Swat History

SWAT IN THE YEAR 1862, AS DESCRIBED BY MAJOR HENRY GEORGE RAVERTY (PART 20)

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 20)

Leaving these we passed on to Kanju-an, where the shrine of Akhund Karun Dad, son of Akhund Darwezah, is situated, and to which I went to pray. Continuing our journey we came to Damghar, and Diw-li; and then went on to Akhund Kalaey, where is the tomb of Akhund Kasim, author of the Fawa’id-ush-Sharriaeat. His descendants still dwell here. Damghar is the place mentioned by Khushhal Khan, in his “Ode to Spring,” which is contained in your translations of Afghan poetry.  We now proceeded onwards through the Sue-gali Pass, towards the mountain of Sue-gali, another spur from the same mountains, which juts out towards one of the branches of the river, and then, for a short distance, turns abruptly to the south. The length of the kotal or pass is about twelve miles, the first three of which was a pretty good road; the next three miles are very difficult; and the remaining six, as we had to descend, were not so very difficult, but would have been so to ascend. The air was so cool and pleasant, that we accomplished this difficult journey between ten in the morning and three in the afternoon, the hottest part of the day, without experiencing any inconvenience from the sun, although we were on foot and brought no water with us; and this too on the last day of August, the hottest of the hot months in the Panjab and at Peshawar.

On ascending the Pass, and about two and half miles from the commencement of the ascent, we came to a ziarat or shrine, with a rivulet running past it, and shaded by fine zaitun or wild olive trees, an immense forest of which, the largest in the whole of Suwat, and reaching to the summits of the mountains, here commences. On reaching the crest of the Pass, and looking downwards we could see the village of Garraey, which we passed, and proceeded on to Khazanah, the men of which are the strongest in Suwat. At this place also, we met a very pretty young woman, who, I remarked to my companions, was the first good looking one I had seen in the Suwat valley. We still proceeded onwards, and reached Zirah Khel, which lies just opposite to the Sanddakaey mountain on the other side of the river. From thence we went on to Ouch-i-Bala, and Ouch-i-Pa’in, both of which villages, lying close to each other, are situated just inside a long narrow valley, containing water, through which a road, which is always open, leads into Bajawrr. There is another road by way of Lower Suwat, but this one is preferred.

Here we passed the night in company with a Kafilah or caravan of Khattak traders; and in the morning, which was the 1st September, we were conveyed across the river from the ferry near the village of Chak-darah, where Kokal-tash, the general of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, built a fort to overcome the Yusufzis of Suwat, to Allahddandd, thus leaving the lawndah or moist part of Suwat, and entered once more the wuchah or dry district. There were no traces of ancient ruins near the former village.

Allah-ddandd is the residence of the chief of the Rarrnizi branch of the Yusufzi tribe, and the residence of the chief, Sher-dil Khan, son of Einayat-ullah Khan (mentioned by Conolly in his notes on the Yusufzis). He is a young man about twenty-three years of age, and is a lineal descendant of Khan Kaju, or more properly Kachu, the chief of nine laks of spear-men, in the days of Sher Shah, Ludhi, Emperor of Hindustan, and the author of a valuable history of the conquest of Suwat by his tribe, some few years previously. Notwithstanding his proud descent, however, and that Afghans, generally are so well versed in their own genealogical lore as to be able to relate their descent viva voce, for five hundred years or more, this chief does not know the names of his ancestors, nor the number of generations between Khan Kachu and himself! After this specimen, it is not very astonishing, that Mir Ealam, Chief of Tarnah, did not know how he stood with regard to Hamzah Khan, his own great ancestor.

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 257-259

TO BE CONTINUED...

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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