Swat River

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River Swat Pakistan 3.jpg
Swat (rivière).png
Course of the Swat (interactive map)
Country Pakistan
provinceKhyber Pakhtunkhwa
Physical characteristics
SourceHindu Kush Mountains
Source confluenceUshu khwar & Gabral Khwar
 • locationKalam
MouthKabul River
 • location
Length240 km (150 mi)
Basin size13,000 km2 (5,000 sq mi)
Basin features
 • leftUshu Khwar, Bashigram Khwar
 • rightDaral Khwar, Gabral Khwar

The Swat River (Urdu: دریائے سوات‎, Pashto: سوات سیند‎) is a perennial river in the northern region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. The river commences in the Kalam Valley of Swat Kohistan with the confluence of two main tributaries Ushu and Utrar (or Gabral) and runs downstream in a narrow gorge up to Baghdheri.


The name Swat is derived from an old Sanskrit term, Suvāstu ("clear azure water"). This name of the river is attested in the Rigveda.[1]


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]


  • Book: Hidden Treasures of Swat, ISBN 978-969-23042-0-7

External links[edit]

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