The Walnut Heights :: Kalam

Historic Tour


Relive the past! Discover the hidden treasures of the ancient and historic Gandhara civilization found in this tranquil Swat valley.

A large number of historical sites such as Buddhist Stupas, monasteries, settlements, rock-carvings, and inscriptions are scattered all over the Swat Valley Below are the top 11 historical sites in the region:

  1. Takht-i-Bahi Buddhist Monastery – A UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gandhara on the main Mardan –Mingora Road.

  2. Jahanabad Buddha – A huge seated figure of Buddha, carved in the 7th century on the face of a large rock near Jahanabad. The face of Buddha was partly damaged by Taliban militants few years back.

  3. Udegram – Ancient settlement site of Ora, where Alexander the Great fought one of his battles in 327 BC. The site was excavated by the Italians in the late (1956-1962).

  4. Oldest Mosque Swat and Raja Gira’s Castle – the remains of this 11th century mosque built by Sultan Mahmood Ghazni are located near Udegram along the hillside. The mosque is the third oldest mosque in Pakistan after those of Banbhore and Mansurah; it was excavated by the Italians between 1985 and 1999 and currently under restoration. Up the hillside is the site of Raja Gira’s castle which was excavated and restored by the Italians between 1956 and 1999.

  5. Barikot – Ancient settlement of Bazira conquered by Alexander the Great in 327 BC. Excavation at this site area is under progress. Remains of the Indo-Greek defensive wall are visible from the main road at the southwest corner of the ancient city.

  6. Shingerdar Stupa – A large stupa built by King Uttarasena to house his share of the relics of the Lord Buddha.

  7. Nimogram Stupas – An important archeological site of the Buddhist period famous for its monastery on the top of the hill. It is located at a distance of 45km from Saidu Sharif and about 22 km from Barikot. This site was excavated by the Department of Archeology and Museum in the late 60s.

  8. Butkara Stupa – Remains of one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Saidu Sharif. It was discovered by Italian archeologists in the 1950s. This site was excavated by the great maestro of the Gandhara archeology DOMENICO FACCENNA of the Italian Archeological Mission between 1958 and 1962.

  9. Churchill Picket – Located on top of Damkot Hill on the other side of Chakdara Bridge. Winston Churchill served here in 1897 as a young British Officer.

  10. Swat Museum – One of the best collections of Gandhara sculptures from the Buddhist sites of Swat. The original museum was constructed by DOAM with the contribution of the Wali Swat and the Italian Mission in 1958, when a twin Museum was inaugurated in Rome (Museo Naziolae d’Arte Orientale). The present building of the museum was constructed in various phases. The structure was severely damaged both by the 2005 earthquake and by a huge tragic bomb blast that occurred in February 2009. The museum is currently closed for repair and restoration.

  11. Amluk-dara stupa – During 5th and 8th centuries AD the great stupa of amluk-dara, the major monument if swat valley, underwent a series of reconstructions contemprorary with the great stupas of Kabul valley, marked, like the one at Amluk-dara, by huge frontal niches.