Finance Planning Department District Upper Dir

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Home Home District Profile

District Profile


Upper Dir District

The Valley of Dir, which is full of enthralling beauty, chanting scenes and exhilarating climate is famous worldwide. This area is rich in snow-caped mountains, pine and fur forests, pleasant climate, crystal clear rivulets, melodious waterfalls and cataracts and lush green scenes.

All information about Dir Upper



The Valley of Dir , which is full of enthralling beauty, chanting scenes and exhalirating climate is famous worldwide. This area is rich in snow-caped mountains, pine and fur forests, pleasant climate, crystal clear rivulets, melodious waterfalls and cataracts and lush green scenes. Historically this area has been the pathway of the well-known invaders like Alexander the Great, Tartar King Taimur and Mongolian invaders Chengez Khan and Hilako Khan




Upper Dir district is 3,699 square kilometres in area and formed part of the former Malakand Division, lying along the Afghanistan border between Chitral, Bajaur Agency and Lower Dir.

Almost all of the district lies in the valley of the Panjkora river which rises high in the Hindu Kush at Lat. 35.45 and joins the Swat River near Chakdara in Malakand District, at Lat. 34.40. Upper Dir is rugged and mountainous with peaks rising to 16,000 feet (4,900 m) in the north-east and to 10,000 ft (3,000 m), along the watersheds with Swat to the east, Bajour Agency to south west, Chitral to North, Lower Dir to south and Afghanistan to the west.

It is connected with the Kohistan District via the Badawi Pass.


The district Dir upper is upper part of the old Dir district. At the time of independence Dir was a state ruled by Nawab Shah Jehan Khan. It was merged with Pakistan in 1969 and was declared as a district in 1970. In 1996, it was bifurcated into Upper and Lower Dir districts. Upper Dir district consists of DIR and Wari sub divisions with district headquarter at Dir.


Till 1880, Dir continued to be ruled by different chiefs. In 1881 Khan Umara khan of Jandool, captured Dir and brought all pity chiefs under his control. With in a period of three years, he extended Dir up to Swat and the present provincially administered tribal area of Malakand. He expelled the then ruler of Dir, Muhammad Sharif Khan from the state. The latter took up residence in Mardan district. In1895, getting alarmed at the growing influence of Umara Khan, the British government took a large force and defeated him in an engagement near Malakand. Umara Khan took asylum in Afghanistan, where he died subsequently. The British Government restored the former ruler, Muhammad Sharif Khan to the Gaddi of Dir. He was first called the Khan of Dir and latter elevated as Nawab. After the death of Muhammad Sharif Khan his son Muhammad Aurangzeb Khan and after his death, his son Nawab Muhammad Shah Jehan Khan, succeeded to the Gaddi of Dir. The Pakistan Government, therefore, in according with the wishes of the people of the state, deposed and removed him from the state, together with his second son, Khan Shahabuddin Khan of Jandool. The eldest son of the Nawab and their parents, Prince Muhammad Shah Khan Khusro, succeeded Nawab shah Jehan Khan in October 1961; Pakistan government recognized him as rightful ruler of the state. Dir, like other princely states acceded to Pakistan, of its inception in 1947. The princely status of Dir, along with the adjoining states of Swat and Chatral was brought to an end by a presidential declaration in 1969 and each one of them was merged with the then province of West Pakistan as separate administrative district. In1996 Dir district was bifurcated into two districts i.e Lower Dir and Upper Dir.


Sex 1998 Census 2003 Projected
Both Sexes 575858 643114
Males 291582 325637
Females 284275 317478
5-9 Years age group (Both Sexes) 18.7 % (12062)
Male 19.1% (64802)
Female 18.3% (55460)


It is bounded on the north and north-west by Chitral district, on the east by Swat district, on the south by Lower Dir district and on the west by Chitral district and Afghanistan.


The total area of the district is 3699 square kilometers.

Physical Features and Topography

The topography of the district is dominated by the high mountains. The most important mountain range is the Hindu Raj. It rounds from north-east to south-west along the northern border with Chirtal district. The highest peak, at the extreme north of the district, is about 6,000 meters above the sea level. The famous Lowari Top or Lowari Pass, with height of 4,189 meters above the sea level, is located in this range. The height decreases slowly towards the south-west along the river Panjkora to less than 2000 meters. In winter the whole area remains snow covered. The mountains in the western part of the district are covered with forests, while the eastern mountains, known as Dir Kohistan, are barren.


The extensive soil of Upper Dir district is Kedam-rockland complex. The soils have developed on sub-recent residual and colluvial slopes of diorites etc. The main land use of the soils are thick forest cover. The spoils are shallow, slightly gravely loams/silt loams.


Dir is underlain by metamorphic and igneous rocks, comprising four main rock types, i.e. quartz-felspare-biotite4 schist with interlayers of metamorphosed limestone, amphibelite, rocks of diorite group and a series of pegmatite-aplite dykes cutting the amphibelite and the diorite group rocks.


In proper Dir town the Sarhad Development Authority has explored copper mineralization in the localities around Bekaray, Ala, Guma Dand and Barawal areas. The estimated reserves are around 4 million tones with 0.4 per cent copper. The reserves are very small to be exploited commercially. Besides, the following minerals occurrences are known in Upper Dir.



Name of Mineral...Name of Area...
Iron Ore Barawal Area
Copper Usherai Darra


There are different kinds of flora such as Pollen Zira, Banafsha, Gangora, Ber-e-Sumbol, Sarlobal and Antedolt, Zahar Morha are found in abundance in the surrounding hills. Besides, roses, bogan valia, Gul-e-Dawoodi, Gul-e-Kharro and daffodils are also found in the district.



Animals/birds including Chakoor, Maina, Duck, Leopard and Jackal are found in the district.


The people of the district Upper Dir are very simple, hospitable and good Pathans. They are known for their hard work. They all are Sunni Muslims. Poverty is wide spread. People live and die for their honor and dignity. They feel pride in taking revenge of their enemies but jirga and hospitality is very dear to them.

Dress and Ornaments

The common dress amongst male and female is Shalwar Kamees and Chadar. In winter warm coats, sweaters, woolen Pakol (cap) are used by males. The femnales belonging to poor families use bangles, rings, charguls, Pazeb, ear-rings made of silver. The females of well-to do families use these ornaments made of gold.


The staple food of common man in the valleys is generally wheat and maize bread. It is taken with milk, butter, Lassi, Onion and chillies. Boiled rice with vegetables is used at dinner.
In Dir town, the people take wheat bread, meat, pulses and vegetables. On marriage occasions and religious functions, Pulao, Kabab, minced meat, sweet rice, pudding and other sweet dishes are usually served in the well-to-do- families. The poor people also spend large amounts of money on such occasions.


People of the remote areas lead a nomadic life. They have Katcha houses made of stones, clay and wood comprising one or two small rooms. These rooms are commonly used by the occupants and their livestock. In winter, the people migrates with their cattles to other parts or even to other districts, where fodder is available for their cattles. Siunce the district is mountainous, the cultivators usually li98ve on their respective lands available for cultivation. Normal household consists of cot (bed), a wooden box, blanket, Darri or matting. In Upper Dir town houses are mostly Katcha. Those consist of two or more rooms have separate kitchen, bathroom and latrine. With well-to-do- families carpets, chairs, tables and sofa seats are also found.


All the people in the district are Muslims and belongs to Hanfi school of thought. All the muslim population offer prayers regularly and observe fast during Ramazan.


Farming, daily wages, trade, and working overseas are the the main occupations of the people. Due to lack of employment oppoutunities, large number of people are either employed in private institutions or unemployed. A very small proportion of population is employed in government departments. The women outside proper Dir share the work with their men. They work side by side with men in the agriculture sector in addition to their household duties.


Arranged marriages normally at early age, are celebrated with extravagant spending and serving of food to the guests and concerned community. Marriages are the occasions when relatives, friends, neighbourers are invited for food with traditional pump and show. For the departure of girl to the husband's house, a large procession called "Janj" carrying Doli (palanquin), visits the brid's house from the bridegroom's family on the fixed date. The youngsters of groom's side fire gun shots in the air for joy. Nikah ceremony is performed in mosque in the presence of Maulvi and other relatives.


Soon after death has occurred the male and female of neighbourhood and relatives go to the deceased's house. The men set outside in open place receiving people and telling the circumstances in which the deayth occurred. After the funeral prayers the body is laid in the grave. Cooking in the house of the deceased's familhy generally does not take place even fire in the house is extinguished. On the fourtieth day Chehlum ceremony is observed in which the Holy Quran is cecited and the relatives and friends of the deceased are given meal. The cloths of the dead person are distributed among the poor.

Upper Dir is represented in the National Assembly and Provincial Assembly by one elected MNA and three elected MPAs respectively who represent the following constituencies:

NA-33 (Upper Dir) Tariq Ullah jamaat-e-islami
PF-91 (Upper Dir-I) Inayat Ullah jamaat-e-islami
PF-92 (Upper Dir-II) Muhammad Ali jamaat-e-islami
PF-93 (Upper Dir-III)Cum Lower Dir (3 Union councils in Dir Lower) Malak Behram Khan




Except for Dir and a number of rapidly growing bazaar towns along the main roads, the population is rural, scattered in more than 1200 villages in the deep narrow valleys of the Panjkora and its tributaries.

Of these, notable villages are

Division of Dir[edit]

Dir district was officially split into Upper Dir and Lower Dir in 1996.  The districts is administered by a  deputy Commissioner   Dir upper.

Popular Places


The district is administratively subdivided into six tehsils which contain a total of 31-3=28 (3 UCs shifted to Lower Dir namely Khall, Akhagram and Toor Mang) Union Councils:

Name of TehsilNo. of Unions
Barawal 3
Chapar 3
Dir 13
Kalkot 3
Khal 4-3=1 (3 UC shifted to Lower Dir)
Wari 8
Total 31-3=28(3 UCs, shifted to Lower Dir)


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