Location & Contact

Stay in Swat, Pakistan

Swat Serena Hotel is set in the foothills of the Hindukush Mountains in a secure location in the capital city of Saidu Sharif, within walking distance of the colourful bazaars and traditional restaurants of Mingora and easily accessible from Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and other major cities.

The Swat Valley is known for its tranquillity and natural beauty. The ski resorts of Madayan, Bahrain and Kalam, Marghazar and several nearby archaeological sites make it a favourite destination among outdoor enthusiasts.

If you require further information or would like to book accommodations for an upcoming visit, please contact us today.

LANDMARK ATTRACTIONS

Contact details

Saidu Sharif
Swat

T: +92 (946) 711637-41
F: +92 (946) 710402
E: reservation.ssh@serena.com.pk

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Location

Swat Serena Hotel is set in a secure location in the capital city of Saidu Sharif. Our hotel is within walking distance of the town of Mingora and easily accessible from Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and other major cities.

About Swat and the Swat valley

Swat (Pakhto: سوات) is a valley and an administrative district in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan located 160 km/100 miles from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It is the upper valley of the Swat River, which rises in the Hindu Kush range. The capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif, but the main town in the Swat valley is Mingora. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty that used to known as the "the Switzerland of Pakistan".

Swat has been inhabited for over two thousand years and was known in ancient times as the Udyana. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great fought his way to Udegram and Barikot; and by 305 BC, the region had become a part of the Mauryan Empire. Padmasambhava, one of the most famous Tibetan masters of the eighth century AD, and titled ‘the second Buddha' is reputed to have established the first Buddhist monastery here. According to tradition, Padmasambhava was the son of Indrabhuti, king of Swat in the early eighth century AD. Swat was a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims. Buddhist tradition holds that Buddha himself came to Swat during his incarnation as Gautama Buddha and preached to the people here. It is said that the Swat valley was filled with fourteen hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education.

Swat was ruled by the Hindu Shahi dynasty who built an extensive array of temples and other architectural buildings now in ruins. Hindu Shahi rulers built fortresses to guard and tax the commerce through this area. Their ruins can be seen in the hills of Swat: at Malakand pass at Swat's southern entrance. In 1023 Mahmood of Ghazni attacked Swat, crushed the last Buddhist King, Raja Gira in battle and introduced Islam to the region.

about pakistan

As a tourist destination, Pakistan is probably one of the world's best kept secrets. Not only does it offer some of the highest and most spectacular mountain ranges in the world, but also it boasts the architectural glories of the Mughal empire, the drama and adventure of the Khyber Pass; and the glories of the Karakoram Highway, which travels 1300km through stunning scenery beside the Indus and Hunza rivers, and over high mountain passes into central Asia.

Although subject to undeniable security problems, Pakistan offers a number of advantages: tourism is minimal and much of the country remains undiscovered by international travellers; Pakistanis are by nature a welcoming people and meet travellers with genuine interest and enthusiasm; the ancient bazaars offer unrivalled shopping; the cuisine is one of the most multi-facetted in the world and the culture and music one of the most colourful.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan borders Iran on the west, India in the east. Afghanistan in the north-west, China in the north and the Arabian Sea on the south. As a predominantly Muslim state, Pakistan emerged on the world map on 14 August 1947, as a result of the partition of the Indian Sub-continent following the withdrawal of the British. Pakistan has three main seasons: cool (around October to February), hot (around March to June) and wet/monsoon (around July to September).

Pakistan is a special interest destination. Its main attractions include adventure tourism in the Northern Areas, cultural and archaeological tourism as found in Taxila, Moenjodaro, Harrappa, and early Muslim and Mughal heritage of Multan, Lahore. For centuries, the ancient Silk Road remained the main trading route between the South and the Central Asia. After the construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which joins Pakistan with the Chinese Muslim autonomous region of Xinjang, tourism on the ancient trade link has been revived. The KKH has provided a great opportunity for international travelers to explore the unspoiled natural beauty, unique culture and traditions of Northern Pakistan together with other Silk Route destinations, such as China, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. From the mighty stretches of the Karakoram's in the north to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the south, Pakistan is a land of high adventure. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing and bird watching are all popular activities. The whole of Pakistan is dotted with magnificent shrines and mosques, some of the finest of which are in Lahore and souttern Punjab.

Pakistan is in the northwest part of South Asia. The eastern and southern parts of the country are dominated by the Indus River and its tributaries. Most of Pakistan's population lives along the Indus. West of the Indus the land becomes increasingly arid and mountainous. To the north the land rises to the great mountains of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram and include K2, the world's second highest mountain after Everest, at 8,611 meters (28,250 feet). The High Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges feature alpine meadows up to the permanent snow line. Coniferous forests and sub-mountain scrub cloak the foot hills. The vast plains of the Indus merge into the great desert, coast line and wetlands.

Pakistan is endowed with a rich and varied flora and fauna, both endemic and migratory. Pakistan's ocean-to-alpine geography supports an amazing variety of animals and plants: 188 species of mammals, 666 species of migratory and resident birds, 174 species of retiles, 16 species of amphibians and 525 species of fish. Of the approximately 5,000 wild plants, 372 are endemic. Pakistan has 255 protected areas including 14 national parks, 99 wildlife sanctuaries and 96 game reserved equating approximately to 91,700 sq km or 10.5% of the country. The main parks are : Central Karakoram National Park, Chitral Gol National Park, Deosai Plains National Park, Khunjerab National Park and Lal Suhanra National Park.

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