Shangla Pass


Shangla Pass: road between the valleys of the rivers Swat and Indus in Pakistan's tribal territories.

Crossing the Shangla Pass
Crossing the Shangla Pass

There is no evidence that Alexander the Great ever visited the Shangla pass, but on the other hand: this is the shortest route between the Swat valley, where Alexander had captured Massaga, Bazira, and Ora, and the valley of the Indus, where he wanted to take Aornus.

The dusty road, even today unpaved and hardly accessible. However, although the pass is not very accessible, it certainly is one of the most beautiful parts of Pakistan. You can see the Hindu Kush with glaciers in the northwest and the snow-covered peaks of the Himalaya - which really looks like a big wall - in the northeast. You can also see all kind of geographical formations, like the triangle-shaped shapes called "irons".

The Shangla area is also very fertile. Every part of it is put to agricultural use. Everywhere, you will see carefully made terraces. We learned that the inhabitants, who belong to the tribes of Pakistan's Northwest, do not pay taxes, but are requested to work for the government every now and then, for example to make roads. At the moment of our visit (May 2004), Chinese engineers were trying to improve the pavement.

This page was created in 2004; last modified on 11 August 2020.