Editor ChoiceSwat History


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 17)

The villages inhabited by Tor-wals, from south to north, are ; Biran-yal, to the west of the river, eight miles from Chur-rra’i; Haranaey, to the east of the river, about twelve miles from Churrra’i ; Cham, to the west of the river; Gornaey, to the east of the river ; Chawat-gram, to the west; Ramett, to the east ; Clukil, to the east ; Ajru-kalaey, to the west; and Man-kial, to the east, these belong to the Tor-wal tribe ; and Pash-mal, to the west; Har-yani, to the east; Ila-hi-kott, to the west ; Ushu, to the east; Kalam, to the west; and Utrorr, to the west, belong to the Garwi tribe. After this, still proceeding  north, are the three villages of the Gujars, called the Banddahs of the Gujaran, one of which is Sarbanddah, inhabited by about fifty families. It is close beneath the mountain of Sar-dzaey, the barrier closing the extremity of the valley to the north. The three villages contain, altogether, about six hundred houses.

A short distance to the south of Sar-banddah, there is a marshy, meadow-like plain of some extent, probably about fifteen jaribs of land (In foot Note Raverty mentioned that A Jarib of land is sixty yards in length and breadth). This is called Jal-gah. This term is evidently derived from Sanskrit and Persian; the first being water, and the second a place,“ the place of water or streams.” The rivulets issuing from this meadow having collected together, flow downwards towards the south; and this Jal-gah is the source of the Suwat river, which, united with the Indus, and the Panjab rivers, at last, pours its water from scores of mouths into the mighty ocean at Kurrachee, (or more correctly Karachi) in Sindh, after a course of some fifteen hundred miles!

Flowing south, the stream, called the water of Jal-gah, enters the boundary of the Garwi tribe; and thence flows on to Ut-rorr, which lies on its western bank. Thence under the name of the river of Ut-rorr it flows down opposite to the entrance of the darah of U’shu with its river, lying in a north-easterly direction, and unites with that stream near the village of Kalam, also on the western bank. Still lower down it receives the river of Clia-yal running through the darah or valley of that name, lying in a south-westerly direction, near the village of Sha-gram on the western bank. East of the Utrorr river, as it is termed from Sha-gram downwards, and about half a mile lower is the village of Chur-rra’i, where its name again changes; and it is then known as the sind, (In foot note mentioned that it is a Sanskrit word, used in Pushto) or river of Kohistan. On reaching the villages of Pia and Tirataey, it receives the name of the Suwat river, having during its course received, little by little, the small rivulets on either side.

 At the extreme head of the valley, near the mountain of Sardzaey there is a Pass leading into Kashkar; another road leads through the darah of U’shu, on the eastern side, into Gilgitt ; and another leading into Panjkorah through the Cha-yal darah.

Throughout the whole of this valley, from Sar-banddah to the boundary of Upper Suwat, there are immense numbers of trees, both along the river’s banks, and on the mountains on either side, to their very summits. The trees mentioned as having been seized by the Suwatis, in a former paragraph, were felled in this valley, to be floated down to Peshawar. I saw one of the party who had gone to fetch them, and he informed me that trees, some of which were large pines, only cost, in felling, from three-pence to two shillings each.

The wild animals of this upper portion of the valley of the Suwat river are numerous ; consisting of tigers, (leapords probably) bears, and monkeys, in great numbers, particularly the latter; wild boars, gazelles, a large species of deer, wild bulls, hares, foxes, wolves, and jackals without number. The mountain sheep is also common, as well as the musk-deer, called ramusi by the Afghans and Kohistanis.

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 252-254


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