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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Urdu: خیبر پختونخوا [ˈxɛːbər pəxˈt̪uːnxwaː], Pashto: خیبر پښتونخوا [xaibər paʂtunxwɑ], locally Pukhtunkhwa [puxtunxwɑ]), previously known as the North-West Frontier Province and various other names, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country. It borders Afghanistan to the north-west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north-east, Azad Kashmir to the east, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to the west and south, Balochistan to the south and Punjab and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the south-east.
The main ethnic group in the province is the Pashtuns; other smaller ethnic groups include most notably the Hazarewals and Chitralis. The principal languages are Pashto, locally referred to as Pukhto. The provincial capital is Peshawar, locally referred to as Pekhawar.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sits primarily on the Iranian plateau and comprises the junction where the slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains on the Eurasian plate give way to the Indus-watered hills approaching South Asia. This situation has led to seismic activity in the past. The famous Khyber Pass links the province to Afghanistan, while the Kohalla Bridge in Circle Bakote Abbottabad is a major crossing point over the Jhelum River in the east.
The province has an area of 28,773 mi² or (74,521 km²) - comparable in size to New England in North America. The province's main districts are Peshawar, Mardan, Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Kohistan, Kohat, Abbottabad, Haripur and Mansehra, Swat, Bannu and Karak. Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Abbottabad and Dera Ismail Khan are the main cities. The region varies in topography from dry rocky areas in the south to forests and green plains in the north. The climate can be extreme with intensely hot summers to freezing cold winters. Despite these extremes in weather, agriculture remains important and viable in the area. The hilly terrain of Kalam, Upper Dir, Naran and Kaghan is renowned for its beauty and attracts a great many tourists from neighboring regions and from around the world. Swat is termed 'a piece of Switzerland' as there are many landscape similarities between it and the mountainous terrain of Switzerland.
The Khyber Pass, (Pashto: د خیبر درہ, Urdu: درۂ خیبر) (altitude: 1,070 m or 3,510 ft) is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world.
Throughout history it has been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia and a strategic military location. The summit of the Khyber Pass is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inside Pakistan at Landi Kotal and it cuts through the northeastern part of the Safed Koh mountains. Darius I, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan all used the Khyber Pass, along with Israelites, Arabs, and Europeans of the ancient world. According to historians and local oral traditions, Khyber is a word of Hebrew origin meaning a fort, castle or palace.
- "Khyber is a Hebrew word, it means a fort".  
- "No one knows when Khyber got its present name, but this much is certain that "Khyber" is a word of Hebrew language and it means palace or castle. There is also a city and fort known as "Khaybar" Forty miles to the west of Medina (Saudi Arabia), which was inhabited by Jews before the rise of Islam, and was conquered by Muhammad in 629 AD..".
"Khyber" seems to be a Hebrew name: its meaning is related to the Hebrew root chet-bet-resh, the verb "to connect", "to couple", "to join", implying also partnership, junction, intimate union. Even though this term may not be Hebrew, no other possible etymology has yet been found. In its applied usage, the word Khyber stands for Fort and Pass in Pushto.   According to numerous sources, the word Khyber in Hebrew also stands for Fort or Pass. Hence its usage in the Khyber Pass. It is mentioned in the Bible as Pesh Habor. (More...)
An aerial view of the green, mountainous terrains of Swat Valley with towns and settlements visible on ground level.
Khushal Khan Khattak (1613–1689) (Pashto: خوشحال خان خټک) was a prominent Pashtun poet, warrior, and tribal chief of the Khattak tribe. He wrote a huge collection of Pashto poems during the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, and admonished Pashtuns to forsake their divisive tendencies and unite against the Mughal Army. Promoting Pashtun nationalism through poetry, he was a renowned military fighter who became known as a warrior poet. Khushal Khan lived in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains in what is now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.
Khushal Khan was born in or about 1613 into a Pashtun family of the Khattak tribe. He was the son of Shahbaz Khan from Akora, Mughal ruled India (now in Nowshera District of Kyber-Pakthunkhwa, in Pakistan). His grandfather, Malik Akoray, was the first Khattak to enjoy widespread fame during the reign of the Mughal King Jalal-ud-din Akbar. Akoray moved from Teri (a village in Karak District) to Sarai Akora, the town which Akoray founded and built. Akoray cooperated with the Mughals to safeguard the trunk route and was generously rewarded for his assistance. The Akor Khels, a clan named after Akoray, still hold a prominent position in the Khattak tribe. The Khattak tribe of Khushhal Khan now lives in areas of Karak, Kohat, Nowshera, Cherat, Peshawar, Mardan and in other parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Khushhal Khan’s life can be divided into two important parts — during his adult life he was mostly engaged in the service of the Mughal king, and during his old age he was preoccupied with the idea of the unification of the Pashtuns. (More...)
Wikipedia in local languages
Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
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