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UST Bannu.png
Bannu Fort.jpg
Akra Civilization.jpg
Ghoriwala palm trees.jpg
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Bannu is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Bannu is located in Pakistan
Coordinates: 32°59′11″N 70°36′16″E / 32.98639°N 70.60444°E / 32.98639; 70.60444Coordinates: 32°59′11″N 70°36′16″E / 32.98639°N 70.60444°E / 32.98639; 70.60444
CountryPakistan Pakistan
ProvinceKhyber Pakhtunkhwa
 • District NazimIrfan Khan Durrani (MMA)
 • District Naib NazimPir Munir
 • City1,227 km2 (474 sq mi)
 • City1,167,892
 • Density950/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
Post Code of Pakistan
Area code(s)928
Majority ethnicityPashtun[1]

Banū or Bannu (Pashto: باني ګل / بنو‎, Urdu: بنوںAbout this soundpronounce ) is a city located in Bannu Division in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Bannu was once a British military base used for action against the Pashtun border tribes of the Tochi Valley and Waziristan.[2] Bannu’s residents are primarily members of the Banuchi tribe[3] and speak a dialect of Pashto that is similar to the distinct Wazir dialect.

The major industries of Bannu are cloth weaving, sugar mills and the manufacturing of cotton fabrics, machinery and equipment. It is famous for its weekly Jumma fair. The district forms a basin drained by the Kurram and Gambila (or Tochi) rivers, which originate in the hills of Waziristan. Although Bannu is surrounded by rugged and dry mountains, it is a fertile place, and early English visitors had been known to refer to it as a "paradise" – see the beautiful description by Edwardes quoted by Thornton.[2]:6–7

Physical features[edit]

The district forms a basin drained by the Kurram River and Gambila River (or Tochi river)[4]:392 which originate in the hills of Waziristan. The Bannu Valley proper stretches to the foot of the frontier hills, forming an irregular oval, measuring 60 miles (97 km) from north to south and 40 miles (64 km) from east to west.[5]

Overview and history[edit]

The history of Bannu goes back to prehistoric times, due to its strategic location. Sheri Khan Tarakai is an ancient settlement site located in the Bannu District with ruins of the oldest known village settlement in the Bannu region, which was occupied from the late fifth until the early third millennium BC.[6]

The sacred texts of Zend Avesta and Vendidad mentions Varəna, the Avestan predecessor of the name for Bannu, as one of the sixteen most beautiful and perfect lands created by Ahura Mazda.[7] Bannu is the homeland and birthplace of FerΘraētaona/Frēdōn/Afrīḏūn;[8]:47–50

 Bas-Relief of Shah Ardashir II Receiving Crown of Blessing from Ahura Mazda (or Shapur II).

British era (1861–1947)Edit[edit]

After the British annexation of Punjab, then including parts of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), the valley was administered by Herbert Edwardes.[5] As a result of his administration, the region became a source of strong support[clarification needed], during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Although the valley itself was peaceful, it was subject to incursions from the Waziri tribes of the Tochi Valley and the neighbouring hills. The primary export of the region was wheat, Salt and alumwere also quarried at Kalabagh.[5]

As of 1911, the Indus had no bridges within the district, but was navigable for local boats throughout its course of 76 mi (122 km).[5]

Bannu[4] was used as the base of operations for all punitive expeditions undertaken by troops of the British empire to the Tochi Valley and the Waziristan frontier. A military road led from the town of Bannu toward Dera Ismail Khan.[2] This road was built by military engineers under the supervision of a Bannu engineer, Ram N. Mullick. Mullick graduated from Banaras Engineering College[5] and had served in Iraq and Lahore as an expert in heavy earth-moving equipment before the independence of Pakistan in 1947.

According to the Imperial British Gazetteer, Bannu was described by the following:

[The population in 1901 was] 14,291, including cantonment and civil lines (4,349). It was founded in 1848 by Lieutenant (afterwards Sir Herbert) Edwardes, who selected the site for political reasons. The fort, erected at the same time, bore the name of Dhulipgarh (Dalipgarh), in honour of the Maharaja of Lahore; and the bazar was also known as Dhulipnagar (Dalipnagar). A town gradually grew up around the bazar, and many Hindko speaking Hindu traders moved there from Bazar Ahmad Khan, which had formed the commercial center of the Bannu valley prior to annexation. The Church Missionary Society supports a small church and a high school founded in 1865. The cantonment centers in the fort of Dhulipgarh. Its garrison consists of a mountain battery, a regiment of native cavalry, and two regiments of infantry. The municipality was constituted in 1867.

The municipal receipts and expenditure during the ten years ending 1903–1904 averaged Rs. 46,000. In 1903–1904 the income was Rs. 47,000 chiefly derived from octroi; and the expenditure was Rs. 55,000. The receipts and expenditure of cantonment funds during the ten years ending 1902–3 averaged Rs. 4,200 and Rs. 3,700. The profuse irrigation and insufficient drainage of the surrounding fields render Bannu an unhealthy station. The town has a considerable trade, including fish guts and butts. Also, embracing the whole traffic in local produce of the Bannu valley. The nearest railway station is at Kohat on the Khushalgarh-Thal branch of the North-Western Railway, 79 miles distant by road. A weekly fair collects an average number of 8,000 buyers and sellers. The chief articles of trade are cloth, live-stock, wool, cotton, tobacco and grain. Bannu possesses a dispensary and two high schools, a public library and a town hall known as the Nicholson Memorial.[6]


The first public sector university, University of Science and Technology, Bannu, opened in 2005. Bannu also has a medical college, Bannu Medical College,[7][8] and a campus of University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar.[9][10] The oldest and most renowned public sector institution is Government Post-Graduate College Bannu, which started operating in 1951.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Claus, Peter J.; Diamond, Sarah; Ann Mills, Margaret (2003). South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Taylor & Francis. p. 447. ISBN 9780415939195.
  2. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bannu" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 355.
  3. ^ Bannu; or our Afghan Frontier. S.S. Thorbourne, 1883. Trűbner & Co., London, pp. 3, 5.
  4. ^ History of Bannu Part II [1]
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Bannu Town – Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 6, p. 02". Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  7. ^ Junaidi, Ikram (6 July 2013). "HEC announces ranking of universities". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  8. ^ "RECOGNIZED MEDICAL COLLEGES IN PAKISTAN". Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  9. ^ "PESHAWAR: Engineering varsity campus opens". DAWN.COM. 19 May 2002. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Another four-year term for UET VC". The News. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Government Post Graduate College Bannu - Online College Admission System, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa". Retrieved 7 July 2018.

External links[edit]