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|Elevation||970 m (3,180 ft)|
Saidu Sharif (Urdu: سیدو شریف) The main city in the Swat district is Mingoara, however the city of Saidu Sharif is widely regarded as an administrative hub for the Khyber Pakthunkhwa government.
It's GPS coordinates are 34°45'0N 72°21'0E and it has an altitude of 970 metres (3182 feet). Saidu sharif is a convenient location for government staff due to its proximity to larger cities in the Swat district and Malakand division.
Saidu Sharif has several government buildings, and archeological sites such as the Swat Museum, the Tomb of Akund and the archaeological remains of the Butkara Buddhist Stupa. It is also home to the Government Girls College, Govt Jehanzeb college, DIG, DC, and the Commissioner House.
Languages and People
Pashto is main language spoken in a specific Swati dialect. The Hindko dialect of Punjabi language is also spoken but by few. Unfortunately the town is largely underdeveloped and the population is largely uneducated. Major sections of the population cant understand English, however they may understand Urdu.
The Swat museum is on the east side of the street, halfway between Mingora and Saidu. Japanese aid has given a facelift to its seven galleries which now contain an excellent collection of Gandhara sculptures taken from some of the Buddhist sites in Swat. The galleries have been rearranged and labelled to illustrate the Buddha's life story.
Terracotta figurines and utensils, beads, precious stones, coins, weapons and various metal objects are present from ancient Gandhara. The ethnographic section displays the finest examples of local embroidery, carved wood and tribal jewelry. It is also under renovation with funds from the Pakistani-Italian debt swap agreement.
At Panrh (or Pahn) on the east side of the Jambil Khwarh are a stupa and a monastery from the 1st to 5th centuries AD. Further out at Loebanrh, on the west side, is an Aryan graveyard from the 2nd century BC and a 3rd to 4th century AD stupa. The roads can be dangerous in the monsoon season due to land sliding caused by water erosion.
Education in Saidu Sharif
Due to the fact that Saidu Sharif is far from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa capital, Peshawar, the education in Saidu Sharif has suffered greatly and it is not at the same standard as the education in other regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It is also quite a distance from Mardan which further aggravates the problem and the plight of the people of Saidu Sharif remains. It suffers from a lack of basic education as well.
The reason that capital investment, aid, and charity, isn't predominant in Saidu Sharif is because the government views other cities as a more worthwhile investment due to the myriad of problems in this district.
Butkara (Butkada) Stupa
One of the most important Buddhist shrines in Swat, is near the museum. The stupa, which dates from the 2nd century BC, was possibly built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka to house some of the ashes of the Buddha. In subsequent centuries, it was enlarged five times by encasing the existing structure in a new shell.
Italian excavators working in 1955, exposed the successive layers of the stupa, each layer illustrating a stage in the evolution of building techniques.
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