From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • کوهاټ
  • کوہاٹ
Ghamkol Sharif, a shrine associated with the Naqshbandi order of Sufism within Sunni Islam
Ghamkol Sharif, a shrine associated with the Naqshbandi order of Sufism within Sunni Islam
Location of the city of Kohat within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan
Location of the city of Kohat within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan
Location of the city of Kohat within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan
Location of the city of Kohat within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan
Coordinates: 33°35′N 71°26′E / 33.583°N 71.433°E / 33.583; 71.433
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
DivisionKohat Division
DistrictKohat District
TehsilKohat Tehsil
 • TypeMayor-council
 • BodyDistrict Government
 • MayorShair Zaman[1] (JUI-F)
 • Deputy MayorN/A
 • Deputy CommissionerAsmatullah Wazir BPS-18(PAS)
 • District Police OfficerFarhan Khan (BPS-20 PSP)
489 m (1,604 ft)
 • City228,779
 • Rank35th, Pakistan
4th, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
 Kohat Municipal Committee: 191,844
Kohat Cantonment: 36,935
Time zoneUTC+05:00 (PKT)
Calling code+92 922
Highways N-55
Number of union councils31

Kohat (Pashto: کوهاټ; Urdu: کوہاٹ) is a city that serves as the capital of the Kohat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is regarded as a centre of the Bangash tribe of Pashtuns, who have lived in the region since the late 15th century.[4] With a population of over 220,000 people,[3] the city is the fourth-largest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the 35th-largest in Pakistan in terms of population. Kohat's immediate environs were the site of frequent armed skirmishes between British colonialist forces and local tribesmen in the mid to late 19th century. It is centred on a British-era fort, various bazaars, and a military cantonment. Pashto and the Kohati dialect of Hindko are the main languages spoken in Kohat.

The city of Kohat is also the namesake of and largest city in the Kohat Division, being over four times larger than the second-largest city in the division: Karak.


Early history[edit]

A miniature painting depicting the 1505 visit of the Mughal Emperor Babur to Kohat.

Little is known of Kohat's early history.[5] According to local lore, Kohat was founded by an ancient Buddhist king by the name of Raja Kohat.[4] Another Buddhist Raja named Adh is believed to have established his domain on the north side of the city.[4] A fort, now in ruins, serves as a marker of their domain. The remains of this fort known as Adh-e-Samut, is possibly named after Buddhist Raja Adh. The fort is still fitted with weaponry from the Buddhist period. The Buddhist kings built roads, which were in use until the end of the Mughal rule.[6]

The region had been primarily populated by Orakzai Pashtuns, who were then displaced from the west by the Bangash in the 14th-15th centuries, and Khattaks from the south.[4] The Kohat region was likely firmly dominated by Bangash tribesmen by the early late 15th century following a decisive battle at nearby Alizai,[4] after which Bangash tribes settled in the fertile valleys and assimilated remaining indigenous inhabitants into the larger Bangash tribe, while Orakzai tribes were confined to the nearby hills.[4]

The first historical record of the city comes from the Baburnama autobiography of Mughal emperor Babur.[4] After capturing Peshawar, Babur was reportedly told of vast riches in Kohat. He invaded and plundered Kohat in 1505,[4] only to discover the tales of its wealth were exaggerated.[4] After capturing Kohat, Babur's army marched towards Bangash country, where he defeated a band of tribesmen.[4]

Durrani period[edit]

A royal Durrani tomb near Kohat

During the Persian Empire's invasion of the Mughal Empire in the 1730s and 1740s, Kohat escaped destruction as Emperor Nader Shah's forces followed invasion routes north in the Peshawar Valley.[4] Following the departure of Persian forces, Kohat was absorbed into the Durrani Empire by 1747.[4]

Following the fall of Shah Shuja Durrani in 1810, Kohat was brought under control of the Durrani kingdom based in Peshawar and Kabul, which leased lordship of the city to various chiefs.[4] The first chief of Kohat was Mirza Girani, who was followed in succession until 1818 by Shakur Khan, and Sultan Muhammad.[4] In 1818, Kohat came under the control of Samad Khan following the collapse of Durrani suzerainty,[4] though the city then came under the influence of Pir Muhammad in 1827.[4]

Sikh period[edit]

Ranjit Singh's armies marched to Peshawar in 1819.[4] In 1834, Azim Khan was defeated by the Sikhs and the chiefs of Peshawar became tributaries of the Sikh Government. Kohat was captured by Sikh governor Avtar Singh Sandhanwalia in 1839,[4] and became part of Ranjit Singh's Sikh Empire, though Pir Muhammad was allowed to continue administering the region around Kohat.[4]

In 1840, the Sikhs abandoned Kohat, and Sultan Mohammed became ruler of Kohat. In 1848 during the Second Anglo-Sikh War, Colonel George Lawrence, the British Resident at Lahore, sought refuge in Kohat, but was instead taken prisoner and handed to Sikh forces in Peshawar under Chattar Singh before being released. In 1849, Kohat and the rest of Punjab was formally annexed by the British.

British period[edit]

Kohat Tehsil gate in 1919
Railway station in 1900

Following British victory over the Sikhs in 1848, Kohat came under British rule and was annexed in March 1849.[4] Lieutenant Pollack was appointed as Kohat's first Assistant Commissioner.[4] British authorities in Peshawar commenced construction of the Kohat Pass road in 1849,[4] and completed it by 1850 despite violent opposition from local tribes.[4] The pass was closed temporarily in 1853 after a quarrel arose among nearby tribes.[4] The road which connected Kohat to Rawalpindi via Khushalgarh was of little trouble compared to the Kohat Pass road.[4]

Kohat remained largely peaceful during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, and local Pashtun soldiers largely ignored calls for rebellion.[4] The British established a Hill Station at Cherat, just north of Kohat, in the 1860s. Kohat Pass road was closed on and off by British authorities for several more years on account of quarrels among local tribes, including in 1865 when it was closed for more than one and a half years.[4] Armed skirmishes between British forces and Pashtun tribesmen continued on and off between the 1860s and 1870s. Kohat Cantonment was established by the British in 1874.[4] Routes between Kohat and Bannu and Thall were frequently blockaded by Wazir tribesmen by 1880 that resulted in large clashes between the British and Wazirs.[4]

In 1924, Kohat was the scene of widespread communal rioting that resulted in a 21-day fast by Mohandas Gandhi, known popularly as Mahatma Gandhi, as a plea for unity.[7] During the 1947 Kashmir War, Pashtun tribesmen from around the region convened in Kohat before departing for Kashmir in hopes of capturing the territory for Pakistan.[8]

Modern period[edit]

Kohat suffered several attacks during the War in North-West Pakistan and War on Terror between 2008 and 2014. 35 people were killed in a suicide bombing in 2009,[9] while twin bombings in April 2010 killed 41. 20 more were killed in a suicide bombing in September 2010,[10] while the Kohat Tunnel was attacked by the Pakistani Taliban in January 2011, resulting in the deaths of 5 people.[11] 2 more were killed in a bomb attack in July 2013.[12] In February 2014, 12 were killed in a roadside blast near the city,[13] while 6 more were killed in an attack on a van in October 2014.[14] After a few years' lull in violence, 5 policemen were killed outside of Kohat following an anti-terror operation in May 2017.[15]



Kohat Valley

Kohat city is located at an altitude of 489 metres (1,604 ft).[16] 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)


Kohat has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh).

Climate data for Kohat (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 17
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 4
Average rainfall mm (inches) 25
Source: My Weather[17]
Tanda lake in monsoon


Kohat has a dam called Tanda Dam located on Tanda Lake, which is a protected site under the Ramsar Convention.[18] Completed in 1967, it was included as a Ramsar site on July 23, 1976.


Tanda Wildlife Park[edit]

Tanda Wildlife Park is located near Kohat city. The total area of the park is 2800 acres (11 km²), consisting of Tanda reservoir and its catchments in Kohat. This is the largest wildlife park of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Its wonderfully rich and varied landscape supports a range of mammals and birds, both migratory and indigenous, as well as a few reptiles. Kohat is famous for guava.

The park is bounded by three different villages, Bar, Kaghazi, and Tanda Banda. The park is approachable by Hangu-kaghazi gravel 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.[19]

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.[20]


Historical Population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1941 44,977—    
1951 40,534−1.03%
1961 49,854+2.09%
1972 65,202+2.47%
1981 77,604+1.95%
1998 126,627+2.92%
2017 228,779+3.16%
Source: [21][22][3]
Religious groups in Kohat City (1881−2017)[a]
1881[24][25][26] 1901[27][28] 1911[29][30] 1921[31][32] 1931[33] 1941[23] 2017[34]
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
Islam 13,752 75.65% 19,818 64.42% 15,930 70.32% 18,898 67.85% 24,388 71% 32,111 71.39% 224,520 98.23%
Hinduism [b] 2,798 15.39% 7,833 25.46% 4,850 21.41% 5,796 20.81% 6,709 19.53% 8,250 18.34% 978 0.43%
Sikhism 1,562 8.59% 2,832 9.21% 1,693 7.47% 2,139 7.68% 2,152 6.26% 3,562 7.92%
Jainism 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Christianity 279 0.91% 168 0.74% 1,020 3.66% 1,101 3.21% 445 0.99% 2,942 1.29%
Judaism 0 0% 13 0.06% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Zoroastrianism 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Buddhism 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Ahmadiyya 51 0.02%
Others 67 0.37% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 609 1.35% 64 0.03%
Total population 18,179 100% 30,762 100% 22,654 100% 27,853 100% 34,350 100% 44,977 100% 228,555 100%



Construction of the Kohat Tehsil railway station and railway line was started in 1897, and was completed in 1902. The Kohat Cantonment railway station serves as the terminus for the Khushalgarh–Kohat–Thal Railway - which ceased onward narrow gauge (762 mm or 2 ft 6 in) railway service to Thall in 1991. Kohat is the terminus railway station of Kohat[35]-Jand railway line and has daily train service to Rawalpindi.[36]


The nearest airport served by commercial services is Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar. Kohat Airbase (IATA: OHT, ICAO: OPKT) is a Pakistan Air Force base that began as a runway built by the British. PIA once used the airport using de Havilland Twin Otter, though Kohat is no longer served by commercial services.


Kohat is a major node on the N-55 Indus Highway that connects Peshawar to Karachi, and the N-80 highway that connects Kohat to Islamabad. The 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) Kohat Tunnel was completed in 2004,[37] and connects the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Peshawar. Constructed with Japanese assistance, the tunnel drastically reduced travel times across the Kohat Pass.


  • Radio Pakistan Kohat
  • Kohat Press Club[38]

In popular culture[edit]

Kohat plays a central role in the eighth season of U.S. political thriller Homeland particularly in the episodes Threnody(s), In Full Flight and Designated Driver.[39]




Historical military significance[edit]

Kohat Cantonment was established in the British Era, and it is one of the eight cantonments falling in the Peshawar region. Kohat is also the headquarters of Pakistan's Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB [1]), which selects commissioned officers for the Pakistan armed forces of Pakistan including the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Notable people[edit]

  • Ahmad Faraz Famous Pakistani Poet who was born in Kohat
  • Iftikhar Hussain Shah Former Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province
  • Malik Saad
  • Afzal Bangash Politician and co-founder and president of the Mazdoor Kisan Party
  • Shahid Afridi (Urdu: شاہد افریدی; Pashto: شاهد افریدی; born 1 March 1980, chiefly known as Shahid Afridi, also referred to in the media as Boom Boom, is a Pakistani international cricketer and the former captain of the Pakistan national cricket team.
  • Rohan Mustafa, Pakistani-born United Arab Emirates cricketer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1881-1941: Data for the entirety of the town of Kohat, which included Kohat Municipality and Kohat Cantonment.[23]: 19 
  2. ^ 1931-1941: Including Ad-Dharmis


  1. ^ "Kohat City Council - KPK Local Body Election Result 2021". Geo News. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  2. ^ "District Kohat". Department of Local Government, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "POPULATION AND HOUSEHOLD DETAIL FROM BLOCK TO DISTRICT LEVEL: KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA (KOHAT DISTRICT)" (PDF). Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. 3 January 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac commissioner.), Henry St George Tucker (officiating deputy (1884). Report on the settlement of the Kohat district in the Panjáb.
  5. ^ Chhina, Rana; Research, Centre for Armed Forces Historical (2006). The Eagle strikes: the Royal Indian Air Force, 1932-1950. Ambi Knowledge Resources. ISBN 9788190359108.
  6. ^ Alikuzai, Hamid Wahed (October 2013). A Concise History of Afghanistan in 25 Volumes. ISBN 9781490714462.
  7. ^ Sankar Ghose (1991). Mahatma Gandhi. Allied Publishers. ISBN 978-81-7023-205-6.
  8. ^ Singh, Sm Jasbir (1 May 2013). Roar of the Tiger - Illustrated History of Operations in Kashmir by 4th Battalion The Kumaon Regt in 1965 War. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. ISBN 9789382652038.
  9. ^ Shah, Pir Zubair (18 September 2009). "Bomb Kills at Least 35 in Kohat District of Pakistan". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  10. ^ Paracha, Abdul Sami (8 September 2010). "Twenty killed, 90 injured in Kohat bomb blast". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Twin suicide attacks: Kohat Tunnel re-opens following blast - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 30 January 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  12. ^ "2 killed in Kohat blast". The Nation. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  13. ^ Dawn.com, Agencies | (23 February 2014). "At least 12 killed in Kohat blast, several wounded". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  14. ^ Mehdi, Ali. "6 martyred in bomb blast near vehicles carrying Shia-Sunni passengers in Kohat". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Five cops shot dead in Kohat". The Nation. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Maps, Weather, Videos, and Airports for Kohat, Pakistan". Fallingrain.com. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  17. ^ "April Climate History for Kohat | Local | Pakistan".
  18. ^ "Tanda Dam". Ramsar Sies Information Service. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Site Maintenance". www.khyberpakhtunkhwa.gov.pk.
  20. ^ "District Kohat کوهاټ".
  21. ^ Scott, I.D. "CENSUS OF INDIA, 1941 VOLUME X" (PDF). North-West Frontier Province, Volume X. Government of India. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 June 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  22. ^ "TABLE-1: AREA & POPULATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS BY RURAL/URBAN: 1951-1998 CENSUSES" (PDF). Administrative Units.pdf. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Census of India, 1941. Vol. 10, North-West Frontier Province". 1941. p. 19. JSTOR saoa.crl.28215543. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  24. ^ "Census of India, 1881 Report on the Census of the Panjáb Taken on the 17th of February 1881, vol. I." 1881. JSTOR saoa.crl.25057656. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  25. ^ "Census of India, 1881 Report on the Census of the Panjáb Taken on the 17th of February 1881, vol. II". 1881. p. 520. JSTOR saoa.crl.25057657. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  26. ^ "Census of India, 1881 Report on the Census of the Panjáb Taken on the 17th of February 1881, vol. III". 1881. p. 250. JSTOR saoa.crl.25057658. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  27. ^ "Census of India 1901. Vol. 1A, India. Pt. 2, Tables". 1901. p. 44. JSTOR saoa.crl.25352838. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  28. ^ "Census of India 1901. [Vol. 17A]. Imperial tables, I-VIII, X-XV, XVII and XVIII for the Punjab, with the native states under the political control of the Punjab Government, and for the North-west Frontier Province". 1901. p. 26. JSTOR saoa.crl.25363739. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  29. ^ "Census of India, 1911. Vol. 1., Pt. 2, Tables". 1911. p. 23. JSTOR saoa.crl.25393779. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  30. ^ "Census of India 1911. Vol. 13, North-west Frontier Province : part I, Report; part II, Tables". 1911. p. 302. JSTOR saoa.crl.25394102. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  31. ^ "Census of India 1921. Vol. 1, India. Pt. 2, Tables". 1921. p. 25. JSTOR saoa.crl.25394121. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  32. ^ "Census of India 1921. Vol. 14, North-west Frontier Province : part I, Report; part II, Tables". 1921. p. 340. JSTOR saoa.crl.25430163. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  33. ^ "Census of India, 1931, vol. XV. North-west frontier province. Part I-Report. Part II-Tables". 1931. p. 257. JSTOR saoa.crl.25793233. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  34. ^ "Final Results (Census-2017)". Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  35. ^ kohat railway station, Photo-Pakistan Archived 2014-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. Ugo.cn. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  36. ^ Kohāt Tahsīl Railway Station / Kohat Tahsil Railway Station, North-West Frontier, Pakistan, Asia. Travelingluck.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  37. ^ "Kohat Tunnel".
  38. ^ Kohat Press Club. "Kohat Press Club | Media, News, Kohat, Kohat Press Club". Kohatpressclub.n.nu. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  39. ^ "Adnan Jaffer makes an appearance on Homeland". Samaa TV. Jaag Broadcasting Systems. 13 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.

External links[edit]