KP (former NWFP) is Pakistan’s most diverse province. KP stretches from the Pamir in the extreme North, to all the way south as far as Dera Ismail Khan on the banks of the Indus, encompassing high mountains, fertile river basins and semi-arid deserts. At the heart is Peshawar Valley, often referred to as the vale of Peshawar. Its rich alluvial soils, watered by the Kabul and Swat rivers, make this amongst the most productive agricultural regions in Pakistan. The mountains to the north, particularly the Hindu Kush, are amongst the most spectacular in Pakistan, offering some of the best opportunities for trekking and climbing in the world. The northern half of the province consists of five river valleys running roughly parallel, north to south namely Chitral, Dir, Swat, Indus and Kaghan. These valleys are on the northern edge of the monsoon belt, which is why they are fairly green and partly wooded in their southern sections. The North Western Province is famed for its metal ware, but proudly distinguished by the gateway to warriors known as the Khyber Pass.
Swat is a land of magnificent scenic beauty and rich historical past.Its lush green fertile valleys,towering mountains,rushing streams,ice cold lakes,fruit orchards and flower-filled slopes are some of the gifts nature has bestowed upon this Ancient land.
In the North, mountains rise and squeeze the river.pine forested snow-capped peaks are dominated by 5918 m high falaksair.swat offers some of the best trekking and fishing sites.The region has been a fairly civilized place for 35 centuries and its archaeological sites range from prehistoric caves to aryan to Buddhist,Hindu shahi monasteries.Buddhism flourished (550B.C -200 A.D) and swat boasts of having more than 1200 monaateries at one time.its valleys were invaded time and again by war horses and bone chilling clash of swords and shields.It is the land where great generals of the world like Alexander,Great mughals babaur and Akbar fought their battles of conquest.it the land that was desired, admired and loved equally well by saints scholars,spies,artisans and kings.This lovely mountain-region is now well connected with other parts of the country by air and by road.swat museum offes interesting antiques of the Gandhara period.The real beauty of swat region is in its upper valleys,Kalam,Mataltan,Mahudand,atror and Gibral.No doubt there is a lot explore in the beautiful swat.
Kaghan valley is the most beautiful and picturesque 160 kms long valley embraced by lower Himalaya hills covered in forests of huge Himalayan pines. The 4173m babusar pass at its head was the only link to Northern areas from rest of Pakistan until the Karakorum highway was built. one of the country’s most popular holiday spots, the area offers best trekking trails, light walks, fishing and family outings to its spectacular lakes and flower filled hill sides. The main attraction of kaghan valley is Naran.This town is situated on the bank of Kunhar River at an altitude of 2498m at a point where the valley widens. The river is wider and quieter here. The famous lake, saiful-malook is 10kms from Naran at an altitude of 3500m.The lake provides an excellent view of the Malika parbat 5290m.
Takht Bhai is a Parthian archaeological site in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It was first a Zoroastrian complex which, after the later arrival of Buddhism, was then converted into a Buddhist monastic complex. It is dated to the 1st century BCE.
The complex is regarded by archaeologists as being particularly representative of the architecture of Buddhist monastic centers from its era.It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
Peshawar capital of Khyber Pakhtunekhwa,oozes more romance than any city in Pakistan,except possible Lahore.at the east end of the legendary Khyber pass,this rough edged trading town has been taken and retaken for 2000 years.The meeting place of the subcontinent and central Asia,it is also a place where Ancient traditions rub against those of today,where the bazaar in the old city has changed little in the past hundred years.Peshawar Museum,elegant mahabat khan mosque, Islamic college and Qissa khawani bazaar are worth visiting places in peshawer.
One of the major attractions of chitral are the kalash valleys- the home of the kafir-kalash or ”wearers of the black robe” a primitive pagan tribe.their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedon settled in chitral and are the progenitors of the kafir-kalash.The 3000 strong kafir kalash live in the valleys of Birir and Bumburet and Rambur in the south.Bumburet the largest and the most picturesque valley of the kafir- kalash is 40 kms from chitral and is connected by a jeepable road.The kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and hand-spun wool dyed in black in winter.Their picturesque headgear is made of woollen black material decked out with cowrie shells buttons and crowned with a large coloured feather.in parts of Greece even today some women sport a similar headcovering.
The kalash are a gay people who love music and dancing particularly on occasiions of their religious festivals like joshi chilimjusht 14th and 15May-spring, phool 20th-25th september and chowas 18th to 21th December.Polo in chitral is as popular as in gilgit and skardu.polo matches are a great attractions at festive occasions.