Swat History

SWAT IN THE YEAR 1862, AS DESCRIBED BY MAJOR HENRY GEORGE RAVERTY (PART 22)

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 22)

They say, that there is another road into Suwat, still easier, by the Shah-kott  Pass, which is comparatively straight and level; and appears to have been a regular made road, probably the work of the former inhabitants of these regions, who, from the ruins that still remain, appear to have attained a considerable degree of civilization. Guns could easily be taken into Suwat by this route; but the Afghans, apparently, to provide against such a contingency, have broken up the road in several places; and at present it is never used.

There is no place named Kandarak, at the foot of the Karakarr Pass into Suwat, to be found at present ; but the ruins of a village, or something of the kind, may be traced. Perhaps this is the place referred to in the Akbar Namah, the scene of the defeat of Akbar’s army by the Yusufzi Afghans. I was informed, that about three years since, three Afghans found a phial, or something of the kind, near this place, the mouth of which was closed with lead, and contained several seals regularly cut. They appear to have been glass or crystal. An iron oven was also found at the same time. The Suwati’s say, that the army of the Mughals were defeated in the Shah-kott Pass; and will not allow that Akbar’s army ever entered Suwat itself. I was equally unsuccessful regarding the other places mentioned in the history referred to, viz.; Iltimsh, Saranyakh, and Kandari. I imagine they must have been more to the north-west, towards Kafiristan.

On reaching the foot of the Pass we went on to Dar-gaey three miles distant; and thence proceeded to Shah-kott, about two miles further. We had now entered the British territory; so I went on direct to Peshawar: and here ended my travels in Suwat.

 I must now attempt to describe the features of the valley.

On descending from the Mohrey Pass, and issuing from the narrow valley in which Nalbanddah lies, towards Tarnah, the Suwat valley appears to lie almost east and west. It then makes a bend in a north-easterly direction as far as the Pass of Shameli; and from thence to Pi’a the direction is almost due north; and beyond Pi’a again up to the source of the Suwat river, at the Jal-gah, it diverges slightly more in an easterly direction. It will therefore be seen that the Suwat valley is divided, as it were, into three natural divisions; and where the three turns, above mentioned, commence, the valley gradually narrows by the mountains on each side converging together, and then opens out again by their receding. The river intersects the valley throughout, with occasional considerable bendings; but the several maps you have are incorrect,—indeed, almost wholly so as regards the country beyond the Mohrey Pass. The map in Elphinstone Sahib’s book, is better. The mistake is, that the valley in all these maps, is made to run, almost in a straight line north-east, and south-west; and from them it would appear, that a person standing at that highest part of the valley could see down straight through it, which is far from being the case. The river receives a few considerable streams, as has been previously stated, together with many small rivulets, from the mountains on either side. From Chur-rraey to Binwarri, which was the nearest point towards its source which I visited, the stream is about a hundred yards broad, very swift, and violent. From about five miles lower down than Binwarri it becomes somewhat wider, but is just as rapid and violent as before, till it reaches Darwesh Khel, about three quarters of a mile lower down than which, where the valley also opens out considerably, it becomes much broader, and divides into several branches, and so continues until it reaches Allah-ddandd in Lower Suwat, where the branches again unite. From thence the river becomes narrower, until it joins the Malizi river (the river of Panjkorah of the maps), near the village of Khwadar-zi, in the country of the Utman Khel.

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 261-262

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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