|Charsadda, Pukhtonkhawa, Pakistan|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
Charsadda (Pashto: چارسدہ) is a town and headquarters of Charsadda District, in the Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is at an altitude of 276 metres (908 feet) and lies 29 kilometres from the provincial capital of Peshawar. District Charsadda consists of two main geographical parts: Hashtnagar (Pushto: Ashnaghar) and Do Aaba (Pushto: Duava).
This was the site of the ancient city Pushkalavati.
Hashtnaga is a corruption of the Sanskrit word 'Ashtanagara', meaning Eight Cities. Once cities are now villages named: Prrang, Charsadda, Rajjar, Utmanzai,Turangzai, Umarzai, Sherpao, Tangi. The city was once known as Push-kalavati, "The city of lotus flower". It remained the capital of ancient Gandhara from the 6th century B.C to 2nd century A.D.
The city was captured in 324 B.C. after the siege of 30 days, by the troops of Alexander the Great and its formal surrender was received by Alexander himself. It has been established beyond doubt that this city was the metropolitan center of Asiatic trade and meeting place of oriental and occidental cultures even as long ago as 500 to 1000 B.C. This city also enjoyed in being the center of pilgrims until the seventh century A.D.
Pushkalavati is first mentioned in the Hindu epic story, The Ramayana, when Bharata the brother of Ramchandra conquered Gandharvadesa (Gandhara) and found two cities, Taksha (Taxila), and Pushkala (Pushkalavati) named after his two sons.
Do Aaba is also a Persian word, meaning two waters. A place surrounded by the waters of rivers from all four sides is known as Do Aaba. Do Aaba consists of Shabqadar and adjecent areas of Mohmand Agency.
The earliest archaeological deposits recovered at Charsadda are dated to ca. 1400 BCE, constituting a series of post holes in association with ceramic sherds and ash. Subsequent periods indicate that more permanent structures were built at Charsadda, including stone-lined pits. Between the 14th century BCE and the 6th century BCE, when an Achaemenid presence is represented at the site (see below), the inhabitants of Charsadda developed an iron-working industry and used ceramics that are typical for this period in the Vale of Peshawar, Swat and Dir.
The father of Sanskrit grammar, Panini was from this area and lived around 500−700 BCE.
The later history of Charsadda can be traced back to the 6th century BCE. It was the capital of Gandhara from the 6th century BCE to the 2nd century CE. The ancient name of Charsadda was Pushkalavati. It was the administrative centre of the Gandhara kingdom. Many invaders have ruled over this region during different times of history. These include the Persians, Alexander the Great's Greeks, the Mauryas, the Greco-Bactrians, the Indo-Greeks, the Indo-Scythians, the Indo-Parthians, the Kushans, the Huns, the Turks, the Guptas.
Charsadda is contiguous to the town of Prang; and these two places were identified by Alexander Cunningham with the ancient Pushkalāvati, capital of the region at the time of Alexander's invasion, and transliterated as Peukelaus or Peukelaotis by the Greek historians. Its chieftain (Astes), according to Arrian, was killed in defence of one of his strongholds after a prolonged siege by Hephaistion. Ptolemy fixes its site upon the eastern bank of the Suastene or Swat. In the seventh century CE Hiuen Tsiang visited the city, which he describes as being 100 li (16⅔ miles) north-east of Peshawar. A stupa, erected over the spot where Buddha made an alms-offering of his eyes, formed the great attraction for the Buddhist pilgrim and his co-religionists. The city, however, had even then been abandoned as a political capital in favour of Purushapura, Parashāwara, or Peshawar.
It probably extended over a large area, and the entire neighbourhood is covered with vast ruins. Excavation was carried out in the neighbourhood of Charsadda for about two months in the spring of 1902-3. Some interesting finds of coins and pottery ornaments, including an engraved amethyst, were made, and the remains of the ancient Bala Hisar (Acropolis) were mapped.
There are eight main villages, giving Hashtnagar its name, Prang, Rajjar, Utmanzai, Umarzai, Tangi, Sherpao, Turangzai and Charsadda Bazar.
The main crops of Charsadda are tobacco, sugarcane, sugarbeet, wheat and maize. Vegetables include potato, tomato, cabbage, brinjals, okra and spinach. Charsadda is especially famous for lotus roots, known as barsanday. Among orchards, peach, apricot, citrus, plum, strawberry and pears are famous.
The land of Charsadda is very fertile and beautiful and is said to closely resemble Damascus due to its beauty. There are three rivers flowing in Charsadda: the River Jindi, the Kabul River and the Swat River; these are the main source of irrigation for Charsadda. The three rivers then merge and join the Indus River. The area surrounded by River Swat and River Kabul is called Doaaba and has a great importance in the District. Dense Forest area is Charsadda and Nisatta. Sardaryab, Khyali, Jindi, Shalam and Naguman these five rivers meet in Nisatta area (locally called Khwlay) and become Kabul river.
|Name of Tehsil||No. of Unions|
- Tehsils & Unions in the District of Charsada - Government of Pakistan
- Location of Charsadda - Falling Rain Genomics
- Chārsadda Town - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 10, p. 181.
- Noreen Haider. "Living With Disasters" (PDF). Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-01.