The region varies in topography from dry rocky areas in the south to forests and green plains inthe north. The climate can be extreme with intensely hot summers to freezing cold winters.Despite these extremes in weather, agriculture remains important and viable in the area. The hillyterrain of Swat,Kalam,Upper Dir , NaranandKaghanis renowned for its beauty and attracts agreat many tourists from neighbouring regions and from around the world. Swat-Kalam is alsotermed 'a piece of Switzerland'as there are many landscape similarities between it and themountainous terrain of Switzerland.It covers an area of 74,521 km
(28,773 sq mi). According to the 1998 census, the total population of N.W.F.P. was approximately 17 million
out of whom 52% are males and 48%females. The density of population is 187 per km² and the intercensal change of population is of about 30%. Geographically the province could be divided into two zones: the northern oneextending from the ranges of theHindu Kushto the borders of Peshawar basin; and the southernone extending from Peshawar to the Derajat basin. The northern zone is cold and snowy inwinters with heavy rainfall and pleasant summers with the exception of Peshawar basin, which ishot in summer and cold in winter. It has moderate rainfall. The southern zone is arid with hotsummers and relatively cold winters and scantly rainfall. Its climate varies from very cold(Chitral in the north) to very hot in places like D.I. Khan. The major rivers that criss cross the province are Kabul River, Swat River, Chitral River, Panjgora River, Bara River, Karam River,Gomal River and Zob River.Its snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys of unusual beauty attract tourists from far and widewhile its art and architecture no less known than the historicKhyber Pass. Once the cradle of Gandharacivilization, the area is now known for its devout Muslims who zealously guard their religion and culture and the way of life that they have been following for centuries.
The north, comprisingChitral District,has a typically continental steppe climate, with averageannual precipitationranging from 100mm(4 inches) per year in the far north to 585 mm (23inches) in Drosh in the south. Most of this precipitation from frontal cloudbands during thewinter and heavythunderstormsin the spring. Of Chitral's average 420 mm (16.5 inches) of rainfall per year, 350 mm (13.8 inches) falls from December to May. At high elevations in theHindukush,snowfallcan be much heavier than this and consequently largeglaciersare a prominent feature of the landscape. Snow also cuts off evenChitraltown from the outside worldfor most of the year. Temperatures in the valleys vary from 40 °C (105 °F) in July to as low as-10 °C (15 °F) in January. In the previous few years flood have created problems in Mastujtehsil.