Battagram District

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Battagram District
ضلع بټګرام
District & Town
ضلع بٹگرام
Battagram City.jpg
Location in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Location in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Coordinates: 34°25′N 73°06′E / 34.41°N 73.1°E / 34.41; 73.1
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Established July 1993
Headquarters Battagram
Area
 • Total 1,301 km2 (502 sq mi)
Elevation 1,038 m (3,406 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 455,000
 • Density 236/km2 (610/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Area code(s) 0997
Number of Tehsils 2

Battagram (Urdu: ضلع بٹگرام; Pashto: ضلع بټګرام) is a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It has a total land area of 1301 square kilometres and the estimated population of Battagram District in 2004–2005 was 361,000.

Language[edit]

Pashto is main language spoken in Swat specific Yousafzai dialect but significant number of people speaks (Hindko, Gujri. Kohistani is also spoken by few. Urdu being National language is also spoken and understood.

History[edit]

Alexander period[edit]

Alexander the Great conquered and established his rule over a large part of northern India, including the Battagram area. In the year 327 B.C. Alexander handed the area over to the Indian king Abisares.

Hindu Shahi dynasty[edit]

In the 2nd century CE, a mythical Hindu king Raja Risalu, son of Raja Salbahan of Sialkot, brought the area under his control. The local people consider him as their hero and, even today, parents tell their children the stories of Raja Risalu and his wife Rani Konklan on winter nights. When a Chinese pilgrim, Hiun-Tsang, visited this area, it was under the control of Durlabhavardhana, the ruler of Kashmir.

In 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin, In 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the conquests of northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Turkish Shahi and Hindu Shahi Dynasties ruled Battagram one after another. Among the Hindu Shahi dynasty rulers, Raja Jayapala is the best known. Mehmood of Ghazni defeated Raja Jayapala during his first Indian campaign. However, there is no historical evidence that Mehmood of Ghazni ever visited or passed through Battagram. After the fall of Hindu Shahi dynasty, in the 11th century, the Kashmiris took control of this area under the leadership of Kalashan (1063 to 1089). From 1112 to 1120, King Susala ruled this area. In the 12th century, Asalat Khan captured this area but soon after Mohammad of Ghor's death the Kashmiris once again regained control of Battagram and other areas of present.the above statement regarding telling of hindo king Raja Risalu stories is fake.

Turks[edit]

In 1399, the Muslim warrior Timur, on his return to Kabul, stationed his Turk soldiers in Hazara Khyber Pakhtunkhwa . Battgram was a part of that area). Taimur left his soldiers to protect the important route between Kabul and Kashmir. By 1472, Prince Shahab-ud-Din came from Kabul and established his rule over the region. Prince Shahab-ud-Din, a Karlugh Turks of central Asian origin a descendant of Amir Taimur, founded the state and named it Pakhli Sarkar and chose the village of Gulibagh as his capital.

During the period of Mughal rule, local Turkish chiefs acknowledged Mughal authority. In fact, Mansehra (Pakhli) provided the main route to Kashmir and was the most commonly used route for Emperor Akbar to travel to Kashmir.

In the 18th century, Turkish rule came to an end due to the increased aggression of the Swatis and their allied forces. The most crucial attack was that of the Swatis in collusion with Syed Jalal Baba in 1703. Syed Jalal Shah was the son in law of the last ruler of Turkic dynasty, Sultan Mehmud Khurd. During the absence of the Sultan Syed Jalal Shah (Jalal Baba) took advantage of the situation, conspired with Swatis, invited them to attack Pakhli Sarkar and succeeded to overthrow the Turkish rulers from the Sarkar. Thus Swatis ousted the Turks and captured this area.The descendents of this Turkic dynasty still scattered in various parts of Hazara, such as, Behali, Manakrai, Girwal, Mohar etc. of districts of Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur and Battagram etc.

Durranis[edit]

When Ahmad Shah Durrani expanded his kingdom to Punjab, Hazara also came under his control. Durrani considered it wise to rule the area through local tribal chiefs. The Durranis' rule ended abruptly in the beginning of the 18th century.

Sikhs and British[edit]

After end of Durranis, the battagram came under Sikh rule. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Battagram District. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule. Sikh rule came to an end in 1818. Almost at the same time the entire Hazara, including Battagram came under British rule. The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Battagram District.

Climate[edit]

Battagram features a typical version of a humid subtropical climate, with warm and dry springs, hot and humid summers accompanied by brief but cool winters. Winters occur from December to February, with temperatures variable by location, generally with dense fog in the mornings and sunny afternoons. In the village, temperatures stay mild, with sparse snowfall over the highest elevations points on nearby hill stations.

Administration[edit]

Map of Battagram district

Battagram obtained the status of district in July 1993 when it was upgraded from a Tehsil and separated from Mansehra District. Before Battagram obtained the status of district, it was a Tehsil of the Mansehra District. It has geographical borders with Kohistan District, the Tribal Area of Kala Dhaka (Black Mountain of Hazara), Shangla District and Malakand Division. The district consists of two sub-divisions or Tehsils, containing 20 in total. Union Councils:[1]

Tehsil No. of Unions Name of Unions
Allai Tehsil 8 Banna]], Bateela, Batkul, Biari, Jambera, Pashto, Rashang and Sakargah
Batagram Tehsil 12 Ajmera, Banian, Battagram, Batamori, Gijbori, Kuza Banda, Paimal Sharif, Peshora, Rajdhari, Shumlai, Thakot and Trand

The district is represented in the provincial assembly by two MPAs from its constituencies PF-59 (Battagram-1) and PF-60 (Battagram-2).[2]

Earthquake 2005[edit]

Battagram was one of the areas affected by the Pakistan Earthquake of October 8, 2005[3] when more than 4,500 people were killed and approximately 35,000 were injured. Many residents of the area were rendered homeless and without shelter. Since October 8, 2005, the NGOs and the Governmental organization ERRA have been engaged in re-construction work but as of 2009,the reconstruction work is not completed. In some cases residents have rebuilt houses themselves.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]