Ghalegay (Pashto: غالیګے) is a village of Swat valley, located at a distance of 14 km south of Mingora, on the left bank of Swat River. It is one of the main villages lying between the two cities, Mingora and Barikot.
During the recent Pashtun era in 1849, when the first legal government was formed, Ghalegay was chosen as the first capital of Swat because of its suitable geographical location. Syed Akbar Shah, who belonged to the family of Hazrat Pir Baba and was a close friend of Syed Ahmed Shaheed, was nominated as the head of the government. In 1915, when Swat State came into being after a long period of civil war, Miangul Abdul Wadood (also known as Bacha Sahib) was announced as the head of the state. The Jirga of the village crowned him at Ghalagay.
The largest stupa of the Indian subcontinent is located in village Shingardar (a village between Ghalegay and Barikot). This stupa is a remnant of Buddhist era, and is one of the thousands ancient monuments in Swat Valley. It was built by Uttarasena, an ancient king of Swat, to enshrine his share of the relics of Buddha. The building of stupa is made of large stones and layers of thin slate.
While heading toward Mingora you will find a statue of Buddha sculptured in a rock on the right side of G.T. road. There are also some remnants in a cave beside this statue.
The populace of Ghalegay depends mostly on the agricultural land and River Swat for their living. The village is among the top on educational level, from primary to doctorate. A vast majority of the people are studying and working abroad in Arab countries, Europe and USA. They are now the main source of income for most of the families.
A Human Welfare Association is an active society in the town. The society builds excellent streets and sewage system with the help of World Bank. Vocational training for females are among the widely admired work of the society. The society is currently running a computer course in their computer lab for females of the town.
Local food and custom
The people of Ghalegay enjoys a rich cuisine of locally grown vegetables, meat, fish and poultry.
The local population are quite well known for being very open handed and generous. Traditional Pakhtun hospitality is well-known in the village. There many restaurants along the main road serving the local people and visitors. These restaurants are famous for fried fish and chicken handi.
- "Ghalegay (Beautiful Valley of Swat)". wikimapia. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- Erdosy, George (1995). The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 373–375. ISBN 3-11-014447-6.
- "The Swat stupa in shambles". 2002-05-18. Retrieved 2009-02-11.