field of sculptors and in the architectural art.

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In the 8th century AD, Tajiks invaded the valley of Swat after winning a battle against Buddhists and Hindus. Later tribe Dilazak and Gabaris started to settle down, who were afterwards drifted out of the area by Yusufzais and Mughals. The struggle for the invasion of Swat valley and bloodshed did not stop, and many tribes tried to capture the valley. During the heart of the 19th century, the killing was stopped while a respected personality “Akhund Sahib” promoted the peace talk between tribes. Later the chiefs of all the tribes made Akhund Sahib the ruler of the valley, and Islamic laws were implemented. The agriculture and the trade expanded during this era in the region.

The death of Akhund Sahib, again created differences between the tribal chiefs and killings started again. Later the valley of Swat came under the control of Britishers until the year 1947. Swat is now in the north of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. The upper valley of Swat River, leads to the Hindu Kush range. Saidu Sharif is the capital of Swat, and the Mingora is the main town. The majority people are Pashtuns and Gojjar. The language they speak is called Gojri and Pashto.

The mountains rising up to the sky: green valley: snow on the peak: and clear lakes make the valley exceptional and popular among tourists. “The Switzerland of the East, ” said Queen Elizbeth II during her visit to the valley of Swat.

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The valley of Swat is situated in the north of Khyber Pakthunkwa and surrounded by high mountains. Chitral and Gilgit are also situated in the north, Dir is in the west, and Mardan is in the south. The Indus separates Hazara in the east. The part of Swat comprises of High mountain Ranges and Plains.

Mountain Ranges of Swat
Swat valley is surrounded by the branches of Hindukush mountain ranges and hills. The low temperature at the top keeps the mountains covered with snow, permanently. The irregular ranges spreads in the east and the west, but mainly the trend is towards North-South. Numerous small valleys exist in the arms of mountain ranges, with eye catching and spectacular views which cannot be expressed in words.

Eastern Ranges: Mankial ranges are connected up with the Valley of Swat in the east. The mountain branches in the north distinct Swat from Kohistan, and forms boundaries between Gilgit and Swat: Chitral and Swat. Mankial ranges leads to proper Swat from the southward. The other ranges include; Shangla ranges, Karora ranges and Elum Ranges. These ranges separate proper Swat from Shangla district, Puran, Kanra, and Ghurband. The Shangla ranges are extended into Dwasaray, which separates Puran from lower Swat and Buner. Elum ranges also separate Swat and Buner, and joins the mountains of Malakand.

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The Western Ranges: Western ranges initiate from the mountain and hills of Gabriel, Kohistan-e-Swat. The Valley of Swat joins the hills of Kundal (Utror). These ranges than leads to Daral Ranges and forms a border with Dir district. They run westward and are named according to the locality. These ranges ends up after merging into the hills of Adenzee and Shamozee. Some branches of Manrai ranges leads towards south, separating the Arnoyay valley from the valley of Nekepikheil valley.

Plains: Malakand is the main area from where the Valley of Swat initiates. The boundaries on the plains of Swat are marked between Lankakay to Gabral (Gulabad). The distance in between is about 91 miles. . Two contracted strips of plains is followed along the banks of the Swat River from Landakay to Medyan. The widest portion of the valley is between Barikot and khwaza khela. There are more valleys which connect the main valley at the point called “Daras”. Basically, Dara means the passage between the mountains which allow to pass either traffic or river. The valley gets flooded during heavy rainfall, and with the water from the melting snow. The land sliding is very common in this region, and we can conclude that the valley is the outcome of running water that washes away the mud from the mountains into the river. Besides all the dangers, people are happy and full of life. The soil on the plains are fertile and favorable for growing healthy crops.

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