Swat History

SWAT IN THE YEAR 1862, AS DESCRIBED BY MAJOR HENRY GEORGE RAVERTY (PART 5)

Major Henry George Raverty’s brief work with the title, ‘An account of Upper and Lower Suwat, and the Kohistan, to the source of the Suwat River; with an account of the tribes inhabiting those valleys’  was published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal  (Volume XXXI, No.I. To V. 1862) Calcutta in the year 1862.  That work of Major Raverty is produced here on this website for the interest of the readers and research scholars. Raverty wrote: (PART 5)

“We saw numbers of partridges of two species, the grey and the black, besides a great many quail. By degrees we had now reached the crest of the Pass; and on descending a short distance on the other side, we came to the plane tree, beneath which there is spring of the most cool, pure and sweet water; and round about it numerous spikenards were growing. In short, it was a very delightful spot; and we sat down and rested for some time, and refreshed ourselves with draughts of the crystal element. This is only spot in this Pass where water is procurable. When standing on the crest of the mountain, at the summit of the Pass, I could see the Suwat valley to the north, but could not perceive Tarrnah, for it was screened, or hidden, by the mountains. I could, however, see the village of Nal-bandahh; and by going a little on one side, in an easterly direction, I could discern Shirkhana’i to the south.”

“We now commenced to descend into the Suwat valley.  The southern side of the mountain which we had just ascended, was extremely steep; but we did not find it anything near so much so descending on the northern side, the Suwat valley being much more elevated than that of Baz-darah and Pala’i which we had recently passed. At the foot of the Pass, and directly under the mountains, we came to the village of Nal-banddah, the first we reached in Suwat. It is said, that a husbandman of this place once found a number of gold coins in a well close by; but the other villagers hearing of it, took the treasure from him, and shared it amongst themselves, after which they filled up the well, that no one should get anything out of it in future. We asked two or three parties on what side of the village the well was situated, but they would not point it out, and said to us: “so you are come here to discover treasure, are you, be under no concern ; for your wishes will not be fulfilled.”

“After proceeding two coss or three miles further on, we reached the town of Tarrnah, to the west of which there is a small stream; and on the banks of it, there is a fine grove of chinar or plane trees, about a hundred in number, all very ancient, very large, and very lofty, and here we came to a halt.”

“Mir Ealam Khan, the chief of Tanrah, came to pay his respects to the KHAN SAHIB; and after some conversation, the chief, who had been eying me for some time, inquired who I was. The KHAN SAHIB replied, “He is a Mulla, and is going to a pilgrimage to the Akhund Sahib.” He replied, “ He is no more a Mullah than I am; but you have made him one of the nonce.” On this the KHAN SAHIB observed, “Probably Amir Ullah Khan of Pala’i may have advised you of my being on my way into Suwat.” He laughed and replied: “The day you left Jamal Garrai, I heared of your coming to pay respects to the Akhund Sahib. It is all well: allow no matter of concern whatever to enter your mind; but the people of Suwat are so celebrated for this stupidity and thick-headedness, that it is necessary you should be prudent and circumspect in every thing.” The Khans or Chiefs of Tarrnah are descendants of Ham-zah Khan, the founder of the village of that name in the Yusufzi district south of Suwat, and about eight miles north of Hoti Mardan. He lived in the time of Khushhal Khan Khattak; for it was his daughter that Khushhal mentions in his peom on Swat, as having married when there, or whom he was about to marry; and she was mother of his son, Sadi Khan. Hamzah Khan was the then ruler of Suwat, and held sway over the Samah also. It was he also fixed upon Tarrnah as the permanent residence of the Chiefs, as it was centrally situated amongst his own clan, the Solizis of the Ba’i-zi division by which name the people of Tarrnah are still called; but they are, sometimes, also styled the Khan-khel, or Chieftain’s clan.”

Reference (Source Details):

‘An account of Upper and Lower Suwat, and the Kohistan, to the source of the Suwat River; with an account of the tribes inhabiting those valleys’  was published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal  (Volume XXXI, No.I. To V. 1862) Calcutta, pages 232-234.

The Chief Editor of the website (www.swatencyclopedia.com) is Jalal Uddin. He hails from Saidu Sharif, Swat. He is M.phil Scholar and his research field is Swat State. He regularly writes on Swat State and its various aspects.
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The Chief Editor of the website (www.swatencyclopedia.com) is Jalal Uddin. He hails from Saidu Sharif, Swat. He is M.phil Scholar and his research field is Swat State. He regularly writes on Swat State and its various aspects.
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