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For the luxury hotel, see Mardan Palace. For the village in Iran, see Mardan, Iran. For the 2014 film, see Mardan (film).
Guides Memorial, Mardan
Guides Memorial, Mardan
Mardan is located in Pakistan
Mardan shown within Pakistan
Coordinates: 34°12′N 72°03′E / 34.200°N 72.050°E / 34.200; 72.050
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
District Mardan division
Tehsil Mardan
 • Commissioner Kifaiat Ullah Khan.
 • Deputy Inspector General Police Muhammad Ali Babakhil
 • MNA, Mardan I Amir Haidar Khan Hoti.
 • MNA, Mardan II Ali Muhammad khan.
 • Total 632 km2 (244 sq mi)
 • Total 450,000(approx)
 • Density 850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code +92 937
Website MardanJALALA

Mardan ( مردان), known as The city of hospitality, is a city and headquarters of Mardan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan.[1] It is the de facto headquarters of the Yousafzai tribe and the second most populous city in the province,[2] located at 34°12'0N 72°1'60E and an altitude of 283 metres (928 ft) in the south west of the district.[3] Mardan is a federation of a number of small towns coming together to form a large city.

Mardan valley was part of the ancient Gandhara civilisation but at that time the name Mardan and Mardan City was not constructed, instead Gandhara civilisation consisted of small sub-kingdoms at the hill tops of Jamal Garhi, Shahbaz Garhi and Thakhat Bahi. The ruins of these cities still exist. Mardan City foundation was laid down by Saint Ali Mardan Shah (nickname Madai-Baba) in about in 11th – 12th century A.D. His shrine is at Jalala. His son Zamin Shah Baba was also a saint, buried in Mardan Cantt. Most of its land is agricultural.[citation needed] It has one of the world's best irrigation systems,[citation needed] which was laid down in 1934 from the Swat River through Jabban Hydel Power Station, during the British Raj between 1857 and 1947. There are still remains of the Gandhara civilisation, scattered in different areas of Mardan.[citation needed]


Mardan City Map.
Main article: Mardan District

The area constituting Mardan district is a part of the Peshawar valley, which first appears in history as part of the Gandhara kingdom. The armies of Alexander The Great reached the Indus Valley by two separate routes, one through the Khyber Pass and the other personally led by Alexander through Kunar, Bajaur, Swat, and Buner in 326 BC. After Alexander's departure, the valley came under the rule of Chandragupta, who ruled the valley from 321 to 297 BC. During the reign of the Buddhist emperor Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta, Buddhism was the religion of the Peshawar Valley. The valley saw the revival of Brahmanism after the Greeks took over in the time of King Mehanda. The Scythians followed and retained control of the valley till the 7th century AD.[citation needed]

(Ref:Buddhist Tourism by NMC, 2006): Takht Bhai: It is located about 80 kms from Peshawar and 16 kms northwest of Mardan. The ruins of an ancient Buddhist 23 monastery are situated on the top of a 500 feet high hill. The monastry of Takht Bhai was first mentioned by General Court, the French officer of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in 1836. Takht Bhai is the most impressive and complete Buddhist monastery in the country. From the top of the hill behind the Monastery one can look down across the plains as far as Peshawar on one side and up to the Malakand Pass and the hills of Swat on the other. This site has produced fragmentary sculptures in stone and stucco that indicate the highly developed sculptural sense of their creators but the most remarkable feature is the design and arrangement of the range of small shrines, which surrounds the main stupa-court. This site, dating back to 2nd-3rd century A.D. consists of a large rectangular court, on the north of which is the main monastery and to the south is a well-planned monastic shrine of high terrace.

The village of Takht Bhai was built on the ruins of the ancient town, the foundation walls of which are still in a tolerably good condition. Spring water was supplied to the monks living in the monastery on hill tops; living quarters, ventilators for light and alcoves for oil lamps were made in the walls.

From the description of Song Yun, a Chinese pilgrim, it appears that it was on one of the four great cities lying along the important commercial route to India. It was a well-fortified town with four gates outside the northern one, on the mound known as Chajaka Dehri which was a magnificent temple containing beautiful stone images covered in gold leaves. Not far from the rocky defile of Khaperdra, Ashoka built the eastern gate of the town outside of which existed a stupa and a sangharama.

The group of buildings unearthed after archeological excavations at Takht Bhai includes; the court of many Stupas, the monastery, the main stupa, the assembly hall, the low-level chambers, the courtyard, the court of three stupas, the wall of colossi and the secular building.

Sri Bahlol:It is a small village about 5 kms from Mardan and 7 kms from Takht Bhai. The site has a rich historical background and can be developed into a big tourist attraction. The importance of the site can be deduced from the fact that almost 50% of the antiques and sculptures lying in the Peshawar museum were excavated from here.


Over the years, since independence, Mardan has had a high improvement in education and educational facilities, although the standards are fairly low in government funded schools, as compared with the rest of the country.[citation needed]

The literacy rate of the district among the population aged 10 years and above is 49.95 percent. It has increased by 34% since 1981 when it was only 15.95 percent. The male literacy ratio is much higher at 60.50% compared to 28.38% for women. There are separate educational institutes for girls and boys, although there are many co-educational institutes for school going children.[citation needed]

Some of the educational institutes in Mardan are:


Bacha Khan Monument at College Square Mardan

The city has a number of monuments. Bacha Khan Monument is a minar at College Square as symbol of Pashtun culture. The Minar is in modern type construction, starting from a rose petal type design at base with lighted fountains. The monument is sixty feet high from ground level with ten feet basement.

Also in Mardan is the Queen's Own Corps of Guides Memorial and Cavagnari's Arch, named for a British diplomat and soldier massacred in Kabul in 1879 along with other diplomats and guards from the Guides regiment. Cavagnari was the head of a British diplomatic mission to Afghanistan resulting from his negotiation of the Treaty of Gandamak. The massacre was one of the events leading a renewal of the Second Anglo-Afghan War.


Mardan is one of the richest cities in Pakistan. There people mostly have their own businesses. It is largely an agricultural area. The major crops are wheat, sugarcane, tobacco, maize, rice, rapeseed, mustard and various vegetable crops. Important fruits are orange, plum, peach, apricot, pear, rare mango and apple.[citation needed]

The main sources of the irrigation are the canals. The upper Swat canal mostly irrigates the Mardan district, and the lower Swat canal irrigates the southwestern parts of the district. Irrigation is also done by tube-wells and lift irrigation.[citation needed]

Even though the population is still largely middle and relatively uneducated, recent 10 years have seen major improvements in education, health and infrastructure. Manufacturing has also grown over the years and so has the financial sector where the town centre has become home to many national and international banks. The town of Sheikh Maltoon developed for High class people of Mardan on the outskirts of Mardan city where the population is growing rapidly.[citation needed]

Industries include a well-established sugar mill, The Premier Sugar Mill(Asia"s Biggest Sugar Mill) the Pakistan Railways Locomotive Factory, which is located near Mardan and small to large cigarette manufacturing industries, besides various other large and small industrial units such as flour and paper mills. Some small sector industries of gur (jaggery), tobacco leaf processing, tiles, soaps, marble, and bricks are also present. Marble mining is becoming a notable industry, presently with over 100 units, becoming a very good source of earning for local people.[citation needed]


Mardan district may broadly be divided into two parts, the northeastern hilly area and southwestern plain. The entire northern side of the district is bounded by the hills. In the district, the highest points in these hills are Pajja or Sakra, 2056 meters high, and Garo or Pato, 1816 meters high. The southwestern half of the district is mostly composed of fertile plain with low hills strewn across it. This plain once formed the bed of a lake, which was gradually filled up by the load of the river flowing into from the surrounding hills. From the foothills the plain runs down at first with a steep slope, which carried the rainwater to the lower levels and ultimately to the Kabul River.[citation needed]22

Rivers and streams[edit]

Irrigation House Mardan

Generally streams flow from North to the South. Most of the streams drain into Kabul River. Kalpani, an important stream of the district, rises passing through the vally of Katti Garhi (Chota Kalaam). This stream waters the maximum cultivation land of the valley which help in agriculture products and flowing southwards joins Kabul River. Other important streams join Kalpani, such as Baghiari Khawar on the west and Maqam Khawar, coming from Sudham valley and Naranji Khawar from the Narangi hills on the left.[citation needed]


The summer season is extremely hot. A steep rise of temperature occurs from May to June, and July, August and September record high temperatures. During May and June dust storms are frequent at night. The temperature reaches its maximum in the month of June i.e. 41.5 °C. Due to intensive cultivation and artificial irrigation, the area is humid. A rapid fall of temperature occurs from October onwards. The coldest months are December and January. The mean minimum temperature recorded for the month of January is 2.1 °C.[citation needed]

Most of the rainfall occurs in the months of July, August, December and January. Maximum rainfall for August is 125.85 mm. Towards the end of cold weather there are occasional thunderstorms and hail storms. The relative humidity is quite high throughout the year while maximum humidity has been recorded in December at 73.33%.[citation needed]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Common trees are mesquite, ber, different species of acacia and jand (Prosopis cineraria). The most common shrubs are Tamarix articulata, spands, akk, small red poppy, spera, pueghambrigul, drab grass, eamelthorl and pohli chaulai etc.[citation needed]

The district has a variety of fauna, including the jackal, wild goat, and pheasant.[citation needed] Russian doves migrate through the area and hunters gather during open season as their meat is liked by the locals.


Popular foods are Rice, beef cooked as chapli kabab, seekh kabab, tikkai, and kahwa (green tea). A tandoor (oven) for baking bread is present in many houses.Most of the people like Cholay (Chick pea) and Lobya (beans),Saag and Rotai of Juwar (maize) is liked by a lot of people. Bada yoni paira and chappli kabab is very famous of mardan in the whole country.

Dress and ornaments[edit]

Among the villagers use of mazari cloth is common for qamiz and shalwar. woolen cap is used in winter, while a typical light color cap is worn in the summer. Sapley (studded, leather sandals) are the most common footwear. Shalwar qamiz and dopatta is the dress of women. Pardah is universal among women in a form of a printed coarse piece of cloth called "Parhoone" or plain white version or burqa or Ebaya.

The use of ornaments among women is also common, such as earrings and bangles, and sometimes a quba, which consists of two egg-like cups connected by a chain or a flat circle of shaped gold hanging on the forehead.[citation needed]


The villages are divided into Kandis. The divisions of Kandis are on the pattern of agricultural lands. The houses generally consist of two or three rooms and a courtyard. Cattle and poultry are also accommodated beside the shelter.[citation needed]

Each Kandi of the village has its own mosque and a place of meeting or for public assembly called a Hujra. Most famous Hujra of the Village Katti Garhi (Chota Kalaam) is named as Utman Khel which is open for travellers for 365 days of the year. In most cases it is the property of elders of the Kandi, who are expected to feed and give shelter to visitors. These Hujras are commonly used for the settlement of public disputes and business.[citation needed]

Houses have compound walls around them with gates.[citation needed]


Hoti is the most populated and well known area of the mardan, with small tribes of the yousafzai tribe by which mardan is mostly denoted and they are considered the locals, these people are known as ALADADKHEL, Aladadkhel further consist of five sub tribes, they are BANOO-SA-KHEL, MUHAMMADKHEL, BABUKHEL, AZIKHEL and AJATKHEL, these subtribes of Aladad khel tribe are named after the five sons of Aladad baba.

Beside Aladadkhel there are Nurmankhel and bilandkhel, they live with the Aladadkhel population in such a manner that they cannot be distinguished from them. Renowned beaurocrate Roedad khan, presently minister of accountibility, belongs to Aladakhel subtribes, his other relatives are Subedar Saidullah khan, Subedar Kachkol malak and subedar Qalandar khan of the Banoo-sa-khel sub-tribe are also khown for their services in pakistan army and before that in indian army, they also took part in second world war.

Aladadkhel and Nurmankhel have the largest population residing both the sides of famous Kalpani canal which is cutting the Hoti in two equally large areas so thats why the one on the north east side is known as PAR HOTI and the one on the south west side of the kalpani canal is just called HOTI.

Hoti is now populated by all the different tribes of pathans comming from mostly northern areas of KPK in search of living and jobs, they are now so much similar to the people of hoti that they cannot be differentiated from them there living style and accent is undistinguishable. These people are mostly yousafzai from Dir and some are from Bajaur.

Apart from ethnically pathan bloodlines there is a sizable population of Syeds, Mian (miangan)and sahibzada. Most of these families were welcomed by Khan Milli at the time of land distribution of Mardan. They were intelligently placed between the boundaries of two tribes/sub-tribes so that mutual peace is maintained. Most of Syeds could be found in main city, Toru, Mohib banda, Garhi Kapoora upto Dobian and other parts of Swabi. In the time of Sikh Expansion, Toru used to be called "Chota Bokhara" as it was center for quality religious education in the area. This system was discontinued by the British raj in 1895.

Mardan has the biggest markets particularly in the Hoti area known as Hoti bazaar situated along the west bank of the kalpani canal, this market is specifically called Khwaja Gunj Bazaar, people from all around the KPK province come to this market for trading purposes.

Mardan is populated by people of different backgrounds and ethnicities, with mixed customs of Punjab & KPK although most of its residents are Pashtuns & Urdu speakers. The people of Mardan are different as in comparison to other cities of Kpk as it is on border to Punjab.

The Yousafzai clan is the majority, and Mardan is considered their de facto headquarters.Tareen, Khattak, Utmankhel, Myaghan, Sayyads, Durrani, Ramday, Kakar, Daavi, AmanZai, Gujjar, Daulat Zai, Lodhi, Mohmand, Awan, (Hasankhel, Hussain Khel, Sahib Khel), Malik deen Khel, Afridis, Azi Khel, Shilmani Tanoli and Hindokowans are also present in the district.


Religion has a great impact on the culture of people. The Majority of the population are strict followers of the sunnah (Sunni).[citation needed]

The main minorities are Ahmadiyya and Christians, who are 0.32 and 1 percent respectively. Hindus are 0.2 percent of the total population. The population of the rural and urban area is 99.69 and 98.81% Muslim respectively. The percentage of Christians and Ahmadiyya is greater in the urban area.

Festivals and fairs[edit]

Festivals and fairs are a part of the Pukhton life. The most important festivals are the two Eids. Apart from that, most of the youngster move towards the hills which are around the village of Katti Garhi in the pleasant season of rain, there are weekly cattle fairs in all towns and important villages, at which cattle and other necessities of life are bought and sold.[citation needed]

Population size and growth[edit]

The population of Mardan district has increased about four-fold since 1951. According to 1998 census it is 1.46 million compared to 357,000 in 1951, with an annual percentage increase of around 3%.[citation needed]

The total area of the district is 1632 square kilometres having population density of 894.7 persons per square kilometre in 1998.[citation needed]

Rural distribution[edit]

The urban proportion of the district is 20.2% of the total population whereas the rural proportion is 79.8%. The largest urban area is Mardan Municipal Committee with a population of 239,000. The other urban areas are Takht Bhai Municipal Committee with a population of 49,000 and Mardan Cantonment with 7,000 inhabitants.[citation needed]


Languages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Pukhto is a language spoken by the people of Mardan.

Transport links[edit]

Bank road at evening

Mardan is connected by the M1 motorway to the rest of the country. The roads are generally busy as Mardan is the link between different cities. The nearest airport is Peshawar International Airport, about 25min Drive & Islamabad International Airport at 1:30 min Drive. Buses, taxis and private vehicles are the main means of transport. The rail system which was developed during the British Empire has gradually disappeared for passenger travel, although it is still used for cargo and heavy goods.[citation needed]

Notable Person[edit]

  • Lieutenant General Fazl-e- Haq (Late)
  • Nawabzada Abdul Ghafoor Khan Hoti
  • Nawabzada Col (R) Amir Khan Hoti
  • Amir Haider Khan Hoti
  • Mir Afzal Khan (x-chief minister)
  • Roedad Khan Pakistani Statesman
  • Younis Khan, Pakistani cricketer
  • Dr Muhammad Farooq Khan, Pakistani scholar

See also[edit]


External links[edit]