Charsadda

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Charsadda, Pukhtonkhawa, Pakistan
Coordinates: 34°09′N 71°44′E / 34.150°N 71.733°E / 34.150; 71.733Coordinates: 34°09′N 71°44′E / 34.150°N 71.733°E / 34.150; 71.733
Country Pakistan
Province Pakhtunkhwa Province
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Charsadda (Pashto: چارسده) is a town and headquarters of Charsadda District, in the Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.[1] It is at an altitude of 276 metres (908 feet) and lies 29 kilometres from the provincial capital of Peshawar.[2] District Charsadda consists of two main geographical parts: Hashtnagar (Pushto: Ashnaghar) and Do Aaba (Pushto: Duava).The city hosts the ruins of what was once the great ancient Gandharan city of Pushkalavati, home of the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini.

Hashtnagar[edit]

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[edit]

Do Aaba is also a Persian word, meaning two waters. A place between rivers is known as Do Aaba.Shabqadar Do Aaba is the main land of Gigyani tribe.Gigyani is one of the important tribe of Pukhtoons Gigyanis are also present in Ambar(Mohmand Agency), Harichand (Charsadda), Kabul and other areas..There is a separate platoon for Gigyani tribe in FC (Frontier Constabulary). Yaqoobzai(Mughal kheil and Kundal kheil), Meerzai, Manduzai, Hassanzai, khubaizai, Musazai and Mandizai etc. are the sub-divisions of Gigyani tribe. Gigyanis, Yousafzai and Tarkani(in Bajaur) are brothers, collectively called Khashi Kheil.Shabqadar Doaaba contains more than 75 villages. Shabqadar Fort (Shabqadar bazaar) is at a distance of about 25 kilometers from Peshawar. It is said that Behlol Khan Gigyani Populated the Shabqadar village (not whole Shabqadar Doaaba but Shabqadar village and bazaar). There is a historical FC Fortress (Qilla) in Shabqadar bazaar which is interesting for foreigner as well as Pakistani visitors.

History[edit]

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.[3]

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.[3][4]

There are eight main villages, giving Hashtnagar its name, Prang, Rajjar, Utmanzai, Umarzai, Tangi, Sherpao, Turangzai and Charsadda Bazar.

Prestigious Khan Families of Charsadda[edit]

In Charsadda 80% population belongs to Muhammadzai tribe then they are divided into subtribes which are locally called "khel" .These sub-tribes(khels) are enjoying the status of khans. These sub-tribes (khels) are basically pure khans families in charsadda as compared to other khan families. the following are the main khans families in charsadda:

Ghani khel(Ani khel) Ghani Khel this family is locally called as Ani khel they are in the village of prang and mera prang. This is the only top most khan family in the prang and Mera prang The family is named as Ghani khel by the family elder name "Ghani khan". He was the son of "Saffar khan".Ani Khel are also known in Charsadda for their vast properties covering almost half of Hastnagar(charsadaa). The Ani Khel family members lands start from Sardaryab, a local tourist and picnic spot near Peshawar, situated in the Charsadda District, and extend to Mardan, and also to Nowshehra district.

Kanan khel Kanan khel They are in the village of Rajjar and Mera Rajjar but some of these family members are in Sardehri(Wardaga) village this family is also the only top most khan family in Rajjar and Mera Rajjar

Bati khel They are in the village of Umarzai and Mera Umarzai some of the famous personalities of bati khel are Ismail khan(Famous celebrity Ismail khan from "Ismail and Junaid band", Liaqut khan (D.I.G police), Zafarullah khan (Ex IGP motorway)

Parich khel They are in the village of Utmanzai and Mera Utmanzai. The khans of Qazi Khel are from Parich khail, as rajar and prang have enmity, a brother from the family was asked to stay in the area between them for peace. he was provided with the same amount of land he had left behind in his original village. The Parich Khails of Utmanzai are the descendants of Muhammad Azam Khan,they reside in the Mohallah Tariq abad.Their family elder is Tariq Azam Khan.The Parich khails of Khanmai village are cousins of Muhammad Azam Khan family.The village was founded by Hajji Muhammad Akram Khan, after his death Muhammad Hassan Khan was the elder of family who died in 1996.

Khwazi khel They are also in Utmanzai and Mera Utmanzai The Khwazi Khel of Mera Utmanzai are the descendants of Khawas Khan,they reside in the Mera Utmanzai (shaheedan) sarfaraz keli & Utmanzai.Sarfaraz khan keli elder ishaji qaiser khan.the great bacha khan and wali khan also belong to khwazi khel.

Shamozai They are another prominent tribe of village Utmanzai and are also living in Mera Utmanzai. Important personalities of this tribe are Gen Imranullah Khan, ex Governor Baluchistan, Farukh syar khan (late), a renowned politician, Jaliya Khan (late), poet and author and Shaheen Khan who lives in Marwandai adjacent to utmanzai.

Oryaz khel they are living in Umerzai (also spelled as Umarzai or Omarzai or Omerzai) and Mera Umerzai. They are very noble , peaceful people and most of them are educated and government employees. Dr M Younas khan, Amir-ul-Mulk Khan, M Azam khan belongs to this khel.

Crops[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Scenery[edit]

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.[5] 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.[citation needed]

Administration[edit]

The district is administratively subdivided into two tehsils which contained a total of 46 Union Councils:[1]

Name of Tehsil No. of Unions
Shabqadar Charsadda34
Tangi 12

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tehsils & Unions in the District of Charsada - Government of Pakistan
  2. ^ Location of Charsadda - Falling Rain Genomics
  3. ^ a b Chārsadda Town - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 10, p. 181.
  4. ^ R.E.M. Wheeler, Charsada: a Metropolis of the North-West Frontier' (Oxford 1962)
  5. ^ Noreen Haider. "Living With Disasters" (PDF). Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 

External links[edit]