Swat is a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, located close to the Afghan-Pakistan border. It is the upper valley of the Swat River, which rises in the Hindu Kush range. The capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif, but the main town in the Swat valley is Mingora. It was a princely state in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa until it was dissolved in 1969. The valley is almost entirely populated by ethnic Afghans/Pashtuns. The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty and is popular with tourists as “the Switzerland of the region”.

Although it is generally accepted that Tantric Buddhism first developed in Swat under King Indrabhuti, there is an old and well-known scholarly dispute as to whether Uddiyana was in the Swat valley, Orissa or some other place. Padmasambhava (flourished eighth century AD), also called Guru Rimpoche, Tibetan Slob-dpon (teacher), or Padma ‘byung-gnas (lotus born) legendary Indian Buddhistic Mystic who introduced Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and is credited with establishing the first buddhist monastery there. According to tradition, Padmasambhava was native to Udyana (now Swat in Pakistan). Padmasambhava was the son of Indrabhuti, king of Swat in the early eighth century AD. One of the original Siddhas, Indrabhuti flourished in the early eighth century AD and was the king of Uddiyana in the Kabul valley. His son Padmasambhava is revered as the second Buddha in Tibet. Indrabhuti’s sister, Lakshminkaradevi, was also an accomplished siddha of the 9th century AD. Ancient Gandhara, the valley of Pekhawar, with the adjacent hilly regions of Swat and Buner, Dir and Bajaur was one of the earliest centers of Buddhist religion and culture following the reign of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, in the third century BC. The name Gandhara first occurs in the Rigveda which is usually identified with the region.

Itinerary:

Day 01: Islamabad – Swat

Drive to Swat en-route visit Taxila and Museum for ancient Bhudda ruins. Continue drive onto Swat valley, the confluence of Kabul & Indus rivers later continue to Swat via Charsadha, stop at different village bazaars and pass the Malakand pass. After Malakand pass we will enter the valley of Swat. Arrive and transfer to the hotel

Day 02: Swat

Day to visit the Archeological Sites , Visit Butkara1 Butkara 2 , Udegaram , and Shingardar Stupa all sites of the Kushans Period. Later a detailed lecture in Swat museum on the chronology of Swat.

Day 03: Upper Swat

Full day excursions at Swat valley

Day 04: Swat – Islamabad

Drive back to Islamabad, arrive and end of tour!.

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