Swat River

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This article is about the Swat river in Pakistan. For Swat valley, city or district, see Swat District. For the former princely state, see Swat (princely state). For other uses, see Swat (disambiguation).
Sawat River Near Madyan.JPG
Swat River, viewed from Badwan Bridge.
Country Pakistan
province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
District Swat
 - left Ushu Khwar, Bashigram Khwar
 - right Daral Khwar, Gabral Khwar
Source Hindu Kush Mountains
Source confluence Ushu khwar & Gabral Khwar
 - location Kalam
Mouth Kabul River
 - location Charsadda
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 up to Baghdheri.


The name is derived from an old Sanskrit term, Suvastu, which means crystal clear water, like azure in colour. It is mentioned in Rig Veda 8.19.37 as the Suvastu river.[1] 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 up to Madyan and lower plain areas of Swat Valley up to Chakdara for 160 km. In the extreme south of the valley, the river enters to a narrow gorge and joins the Panjkora River, 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, supplying Charsadda and Swabi & Mardan. The water also used for hydropower generation at Jabban and Dargai Power Stations.

Swat River

Economic significance[edit]

Swat River plays an important role in the economy of the valley. It irrigates large areas of Swat District, Malakand District and lower Peshawar Valley and recharge water wells & springs through seepage. The river serves as a habitat for diverse species of birds & contributes to the fishing industry of the region. The aesthetic scenery of river attracts thousands of tourists from all over Pakistan during the summer season.

Swat river

Hydropower Potential[edit]

Swat river

River Swat has a great untapped hydropower potential which could be harnessed for green power generation. Among them, the feasible site near Munda Headworks has an installed generation capacity of 740 MW.[2] while others are Asrit Kedam HPP, Gabral HPP and Matiltan HPP.

There are several micro hydro-electric power projects on canals from the Swat River which generate electricity for local usage.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ http://wapda.gov.pk/vision2025/htmls_vision2025/munda.htm

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°07′N 71°43′E / 34.117°N 71.717°E / 34.117; 71.717