Swat Valley monastic cluster, (towards) Mingoara, NWF Province, PK

Raw data

Fa Hien visited this monastery in 400 or 401 CE. he crossed over the Himalayas from the east through Gilgit into the Swat Valley. He says that there were, in all, 500 monasteries in the valley, under the patronage of the king, who was a Buddhist.
See Fa-hsien, A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, (trans.) James Legge (New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp, reprint of the 1886 original edition, 1965), 28-29.
Src: Pakistan
Input by: Stewart Gordon, Nov 23, 2009

Fa-hsien visited Swat valley (Wu-chang country) where he found about 500 sangharamas, all of them belonging to the Theravada school. (Litvinskii et al. 1996:168)

[烏仗那国] (Skt; Jpn Ujona-koku)
Also known as Uddiyana. A kingdom to the north of Gandhara in ancient India. It is thought to have been located in the region today known as Swat, the area of the Swat River valley in northwestern Pakistan. The capital of Udyana was at the site of present-day Mingaora, a town just east of the Swat River.
The Sokka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism"

"Udyana is the modern day Swat Valley, which is in Pakistan. The word Udyana in Sanskrit means garden or orchard. Udayana was a Buddhist region and the area is said to have supported 500 Theravada Buddhist monasteries. Buddha's footprints are found here. It is said that when Buddha came to North India, he came to this country, and that here he left a print of his foot. Udyana is of vital importance in the Vajrayana schools of Buddhism."

"[T]he Swat valley was filled with fourteen hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education. Archaeologists now know of more than 400 Buddhist sites covering an area of 160 km in Swat valley alone."

"Swat was once the cradle of Buddhism of all its schools - Little Vehicle, Great Vehicle and the Esoteric sects where once 1,400 monasteries flourished. It was the home of the famous Gandhara School of Sculpture which was an expression of Graeco-Roman form in the local Buddhist tradition."

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 01 May 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Udyana monastic cluster, Pakistan.

General location of the Udyana monastic cluster, Pakistan.
lat=34.7833 long=72.3667
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://maps.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Swat Valley monastic cluster - Legge (1965:28-29)

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Pakistan:North-West Frontier Province

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • Fa Hien says that there were 500 monasteries in the Swat Valley - Legge (1965:28-29)

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Hinayana (Theravada) - Legge (1965:28-29)

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • [missing data]

12. Date-intermediate

  • 400 CE - Legge (1965:28-29)
  • MBM chrono-tag 0367-99p 0400-32c 0433-66p - tmciolek 01 May 2013
  • 0367-99p 0400-32c 0433-66p dated-x

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • “After Buddha Sakyamuni passed away, the cremation left two tooth relics, one of which was brought to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) by his disciples, with the other first brought to Uddiyana (now in Pakistan [the Swat Valley - tmc]), and then to Yu Wen (today’s Hotan County in Xinjiang, China). In the middle of the 5th century, the prominent monk Fa Xian (法显) traveled here and took the tooth relic back to the capital of the Qi Dynasty, Jian Kang (now Nanjing). After the Sui Dynasty was established, the tooth relic was sent to Chang'an and later was moved to the capital (now Beijing) of the North Liao Dynasty (907-1125). Finally, it was preserved in the Zhao Xian Ta (Immortal-Solicited  Pagoda, 招仙塔) of Lingguang temple in 1071.” - http://www.chinahighlights.com/beijing/attraction/lingguang-temple.htm

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Pilgrim account

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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