|- left||Ushu Khwar, Beshigram Khwar|
|- right||Daral Khwar, Gabral Khwar|
|Source||Hindu Kush Mountains|
|Source confluence||Ushu khwar & Gabral Khwar|
|Length||240 km (149 mi)|
|Basin||14,000 km2 (5,405 sq mi)|
The Swat River (Pashto: د سوات سیند) is a perennial river in the northern region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. The river commences in Swat Kohistan region of Kalam with the confluence of two main tributaries Ushu and Gabral and runs downstream in a narrow gorge upto Madayan.
Origin of the name & Route
The name of river swat is derived from old Sanskrit term Suvastu which means crystal clear water like azure in colour and also mentioned in Rig Veda 8.19.37 as the Suvastu river. but with the passage of time, it was shortened to swat by the people. Its source lies in the Hindukush Mountains, from where it is fed by the glacial waters throughout the year and flows through the Kalam Valley in a narrow gorge with a rushing speed upto Madyan and lower plain areas of Swat Valley upto Chakdara for 160 km. In the extreme south of the valley, once again the river enters to a narrow gorge and joins river panjkora at Qalangi and finally empties into Kabul river near Charsadda. It is diverted near Batkhela for irrigation and power generation purposes. The upper Swat canal flows under Malakand through Benton tunnel. Below Dargai the upper canal is divided into two branches, one supplying Charsadda and the other Swabi & Mardan. while the waters is also used for hydropower generation at Jabban & Dargai power stations.
The Swat River irrigates large areas of Swat District, Malakand District and lower Peshawar Valley and contributes to the fishing industry of the region. The scenery attracts many tourists from all over Pakistan during the summer.
River Swat has a great untapped hydropower potential which needs to be harnessed for cheap power generation. Among them, the feasible site near Munda Headworks has an installed generation capacity of 740mw. while others are Asrit Kedam HPP, Gabral HPP and Matiltan HPP.
There are two micro hydro-electric power projects on canals from the Swat River which generate electricity for local usage.
- Book: Hidden Treasures of Swat, ISBN: 978-969-23042-0-7
- Journal of Indian History by: University of Kerala Dept. of History, University of Allahabad Dept. of Modern Indian History, University of Travancore, University of Kerala, Published by Dept. of Modern Indian History, 1963 page 28
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