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

Stupa of king UttarasenaWhen you travel along the river Swat from Barikot to Odigram, you will see several Buddhist monuments. The most remarkable of them is the stupa at Shingardar (also spelled as Shankardâr), which is connected, in local legend, to a king named Uttarasena. This man is said to have collected, on his master's own command, the relics of Buddha, and have stored them in this huge stupa. 

Unfortunately, the stupa of king Uttarasena was not built in the late fifth century BCE after the Buddha's ascent to Nirvana, but in the sixth century CE. Many elements in this building, such as the "Greek" pilasters, betray Greek influences, which forces us to date this monument rather late.

Damaged foundationsIt is a very big monument. In the foreground of the second photo, you can clearly see a road that is actually cut through the foundation of the stupa. Of course, this was a needless act of vandalism, but on the other hand, now we can get a better impression of the monument's size. (The actual monument measures 18 meters, and the foundations are 8 meters deep.)

In the basement of the stupa of king Uttarasena, there's a hole, used by treasure hunters who tried to obtain relics of Buddha.

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