Swat 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 19)

Having now reached the opposite bank, we began our journey homewards through that part of Suwat lying on the right bank of the river, and known by the name of lanwdah or the moist. On the 30th August we left Landdaey, where I obtained a copper coin which seemed something new, and proceeded to the village of  Darwesh Khel-i-Bala or the higher, about eight miles distant, passing several small banddahs or hamlets of four or five houses by the way. The ground all along our routey which lay at the shirt of the mountains, was very irregular and hilly; and the cultivation was very scanty. A rivulet runs through this village, which is shaded by a number of fine trees, under whose shade there are mosques, and Hujras (cells or closets they may be termed) for talibs or students, of whom many come here to study; and, altogether, it is a very picturesque and pleasant spot. At this place we were very much distressed and annoyed by the Malik or headman, and a Mulla or priest, both Suwatis. The Malik wished to take away my clothes and papers; and the Mulla ordered me to show my papers to him. There is no doubt but, that, in case 1 had shown him my papers, and he had seen what was contained in them respecting Suwat, we should have been all three lost. By great good luck, however, some guests happened to arrive just at the time, and occupied the whole of our persecutors’ attention. This we took advantage of, to make ourselves scarce with all speed, and reached Darwesh Khel-Pa’in or the lower, some distance from the other village. Here we halted for some time to rest ourselves; and I made inquiry about books and old coins, but without success. I found that the Shalaka’i or woollen scarfs I before alluded to, both white, black, and flowered, are manufactured at these two villages, just mentioned. We proceeded from thence to Banba Khelah, which faces another village called Khuzah Khelah, distant about a mile and half on the opposite bank. Most of the villages in Suwat can be seen from each other, save a very few, such as Khazanah, and Garraey, which lie to the west of the spur of Sue-gali; and Saiydugan, and Islampur, which are situated in the darah or valley bearing the latter name; for, in the whole of the centre of Suwat, there is neither mound nor hill to obstruct the view. It is indeed, a most picturesque valley; in the centre is the river branching out with the green fields swelling gently upwards, on both sides, until they melt, as it were, into the lower hills. Here I obtained two square copper coins, duplicates, but the impressions were distinct. I was told on inquiry, that when the people go to the hills for grass, they search about for old coins, near the ruins they may pass, or sometimes they go purposely to search for them, and dispose of what they find to the Hindus.

Passing this place, we came to Banba Khel-i-Pa’in, or the lower; and from thence went on to Saubat and Kharerra’i, the people of which were at feud, and were fighting amongst each other. On reaching Shakar-darah in the evening, we were told that they had, that day, lost some twenty, in killed and wounded, on both sides. After staying for the night at Shakar-darah, on the morning of the 31st August we set out from thence, and proceeding through the pass of Nun-gali over the spur, (consisting of earth mixed with rocks and stones, containing something of a yellow colour,) which juts out abruptly for about three quarters of a mile, to one of the branches of the river, from the mountains on our right hand, we again descended to the village of Nun-gali, which lies under the southern side of this spur near the river, and just opposite to Chhar-bagh on the other side, which can be distinctly seen. Passing on from this village, we came to Banddi-i-Bala, and Banddi-i-Pa’in the former of which after Tarnah and Munglawar, is the largest place in Suwat.

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 255-257


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