Where is Swat situated in Pakistan ???
Swat valley, situated in frontier province of Pakistan, is the best delight for travelers and nature lovers. It is the land of lakes, mountains, pastures, hiking places and at the same time, it is equipped with all the facilities of life.
Swat is known as Switzerland of Pakistan. It is situated in the foothills of mountain ranges and its capturing beauty is fascinated by the Swat river. The river Swat starts from the Ushu rage of Swat and spreads in the valley of Swat. The main town of valley is divided into two parts which are;
Nature's beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.— Louie Schwartzberg
The old name of the site was ''Baligram'' and it is also known as ''Saidu Baba''. But still there is a region in the south west of Saidu Sharif which is known as ''Baligram''.
Mingora city besides its beautiful scenery has a remarkable historical background. Many Buddhist cravings and remains have been discovered near Mingora. Many archeological remains dated back to 1st century have been discovered at this site. From March till October, the climate of the site is best for tourism. It is famous for its shawls and embroidery. Handmade ornaments and decorative household articles are the most significant features of Swat.
Valley also has a museum to restore its heritage and to tribute the efforts of archeologists. The museum contains the sculptures of the Gandhara civilization and the Buddhist art facts. There is a gallery which has the traditional Swat's ornaments, furniture and embroideries.
Saidu Sharif is also a historical site and also has exciting landscape. It is located between the villages of Kanju and Dherai and has an altitude of 970 meters. Saidu Sharif has a number of tourist's attraction spots including the Buddhist stupas, Swat museum, Margazar, White Palace and Shrine of Akhund.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our head.— Henry David Thoreau
Kalam is a small town in this valley about 99 km from Mingora and at an altitude of 6560 meters above sea level. It is situated in the northern part of the valley and is a small fertile plateau. The town has many streams and waterfall. Besides it is the best place for hiking and is a favorite spot of tourists.This valley leads to the Mahodand lake which is the most cherishing and relaxing seen of this valley. Kundol lake and Kharkharai lake are attractive sites and there are many tourist's sites like Utror, Maliltan and Gabral in Kalam. But Kundol lake and Mahodand lake are easily accessible. Kalam is the starting point of Swat river.
There is also a point called Gabral which is a beautiful hill station at distance of about 20 km from Kalam. It is famous for its fish, green forest ans its peaks are the worth-seeing especially during snowfall.
Ushu valley is situated in the north-eastern part of Kalam at a distance of about 8 km and 123 km from Saidu Sharif. As there is no metaled road so the place is not easily approachable but jeep is really helpful there. It is located at a height of 2300 km.
Matiltan is located at a distance of 11 km from Kalam. It is famous for huge glaciers, large and thick forests and its high mountains peaks. Its tallest peak is Falaksair.
Mahodand lake is located at distance of 40 km from Saidu Sharif in the Ushu valley. During summer, the lake is surrounded by flowers and trees while in winter, the lake becomes frozen. This lake is the best site for nature lovers as it is covered by lush-green trees and its beauty is increased by the mountains.
The Earth has the music for those who will listen.
Kundol lake is in the North of this valley. It is also surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the lake lake is inaccessible during winters due to heavy snowfall. It is one of the easily accessible lakes in Swat with an attractive landscape.
Climate of Swat
Temperature at Mingora varies from mild to warm. Mingora features a humid subtropical climate. Average temperature at Mingora is 19.3. Even in the driest months their is a lot of precipitation. The driest month in Mingora is November with 22 mm of precipitation and August the wettest month has average precipitation of 134 mm.
Food and Crops
The food, dresses, heritage and culture of Swat valley are also a true image of its historical background. The food present there is the best suited to climate and region. There are number of food restaurants and cuisines. Swat's cuisines are majorly influenced by Pashtun's cuisines and there main features are rice dishes and kebabs.
The crops are harvested in two seasons i.e. autumn and spring.
The spring harvest includes wheat, barley and oil seeds.
Wheat is the staple food all over the region. There are few mountainous regions, where the temperature is extremely low or there is heavy snowfall, where crop are not suitable for growth. The rest of the region produces best quality wheat.
Barley was once a staple food of this region. But due to difficulties in its use and long procedures for making it easy to use, its implementations were reduced.
Oil seeds specially mustard seeds are produced in large quantity and supreme quality.
The autumnal crops include rice, maize, pulses and vegetables.
Rice is also grown in the valley because the geographical environment is suitable for this.
Maize is also a staple food at Swat and it is grown along with many other agricultural activities because the climatic and soil conditions are good for this.
Pulses and vegetables are grown with the best known quality.