P. 1
Peshawar Wikipedia

Peshawar Wikipedia

|Views: 204|Likes:
Published by Aamir Hussain
Compiled by Aamir Hussain
Compiled by Aamir Hussain

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Aamir Hussain on May 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less







Peshāwar (‫ )پیشاور‬literally means City on the Frontier in Persian and is known as Pai-khawar in Pashto. It is the provincial capital of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. In ancient times the city was known as Purushapura when it was officially founded by the Kushans.

Flag of North West Emblem of Peshawar Frontier Province

• • • • • • • • • • • •


North West Province


1 Geography Location 34°00′″N, 71°30′″E 2 Climate - Altitude 347 m AMSL 3 History 4 Demographics Area 1257 Sq. Km km² 5 Culture Population 6 Religion - Census (1998) million 7 Educational institutions 2.019 - Estimate (2006) 2.242 million 8 Sites of interest o Density 8.1 Shopping persons/km² 9 Transport Calling code 091 10 Famous People from Peshawar 11 See also PST +05:00 ahead of Time zone GMT 12 External links/ References No. of Towns
No. of Councils City (Nazim) Union Mayor 25 Haji Ghulam Ali


Peshawar Local Government

Peshawar in NWFP. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass and sits mainly on the Iranian plateau along with the rest of the NWFP. Peshawar is literally a frontier city of South-Central Asia and was historically part of the Silk Road.

The Peshawar valley is covered with consolidated deposits of silt, sands and gravel of recent geological times. The flood Plains/Zones are the areas between Kabul River and Budni Nala. The meander flood plain extends from Warsak in the Northwest towards Southeast in the upper Northern half of the district. The Kabul river enters the district in the Northwest. On entering the Peshawar Plain, the Kabul River is divided into several channels. Its two main channels are the Adizai River Eastward flows along the boundary with Charsadda District. Another channel branching from the right bank of the Naguman River is the Shah Alam, which again merges with Naguman River further in the East.In general the sub-soil strata is composed of gravels, boulders, and sands overlain by silts and clays. Sand, gravel and boulders are important aquifer extends to a depth of about 200 feet. As further confined water bearing aquifer occurs at depths greater than 400 feet.

Winter in Peshawar starts from mid Novermber to the end of March. Summer months are May to September. The mean maximum temperature in summer is over 40 °C and the mean minimum temperature is 25 °C. The mean maximum temperature during winter is 4 °C and maximum is 18.35 °C. Rainfall is received both in winter and in the summer. The winter rainfall due to western disturbances shows a higher record during the months of February and April. The highest winter rainfall has been recorded in March, while the highest summer rainfall in the month of August. The average winter rainfall is higher than that of the summer. Based on a 30-year record, the average 30-year annual precipitation has been recorded as 400 millimeters. Wind speeds vary during the year from 5 knots in December to 24 knots in June. The relative humidity varies from 46% in June to 76% in August. Peshawar’s environment has suffered tremendously due to an ever increasing population, Afghan influx unplanned growth and a poor regulatory framework. Air and noise pollution is a significant issue in several parts of the city and the water quality, once considered to be exceptionally good, is also fast deteriorating.


Peshawar 1857 colour lithograph The History of Peshawar is very relevant to the discussion about Durand Line and Peshawar which seems to occupy a prominent space on the discourse between Pakistanis and Afghans. Peshawar occupies a region that was dominated by various tribal groups of Indo-Iranian origin and a variety of other groups, possibly of Elamo-Dravidian origin, maybe prior to invasion of Aryan tribes and their settlement. The region had links to the Harappan civilization of the Indus river valley and to ancient Afghanistan (before it was called Afghanistan or even Aryana), especially the Kabul valley. The border known as the Durand Line was fixed by the British in 1893 and divided ethnic Pakhtun territories into two parts. As a result, many Pakhtuns have agitated for a re-unification of Afghanistan or Pakhtunistan. The resulting "Pakhtunistan" issue has often adversely impacted relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but the issue has largely become dormant since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the arrival and settlement of nearly 4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. It has been argued that an ancient city named Pushkalwati, founded by Bharat's son Pushkal, may have existed in this general area during early Indo-Iranian times before their invasion past the Indus into South Asia. The city that would become Peshawar, called Purushapura, was actually founded by the Kushans, a Central Asian tribe of Tocharian origin, over 2,000 years ago. Prior to this period the region was affiliated with Gandhara and was annexed first by the Persian Achaemenid empire and then the Hellenic empire of Alexander the Great. The city passed into the rule of Alexander's successor, Seleucus I Nicator who ceded it to Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya empire. Buddhism was introduced into the region at this time and claimed the majority of Peshawar's inhabitants before the coming of Islam. The area that Peshawar occupies was then seized by the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides (c. 170 - c. 159 BCE), and was controlled by a series of Greco-Bactrian kings. It was later held for some time by several Parthian kings, another group of Iranian invaders from Central Asia, the most famous of whom, Gondophares, was still ruling c. 46 CE, and was briefly followed by two or three of his descendants before they were displaced by the first of the "Great Kushans", Kujula Kadphises, around the middle of the 1st century. Peshawar formed the eastern capital of the empire of Gandhara under the Kushan king Kanishka I who reigned from at least 127 CE and, perhaps, for a few years prior to this. Peshawar also became a great centre of Buddhist learning. Kanishka built what was probably the tallest building in the world at the time, a giant stupa, to house the Buddha's relics, just outside the Ganj Gate of the old city of Peshawar.

Buddha relics from Kanishka's stupa in Peshawar, now in Mandalay, Burma. Teresa Merrigan, 2005 Kanishka's stupa was said to be an imposing structure as one travelled down from the mountains of Afghanistan onto the Gandharan plains. The earliest account of the famous building is by the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk, Faxian, who visited it in 400 and described it as being over 40 chang in height (probably about 120 m. or 394 ft.) and adorned "with all precious substances". "Of all the stûpas and temples seen by the travellers, none can compare with this for beauty of form and strength." It was destroyed by lightning and repaired several times. It was still in existence at the time of Xuanzang's visit in 634. From the ruined base of this giant stupa there existed a jewelled casket containing relics of the Buddha, and an inscription identifying Kanishka as the donor, and was excavated from a chamber under the very centre of the stupa's base, by a team under Dr. D.B. Spooner in 1909. The stupa was roughly cruciform in shape with a diameter of 286 ft (87 m.) and heavily decorated around the sides with stucco scenes. Sometime in the 1st millennium BCE (or perhaps much earlier), the group that now dominates Peshawar began to arrive from the Suleiman mountains to the south and southwest, the Pakhtuns. It is debatable as to whether or not the Pakhtuns existed in the region even earlier as evidence is difficult to attain. Some writers such as Sir Olaf Caroe write that a group that may have been the Pakhtuns existed in the area and were called the Paktye by Herodotus and the Greeks, which would place the Pakhtuns in the area of Peshawar much earlier along with other Indo-Iranian tribes. Regardless, over the centuries the Pakhtuns would come to dominate the region and Peshawar has emerged as an important center of Pakhtun culture along with Kandahar and Kabul as well as Quetta in more recent times. Muslim Arab and Turkic arrived and annexed the region before the beginning of the 2nd millennium. The Pakhtuns began to convert to Islam following early annexation by Arab empire from Khurasan (in what is today western Afghanistan and northeastern Iran). Peshawar was taken by Turkic Muslims in 988 and was incorporated into the larger Pakhtun domains by the 16th century. The founder of the Mughul dynasty that would conquer South Asia, Babur who hailed from what is today Uzbekistan, came to Peshawar and found a city called Begram and rebuilt the fort there, in 1530. His grandson, Akbar,

formally named the city Peshawar which means "The Place at the Frontier" in Persian and expanded the bazaars and fortifications. The Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and many settled in the Pashawar region. Earlier it had been known as the "City of Flowers" and the "City of Grain". In the days of the Kushan King it was called the "Lotus Land". The Pakhtun conqueror Sher Shah Suri, turned Peshawar's renaissance into a boom when he ran his Delhi-to-Kabul Shahi Road through the Khyber Pass and Peshawar. Thus the Mughals turned Peshawar into a "City of Flowers" by planting trees and laying out gardens similar to those found to the west in Persia. The Mughals and Safavids of Iran would often contest the region as well. Khushal Khan Khattak, the Pakhtun/Afghan warrior poet, was born near Peshawar and his life was intimately tied to the city. He was also an implacable foe of the Mughal rulers, especially Aurangzeb. Khattak apparently was an early Pakhtun nationalist, who agitated for an independent Afghanistan including Peshawar. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under Persian control during the reign of Nadir Shah by the 18th century. Peshawar would also join, (following a loya jirga) as a Pakhtun region, the Afghan/Pakhtun empire of Ahmad Shah Durrani by 1747. Pakhtuns from Peshawar took part in incursions of South Asia during the rule of Ahmad Shah Durrani and his successors. The Sikhs invaded and conquered Peshawar in 1834 after wresting it from Afghanistan. The oppressive Sikh rule was full of liberation struggle by native Pakhtun tribes. The city was liberated and reverted to Afghan control following the death of Ranjit Singh. The British influenced and then ultimately ruled the region from 1849 to 1947, when it became part of the new nation of Pakistan. Being amongst the most ancient cities of the region between Central, South, and West Asia, Peshawar has for centuries been a centre of trade between Afghanistan, the South Asia, and Central Asia as well as the Middle East. Its famed markets such as the Qisa Khwani bazaar (market of story tellers) are emblematic of this mixture of cultures. Peshawar would emerge as a centre of Pakhtun intellectuals and culture. Some Pakhtuns still adhere to Pakhtunistan movement that sought either to merge western Pakistan with Afghanistan or to form a greater Pakhtun state to be known as Pukhtoonkwa and this movement gained some support before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Nearly 2 million ethnic Afghan Pakhtuns refugees have permanently settled in Pakistan. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 Peshawar served as a political center for anti-Soviet Mujahideen, and was surrounded by huge camps of Afghan refugees. Many of the refugees remained there through the civil war which broke out after the Soviets were defeated in 1989, the rule of the Taliban, and the invasion by American and allied forces in late 2001. Peshawar would replace Kabul and Qandahar as the center of Pakhtun cultural development during this tumultuous period. Additionally, Peshawar managed to assimilate many of the Pakhtun Afghan refugees with relative ease, while

many other Afghan refugees remained in camps awaiting a possible return to Afghanistan. Map available here [1]. Until the mid-fifties Peshawar was enclosed within a city wall and sixteen gates. Of the old city gates the most famous was the Kabuli Gate but only the name remains now. Peshawar has not grown as much in size or capacity as the population has. As a result it has become a polluted and overcrowded city. Peshawar needs to expand considerably in order to prevent overcrowding. However, despite turmoil in Pakistan and intense turmoil in Afghanistan, Peshawar has remained a relatively quiet and peaceful city, as compared to violence in Karachi or Balochistan, and civil war in Afghanistan. Peshawar continues to be a city that links Pakistan to Afghanistan and has emerged as an important regional city in Pakistan and remains a focal point for Pakhtun culture. The Bakhshali Manuscript used in the Bakhshali approximation was found here. Also, Peshawar Nights uses this Peshawar as the setting.

Peshawar is a rapidly growing city with a population of 982,816 according to 1998 census that was 566,248 in 1981. The current population growth rate is 3.29 percent per annum, which is higher than the average of many other Pakistani cities. Peshawar's inhabitants consist mainly of two groups, namely; majority Pakhtuns (including recent Afghan Pakhtun refugees) and minority Peshawaris (Hindko-speakers who are often referred to as "Khaarian" which means city dwellers). In addition, thousands of Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks as well as Gypsies can be found in the city.
• • • •

Urban Population 48.68% (983,000 persons) Rural Population 51.32% (1,036,000 persons) Male/Female ratio: 1.1:1 Average annual growth rate 3.56%

In 2002, on the growth rate of 3.56% population doubled in 20 years from 1.1 million in 1981 to 2.242 million in 2002. Peshawar District covers a large area extending over 50 km from north to south and over 30 km from east to west. It is situated at an altitude of 347 m (1138 ft) above sea level. The Peshawar valley is nearly circular, extending from the Indus to the Khyber Hills. It is bounded on the North and North East by Hills, which separate it from the Valley of Swat. In the Northwest are rugged mountains of Khyber and to the South is the continuation of spur which branches off from Safed Koh (the

famous white mountain on the Afghan border) and runs to Indus. The lower portion of this branch separates the district of Peshawar and Kohat.

Peshawar is the center of Pakhtun culture and arts. With the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the influx of millions Afghan refugess into Pakistan, Peshawar became the home for Afghan musicians and artists as well. The city has become the center for Pashto music and cinema as well Dari music from neighbouring Afghanistan. However, the election of the MMA Islamic coalition in 2002 has resulted in restrictions on public musical performances.

Over 99% of the Peshawar population is Muslim. Peshawar and the rest of the Pakhtun areas of Pakistan remain the Islamic heartland of the nation.

Educational institutions
The main postgraduate education center in Peshawar is the "University Campus" of Peshawar which contains:
• • • • • • • • • • •

University of Peshawar, NWFP Agricultural University University of Engineering and Technology (NWFP) Islamia College Khyber medical colllege Edwards college Homeeconomics college for women Government College NWFP Post-Graduate Medical Institute Jinnah College for women Khyber College of Dentistry

In recent years many private universities have also started operating in the city.

Sites of interest
• • • •

Bala Hisar Fort. Chowk Yadgar (Formerly Hastings memorial) Aviator's Station- The site where freedom fighters of 1857 independence movement were blown from guns. Gor Khuttree- Ancient site of Buddah's alms or begging bowl. Headquarter of Syed Ahmad Shaheed, Governor Avitabile etc

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Mohabat Khan Mosque. Mausoleum of Nawab Sayed Khan, inside Afghan Mission Hospital. Pakhtu Academy- the site of an ancient Buddhist University Sheikh Imamuddin tomb (d.1650) at Palosi Piran. Tomb of Rahman Baba (d.1706). Panch Tirath. (Ancient Hindu site now converted into a park) Tomb of Akhund Darweza (d.1638). Kotla Mohsin Khan, residence of Mazullah Khan, Seventeenth century Pashtu poet. Shah JI KI Dheri- the site of Kanishka's famous Buddhist monastery. Durrani Graveyard, near Wazir Bagh. Wazir Bagh, laid in 1802, by Fatteh Khan, Prime Minister of Shah Mahmud Khan. Burj Hari Singh- Sikh fort founded by Sikh General Sardar Hari Singh (no longer exists) Tomb of Shaikh Sultan BabaZiarat of Ashab Baba. Ali Mardan Khan Gardens- Formerly Company bagh now Khalid bin Waleed Park. Edward's School Peshawar City- The residence of Yar Mohammad Khan, the last Durrani Governor of Peshawar. Bara Bridge built by Mughal rulers in 1629. Avitabile's Pavillion at Gorgutree Ganj Ali Khan Mosque Qasim Ali Khan Mosque. Sethi Mohallah Cunningham Clock-tower built in 1900. Called Ghanta Ghar Peshawar Museaum (Victoria Memorial Hall) Governor's House Khyber Lodge Peshawar Club Sikh Temple at Jogan Shah

(Source: Sarhad Conservation Network)

Peshawar become a traditional city with such great tradition and rich history has very thing from Goldsmiths and Silversmiths, traditional carpets (one of the big exports out of Pakistan today), pottery, clothing, copper/silverwear etc. There are many bazaars with each holding different goods and souvenirs for any traveller. The main ones include the historic Qissa Khawani bazaar, Copper market, Chowk Yadgar and Andarshah Bazaar.


The Peshawar International Airport serves the city and the province of the NorthWest Frontier as the main international airport. It serves all airlines of Pakistan as well as many major airlines including Emirates and Qatar Airways who have regular flights to the Gulf. The city is linked to the main motorway as well as the Karakorum Highway, to all of the major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan. The roads also have roads to Afganistan and China. There are also central railway station run by the Pakistan Railways, the largest operator of rail companies in Pakistan, with connections to all parts of Pakistan including Afgansitan. In the city, there are all sorts of methods to travel around the city, from coaches, buses, rickshaws (Auto rickshaws, yellow taxis, horse and carts etc.

This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.

Famous People from Peshawar
• • • • • • • • •

Raj Kapoor Dilip Kumar Prithviraj Kapoor Taj Khan (father of Shah Rukh Khan) Hashim Khan Jahangir Khan Jansher Khan Shahid Afridi Younis Khan

See also
• • • • • •

Pakistan North-West Frontier Province Peshawar Nights Gandhara Pashtuns Afghanistan

External links/ References


• • • • • • • •

University Of Peshawar Hindko Language PeshawarJobs About Peshawar on the "It's Pakistan" website The Official Francis Hannaway Website - Peshawar Peshawar at City-reference.com The Pasthu Poetry page (in English) Pictures from Peshawar


Ahmad, sAisha and Boase, Roger. 2003. "Pashtun Tales from the PakistanAfghan Frontier: From the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier." Saqi Books (March 1, 2003). [2]. Ahmed, Akbar S. 1976. Millennium and Charisma among Pathans: A Critical Essay in Social Anthropology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Ahmed, Akbar S. 1980. Pukhtun economy and society. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Beal, Samuel. 1884. Si-Yu-Ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World, by Hiuen Tsiang. 2 vols. Trans. by Samuel Beal. London. Reprint: Delhi. Oriental Books Reprint Corporation. 1969. Beal, Samuel. 1911. The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang by the Shaman Hwui Li, with an Introduction containing an account of the Works of I-Tsing. Trans. by Samuel Beal. London. 1911. Reprint: Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi. 1973. Careo, Olaf. 1984. "The Pathans: 500 B.C.-A.D. 1957 (Oxford in Asia Historical Reprints)". Oxford University Press. [3] Coll, Steve. 2004. "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001." Penguin Press HC, The (February 23, 2004). [4]. Dani, Ahmad Hasan. 1985. "Peshawar: Historic city of the Frontier." Sang-e-Meel Publications (1995). [5]. Dobbins, K. Walton. 1971. The Stūpa and Vihāra of Kanishka I. The Asiatic Society of Bengal Monograph Series, Vol. XVIII. Calcutta. Elphinstone, Mountstuart. 1815. "An account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India,: comprising a view of the Afghaun nation." Akadem. Druck- u. Verlagsanst (1969). [6].

Foucher, M. A. 1901. "Notes sur la geographie ancienne du Gandhâra (commentaire à un chaptaire de Hiuen-Tsang)." BEFEO No. 4, Oct. 1901, pp. 322-369. Hargreaves, H. (1910-11): "Excavations at Shāh-jī-kī Dhērī"; Archaeological Survey of India, 1910-11, pp. 25-32. Hill, John E. 2003. "Annotated Translation of the Chapter on the Western Regions according to the Hou Hanshu." 2nd Draft Edition.[7] Hill, John E. 2004. The Peoples of the West from the Weilue 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚 豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE. Draft annotated English translation. [8] Hopkirk, Peter. 1984. "The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia." Kodansha Globe; Reprint edition. [9]. Moorcroft, William and Trebeck, George. 1841. Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir, in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara... from 1819 to 1825, Vol. II. Reprint: New Delhi, Sagar Publications, 1971. Reeves, Richard. 1985. "Passage to Peshawar: Pakistan: Between the Hindu Kush and the Arabian Sea." Holiday House (September, 1985. [10]. Spooner, D. B. 1908-9. "Excavations at Shāh-jī-kī Dhērī."; Archaeological Survey of India, 1908-9, pp. 38-59. Watters, Thomas. 1904-1905. On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India. London. Royal Asiatic Society. Reprint: Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi, 1973.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peshawar" Categories: Articles with sections needing expansion | Cities along the Silk Road | Cities and towns in North-West Frontier Province | Peshawar

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->