Ghalagay: town in a part of the Swat valley that is known for several important Buddhist monuments.

The Ghalagai BuddhaTwo kilometers beyond Shingardar is Ghalagai. When we visited the place in 2004, we saw this relief of a sitting Buddha, close to the road. It was already damaged long time ago, when a zealous and pious Muslim had taken his faith's prohibition to make pictures of human beings so seriously that he had took destroyed the face of the ancient statue. In September 2007, the Taliban tried it for the second time, but in vain. In early 2008, however, they appear to have had more success.

Elephant RockNext to the relief is a rock in the shape of an elephant. It has everything to do with the relics of the Buddha, which were venerated at Shingardar. A legend informs us that the relics were brought here by a white elephant, which was petrified. It is just a kilometer away from the stupa of king Uttarasena. You need a bit of fantasy, but then you will recognize that this rock indeed resembles the head and trunk of an elephant. (Go here if you don't see it.)

This page was created in 2004; last modified on 25 July 2015.