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Text by:

Aftab-ur-Rehman Rana Tourism Consultant USAID|FIRMS Project USAID|Pakistan FIRMS Project May 2011

Published by: Edition:

Disclaimer: This publication was made possible by the support of the American people, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The views expressed in this publication/documentary are the authors' views and they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of USAID, the United States Government or Chemonics International Inc.

Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 4 History of Swat ........................................................................................................................................... 4 When to go .................................................................................................................................................. 6 How to get there ........................................................................................................................................ 6 Where to stay ........................................................................................................................................... 11 Places of Tourism Interest in Lower Swat.......................................................................................... 12 Places of Tourism Interest in Upper Swat .......................................................................................... 16 Valleys Beyond Kalam ............................................................................................................................ 19 Main Trekking Routes in Upper Swat Valley ..................................................................................... 21 Ecotourism in Upper Swat ..................................................................................................................... 22 Travel Tips................................................................................................................................................ 23 Plan Your Budget..................................................................................................................................... 24 List of Tourist Information Centers ..................................................................................................... 25 Guided Tours and Tourism Services ................................................................................................... 26 Useful Phone numbers ........................................................................................................................... 28 Useful Web Links ..................................................................................................................................... 28 Map of Swat Valley ...28

Introduction
The beautiful valley of Swat, popularly known as the Switzerland of the East, is a holiday-makers delight and a hallmark of magnificent scenic beauty and a rich historical past. With its roaring rivers, waterfalls, meandering streams, glacier fed lakes, pine forests, alpine meadows, snow covered peaks of Mankial and Flaksair, fruit laden orchards, lush green fields, flower filled mountain slopes, and above all the friendly Swati people who are famous for their traditional hospitality, Swat is without doubt one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the northern valleys of Pakistan. The Valley of Swat sprawls over 5,337 sq. kilometers. The summer temperature reaches a maximum of 22C and remains above 7C. Saidu Sharif is the capital of Swat and its twin city Mingora is the largest and oldest market town. Madyan, Bahrain, Miandam, Kalam and Malam Jabba are its main tourist spots. The elevation ranges from 991 meters (3,300 feet) above sea level at Saidu Sharif to 6,257 meters (20,528 feet) at the top of its highest mountain, Flaksair.

History of Swat
Swat was described as Udyana (the garden) in ancient Hindu epics. Alexander the Great crossed Swat River with part of his army in 327BC. He fought and won some of his major battles at Barikot and Udegram and stormed their battlements, before crossing over the plains of the five rivers. In Greek accounts these towns have been identified as Ora and Bazira. After the death of Alexander the Great the Greeks quickly lost effective control of their far flung colonies and soon the northern part of the subcontinent situated west of the Indus which includes Swat was annexed by Chandra Gupta. From the second century BC

to the ninth century AD, Swat was the cradle of Buddhism where more than 1400 monasteries flourished at one time. The ringing of the bells in these places of worship used to create a strange mysterious impression all around the valley. During this time Swat became famous as the hub of the Gandhara School of Sculpture which was an expression of Greco-Roman style mixed with the local Buddhist traditional sculpture. Today, ruins of great Buddhist stupas, monasteries and statues are found all over Swat. Swat is also the historical land where the Muslim conquerors, Mahmood of Ghazni, and Mughal kings Babar and Akbar fought their battles preparatory to the conquest of the sub-continent. Mahmood of Ghazni took the valley in the 11th century after a fierce battle at Udegram, where his commander Khushal Khan was killed and buried. A mosque dating from the 11th century has been excavated on the hill at Udegram. The history of modern Swat commences with the emergence of the Akhund Sahib of Swat as a charismatic religious leader and a reformer. With his help and support, Syed Akbar Shah established the rule of Shariat in Swat from 1849 to 1856.

But after the sudden death of Syed Akbar Shah, Swat was left unorganized once again. In 1915 the territory started its progression to a more peaceful and stable life when Miangul Abdul Wadood, the grandson of the Akhund Sahib and a powerful political figure of Swat was unanimously declared by the tribes as their king. The Swat state was founded in 1917 by Miangul Abdul Wadood, also known as Badshah Sahib. The state of Swat was accorded official recognition by the British Indian Government in 1926 and the title of Wali (ruler) was conferred on Miangul Abdul Wadood. Miangul Wadood abdicated in 1949 in favor of his son, Miangul Jehanzeb, who continued to develop the valley by building roads, schools and hospitals; and more importantly by institutionalizing land reform. The princely status of Swat, along with the adjoining states of Chitral and Dir, was brought to an end by the presidential order in 1969, and all of them merged into Pakistan. Now Swat is part of the Malakand Division which is a Provincially Administrated Tribal Area (PATA) of the Khyber Pukhtunkhawa province of Pakistan.

When to go
Swat Valley, especially lower Swat, is a year-round tourist destination. However the main tourist season for Swat begins in spring and lasts till autumn (April to October). April to May is the best time to visit Swat, when the fresh green grass carpet covers the slopes. June to August is the period when most domestic tourists from the hot plains of Punjab and Sindh escape the scorching summer heat and find refuge in the cool areas of Upper Swat. October-November is the fall season when yellow and golden are the most dominating colors on the backdrop of a clear blue sky. December to March are the winter months; the road beyond Bahrain is snowbound during this time.

How to get there


The valley of Swat is situated on the northeastern tip of the Khyber Pukhtunkhawa province, surrounded by the scenic valleys of Dir, Chitral and Gilgit. Saidu Sharif, the capital of Swat, is linked through a metalled road to Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Peshawar via Mardan and Malakand Pass.

Reaching by Air
Saidu Sharif/Mingora is also linked by air to Peshawar and Islamabad. This air route is presently suspended, but PIA is planning to start its daily flight operations from Islamabad and Peshawar to Saidu Sharif.

Main Route from Islamabad/Rawalpindi & Peshawar

People travelling from down country on their own vehicles can take the Motorway (M-1) and reach Mardan/Rashaki interchange from Islamabad in about one and a half hour after covering a distance of 131 km. From Mardan onwards they can travel via Takh-e-Bai, Dargai, Malakand Pass, Batkhella, Chakdara and finally reach Mingora/Saidu Sharif after

covering a distance of 116 km in an additional two and a half hours. The total distance from Islamabad to Mingora/Saidu Sharif is 247Km and it takes around 5 hours with one stop for lunch and refreshments. This route is open for all kinds of traffic throughout the year. The distance from Peshawar to Mingora/Saidu Sharif is 151 km, using the

above mentioned route from Mardan onward. Total driving time from Peshawar is around 4 hours. For those preferring public transport, travelling in air conditioned bus service is an option. There are several bus companies with regular direct service to Mingora from Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Mardan. The Daewoo Bus Company operates the most comfortable

and reliable air conditioned bus service to Mingora from Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar and also provides connecting bus services to the passengers of other major cities such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Abbottabad, Mianwali etc. (For more information about Daewoo Bus Service schedule and fares, please visit their website http://www.sammi.com.pk or call their UAN at 111-007-008).

Alternate Route from Besham via Shangla Pass


A scenic but slightly difficult and longer alternate route is available via Abbottabad and the Karakorum Highway to Besham via Shangla pass. Besham is

270 km from Islamabad via Abbottabad, Mansehra, Batagram and Thakot. From Besham it is 69 km to Khawazakhela, a drive of about three hours on a scenic road through steeply terraced hills and pine forests across the Shangla Pass. Khawazakhela is a large town along river

Swat from where the distance to Mingora and Madyan is 29 km and 24 km respectively.

Distance Charts
Distance Chart Islamabad Mingora Route From Islamabad Mardan Takht-i-Bahi Dargai Malakand Chakdara To Mardan Distance Travel (km) time 140 14 26 12 15 40 247 1 hrs. 20 min. 40 min. 30 min. 30 min. 1 hrs. 5 hrs. Road Condition Excellent Motorway (M-I) Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway

Takht-i-Bahi Dargai Malakand Chakdara Mingora/Saidu Sharif Total distance and travel time

Distance Chart Peshawar Mingora Route From Peshawar Nowshera Mardan Takht-i-Bahi Dargai Malakand Chakdara To Nowshera Distance Travel (km) time 41 23 14 26 12 15 40 171 40 min. 20 min 20 min. 40 min. 30 min. 30 min. 1 hrs. 4 hrs. Road Condition Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway Excellent Highway

Mardan Takht-i-Bahi Dargai Malakand Chakdara Mingora/Saidu Sharif Total distance and travel time

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Distance Chart Besham Shangla Pass- Mingora Route From Besham Alpuri Shangla Pass Khawazakhela To Alpuri Shangla Pass Khawazakhela Mingora Distance (km) 35 7 27 29 98 Travel time 1 hr hr. 1 hr. 1 hr. 3 hrs. Road Condition Two way metalled road but damaged at many places Two way metalled road but damaged at many places Two way metalled road but damaged at many places Two way metalled road but damaged at many places

Total distance and travel time

Distance Chart Mingora - Kalam Route From Mingora Manglor Khawazakhela Fatehpur Madyan Baharin To Manglor Khawazakhela Fatehpur Madyan Baharin Kalam Distance (km) 10 19 14 10 10 35 98 Travel time 20 min. 40 min. 40 min. 30 min. 40 min. 4 to 5 hrs. 5 to 6 hrs. Depending on road conditions Road Condition Two way metalled road Two way metalled road but damaged at few places Two way metalled road but damaged at few places Two way metalled road but damaged at few places Road under construction but useable Road under construction but useable

Total distance and travel time

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Distances of other Places of Tourist Interest from Mingora From Mingora/Saidu Sharif Mingora/Saidu Sharif Mingora/Saidu Sharif Mingora /Saidu Sharif Kalam Kalam To Maraghzar Udegram Malam Jabba via Manglor Miandam via Fatehpur Ushu Utror Distance (km) 13 8 42 56 8 16 Travel time 30 min. 15 min. 2 hrs. 2 hrs. 1 hr. 2 hr. Road Condition Two way metalled road damaged at few places Excellent Highway Two way metalled road damaged at few places Two way metalled road damaged at few places Suitable for 4WD vehicles only Suitable for 4WD vehicles only

Where to stay
There are several hotels and guest houses of different categories in Mingora, Saidu Sharif, Madyan, Miandam, Bahrain and Kalam. Conveniently situated, appropriately furnished, and reasonably priced guest houses and rest houses of government departments are available in other places as well. Many hotels were damaged during the floods last year. USAIDs FIRMS Project is working with more than 200 hotels to rehabilitate and make them operational once again before the start of the tourist season of 2011. A list of fully operational hotels of different categories at various locations of Swat Valley is available under the web site menu item Where to Stay. It should be noted that hotel rates given in the table are subject to seasonal fluctuations, so there is possibility of deviation in the rates mentioned on this list, and they should thus be reconfirmed at the time of room reservation.

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Places of Tourism Interest in Lower Swat


Saidu Sharif and Mingora
At an elevation of 990 metres (3,250 feet) above sea level, Mingora and Saidu Sharif are twin-towns merged into each other. Mingora is the biggest market town in Swat with all the main markets, bus and coach stands, hotels, restaurants and shopping places, while Saidu Sharif to the South is the administrative capital of Swat. Over the passage of time Mingora in particular has become heavily congested and comparatively hot in the summers compared to Saidu Sharif. The bazaars of Mingora are fascinating and worth exploring for hand woven woolen shawls, jackets and caps, wooden handicrafts, old silver jewellery, old carpets, semi-precious stones, Swati embroidered cloths, dry fruits, honey and imported electronic items. The shrine of the Akhund of Swat, residence of former Wali of Swat, Swat Museum, Swat Serena Hotel and archeological remains of the Butkara are also great places to visit and located at Saidu Sharif.

Maraghzar
At distance of 13 km from Saidu Sharif at the head of the Saidu Valley, Maraghzar is a small village at an elevation of 1,287 metres (4,222 feet) from sea level. The White Palace (presently a hotel) was once the summer palace of the first Wali of Swat. The Saidu Stream cascades down off Mount Ilam behind the palace, and beside the stream runs the old Hindu pilgrim path up Mount Ilam 2,811 metres (9,222 feet), which is a sacred place in Hinduism and most commonly known as Ram Takht. According to Hindu mythology Ram Chandra Jee Maharajah spent three years of his Ban Bass (jungle life) here. This path is a full day's hike to the top and back through the remote villages. Local guides can be arranged through the White Palace Hotel.

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Islampur (Weavers Village)


Islampur is a small village 2 km off the main Saidu Sharif- Maraghzar road. The dwellers of this village are excellent weavers. Visitors can see handloom weaving here and buy hand-woven shawls and blankets on reasonable prices.

Shrine of Akhund of Swat (Saidu Baba)


The shrine of Akhund of Swat is housed in the marble courtyard of a mosque in Saidu Sharif. It is tucked away amongst the narrow alleys between Maraghzar road and Aqba road. Saidu is Sharif (holy) because of the shrine of the Akhund of Swat. Visitors are welcome here provided they are suitably dressed and remove their shoes outside the compound before entering the shrine.

Swat Museum
Swat Museum is located on the main Mingora-Saidu Sharif road and is well worth a visit. This museum has a huge collection of Gandhara sculptures from the Buddhist sites in Swat. It is presently closed for repair and renovation.

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Butkara Stupa
Near the museum, about 1 km away, is one of the most important Buddhist shrines in Swat. The Butkara stupa, which dates from the third century BC, was possibly built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka to house some of the ashes of Buddha. Excavations were carried out here by Italian Archaeological Mission here between 1958 and 1962. Later on Prof. Abdur Rahman carried out the excavation of Butkara-III site in 1982 and 1985.

Udegram
About 8 km from Mingora on the road to Malakand lies the town of Udegram that Alexander the Great captured in 327 BC. This is the site of the ancient town of Ora. Udegram is a fairly large town of the ruins which, encircled by huge walls, climb along the slopes of the mountains towering above the valley. On the super of the mountain there existed a castle that was destroyed by Mahmood of Ghazni in the 11th century according to tradition. This site was also excavated by Italian Archaeological Mission between 1956 and1999.

Shingerdar Stupa
10 km from Udegram on the main Mingora-Malakand road, the Stupa of Shingerdar is situated on the left side of the main road. This is the famous stupa which was built by King Uttarasena to

house his share of the relics of the Load Buddha.

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Fizagat
Just outside Mingora, Fizagat is the first spot where there is a nice picnic spot along the river and a number of tourist class and deluxe hotels are located here. Most tourists prefer to stay in these hotels to avoid the crowd and heavily congested streets of Mingora.

Jahanabad Buddha
The next settlement farther up north is Manglawar, at a distance of about 10 km from Mingora. A single metalled road turns off to the right to Malam Jabba from here, and 3 km from the turning lies the Jahanabad village. The Jahanabad Buddha is a huge seated figure four metres high, carved in the seventh century on the face of a large rock on the other side of the river. The carved Buddha is directly opposite the village of Malakpur and is visible from the Malam Jabba road. The serene-faced Buddha sits cross-legged, his hands folded in his lap. To get a closer look at this historic marvel, one can cross the river through the next bridge (1 km farther) and walk up a clear path to reach the rock.

Mountain Inn Guest House is the best place to stay in this area. This small family resort is located on the hillside on the road to Malam Jabba with a beautiful view of paddy rice fields and fruit orchards in the valley.

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Places of Tourism Interest in Upper Swat


The Swat Valley become more scenic the high you go towards north. From Mingora, the main Swat Valley road runs toward north along the Swat River. There are number of tourist spots on this route all the way up to Kalam.

Malam Jabba
On the same road from Manglawar at a distance of about 35 km, Malam Jabba is one of the most popular hill resorts in Swat, located at an elevation of 2,750 metres (9,000 feet) above sea level. This place was developed as a ski resort with the facility of a chairlift and a 22 room hotel, but was unfortunately badly damaged by militants in the recent past. Presently, there are some other private hotels which provide limited boarding and lording facilities to the visitors. They can come up here on an excursion trip from Mingora to enjoy the beautiful landscape of this mountain resort.

Khawazakhela
The main road continues up the Swat Valley from Manglawr, eventually reaching Chargabh; the next village with a small bazaar. The countryside is rich and fertile here, with paddy fields and small scattered settlements along the road. At a distance of about 32 km from Mingora, Khawazakhela is the second largest commercial center. The main bazaar is worth exploring for old silver jewellery, embroidered fabrics, semi-precious stones, ancient coins, antique chairs, and beds chests of carved wood. This is where

a road turns off right to Besham on Karakoram Highway via Shangla Pass (7,000 feet).

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Miandam
The main road continues north up the valley and reaches the village of Fatehpur. A 9 km road branches off towards east and runs through charming hillside villages to reach the popular hill resort of Miandam. Miandam is a very picturesque tourist spot at an elevation of 1,800 metres (5,900 feet) above sea level. Surrounded by the terraced fields, fruit orchards and lush green mountain slopes, this place is pleasantly cool during summers. There are a number of comfortable hotels and guest houses here that provide accommodation facilities for tourists. Miandam is good place for hikers. Two walking trails run along the streams up

north east. The total distance from Mingora to Miandam is 56 km.

Madyan
Back on main road at a distance of about 8 km from Fatehpur, Madyan is a tourist resort on the Swat River. The distance from Mingora to Madyan is roughly 56 km. At an elevation of 1,321 metres (4,335 feet), steep wooded hills provide a scenic backdrop for the fast flowing Swat River which gushes through the narrow gorges. Bashigram valley drains into the Swat River from the east at Madyan. The source of the Bashigram torrent is the pristine Bashigram Lake at 11,600 feet above sea level. The lake can be reached after a daylong strenuous trek. Its riverside location and pleasant climate make it an attractive tourist spot with

rows of shops, hotels and restaurants along the main road. Antique and modern shawls, traditional embroidery, tribal jewellery, and carved wood furniture are

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sold in the shops on the main street. The shawls are woven in the side valley east of Madyan, where this cottage industry has been thriving for nearly 2,000 years.

There are also a number of comfortable hotels and guest houses which provide accommodation facilities to tourists.

Bahrain
The main road crosses to the west bank of the Swat River at Madyan and continues towards north. From here the valley steadily closes in and begins to climb more steeply. The road from Madyan onward was badly damaged due to flood in July 2010. Presently, Bahrain-Kalam road is under construction but it is accessible by cars, jeeps and vans. Ten kilometers north of Madyan and about (1,400 metres/4,500 feet) above sea level, Bahrain is another very popular tourist spot in the upper Swat. Here the two rivers Daral and Swat join under a bridge; the former like a waterfall, and then winding their way in a torrent through a gorge below the high cliffs. Away from the road, along the banks of the Daral River, there are some interesting old houses with intricately carved woodwork. The town is spread out along the road where most of the hotels and restaurants are located. The bazaar of Bahrain is worth exploring for handicrafts.

Kalam
At Kalam, which is 32 km from Bahrain and about (2,072 metres/6,800 feet) above sea level, the valley opens out into a fertile plateau. This is the place in Swat Valley that has warranted the title "Switzerland of Asia". This picturesque location features thick pine forests, alpine meadows, crystal clear lakes, cool mountain streams, and snow covered mountains all in one place. At Kalam the

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Ushu and Utrot rivers join to form the Swat River. Both of these rivers are also famous as excellent fishing reaches. From Kalam one can get a breathtaking view of the snow-capped peak of Flaksair (6,257 meters/20,528 feet). On the way to Kalam one can also have an excellent view of the peak of Mankial from the village of Kulalai. Mankial (5,726 metres/18,787 feet) is the second highest peak of Swat Valley. Because of its cool weather during the summers and stunning scenery, Kalam is the most popular tourist resort amongst Pakistani tourists who come here in droves of thousands during the summer holidays to escape the summer heat. The

main bazaar is very crowded during the peak tourist season, and all the necessities of life are available here. There are also a number of handicraft shops and restaurants along the main road. Across the wooden suspension bridge lies the old village of Kalam. During the summer, a favorite activity is to sit on charpoys placed in the shallow ends of the river with the cool mountain water flowing underneath, sipping hot tea and enjoying tasty Pakoras or Chappli Kababs with Tandori Nans. Kalam has the largest number of hotels of different categories to provide boarding and lodging facilities to visitors.

Valleys Beyond Kalam


To the north of Kalam there are several beautiful valleys, many of them thickly forested, as well as waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and meadows which are accessible by jeep. A bridge crosses the Swat River at the north end of Kalam. Shortly afterward the road forks; the left road goes to Utrot and Gabral and the right road leads to Ushu Valley and Matiltan.

Utror and Gabral


Utror is located at about 16 km from Kalam. At a height of 2,200 metres (7,200 feet) above sea level, Utror is a charming village and a totally un-spoilt location with excellent walking and fishing opportunities. There are a number of picnic spots along the river. A jeepable road 4 km towards southwest takes one to Liddu, from where it is a 3 hour walk up to the beautiful Kundol Lake. From

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Kundol one can also make an attempt to climb the mountain ridge on the west to reach a picturesque glacier fed lake which is known as Khapero Dand. This lake is located at 13,300 feet above sea level and the steep trek to this lake is very strenuous. From Liddu, another trail towards southeast leads to Spinkhor Lake. This beautiful lake is situated at an elevation of 10,530 feet above sea level. From Liddu one can also climb up directly to the high pastures of Dessan. This area is the most beautiful part of upper Swat with lush green pastures dotted with colorful wild flowers. From Upper Dessan one can reach Godur Lake which is located at an elevation of 12,600 feet above sea level. A jeep road runs 8 km northwest from Utrot to Gabral village which is a lush green picnic spot along the river. From Gabral the jeep road continues another 20 km towards north to Kharkhari Lake, located at an elevation of 9,500 feet above sea level. A 13 km walking trail also goes towards Izmis Lake from Utrot, which is located at an elevation of 11,230 feet above sea level. The word Izmis means caves in Kohistani and the lake gets its name from the several natural caves surrounding it.

Ushu Valley
Ushu Valley constitutes some of the most beautiful parts of Swat. This valley offers magnificent views of the snow covered Mount Flaksair which has a height of 6,257 meters (20,528 feet). There are a number of small hotels and restaurants along the fast flowing Ushu River. The distance of Ushu from Kalam is roughly 8 km and it is about 2,300 metres (7,550 feet) above sea level. Matiltan is next main village in this area. With its old wooden mosque, potato fields all around, and Mount Flaksair in the backdrop it gives a magical view. Beyond the village of Matiltan the jeep road leads to the most famous lake of this area; Lake Mahodand. This heavenly lake is situated at a distance of 35 km from Kalam and 27km from Ushu. Mahodand means lake full of fish in the local language, and the

lake stays true to its name and is a very good spot for trout fishing. It is a popular picnic spot as well and many tourists from Kalam come here every day during the summer holidays. From Mahodand one can go on a challenging trekking expedition to Laspur in upper Chitral Valley via Kachikani Pass (4,817 metres/15,800 feet) or to Handrap in Ghizar Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan via Dadarilli Pass (5,030 meters/16,498 feet).

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Main Trekking Routes in Upper Swat Valley


The upper Kalam area offers unlimited opportunities of trekking. The following are some of the main trekking routes: Mahodand to Laspur via Kachi Khani Pass (4,766m) Duration 7 days Standard Demanding Starting Point Mahodand (Ushu Valley) Ending Point Sor Lasper (upper Chitral) Mahodand to Handrap via Dadarli Pass (5,030m) Duration 6 days Standard Demanding Starting Point Mahodand (Ushu Valley) Ending Point Handrap (Ghizar Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan) Mahodand to Kandia Valley via Palogah Pass (5,030m) Duration 4 days Standard Strenuous Starting Point Mahodand (Ushu Valley) Ending Point Dasu (Karakorum Highway) Mahodand to the Base Camp of Flaksair Peak Duration 2 to 3 days Standard Moderate Starting Point Mahodand (Ushu Valley) Ending Point Mahodand (Ushu Valley) Utror to Jandrai via Dessan Duration 4 to 5 days Standard Moderate Starting Point Utrot

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Ending Point Jandrai (Dir Kohistan) Utror to Kandol Lake, Pari Lake and Spinkhor Lake Duration 2 to 3 days Standard Moderate Starting Point Utrot Ending Point Utrot Utror to Izmis Lake Duration 2 days Standard Moderate Starting Point Utrot Ending Point Utrot Note: - It is unsafe to go on any of these treks without a reliable local guide. Ask your hotel manager for the trekking guide arrangement and other assistance, or contact Sustainable Tourism Foundation at stfpak@gmail.com to join a trekking group package.

Ecotourism in Upper Swat


The valleys of upper Swat beyond Kalam offer an ideal destination for nature lovers and eco-tourists. The diverse habitats of these valleys are home to a variety wild animals including the snow leopard, Markhor, Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear and Himalayan Ibex. Other animals include Himalayan Lynx, Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, Striped Hyena and the common Otter. For birders, there is a wide variety of species, including Brahminy Myna, Tree Sparrow, Mountain Cliffs, Koklas and Monal Pheasants, Chakor Partridge, Golden Eagle, Whitecapped Redstart, Brown Dipper and common Kestrel. Note: the opportunity to observe wildlife in its natural habitat is a unique experience. It requires patience and general understanding of wildlife behavior. Going with an experienced wilderness guide provides the best chance of nature study and wildlife viewing. For more information about planning a nature study trip please contact Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan at stfpak@gmail.com

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Travel Tips
Safety and security conditions in Swat Swat, known as the Switzerland of Asia due to its natural beauty, has opened its arms for according a warm welcome to tourists as security and peace have been restored and militants have been pushed out of the region by the security forces. With the efforts of the provincial government and facilitation of Pakistan Army, tourists have already started arriving in the area. The area has become more peaceful and secure than some other parts of the country, and included among the safest areas in view of the statistics of law and order. Minor incidents occur in some towns, which cannot be used as negation of the real situation. Pakistan Army has established checkpoints at all entry points and generally the situation in the Valley is now peaceful for tourism. Carry your Identification documents Visitors are advised to carry their National Identity Cards (NIC) with them to avoid inconvenience at the routine security checkpoints established by Pakistan Army and Police department en route. Likewise, foreign tourists should carry their passport and security clearance documents with them. Best time to visit Swat Valley, especially lower Swat, is a year-round tourist destination. However the main tourist season for Swat begins in spring and lasts till autumn (April to October). April to May is the best time to visit Swat, when the fresh green grass carpet covers the slopes. June to August is the period when most domestic tourists from the hot plains of Punjab and Sindh escape the scorching summer heat and find refuge in the cool areas of Upper Swat. OctoberNovember is the fall season when yellow and golden are the most dominating colors on the backdrop of a clear blue sky. December-March are the winter months; the road beyond Bahrain is snowbound during this time. Take care of local norms Swati people are known for their hospitality towards visitors and your efforts to take care of local customs will be most appreciated. Swat is a conservative society and you can win much more respect if you act and dress appropriately. Do not wear shorts or tight-fitting, revealing clothing. Women should always cover their head and chest with a dupatta (long scarf). Taking photographs of local women is also not advised. Drinking water The water available at most places in Swat is not safe to drink,

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however bottled mineral water is widely available in the towns and even in villages. If mineral water is not available, it is wise to drink bottled drinks or tea. It

is also advisable to bring some water purification tablets with you; these are available at chemist shops in all main cities of the country.

Plan Your Budget


How much you spend per day on your trip to Swat Valley mainly depends on your choice of transport, accommodation and restaurants. Cost of travel also depends on the size of your group. If the group you are travelling in is of medium size (8 to 10 persons), the cost will be less compared Expenses on different Components Hotel Accommodation (per night per double occupancy) Breakfast Lunch Food and Beverage (per person) Dinner Tea/Snacks Jeep Transport to Kalam Public (per person) (One Way) Recreation (per day) Souvenirs/Handicrafts Total Average Expense (per head per day) to that for a smaller group (3 to 4 persons). The following table will help you plan your budget based on average expenses for different components of a trip to Swat Valley. Category of Budget in Pak Rupees Economy Standard Top End 15003000600-800 2000 5000 50 75-100 150-250 70 150-250 350-500 80 200-400 500-1000 30 50-100 150-300 250 400 1000 Private 300 500 (AC) transport 100-200 200-400 500-1000 100050-100 200-500 2000 Rs. 1,000 Rs. 2,500 Rs. 5,000

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List of Tourist Information Centers


City Address Agha Khan Road, Markaz F-6, Super Market, Islamabad. Islamabad/ Rawalpindi Near International Arrival Lounge, Islamabad International Airport Flashman's Hotel, Room No.7, The Mall, Rawalpindi 66-D-I, Gulberg-III Lahore Out Side International Arrival Lounge, Lahore International Airport, Lahore. Shafi Chambers, Club Road, Karachi TCKP Information Centre Peshawar Museum, Peshawar Contact Information Tel: (051) 9212760, 9202766,111-555-999 Fax: 9204027 Islamabad, Tel: (051) 9280563 Tel: (051) 9272016, 9272020 Tel: (042) 5756737, Fax: 5760062 Tel: (042) 9240023 Tel: (021) 9202971 Fax: 9206376 Tel: 091-9213762 Email: nwfptourism@hotmail.com Tel :(061) 9201291, 4572968 Tel: (081) 2825826 Tel: (0946) 9240159 Fax: 9240156

Karachi Peshawar Multan

Sindbad Hotel, Nishter , Chowk, Bahawalpur Road, Multan Quetta Muslim Hotel, Jinnah Road PTDC Motel, Opposite Swat Saidu Sharif (Swat) Serena Hotel

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Guided Tours and Tourism Services


A number of private tour operators and tourism promotion organizations conduct guided tours for corporate, family and youth groups. A list of main companies/organizations is given below: Government Organizations Name of Organization Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Pakistan Tour (PTL) Tourism Development Corporation Punjab (TDCP) Tourism Corporation Khyber Pukhtunkhawa (TCKP)

Address Hotel Flashmans, Room No.14-19, The Mall, Rawalpindi 140- Shadman-II, Lahore

Contact Information Tel: 051-9272018. 290717 Fax: 051- 9272017-18

Peshawar Museum, Peshawar

Tel: 042-99263285, 9263287 E-mail: tdcpstp@punjab.gov.pk Tel: 091-9213762 Email: nwfptourism@hotmail.com

Non-profit tourism Organizations Name of Organization Address Adventure Foundation Pakistan Garden Avenue, National Park Area, P.O. 1807. Islamabad-44000 8 Ground Floor, Jihhan Sport Complex Kashmir Highway, Islamabad House No. 5, Street No. 11 Main Road, Bani Gala, Islamabad

Contact Information Tel: 051-2825805, Fax: 2272538 Email: afpisb@adventurefoundation.org.pk Website: www.adventurefoundation.org.pk Tel: 051-9208963 Fax: 9208964 Email; info@alpineclub.org.pk Website: www.alpineclub.org.pk Tel: 051-2612448 Email; stfpak@gmail.com Website: www.stfp.org

Alpine Club of Pakistan

Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan

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Private Tour Operators


City Name of Organization Zeb Travels Karachi Gandhara Tourism Indus Guides Sakuf Travels & Tours Lahore Himalayan Odyssey Pakistan Waljis Travel Address Uni Plaza, Hasrat Mohani Road, Karachi Suite # 204, 2nd Floor, Gulshan Trade Centre, Block 5, Main Rashid Minhas Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi. 17-A/296, Sarwar Road, Lahore Cantt G-34, Phase-1, commercial Area, DHA, Lahore 117 J - Sabzazar, Multan Road, Lahore. 10-Khayaban-eSuhrawardy, Aabpara, Islamabad PEC Building, G-5/2 Islamabad 82-East, Gulistan House No.1, Ground Floor, Fazal-eHaq Road, Blue Area, Islamabad No.3, Shahid Plaza, Jinnah Avenue, F-6, Blue Area UG-267 Deans Trade Centre, Saddar Road Contact Information Tel: 021-32411204, 324114857 Fax: 021-32425181 Tel.34991088 34971337Fax 34991088 Email info@gandharatouris m.com Tel: 042-6650197, 6681276 Fax: 042-6673806 Tel: 042-111-643-464 Tel: 042-35066733, 03004550435 Email: hopak.info@gmail.com Tel: 051-2270749, 2870206-9 Fax: 051-2270753 Tel: 051-2278323 Email: info@pearltours.com.pk Tel: 051-2270596, 2201560 Fax: 2271670 Tel:051-2874885, 2875408 Fax: 2275006 Tel: 091-5272084-5, 5253383 Email: sehrai@brain.net.pk

Pearl Tours Islamabad/ Rawalpindi Sunrize Holidays Omer Travels Peshawar Sehrai Travels and Tours

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Useful Phone numbers


Telephone DCO Swat Office Tourist Information Centre Daewoo Bus Service Mingora Skyways Bus Service Mingora Police Station Mingora Police Station Saidu Sharif Civil-Military Liaison Cell 0946-9240340 0946-9240159 0946-729102-6 0946-862244 0946-9240382, 9240384 0946-9240398 0946-9240421

Useful Web Links


Web links Tourism Corporation Khyber Pukhtunkhawa (TCKP) Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Pakistan Railways Daewoo Bus Service National Highway Authority Pakistan Metrological Department Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan Swat Tourism Official Website Swat Serena Hotel http://nwfptourism.com.pk http://www.tourism.gov.pk http://www.tdcp.punjab.gov.pk http://www.piac.com.pk http://www.pakrail.com http://www.sammi.com.pk http://www.nha.gov.pk http://www.pakmet.com.pk http://www.stfp.org http://www.tourswat.com http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaswat

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