Kohat

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Kohat
کوهاټ
Kohattanda.jpg
Kohat is located in Pakistan
Kohat
Coordinates: 33°35′N 71°26′E / 33.583°N 71.433°E / 33.583; 71.433
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Government
 • MNA (NA-14) Sheryar Afridi
 • MPA (PK-37 Kohat-1) Amjid Khan Afridi
 • MPA (PK-38 Kohat-2) Zia Ullah Bangash
Elevation 489 m (1,604 ft)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code +92 922
Number of Union councils 31

Kohat (Pashto: کوهاټ‎), (Urdu: کوہاٹ‎), is a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is the capital of the Kohat District. The town centers on a British-era fort, various bazaars and a military cantonment. A British-built narrow gauge railway line runs through the town.

History[edit]

The first Mughal Emperor Babur in Kohat.

The city of Kohat was established by the famous Afghan Sufi, Hazrat Adam Banoori and his descendents and became the the important trade hub in Afghanistan and later became known as the city of Pirs and Mureeds and took to fame because of the elite Murid and disciple Haji Bahadur whose descendants and those of the Hazrat Adam Banoori became the principal residents in Kohat city and outside the city including in the adjoining villages of Dhoda, Bhawal Garh and Jurma including Tangi and Khawsi bandas( smaller enclaves).

During the intrusion of the British colonialist most of the land in the outskirt of Kohat city was confiscated and turned into a garrison headquarter for the army and the air force which to this date is retained and occupied by the Pakistan army. A protracted Fort was also built by the Brits to protect its army from the constant attacks from the surrounding Afridi and Orakzi tribes.

The Kohat valley is known for many armed conflicts among its local tribesmen before and after the occupation period of the mughals and the British and include the battle near Mohmadzai. Local traditions describe the battle as having lasted day and night for three days, till at last a youth in white appeared on the scene shouting "Dai, Dai, Dai, Sam de Bangasho, Ghar de Orakzo," which, being translated, means "It is, it is, it is, the plain of the Bangash; the hill of the Orakzais." This legend is supposed by the Bangash to satisfactorily dispose of any claims of the Orakzais to proprietary rights in the Kohat or Miranzai valleys. According to another tradition the Kohat valley before the Bangash invasion was occupied, not by Orakzais, but by the tribes of the Gabris, Safis and Maujaris, who are not now to be traced. Whoever the original inhabitants may have been they now entirely disappeared. They were either exterminated, or more probably they were incorporated with the Bangash settlers, at first as Hamsayahs till in process of time they became indistinguishable from the real Bangash.


The original settlements of the Bangash were in the Kuram valley. Miranzais, Samilzais and Baizais were all located there. The Baizais, whose summer quarters were at Ziran in Kuram, used to move during the winter to the Kohat plain, much as the Waziris and Ghilzais now do. After a time they quarrelled with the inhabitants of the country. Being unable to cope with them alone, they got the men of Upper Miranzai and Hangu to join them, and with their assistance conquered the country, which has been since known as Baizai. In dividing the tract the Hangu and Miranzai confederates got allotments which their descendants still hold.

Languages[edit]

Languages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The original language spoken by the residents of Kohat was Pashto and Persian which was later added with the kohati or Hindko(mixture of Punjabi and urdu) during the British intrusion and after the creation of Pakistan. After demographic changes in recent times and due to the displacement of peoples from present Afghanistan and the autonomous tribal region, Pashto language speakers are in majority today. Urdu being National language of Pakistan is also spoken and understood. The main tribes of Kohat are Banoori, Bangash, Kohati, Orakzai, Khattak, Shinwari, Afridi etc.

Geography[edit]

Kohat City is located at an altitude of 489 metres (1,604 ft).[1] Kohat Pass lies to the north. It is situated on the left bank of the Toi river at a point where after running nearly due east for 50 miles (80 km), it turns to the south. The total area of the district is 2,545 square kilometres (983 sq mi)

Climate[edit]

The Kohat region is hilly. The climate of Kohat and surrounding areas is comparable to the Mediterranean climate; it is hot from May to September. June is the hottest month. The mean, maximum and minimum temperature recorded during June is about 40 °C and 27 °C respectively. A pleasant change in the weather is noted from October onward, up till February. The winter is cold and severe. In the winter wind from west known as “Hangu Breeze” often blows down the Miranzai valley towards Kohat for weeks. The mean maximum and minimum temperature, recorded during the month of January, is about 18 °C and 6 °C respectively. The rainfall is received throughout the year. The monsoon rain is received from May to October. August is the rainiest month, with an average of about 114 mm. The winter rain occurs from November to April. The highest winter rainfall is received in the month of March. The average annual rainfall is about 638 mm. The maximum humidity has been recorded in the month of August during summer season and in December during the winter season.

Agriculture[edit]

Kohat’s primary agricultural products are guava, loquat, berries of different types, pomegranate, persimmons, blackberry, mulberry and pears. Famous trees of Kohat are mulberry, shisham, palosa and chinar,[2] although a number of other fruits and vegetables are produced.

Tanda Lake is the main source of irrigation.

Former Justice M.R Kiyani of Kohat wrote the following lines in Hindko language to describe natural beauty of Kohat:

Tanda lake
Tanda lake in monsoon

Toi[edit]

Kohat Toi is a principal stream, used for the irrigation of guava gardens and fields, it enters from the Hangu district and flowing to east and southeast, drains into the Indus. The river has a small perennial flow, which disappears before it reaches the town of Kohat; it reappears again at some distance downstream and then flows continuously to the Indus. The Kohat Toi has several small tributaries which join it at different places.

Canals[edit]

Water for irrigation is supplied to Jurma, Shahpur and many villages by means of canals from Tanda lake.
Tanda Lake is also a protected site by Ramsar Convention. Ramsar is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.
It also protects migratory birds from Siberia and Caspian in winter.

In ancient times there were underground bricked tunnels, karaiz, in the city, which had clean drinking water. It is believed they were constructed by Mughals. Unfortunately they are blocked by the city garbage, and only remains are left.

Wildlife[edit]

Tanda Wildlife Park[edit]

Tanda Wildlife Park is located near Kohat city. The total area of the park is 2800 acres, consisting of Tanda reservoir and its catchments in Kohat. This is the largest wildlife park of NWFP. Its wonderfully rich and varied landscape supports a range of mammals and birds, both migratory and indigenous, as well as a few reptiles.

The park is bounded by three different villages, Bar, Kaghazi, and Tanda Banda. The park is approachable by Hangu-kaghazi metallic road, shahpur-Bar road which is 18 km from Kohat.

The local people do not have any right of grazing, lopping or firewood collection as the ownership lies with the provincial government. The park area falls in the natural habitat of urial and chinkara, and also provides suitable habitat to hog deer. The urial is associated with scrub forest of Olea species and Accassia species. Urial were once abundant in the area but due to continuous habitat destruction these were disappeared from the area in the near past. The natural habitat of urial and chinkara lies in close proximity of human habitation. The park plays an important role in wildlife conservation and awareness raising.[3]

Flora of the Park: Accasia modesta, Prosopis juliflora, Monitheca buxifolia, Olea ferruginea, Salvadora persica, Zizyphus nummularia, Saccharum munja.

Fauna of the park: jungle cat, jackal, hare, porcupine, fox, mongoose, cobra, black partridge, grey partridge, chukar partridge, seesee partridge, common crane, demoiselle crane, geese, grey heron, intermediate egret, little egret, white cheeked bulbul, ducks and swans. Chinkara, hog deer, blue bull and urial have been procured and released in the enclosure of Tanda Wildlife Park.

Kotal Pheasantry[edit]

Kotal Pheasantry is established in Kotal wildlife park in district Kohat over an area of 1 kanal, with an objective to propagate and provide breeding environment to exotic/indigenous wildlife species like silver pheasant, golden pheasant, reeves pheasant, pea-cock etc. About 20-30 visitors including students and general public visit the pheasantry for education and recreation purposes per day. There are four species of pheasants in the pheasantry including ring necked pheasant, silver pheasant, peacock pheasant and white pheasant.[4]

Kotal Wildlife Park[edit]

Kotal Wildlife Park is located near the tunnel towards Peshawar.

Economy[edit]

Kohat Tehsil gate in 1919

Civic administration[edit]

Kohat was incorporated as a municipality in 1873.

The post office was built in 1880.

Transport[edit]

Kohat's main transport is privately operated, share of railway is very less.

Railway[edit]

Construction of the railway station and railway line was started in 1897, and was completed in 1902.
Kohat is the terminus railway station of Kohat[5]-Jand railway line and has daily train service to Rawalpindi.[6] It was also the terminus station of a narrow gauge (762 mm or 2 ft 6 in) railway line which connected it with Thall. This railway line was closed in 1991.

Railway station in 1900

Air[edit]

Main article: Kohat Airbase

Kohat Airbase (IATA: OHTICAO: OPKT) is an Pakistan Air Force base. A small runway built by the British is in military use. PIA once used the airport using de Havilland Twin Otter, a small two engine plane.

Roads[edit]

There are 372 kilometres of metallic roads in the district.[citation needed] The Indus Highway passes through the city connected to the Peshawar, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan and many other big cities of Pakistan.

Buses run out of the city via the Indus Highway. They go to Peshawar, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan (D.I. Khan) and Islamabad.

Kohat Tunnel[edit]

The 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) Kohat Tunnel was completed in 2004,[7] and connects the southern districts, including Kohat City, to Peshawar. Constructed with Japanese assistance, it is also known as the Pak-Japan Friendship Tunnel.

Utility services[edit]

The city is facilitated by the Tanda Dam. Towards the east are Gandiali Dam, Kandar Dam and Kandar Axillary Dam. Towards the north are Sandy Fateh Khan Dam and Darwazai Dam.

Culture[edit]

There are only four public parks in Kohat City.

  • Company Bagh (only for males)
  • KDA Park (for male and women both)
  • Defense Park (only for males)
  • Happy Valley (only for females)

Media[edit]

  • Radio Pakistan Kohat
  • Kohat Press Club[8]

Education[edit]

The people of the Kohat are very conservative and religious, hence the majority of schools and colleges are separate for men and women, with the exception of a few co-educational schools and colleges.

Medical college[edit]

Universities[edit]

Colleges[edit]

  • Cadet College Kohat
  • Garrison Cadet College Kohat
  • Government Polytechnical College Kohat
  • Fazaia Inter College Kohat
  • F.G College For Women Kohat Cantt
  • Government Post Graduate College for Men Kohat
  • Government Post Graduate College for Women Kohat
  • Government Post Graduate College for Men #2 Kohat
  • Government college of Management Sciences Kohat

Public and private high schools[edit]

The government high schools for boys are numbered 1 to 5. There are also the following public high schools:

  • Government Comprehensive High School, Kohat
  • Army Public School and College Kohat
  • Islamia Higher Secondary School No.1
  • Islamia Higher Secondary School No.2
  • Fauji Foundation Model Schools Kohat
  • F.G Public High School Kohat Cantt
  • F.G High School, Peshawar Road Kohat
  • The City School, Kohat Campus
  • St. Joseph's Convent High School Kohat

Before the independence of Pakistan in 1947, there were only two high schools in Kohat: the Islima High School and Barathery High School. After the independence the name of Barathery was changed to Government High School-2.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

  • 1924 Kohat riots
  • History of Kohat " Kohat Tareekh kay Aenay Main " written by a local Journalist Zulfiqar Shah, 2003
  • History of Kohat " Sakafat-e-Kohat " written by Ahmad Paracha.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]