(Last Updated on : 02/07/2014)
Udyana is the modern day Swat Valley, which is in Pakistan. Udayana was a Buddhist region and the area is said to have supported 500 Sthavira Buddhist monasteries, at which travelling monks were provided lodgings and food for three days. In Udyana, Prakrit
was spoken. Udyana is of vital importance in the Vajrayana schools of Buddhism
. It is believed that the two schools (Dharmaguptaka and Kasyapiya) derived from the Sthaviras, were established in this area.
Meaning of Udyana
The word Udyana in Sanskrit
means garden or orchard.
History of Udyana (Swat Valley)
The first inhabitants of the place settled in well-planned towns. The monarchs of this region were under the Achaemenid influence. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great besieged Barikot, which is a city located in the Swat Valley region. By 305 BC, the region was occupied by the Mauyans.
In the 2nd century BC, the area was occupied by Buddhists, the Indo-Greeks, and the Kushans. Swat is the birth place of Vajrayana Buddhism.
Mythological Significance of Udyana
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. Also, it is believed that a rock can be traced on which Buddha dried his clothes and a place where he 'converted' a Naga.
Tourism of Udayana (Swat Valley)
There are various things of historical importance that the archaeologists have excavated in Swat valley. At one time, the Swat Valley was said to have housed 1400 stupas and monasteries. These stupas and monasteries exhibited as many as 6,000 gold
images of the Buddhist pantheon. Besides theses, archaeologists have discovered more than 400 Buddhist sites in Swat Valley alone. Among the important discoveries of Buddhist sites is Butkarha-I, which contains original relics of the Buddha. A stone statue of Buddha which stands in the village
Ghalegay can be seen. There is also a big stupa in Mohallah Singardar Ghalegay.
The places of interest in Udayana are Malam Jabba and Swat Museum including many others. Malam Jabba is a renowned ski resort in Pakistan. The Swat Museum is museum where there are the footprints of Buddha (which was found in the Swat valley).