Malakand - Mountain Pass (Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa)
Malakand is located at a distance of 86 km from Peshawar via Mardan on Malankand-Mardan Road. It has very important strategic location as a gateway to Bajaur, Swat, Buner, and Lower Dir. It is surrounded by barren mountains, where Malakand Pass connects Mardan to Swat and to Dir near Dargai.
Malakand has its boundaries with Lower Dir, Swat, Charsadda, Mardan, Mohmand, and Bajaur districts. It is the most important pass in the Hindu Kush Range to access the Swat and Dir valleys. Before construction of Swat Express Highway, it was the only way to access Swat valley, but still people loves to use this pass, due to its attractive and beautiful landscape. There are several high mountains around it which are rick with mineral resources such as chromite iron,, fuller earth, and china clay.
The Swat River is one of the main river in this district which flows from Swat Valley and falls into the Kabul River finally after crossing through the Charsadda district. There is not much rain in Malakand, so irrigation is performed by using water from the Swat River and local streams.
Dargai is located on the Peshawar - Chitral Highway. It is the major hub of trade between the upper regions and lower regions of Khyber Pakthunkhwa. It is also known historically as a major timer market. Another important feature of Dargai is that it is the last Railway Station in Northern Area of Pakistan, but unfortunately it is not functional now. It also has historical importance due to two important battles took place here between local Pashtun tribes and the British Army in 1895 and 1897.
Malakand Pass is the mountain pass at an elevation of 4,469 feet to connect Malakand with the Swat and Chitral districts. It begins from Dargai and road turns like snake on the heart of the mighty barren mountains of the pass. A Swat Canal was built by the British can also be seen from the beginning of the pass. The purpose of canal is to transport the water of the Swat River through tunnel under the Malakand Pass to the plains in the Mardan district. You can also view Malakand Fort at the top of the pass from Dargai side, where on the side of the pass it connects Batkhela. You can also view Hindu Shahi Fort on the Batkhela side guarded by police. From Batkhela, road leads along the Swat Canal to the Swat River. From Chakdara, by crossing the Swat River, one can lead toward the Swat Valley or toward Lower Dir.
Dargai hydro-electric projects, Malakand-I and Malakand-II, are scenic locations in Dargai, where water passes through a five kilometers tunnel before a natural drop of 350 feet high. Third power project, Malakand-III, is also installed in Jabban. These power projects fulfill the needs of electricity of Malakand and surrounding areas.
Batkhela is the capital town of Malakand district and known as business city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The main bazaar of Batkhela is more than two kilometers long without any junctions and it is the longest bazaar in Pakistan as well as in Asia. It is also lush green area with full of fruit orchards such as plums, peach, apple.
Jabban Waterfall is an artificial waterfall due to transferring of the Swat River water through tunnel into the Swat Canal. From Dargai, You have to move Jabban Canal Road along the Swat Canal to access the waterfall over a rocks on the mountain. It is located at the end of the road.
The University of Malakand is located in the center of Malakand Tehsil and it fulfills the educational needs of the people of the district.