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Chakdara () is a town in Lower Dir District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It is located north of Malakand on the north bank of the Swat River, in a commanding position near the entrance to Swat District and at the entrance to Lower Dir. It is about 130 km from Peshawar and 48 km away from Saidu Sharif.

The University of Malakand is located in Chakdara, and other important educational institutions are here, including

  • Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Malakand
  • Cadet College
  • Degree College for Girls
  • Chakdara Fort, which is an academy for the Chitral Scouts.


Chakdara has been an important center for the last 3500 years and is littered with remains of the Gandhara grave culture, Buddhist sites, and Hindu Shahi forts. The ancient route from Afghanistan via Nawa Pass and Katgala Pass crosses the Swat River at Chakdara.

The Mughals built a fort here in 1586, occupied in 1895 by the British, who built the present fort in 1896 and were forced to defend it during the Siege of Malakand in 1897.

Archaeological Sites

Buddhist sculpture of the 1st to 7th centuries from nearby sites and Hindu Shahi artefacts are now displayed at Chakdara Museum.

Damkot Hill

The most important site in Chakdara is Damkot Hill. The top of Damkot Hill has been excavated and houses with pottery and jewellery have been discovered. These items are now displayed in the Saidu Sharif Museum.

At the foot of Damkot Hill at Salami there is an early graveyard. Early settlers...
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