It was previously known as North West Frontier Province, it is located in the north-west of the country. It is bounded by Afghanistan to the north–west, to north-east is Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir to the east, to the west Federally Administered Tribal Areas and to the South Punjab.Area of the province 28,773 Sq Miles.
Peshawar is the capital city of the Province.In ancient times the vale of Peshawar occupied to Gandhara state. Due to its strategic location at the eastern end of Khyber Pass Kingdom remain important. Gandhara was annexed by the Persian Achaemenian dynasty remained a Persian satrapy until 327 BC.
Muslim rule was first brought to this region by former Turkish slave soldier named Sebuktigin was gained control of Peshawar in 988 BC. His son, Muhamud of Ghazna invaded northern India and brought a large area into the boundaries of Ghaznavid dynasty. In the beginning of 12th century, region was held by Ghurid Sultanate. In 1738 after the invasion of the Iranian leader Nadir Shah, the territory remained under the loose control of the Afghan Durrani clan. In 1818 invading of Sikh increasingly secured command and control of the frontier until the coming of British rule.
Britisher after second Sikh War annexed this area to India. The territories thenceforth formed a part of Punjab until the province then known as North West Frontier Province was created in 1901.
In 2010 the name of the province changed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Pashto is native language of Pashtuns peoples who are found primarily between south of amu drya in Afghanistan and west of the Indus River in Pakistan. Pashto belongs to North eastern branch of the Indo-Iranian language family. The member of Pashto speakers is estimated 50-60 million world wide. Pashto also spoken Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
In order to view culture of the province, on must visit Kisa Khawani Bazaar, Here you found vessels in beaten brass and copper, fane hand woven, woolen fabrics, leather work, hand knotted rugs, namdas of beaten wool and carpets, caps made of mountain shape wool and lamb skin the Karakuli, finest quality woven fabrics with richly worked and pieces in bands of gold/tilla for lingis / turbans.
Chitrali cloaks of hand spun and hand woven wool and leather chappals in a range of traditional styles besides a hundred other products, all vying for space and attention. Not only native designs and forms but influence of Greek and Arab, Kashmiri and Persian central Asian and Tartar, European and Far Eastern motifs are also available.
The pathans celebrate their social and political occasions, their famous Pashto and Hindko folk music with Khattak sword dance are part of celebration. The Khattak dance is most popular dance which involves loud music of drums and pipes and flashing of blades while young man full in white shirts swirl and toss their hair back and forward or flick them from side to side in wild abandon.
Khushal Khan Khattak is a big name in works of literature. He works more than 350 works of poetry and prose on subjects of wide ranging as ethnics, philosophy, religion, jurisprudence, medicine, sports and falconry. His poetry is an expression of his own pride and hatred he had for Aurangzeb.
Another big name of the past is a Sufi named Abdul Rehman locally called as Rehman Baba. His poetry is installed with spiritual and the longing for the divine. He seems to be inspired from Persian poets like Moulana Roomi, Hafiz and Shaikh Saadi.
It lies on Iranian plateau comprises the junction where the slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains on the Eurasian plate to the Indus watered hills approaching South Asia. Khyber Pass links the province to Afghanistan.
The region varies in topography from north green plains to dry rocky on South. The climate varies from very hot summer to freezing winter. Despite of temperature variations agriculture remains important and viable in the area.
Geographically the province could be divided into two zones the Northern one expending from range of Hindu Kush to the borders of Peshawar basin and Southern one extending from Peshawar to Derajat Basin.
The Northern zone is cold and snowing in winters with heavy rainfall and pleasant summer. The Southern zone is arid with hot summers and relatively cold winters and scanty rainfall.
Three main climatic regions :-
It has typical continental steppe climate with average annual precipitation ranging from 100 mm to 23 inches per year. At high elevations in Hindu Kush, snowfall is much heavier. Temperature in valley varies from 30 C to 0 C.
The climate becomes more typical of the subcontinent. The combination of a short but powerful summer monsoon with frequent white clouds bends gives a bimodal rainfall in central parts of province. Temperature in this region are some what warmer than North region. In winter Swat receives significant snowfall but in Hazara temperatures usually are around 41 F.
This region has typically hot and dry climate. In summer temperatures are quite oppressively hot and in winter, however, this region is both warmer and generally dried than the rest of province. This region experience very little rainfall (monsoon) in summer while in winter rainfall usually peaks averages ranging from 10 inches to 4.5 inches.
DEMOGRAPHICS AND SOCIETY
Total estimated population of the province is round about 21 million. Pashtuns are largest ethnic group and historically known as Afghans. Afghan Refugees also become resident of the province and that are around 1.5 million.
Pathtunes tribes found in most rural areas are, Yousafzai, Bhittani, Darri, Khattack, Babar, Gandapur, Gharghat, Marwat, Afridi, Tanoli, Sherwari, Orakzai, Bangash, Mashud, Mohmand and Wazir. In Hazara division, Sevait, Kokar, Tareen, Jadoon and Mashwain. There are various non-Pashtunes tribes including Mughal, Turks, Ljufferr, Karlal, Rajpoot, Awan, Dhund Abbasi etc.
Nearly total population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa proffers Islam with Sunni majority and significant minorities of Shias and Ismailis. Many of Kalash retain their ancient religion.
Abbottabad Bannu Battagram Buner Chitral Dera Ismail Khan Hangu Haripur Kala Dhaka KarakKohat Kohistan Lakki Marwat Lower Dir Malakand Mansehra Mardan Nowshera Peshawar Shangla Swabi Swat Tank Upper Dir
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s share comprised 10.5% G.D.P accounts for 11.9% total population of Pakistan. Its economy dominates in forestry where its share ranged from 34.9% to 81%.
Agriculture always remain important and cash crops include wheat, maze, tobacco, rice, sugar, beets, various fruits are grown in the province.
Numerous workshops across the province, manufacture small weapons and various types of weapons. Th province accounts for at least 78% of the marble production in Pakistan.
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The name Peshawar was derived from Sanskrit word Purushapusa meaning city of men and mostly called it as Pakhawar or Peshawar in Pashto and Pishor in Hindko.
Today Peshawar is the prime city of Pakistan and it is 200 KM from Kabul capital of Afghanistan. It is central hub after Karachi for the imported items from daily consumer goods to the most luxurious items. It is common perception in Pakistan that if you need something that can’t be found anywhere in Pakistan so go to Peshawar Karkhana Market that is near Hayatabad.
Peshawar becomes minor metropolitan due to an increasing diversity of people coming from different parts of the country for the sake of employment and quality education as it is the only city in the frontier province which provides variety of jobs and other facilities.
MOHABAT KHAN MOSQUE
Mosque located in inner city of Peshawar. Mosque was built in 1670. Mosque is rectangle of 185’ x 163’, approached through three raised entrances one each on the east, north and south. Its open courtyard has an abulation pond in the middle and a simple row of rooms around the sides. On the west side there is prayer hall flanked by two tall minarets. The interior of the prayer hall is sheltered beneath three low fluted domes and is lavishly and colorfully painted with floral and geometric designs.
Museum is situated in old city of Peshawar near Railway Station. The main hall of museum was built in 1906 – 1907 in memory of Queen Victoria. Originally it is called as Victoria Memorial Hall.
It is two story building constructed with British and Mughal architectural step. The museum has one of the best collection of Gandhara art. In sculptures illustrating the life of Buddha. Gallery exhibits wooden facades of mosques, Arabic and Persian inscriptions. Some of the best works are the Islamic metal artifacts in bronze and silver and calligraphic specimens are also present.
KISSA KHAWANI BAZAAR
Kissa Khawani Bazaar (Market of Storytellers) is famous bazaar of Peshawar. The market is dotted with its traditional Kehwa Khanas, Tika Kabab, Chapli Kabab and dry fruit shops along with a number of modern showrooms of leather ware and garments.
Some of the Business of Kissa Khawani Bazaar are bamboo, sweets, faluda and silver utensils which are still there and active. Also there are number of publishing houses of books.
It was the site of massacre when British soldiers fired upon a crowd of unarmed protesters in 1930.
This is ancient city of Peshawar, it was identified by Sir Alexander Cunningham, while professor Dr Dani stated that it famous tower of the Buddha bowl once stood.
Jahan Ara Begum daughter of Emperor Shah Jehan converted Gor Khuttree into a caravanserai’s, she also constructed a Jamia Masjid, a sauna bath and two wells for convince of travelers and named it Sarai Jahanabad.
KHYBER TRAIN SAFARI
It is a railway route from Peshawar to Landi Kotal and this route has been described as a journey into time and history. The train covers 34 tunnels 92 bridges and culverts and around 42 kilometers area.
The wife of victory Bailey, the engineer, assigned for the construction of line drove the first train on the Khyber Pass Railway into Landi Kotal.
BALA HISAR FORT
Bala Hisar is a Persian word meaning elevated or High Fort and it is one of the most historical places of Peshawar. According to Dr Ayaz Khan, the name was given by the Afghan King Timur Shah Durrani.
This fort stands on north western corner of Peshawar. The forts position on a high mound gives a commanding and panoramic view of Peshawar.
OTHER HISTORICAL PLACES
Burj Hari Singh
Chowk Yadgar (Hasting Memorial)
Cumighan Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar)
Tombs of Rahman Baba, Akund Darweza, Sultan Baba, Nawab Syed Khan, Ashab Baba, Shaikh Imanuddin, Burj-e-Roshni
ARMY STADIUM PARK
This park is an amusement park for children and families. Variety of entertainment available here like game shops, restaurants, play pens, shopping arcade and banks also available here.
It is largest and most beautiful park located at Hayatabad Peshawar. It is most recreational park of Peshawar. This park is also popular for ethnic Afghans.
OTHER AMUSEMENT PARKS
• Wazir Bagh
• Ali Mardan Khan Garden
• Shahi Bagh
• Garrison Park
• Tatara Park
SHOPPING PLACES IN PESHAWAR
JAN’S SHOPPING MALL
It is the biggest and modern age shopping mall of Peshawar. People can find fine apparel, lingerie, designers shoes and traditional clothing. During weekends, mall is rushed up with teenagers and students of local university to buy and spend time there.
ANDAR SHER (SARAFA BAZAAR)
It is very famous bazaar for gold jewellery. You will find a variety of gold ornaments. People can be seen competing for the best bargains in Afghan run shop full of antiques.
Mochi bazaar is situated near Qisa Khawani Market. It is famous for Pashtun Chappals and leather bags at low price. At the end of Bazaar, there are shops full of copper smiths, they are highly skilled and up to mark of international standards.
DEANS SHOPPING MALL
This is four story, ultra modern and newly built shopping in cantonment of Peshawar situated at easily accessible location. It is prime attraction for families, if they are in mood of purchasing grocery cum shopping outing, it the hyper market. Sheraz Arena is top floor of the mall which is spacious for marriage and banquet hall. Variety of stores for shoppers and hustle bustle make this place to loiter around on a lazy evening.
OTHER FAMOUS SHOPPING MALLS are:-
• City Towers
• Town Towers
• Bliour Plaza
• Mega Mart,
. DTC Peshawar
EATING PLACES OF PESHAWAR
Namak Mandi is an exceptional food center where one can not resist the aroma of Balti, locally known Tikka Karahai to enjoy their favorite cuisine. It is situated near Shuba Bazaar, Namak Mandi lasted 50 years to develop to present status and its traditional and heart touching taste attracts all the food lovers whether foreigners or local.
There are about 30 tikka shops and famous among them are Charsi Tikka, Khan Tikka and Mehran Tikka.
It is one of the best eating place of Peshawar, here you find quality of food with taste, it is the most high ranking eating spot among the Peshawarites, here you find Chinese and continental foods, fresh foods on order and buffet. Most of all it is open till late night.
OTHER FAMOUS EATING PLACES:-
• Pearl Continental
• Green Hotel
• Khan Club
• Habib Rose Restaurant
• Karachi Biryani House
• Namkeen and Taraskoon – Ring Road
• Four Season and many more
This is the world’s largest earth filled dam in Swabi, it is on one of the worlds most important river, River Indus. Dam was constructed by 15000 Pakistani and 800 Foreign workers and engineers, at a cost of 18.5 billion in 1976. It is the biggest hydel power station in Pakistan and generating 3,478 MW of electricity. Total area of lake is 260 Sq KM with preserving capacity of 97 KM long with depth of 137 meters. The Dam is 143 M high and 2743 M wide at its crest. Permits are required to visit the Dam.
Takht means throne and bhai means water or spring, it is so called because it was built atop a hill watered by spring. Takhat-e-Bhai, a Buddhist monastery located on a rocky ridge about 15 Kilometers from Mardan. The feature, which distinguishes this site from other is its architectural diversity and its romantic mountain setting.
The building include main stupa and two courtyards in different terraces surrounded by votive stupa and shrines, the monastic quadrangles surrounded by cells for the monks and a large hall of assembly. Takhat-i-Bhai had a wealth of ancient Buddhist remains. A long range of different sized Buddha and Buddistavas from Takhat-i-Bhai fill many museums cultivation.
This region comprised of six districts, Abbottabad, Battagram, Haripur, Kohistan, Manshera and Torghar district.
The region of Hazara is like a door to heaven, it was favorite gate way from the plains into Kashmir during Mughal, Durrani and Sikh Rule. The worlds famous Karakoram Highway flows through the entire length of Hazara. Hill stations collectively known as the Gallis and Kaghan Valley are the best known parts of Hazara.
Thandiani literally meaning cool place. It is a hill station in the Galayat area of Pakistan. This place was established as a sanatorium during British Rule, it contained Europeans houses and a small bazaar which were occupied only during the summer months. This beautiful spot can easily be approached from Abbottabad which is 24 KM away. It has loveliest views of all hill stations of Pakistan. The scenery here is breathtaking and superb.
Shogran is a village which is situated at a distance of 34 Kilometers from Balakot, it lies on a green plateau in Naran Valley at a height of 2,362 meter above sea level. From Shogran, you can ride a jeep or horse or hike to several pictures queue places like Siri, Paye and Makra Peak.
It is a mountainous resort or hill station in Hazara. It is a part of Galiaath, areas ending with word gali most of which are connected to one another. Nathia gali is popular for its scenic beauty pleasant weather and liking tracks.
Nathia Gali clad in pine, walnut, oak and maple trees, it can be approached both from Muree and Abbottabld. It is 34 KM from Abbottabad as well as from Muree. Nathia Gali is 2501 meters above sea level and is surrounded by lush green lofty mountains.
Dunga Gali is beautiful tourists mountain resort situated on the slopes of Mukshupri Hills. The hills are wooded and present a beautiful view. Dunga Gali lies at an attitude of 2,500 meters.
During British rule, Dunga Gali served as a sanatorium and contained hotel, post office and a small church. The area was visited by Europeans during summer.
Ayubia is a complex four small hill station of Khanspura, Ghora Dhaka, Khairagali and Changlagali. It was named after President Ayub Khan who belonged to Haripur district. The four resorts scattered over an area of about 16 miles and developed as a modern hill station.
At Ghora Dhaka a chair lift operates during summer months, they provide all the thrill of holiday in green, wooded mountains. There are steps precipices on one side and tall majestic pines on the other. Wild life, including bear, Cheetah, Monkeys and a great variety of birds found.
Balakot is entrance to Kaghan valley. It is a historical town and a famous tourist destination, it is situated 72 Kilometers from Abbottabad. This beautiful small town is located on the banks of Kunhar River. It is very pleasant and beautiful journey from Abbottabad to Balakot along the both sides of roads, there is beautiful green hills and thick forests. The view are spectacular especially between Attarshisha dn Garhi Habibullah.
LAKE SAIF ul MULUK
It is located at the northern end of Kaghan valley and at a distance 10 KM from Naran at an altitude of 3500 M. It provides an excellent view of the 5290 M high Malika Parbat (Queen of the Mountain). The lake and the surroundings have a touch of unreal about then and are breathtaking lovely.
A fairy tale called saif ul Muluk, about a prince of Persia Saif ul Muluk who fell in love with a fairy princes at the lake. The lake is named after the prince.
It is mountainous pass at a distance of 80 Milometers from Naran, it is on the way to pass that the Kaghan valleys scenery becomes most dramatic from Babusar top, mighty Nanga Parbat (8126 M) can be seen on a clear day.
Swat Museum is located between Mingora and Saidu Sharif, it was founded in 1959 by the Wali of the State. Museum was designed by Italian architect Vittonico Cardi, Consisting on three galleries. The archeological finds belong to Gandhara Buddhist art of Swat. The samples of local embroidery, jewellery and craved wood objects are on display.
It is located in Swat district, it is popular as Switzerland of Asia. It is a hilly station 1320 M above sea level and about 55 Kilometers from Mingora, the mountains have closed in and the valley is almost sung. There are a lot of embroidered shawls in Bazaars of Madyan. A touch hatchery is also located here. Many beautiful side valleys can be approached from here.
It is situated 66 KM from Saidu Sharif and almost 10 KM from Madyan. It is famous river side resort with bazaars world exploring for their handicrafts. The surrounding area has beautiful valleys and is suitable for hiking. The mosques and buildings are worth seeing for wooden carved pillars and other fixtures.
It is situated 32 KM from Mingora, it is one of the upcoming hill resort. The surroundings area offers natural heart touching beauty with forests, orchards, mountains and streams, which can be enjoyed by hiking Minadam’s is much more beautiful than Madyan.
Kalam valley reaches of the Swat River, it is about 40 KM north of Bahrain and about 2000 meters above sea level. Kalam is inhibited by Kohistans having their own language and customs. Beautiful valleys of Ushu, Ulsot and Gabral are accessible from here through thick pine forests. The Falksair peak is clearly visible from Matittan. Above all Kalam Valley is famous for its waterfalls, lakes and lush green hills.
It is also known as hot spring. It is located in ancient valley Injigan, it is 45 KM north west of Chitral. This un-spoilt exchanging valley of orchards verdant fields and snow clad peaks is renowned for its boiling sulfur springs which is good treatment for healing skin diseases, headache, guilt and other pains. The village has a big market, where the caravans from Badakshan bring precious stones and other products.
Residents of Kalash are cheerful, generous, witty and fond of rejoicing and merry making. The Kalash have four colorful festivals. For the Kalash these festivals are the culmination of religious life and like the big funerals they unite the people.
JOSHI / CHILIMYUSHT (14th and 15th May)
This is spring festival, this festival honors the fairies and also safeguards the goats and shepherds before they go to pastures. The days are marked by dancing, visiting each other and exchanging flowers, mild and milk products.
It is celebrate in July, marking the harvest of wheat and barely and bringing down of cheese from high summer pastures. It is celebrated in Rumbur and Bumboret. The celebration lasts for two days, which includes dancing, singing and feasting.
It is celebrated around the end of September to celebrate the grape and walnut harvest. Grape being staple requirements in the Kalash for making wine are grown on trees in protected sites. The holy tree being the best for climbers.
It starts with winter in the month of December to welcome the new year. The entire population remain inside. It is celebrated by drinking, feasting and merry making until the elders, who sit on the top watching the sun reaching the orbit then declare the advent of the new year.
NAUROZE (21 March)
It is celebrated in Hkuh, Masting and Turikho Mulkho by Ismailis followere of His Highness Prince Karim Agha Khan.