|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2008)|
Location of Shangla District (highlighted in yellow) within the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa map
|• Total||1,586 km2 (612 sq mi)|
|• Density||274/km2 (710/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|District Council||28 seats|
|Number of Tehsils||2 Alpuri&Puran|
Shangla District (Urdu: ضلع شانگه) is located in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The district headquarters are located at Alpuri. It was previously a subdivision of Swat District, but was upgraded to the status of a district on July 10, 1995 by the then Chief Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao. The total area of the district is 1,586 square kilometres. Shangla comprises two sub division, Alpuri and Puran Tehsil. There are four (4) sub tehsils i.e. Besham, Chakesar, Martung and Makhuzai. Shangla has the lowest Human Development Index in the province and second lowest in the country.
Pashto language speakers are in majority but Hindko ( A Punjabi dialect), Gujri and Kohistani are also spoken. Urdu being National language is also spoken and understood.
The district is bounded in the north by Kohistan District, in the east by Battagram District and the tribal area of Kala Dhaka (Black Mountain of Hazara), in the west by Swat District and in the south by Buner District.
There are relics of the ancient Greek period at Pirsar, Chakesar and Daut. it is believed that Alexander the Great camped at Pirsar for a few days. There are also relics of the Hindu Shahi in Qlandar-Ajmair.
Alexander the great visied Persar Dandai and then went back from the place without further conquering.
The communications with Swat are Shangla pass (Shangla top).
Shangla district consists of small valleys, and is situated between the hillocks and surrounded by high mountains full of forests comprising Pindrow Fir, Morinda Spruce, Blue Pine (Kail), Chir Pine and Deodar Cedar trees. The average elevation of the district is 2000 to 3000 meters above sea level. The highest point (3,440 m) is near Kuz Ganrshal in the north of the district. There are beautiful isolated valleys most suitable for seed production of highly demanded cross pollinated vegetable crops. Moreover Shangla has got pretty enough potential for hydel power generation, one such project underway is at Khan Khwar.
Under the devolved local government system Shangla is divided into two Sub-Divisions/Tehsils namely:-
and four (4) Sub-Tehsils, namely
According to the 1998 census, the district had a population of 435,563 with an average annual growth rate of 3.3% and population density of 274 persons per square kilometre. The total number of households is 64,391 with an average household size of 8.1.
Almost the entire population is Muslim (99.8%) with very small numbers of Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadis.
Most of the local inhabitants are agriculturists. Though the agricultural area of the district is fertile but the agricultural holdings are very small as compared to the number of owners. The total cultivated area of the district is 423.6 square kilometres (104,700 acres) out of which only 30.75 square kilometres (7,600 acres) is irrigated and the remaining 392.85 square kilometres (97,080 acres) is non-irrigated. Shangla District is full of natural resources, having a vast scope for investment and development.
It was severely hit during the October 8, 2005 earthquake and many people were left homeless.
A number of medicinal plants are found in the area including the following:
- Tarkha (Artemizia species)
- Unab (Zizyphus Sativa)
- Althea (Althaca Officinalis)
- Banafsha (Viola serpens)
- Mushki Bala (Valeriana species)
- Musli Sufed (Aspargus species)
The district is home to a variety of fauna including deer, bears, pheasants and leopards.
- Markhur (Capre falconeri)
- Himalayan ibex (Capre ibex sibirica)
- Urial (Ovis orientalis)
- Himalyan black bear (Selenaretos thibetanus)
- Brown bear (Ursus arctos)
- Indian Hare (Lepus nigricollis)
- Leopard (Panthera pardus)
- Snow leopard (Panthera Uncia)
- Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes)
- Rhesus Monkey (Maaca mulatta)
- Blue rock pigeon (Columba livia)
- Spotted dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
- Little brown dove (s. senegalensis)
- Chakor (Alectoris chukar)
- Himalayan snow cock (Tetracollus himalayensis)
- Red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus)
- Monal pheasant (Lphororus impejanus)
- Koklas pheasant (Pucrasis macrolopha)
- Satyr tragopan (Tragopan satyra)
- Hoopoe (Lupupa epops)
- White breasted kingfisher (Halcyon smyrensis)
- Indian robin (Saxicoloides fullicota)
Shangla is also a historical place in South Asia: home to several Buddhist hermits, as well as a small but thriving Hindu community in the Chakesar region. It is said that the region known as Ghorband in the north west of Shangla was visited by Alexander the Great's Army in 326 B.C. where it fought a battle with the locals at the mount Pir Sar. Later on in the 15th century Shangla witnessed a population shift from neighbouring Afghanistan (Pakhtun tribe Yousafzais) with locals migrating into Hazara.
Shangla was given District status by the then Chief Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao in 1995, on the demand of Lawyer's Community of Shangla. The chief minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao upgraded Shangla to the status of district on July 10, 1995 in a public meeting in Alpuri.
- 1998 District Census Report of Shangla, Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, 2000 P. 8
- 1998 District Census Report of Shangla, Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, 2000 P. 1
- Deprivation profile of regions By Syed Shahid Husain DAWN September 23, 2002 Monday. Retrieved 21 june 2004
- Ranking of Districts by Human Development Index 2003 Retrieved on 10 July 2005
- Shangla - Government of Pakistan tourism site
- Major dams to bring about green revolution - Dawn Pakistan
- 1998 District Census Report of Shangla, Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, 2000 P. 17
- 1998 District Census Report of Shangla, Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, 2000 P. 2
- 1998 District Census Report of Shangla, Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, 2000 P. 3