Swat acquired the nickname "Paris of Baltistan"in the first quarter of the 20th century. But for the outdoor sports of the valley charms lay elsewhere. First of all, his incomparable natural environment, comparative easy reach and secondly, for her well-earned reputation for providing the cream of chukor hunting in Asia.
As for the natural environment, a look at the pre-1947 map of India shows that the intersection of the basins of the Karakoram Hindu Kush range with a broad camel hump arises. To the right of the hump is the Mt Godwin Austen or K 2. A little further west is Nanga Parbat and Pinnacle West puts a little more on the skyline of the smooth pyramid of Rakaposhi. Another highlight is the giant Masherbrum when it occurs in the lee side of K2 and Nanga Parbat.
When the sun rises over the horizon for the first time kissing the top of K2, Nanga Parbat then, and finally Masherbrum Rakaposhi. That is the unique spectacle that guests of the wali's (kings) of Swat would demonstrate the different approaches adopted on a ridge above the Waliahad (palace) at Saidu Sharif, capital of the state.
In the evenings, was the interplay of sunlight on the tops witness in the reverse order and finally a star-studded sky.
The Indus, which runs east-west here, form the baseline of the hump and the natural southern border of Baltistan. A plurality of north-south tributaries of the Indus have their headwaters in the boiler of one of the massive world systems glacier descending K2 and its employees. The three prominent tributaries come from Gilgit, Chitral and Swat the rivers.
In the northern half of the hump was the chieftainships of Gilgit, Hunza and Nagar, between 1880 and 1914 more than a score earned Victoria Crosses for the bravery of the soldiers that the Raj transported to this remote niches. The stories of exploits by the refugees from these countries were legendary, the stuff of much of Rudyard Kipling's Plain Tales from the hills and his poetry. Lieutenant Winston Churchill, also launched in the life of a writer, and soldier in those messages out.
During the heyday of the Raj, Shikar had become the magic word that no other sport ever so completely that its adherents. And among the brotherhood of the feathered game shikaris were unanimous that chukor shooting (one of the 14 species of partridge) was the toughest. They believed that the Swat valley was the last stop before chukor Shikar on earth and the wali of Swat, most affable and indulgent patrons of this sport.
The wali chukor gave the favor of shooting not only other fellow rulers or bigwigs of the Raj, but also to the impoverished young officers of the Indian Army, who wanted to enjoy the sport. Major General James Elliot, a Gurkha regiment officer, writing in the field has left a fascinating account of a conversation between the Wali and two NCOs.
After dinner, guests had retired to the lounge for the cigar and cognac.
A band chukors after which the shikaris establish a good distance away. But their loud Cackles (chukchukchuk) for a few minutes to give away their location. Two of Wali's guests were surprised by this behavior aberration. The Wali had a good laugh and said that "on the Frontier he (chukor) only speaks in Pushtu" So let me tell you what he says.
"When a troop is scattered, individual members could be heard proclaiming his own and anxiously inquire about the whereabouts all his colleagues, the tone varies First he says.