Swat History

Sir Aurel Stein In Bahrain, Mankiyal (Swat State), 1926

On the 4th April (1926) I was able to set out again up the valley in order to reach the extreme northern limit of the Badshah’s (Swat State) dominion. From Branial (now Bahrain) onwards the hardy Swat mules had to be replaced by human transport. The ruler had lost no time after his annexation of Torwal in getting a road made practicable for ponies and mules. But it would not have been safe to use it for laden transport after the damage caused by the recent heavy rain and, in some places, by avalanches. The two marches that carried me to Peshmal, the Badshah’s last village on the Swat river, led through scenery of quite an alpine character. The route led up and down along steep spurs and across picturesque side valleys flanked by mountains still snow covered… We halted for the first night at Chodgram (now Balakot), under the protection of a small timber-built fort, quite antique in appearance, though new. Here a glorious view opened over the Mankial valley and the bold ice-crowned peaks that close it to the east. They were the same great peaks that I had first sighted far away from the Malakand, rising to heights not far from 19,000 feet. Chodgram itself lies on a spur high above the confined gorges of the river, and this made the vista wonderfully wide and impressive. I only wish my photographs could have done full justice to it looked for in such surroundings. But it was delightful to feel that I was moving between mountains on which no European eye had hitherto rested, at least not since classical times. To the east, where the high watershed range divides the Swat river drainage from the Indus, snowy crests and peaks, like walls of crystal as the old Chinese pilgrim Sung Yun put it gleamed at the head of each narrow side valley. On the next day’s march to Peshmal we had to keep for the most part low down by the river. But there was plenty of true alpine scenery on which to feast one’s eyes, to say nothing of the lovely colours of the river water, which showed every shade of green, and of charming glimpses up the cascading streams that come down to feed it…

Source of Information (Reference):

Sir Aurel Stein, On Alexander Track To The Indus, Macmillan And Co., Limited, St. Martin’s Street, London, 1929, Pages 93-95.

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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