Bannu District

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District Bannu
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's location in the Pakistan
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's location in the Pakistan
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Headquarters Bannu
 • Total 1,227 km2 (474 sq mi)
Population (1998)
 • Total 677,350
 • Density 552/km2 (1,430/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Bannu District (Pashto: بنو, Urdu: ضلع بنوں‎, Avestan Varəna), as formed by the British in 1861,[1]: 3 is one of 26 districts that make up the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It borders North Waziristan to the northwest, Karak to the northeast, Lakki Marwat to the southeast, and South Waziristan to the southwest. It is represented in the provincial assembly by four MPAs.[2] The district's main city is Bannu.[1]: 3–16

The major industries of Bannu are cloth weaving 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 very 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.[1]:6–7

Physical features[edit]

The district forms a basin drained by the Kurram River and Gambila River (or Tochi river)[3]: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 (100 km) from north to south and 40 miles (60 km) from east to west.[4]


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.[5]

The sacred texts of Zend Avesta and Vendidad mention that Varəna, the old name of Bannu, has one of the sixteen most beautiful and perfect lands created by Ahura Mazda, the God of Zoroastrianism, predating Islam.[6] Bannu is the homeland of FerΘraētaona/Frēdōn/Afrīḏūn;[7]:47–50

British era (1861–1947)[edit]

After the British annexation of Punjab, then including the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), the valley was administered by Herbert Edwardes.[4] 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 alum were also quarried at Kalabagh.[4]

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).[4]

Administrative subdivisions[edit]

Bannu District is divided into thirty-six tehsils and union councils.[8]


The district has a population of 677,346 spread over an area of 1,227 square kilometres (474 sq mi).[9] The major first language is Pashto, accounting for 99.3% of the population.[9]:23 The main tribes are the Bannuchi, Wazir, Bettani, Mehsud, Dawar, Marwat, Khattak , Bangash and Sulaimankhel,[10] who speak the local Pashto dialects Bannuchi and Waziri.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c S.S. Thorbourne (1883). Bannu; or our Afghan Frontier. London: Trűbner & Co. ISBN 1314135279. 
  2. ^ Constituencies and MPAs – Website of the Provincial Assembly of the NWFP[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Imperial Bannu District". Gazetteer of India. 6. Clarendon Press. 1908. 
  4. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bannu". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 355. 
  5. ^ Petrie, C.A., Thomas, K.D. & Morris, J.C. 2010. Chronology of Sheri Khan Tarakai, in Petrie, C.A. (ed.). Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan, Bannu Archaeological Project Monographs – Volume 1, Oxbow Books, Oxford: 343–352.
  6. ^ Michael Witzel, "The Home of the Aryans"
  7. ^ Gherardo Gnoli. Zoroaster’s Time and Homeland: a study on the origins of Mazdeism.Published by Istituto Universitario Orientale (1980), ASIN: B0018NEFO0.
  8. ^ Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1 July 2009). "Pakistan: North West Frontier Province District, Tehsil and Union Code Reference Map" (PDF). United Nations Pakistan Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b 1998 District Census report of Bannu. Census publication. 35. Islamabad: Population Census Organization, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan. 1999. 
  10. ^ "Tribes and Castes in Bannu Excerpts from Gazetteer of the Bannu District, 1887". Kyber Gateway. Khyber Watch, Pakhtun Forums. n.d. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 

Coordinates: 33°03′38″N 70°33′08″E / 33.06048°N 70.552176°E / 33.06048; 70.552176

External links[edit]