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This article is about the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. For other uses, see Peshawar (disambiguation).
Hindko: پشور
City District
Nickname(s): City of Flowers, City of Men
Peshawar is located in Pakistan
Location within Pakistan
Coordinates: 34°01′N 71°35′E / 34.017°N 71.583°E / 34.017; 71.583Coordinates: 34°01′N 71°35′E / 34.017°N 71.583°E / 34.017; 71.583
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
District Peshawar District
Union Councils 25
 • Total 1,257 km2 (485 sq mi)
Elevation 359 m (1,178 ft)
Highest elevation 450 m (1,480 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 4,201,659
 • Density 3,300/km2 (8,700/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Area code(s) 091

Peshawar (Peshor; Hindko: پشور; Pekhawar; Pashto: پېښور‎ Pēx̌awar; Urdu: پشاور‎; Avestan: Vaēkərəta; Sanskrit: Puruṣapura, i.e. "city of men"[a]) is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly called the North-West Frontier Province) of Pakistan.[1] Peshawar is the largest city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and by the 1998 census was the ninth-largest city of Pakistan.[2] Peshawar is a metropolitan city and the administrative centre and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.[3] Peshawar is situated in a large valley near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, close to the Pak-Afg border. Known as "City on the Frontier", Peshawar's strategic location on the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia has made it one of the most culturally vibrant and lively cities in the greater region. Peshawar is irrigated by various canals of the Kabul River and by its right tributary, the Bara River.

Though predominantly Pashtun, Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities. In the last three decades, there has been a significant increase in urban population, in part due to internal migration of people in search of better employment opportunities, education, and services, and in part because of the influx of Afghan refugees and other people internally displaced due to military operations and civil unrest in neighboring regions. Peshawar is the major educational, political, and business center of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Peshawar's recorded history goes back as far as at least 539 BC, making it one of the oldest living cities in South Asia.[4]


Ancient Peshawar[edit]

Main article: History of Peshawar

Peshawar was known in Sanskrit as Puruṣapura, literally meaning "city of men".[a] It also found mention in the Zend Avesta as Vaēkərəta, the seventh most beautiful place on earth created by Ahura Mazda It was known as the "crown jewel" of Bactria and also held sway over Takshashila (modern Taxila).[5] Being among the most ancient cities of the region between Central and South Asia, Peshawar has for centuries been a center of trade between Bactria, South Asia and Central Asia. As an ancient center of learning, the 2nd century BC. Bakhshali Manuscript used in the Bakhshali approximation was found nearby.[6]

Vedic mythology refers to an ancient settlement called Pushkalavati in the area, after Pushkal, perhaps in the present-day Charsadda district adjacent to Peshawar.[7] In recorded history, the earliest major city established in the general area of Peshawar was called Puruṣapura (Sanskrit for City of Men), from which the current name "Peshawar" is likely derived.[8]

The area that Peshawar occupies was then seized by the Greco-Bactrian king, Eucratides (170 – 159 BC), and was controlled by a series of Greco-Bactrian, and later, Indo-Greek kings, who ruled an empire that geographically spanned from the area of present-day Afghanistan to North India. Later, the city was ruled by several Parthian and Indo-Parthian kings, another group of Iranian peoples germane to the region, the most famous of whom, Gondophares, ruled the city and its environs, starting in circa 46 AD; the period of rule by Gondophares was briefly followed by two or three of his descendants, before they were displaced by the first of the "Great Kushans", Kujula Kadphises, around the middle of the 1st century AD.[9]

According to the historian, Tertius Chandler, Peshawar consisted of a population of 120,000 in the year 100 AD, making it a major city and the seventh-most populous city in the world at the time.[10]

Gandharan Peshawar (c. 127–1001)[edit]

Main articles: Kanishka the Great and Gandhara

The city was then conquered by the Kushans, a Central Asian tribe of Tocharian origin. The Kushan King Kanishka the Great, who ruled from 127 AD, moved the capital from Pushkalavati (present-day Charsadda district, in the Peshawar Valley) to Gandhara (Peshawar city) in the 2nd century AD.[11] Buddhist missionaries arrived at Vedic, and animist Peshawar, seeking counsel with the Kushan rulers. Their teachings were embraced by the Kushans, who converted to Buddhism, assigning the religion with great status in the city. Following this move by the Kushans, Peshawar became a center of Buddhist learning.[citation needed]

The giant Kanishka stupa at Peshawar, which was one of the tallest buildings in the world at the time, was built by King Kanishka to house Buddhist relics just outside the present-day Ganj Gate of the old city of Peshawar. The Kanishka stupa was said to be an imposing structure, as one traveled down from the Hindu Kush mountains onto the Gandharan plains. The earliest account of the famous building was documented by Faxian, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, who was also a monk, who visited the structure in 400 AD and described it as being over 40 chang in height (approximately 120 metres (390 ft)) and adorned "with all precious substances". Faxian continued: "Of all the stûpas and temples seen by the travelers, none can compare with this for beauty of form and strength."[citation needed] The stupa was eventually destroyed by lightning, but was repaired several times; it was still in existence at the time of Xuanzang's visit in 634 AD. A jeweled casket containing relics of the Gautama Buddha, and an inscription identifying Kanishka as the donor, existed at the ruined base of this giant stupa — the casket was excavated, by a team supervised by Dr D.B. Spooner in 1909, from a chamber under the very centre of the stupa's base.[12]

Muslim conquest[edit]

The Buddhist and Zoroastrian Pashtuns began converting to Islam following the early annexation by the Arab Empire from Khurasan (in what is Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and northeastern Iran).[13] In 1001, Peshawar was made part of the Muslim world with the conquest of Peshawar by the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud of Ghazni. The Ghaznavids further expanded their empire from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa into the Punjab region.

During the early reign of this celebrated invader, major battles again occurred on the plains of Peshawar, and Mahmud was opposed by the Hindu Shahi King Jayapala; it was a constant endeavour of King Jayapala to recover the country that had been wrested from him by Sebuktagin. The King was aided by some Pashtuns (also historically known as Afghans), whose allegiance to the [Muslim governor of Peshawar did not continue in the long-term.[citation needed]

The Jayapala-initiated battle occurred during the month of November[citation needed] and the king, himself, was taken prisoner — upon his release, Jayapala resigned the crown to his son, Anandpal. On this occasion, Mahmud punished the Pathans, who had sided with the enemy, and, as they had converted entirely to Islam, the Pathans remained loyal to their new allegiance.[14]

Pashtun and Mughal rule (1451–1818)[edit]

Peshawar was a northwestern regional center of the Pashtun Lodi Empire which was founded by Bahlul Lodi in 1451 and centered at Delhi. Peshawar was also incorporated into the Mughal domains by the mid of 16th century. The founder of the Mughul dynasty that would conquer South Asia, Babur, who hailed from the area that is currently Uzbekistan, arrived in Peshawar and founded a city called Bagram, where he rebuilt a fort in 1530 AD.

The Pashtun emperor Sher Shah Suri, who founded the Sur Empire centered at Delhi, turned Peshawar's renaissance into a boom when he ran his Delhi-to-Kabul Shahi Road as a northwestern extension of the Grand Trunk Road through the Khyber Pass and Peshawar in the 16th century. Later Babur's grandson, Akbar the Great, recorded the name of the city as Peshawa, meaning "The Place at the Frontier" or "Near Water"[citation needed] and expanded the bazaars and fortifications. The Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in South Asia, with many settling in the Peshawar region.[7]

Khushal Khattak, the Pashtun warrior poet, was born near Peshawar, and his life was intimately tied to the city. As an advocate for Afghan independence, he was an implacable foe of the Mughal rulers, especially Aurangzeb.[citation needed]

Durrani Peshawar (1747–1818)[edit]

As Mughal power declined in 1747, following a loya jirga, Peshawar would join the Pashtun Durrani Empire of Ahmad Shah Durrani.[15] Peshawar was attacked and briefly held by the Maratha Empire of western India, which conquered Peshawar on 8 May 1758. A large force of Pashtuns under Ahmad Shah Durrani then re-conquered Peshawar in early 1759.[16] Peshawar remained under Afghan(Durrani) rule till the conquest by the Sikhs in 1818.

In 1776, Ahmad Shah's son, Timur Shah Durrani, chose Peshawar as his winter capital[17] and the Bala Hissar Fort in Peshawar was used as the residence of Durrani kings. Pashtuns from Peshawar participated in the incursions of South Asia during the Durrani Empire. Peshawar remained the winter capital until the Sikhs of the Punjab region rose to power in the early nineteenth century.[18]

Sikh conquest (1818–1849)[edit]

Until 1818, Peshawar was controlled by Afghanistan, but was invaded by the Sikh Empire of Punjab. The arrival of a party led by British explorer and former agent of the East India Company, William Moorcroft was seen as an advantage, both in dealings with Kabul and for protection against the Sikhs of Lahore. Moorcroft continued to Kabul in the company of Peshawari horses and thence to the Hindu Kush.[19] In 1818, Peshawar was captured by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and paid a nominal tribute until it was finally annexed in 1834 by the Sikhs, after which the city fell into steep decline. Many of Peshawar's famous famous Mosques and gardens were destroyed by the Sikhs at this time. An Italian was appointed by the Sikhs as administrator. Acting on behalf of the Sikhs, Paolo Avitabile, unleashed a reign of fear – his time in Peshawar is known as a time of "gallows and gibbets." The city's famous Mahabat Khan, built in 1630 in the Jeweler's Bazaar, was badly damaged and desecrated by the Sikh conquerors.[13]

The Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh and Gurdwara Bhai Beeba Singh were constructed in the city by Hari Singh Nalwa to accommodate the influx of Sikh immigrants from the Punjab.[20] While the city's Sikh population drastically declined after the partition of India, Peshawar's Sikh community has re-established itself, bolstered by Sikh refugees and by approximately 4,000 refugees from the Tribal Areas;[21] in 2008, the largest Sikh population in Pakistan was located in Peshawar.[22] Sikhs in Peshawar self-identify as Pashtuns and speak Hindko and Pashto as their mother tongues.[23]

Afghan attempts to reconquer Peshawar[edit]

Main article: Battle of Jamrud

An 1835 attempt to re-occupy the city by the Afghan Emir Dost Mohammad Barakzai failed when his army declined to engage in combat with the Dal Khalsa. However Barakzai's son, Wazir Akbar Khan, succeeded in regaining control of the city in the Battle of Jamrud of 1837. Following this, Peshawar was annexed by the British East India Company after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1849.[citation needed]

British Empire (1849–1947)[edit]

Following the defeat of the Sikh's in the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, territories in the Punjab were also captured by British East India company. During the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, the 4,000 members of the native garrison were disarmed without bloodshed;[24] the absence of brutality meant that Peshawar was not affected by the widespread devastation that was experienced throughout the rest of British India and local chieftains sided with the British after the incident.[25] British control remained confined within the city walls as vast regions of the Frontier province outside the city were claimed by the Kingdom of Afghanistan. The vast mountainous areas outside of the city were mapped out only in 1893 by Sir Mortimer Durand, foreign secretary of the British Indian government, who collaboratively demarcated the boundary of British-controlled areas with the Afghan ruler at the time, Abdur Rahman Khan.

The British laid out the vast Peshawar Cantonment to the west of the city in 1868, and made the city its frontier headquarters.[16] Additionally, several projects were initiated in Peshawar, including linkage of the city by railway to the rest of British India and renovation of the Mohabbat Khan mosque that had been desecrated by the Sikhs.[13] The British also constructed Cunningham clock tower, in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and, in 1906, constructed Victoria Hall (now home of the Peshawar Museum) in memory of Queen Victoria.[13] The British greatly contributed to the establishment of Western-style education in Peshawar with the establishment of Edwardes College and Islamia College in 1901 and 1913, respectively—these were established in addition to numerous other schools, many of which are run by the Anglican Church.[13] For better administration of the region, Peshawar and the adjoining districts were separated from the Punjab Province in 1901.[26]

Peshawar emerged as a centre for both Hindko and Pashtun intellectuals. Hindko speakers, also referred to as Khaarian ("city dwellers" in Pashto), were responsible for the dominant culture for most of the time that Peshawar was under British rule.[27] Where as before it was the Pashtuns and Mughals who beautified and brought culture to the region, until the Sikhs brought the city to shambles and deterioration.

Peshawar was the scene of a non-violent resistance movement that was led by Ghaffar Khan, a disciple of Mohandas Gandhi. In April 1930, Khan led a large group of locals, in a peaceful protest in Qissa Khawani Bazaar, against discriminatory laws that had been enacted by the British rulers — hundreds were killed when British horses opened fire on the demonstrators.[28]

Modern Peshawar[edit]

Board Bazaar Peshawar
Old Peshawar
Peshawari shopkeeper

In 1947, Peshawar became part of the newly created Pakistan after politicians from the Frontier decided to join the state. While a large majority of people approved this action, a small minority, including Abdul Ghaffar Khan, believed that South Asians could form a confederation; however, the call for a united India was deeply unpopular with the local people. A small minority also believed that the province should have been absorbed into Afghanistan, because Peshawar had been part of present Afghanistan before the British connected it to the rest of India. There was also a call for the creation of Pashtunistan, an independent state separate from both Pakistan and Afghanistan. At the time most of the population of Peshawar were Pashtuns who spoke Peshawari Pashto, a dialect of native tongue Pashto.

Until the mid-1950s, Peshawar was enclosed within a city wall and sixteen gates. Of the old city gates, the most famous was the "Kabuli Gate", and in January 2012, an announcement was made by Siraj Ahmed Khan, the Peshawar District Coordination Officer at the time: "In due course of time, all the gates around the old city will be restored." — Imran Rasheed, an author who has written extensively on the history of Peshawar has explained:

Old Peshawar was divided into three separate walled communities, Gunj, Dhaki Nalbandi and Sard Chah quarters. Under the Sikhs, the Italian mercenary governor of Peshawar, General Paolo Avitabile, popularly known as Abu Tabela, demolished the walls around these quarters and built a single wall around the old city.[29]

Peshawar's size or capacity has not grown in direct proportion to the city's population and pollution and overcrowding have negatively impacted upon the city in modern times. In addition to the increase in population, the high number of Afghan transportation vehicles that pass through the city have contributed to the degradation of the city's air quality:

Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, smoke, dust, hydrocarbons and tetraethyl lead are the main components of vehicular emissions poured into the urban air. Fuel adulteration and use of ill-maintained vehicles enhances emissions from motor vehicle exhaust. A large amount of suspended dust is generated due to vehicles driving on unpaved road shoulders, poorly maintained and overcrowded roads. In Peshawar, being close to Pak-Afghan border, the large influx of Afghan transporters has greatly increased the problem of air pollution.[30]

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Peshawar served as a political centre for the CIA and the Inter-Services Intelligence-trained mujahideen groups based in the camps of Afghan refugees, such as at the refugee camp of Jalozai. Soviet agents often infiltrated these organisations and violence often erupted on Peshawar's streets, as it was the scene of a proxy conflict between Soviet agents and US-backed insurgents.[citation needed]

There was a total of approximately 100,000 Afghans registered in Peshawar during the 1988 election, when Benazir Bhutto was running for Prime Minister of Pakistan; although, in addition to this estimate, hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees were in the city "illegally".[31] The Afghans rebuked being labeled as illegal citizens, since they claim Peshawar belongs to Afghanistan and was illegally taken away from them to be given to British backed India by the British. Although steps are being taken towards illegal refugees and many have migrated back to Afghanistan. Similarly many of the Afghan Pashtuns still reside in Peshawar with relative ease since to them it is their home now.

As of 2012, Peshawar continues to link Pakistan with Afghanistan and Central Asia. Peshawar has emerged as an important regional city of Pakistan and the city remains a focal point for Pashtun culture. Like the surrounding region, Peshawar was at the crossroads of the struggle between the extremist Taliban and moderates, liberals, and Pashtun nationalists. As a demonstration of their determination to destroy Pashtun icons, the Pakistani Taliban bombed the shrine of the Pashtun poet, Rahman Baba, in 2009.[32]


Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass and is mainly situated on the Iranian Plateau, along with the rest of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The Valley of Peshawar is covered with consolidated deposits of silt, sands and gravel from recent geological periods. The flood plains/zones are the areas between the Kabul River and Budni Nala. The meandering flood plain extends from Warsak in the northwest towards the southeast in the upper northern half of the district; the Kabul River enters the district in the northwest. Upon the Kabul River's entrance into the Peshawar Plain, the waterway is divided into several — the two main channels are the Adizai River Eastward, which flows along the boundary with the Charsadda District, and the Shah Alam, branching from the right bank of the Naguman River and merging with the Naguman River further in the east. In general, the sub-soil strata is composed of gravels, boulders and sands overlain by silts and clays.[citation needed]


Main article: Climate of Peshawar

Peshawar features a semi-arid climate, with very hot summers and relatively cold winters. Winter in Peshawar starts in November and ends in late March, though it sometimes extends into mid-April, while the summer months are from mid-May to mid-September. The mean maximum summer temperature surpasses 40 °C (104 °F) during the hottest month, and the mean minimum temperature is 25 °C (77 °F). The mean minimum temperature during the coolest month is 4 °C (39 °F), while the maximum is 18.3 °C (64.9 °F).

Peshawar is not a monsoon region, unlike other parts of Pakistan; however, rainfall occurs in both winter and summer. Due to western disturbances, the winter rainfall shows a higher record between the months of February and April. The highest amount of winter rainfall, measuring 236 millimetres (9.3 in), was recorded in February 2007,[33] while the highest summer rainfall of 402 millimetres (15.8 in) was recorded in July 2010;[34] during this month, a record-breaking rainfall level of 274 millimetres (10.8 in) fell within a 24-hour period on 29 July 2010[34] — the previous record was 187 millimetres (7.4 in) of rain, recorded in April 2009.[33] The average winter rainfall levels are higher than that of summer. Based on a 30-year record, the average annual precipitation level was recorded as 400 millimetres (16 in) and the highest annual rainfall level of 904.5 millimetres (35.61 in) was recorded in 2003.[33] Wind speeds vary during the year, from 5 knots (5.8 mph; 9.3 km/h) in December to 24 knots (28 mph; 44 km/h) in June. The relative humidity varies from 46% in June to 76% in August. The highest temperature of 50 °C (122 °F) was recorded on 18 June 1995,[33] while the lowest −3.9 °C (25.0 °F) occurred on 7 January 1970.[33]

Climate data for Peshawar (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.0
Average high °C (°F) 18.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 11.2
Average low °C (°F) −4.0
Record low °C (°F) −3.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 26.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 195.5 189.5 194.5 231.3 297.1 299.5 273.8 263.2 257.3 266.1 234.8 184.4 2,887
Source #1: NOAA (1961-1990) [35]
Source #2: PMD[36]


Peshawar is a rapidly growing city, with a population of 2,982,816 in 1998.[37] The current population growth rate is 3.29% per year, a rate that is higher than the average of many other Pakistani cities.[38]

Race and ethnicity[edit]

In 2002, based on the growth rate of 3.56%, the city's population doubled in 20 years, from 1.1 million in 1981 to 2.942 million in 2002 with a majority being Pashtun.[citation needed] Peshawar District covers a large area that extends over 50 kilometres (31 mi), from north to south, and over 30 kilometres (19 mi), from east to west. The city is situated at an altitude of 359 metres (1,178 ft) above sea level.[citation needed] The Peshawar Valley is nearly circular, extending from the Indus to the Khyber Hills, and is bound on the north and northeast by hills, which separate it from the Swat Valley. In the northwest are the rugged mountains of Khyber and to the south is the continuation of spur which branches off from Safed Koh (the famous white mountain on the Afghan border) and runs to the Indus. The lower portion of this branch separates the district of Peshawar and Kohat. Lakka Mountain with elevation of 6,600 feet in Khyber Agency is almost 25 kilometres from the city centre and 15 kilometres from Hayatabad


Sunehri Mosque

Over 99% of Peshawar's population is Muslim, mostly Sunnis, with Twelver Shias the significant minority group. Despite the mainly Islamic nature of modern Peshawar, the city was previously home to a diverse range of communities, such as Jews, Zoroastrians and members of the Bahá'í Faith. A significant number of Sikhs, in addition to smaller communities of Hindus and Christians, continue to exist in Peshawar.[citation needed]



Peshawar is the cultural centre of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; its culture has evolved over the years and has been principally Pakhtun. Hindko and Ghandara culture has given rise recently. The province in which Peshawar is located has a population that is predominantly Pakhtun.

With the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan, Peshawar became home for many Afghan musicians and artists.[39] The city has also become the centre for Pashto music and cinema, as well as Dari music for the Tajiks, and a thriving Persian language book-publishing sector is now established in Peshawar; Islamic Shia literature is the primary output of the Peshawar publishing industry and it is located in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar.[citation needed]\

Sethi Mohallah

Following the election of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Islamic coalition in 2002, restrictions on public musical performances were introduced, as well as a ban prohibiting the playing of recorded music on public transport; however, a thriving underground scene has developed in Peshawar.[40] In 2008, the secular political party, the Awami National Party (ANP), swept elections and won power from the Islamic coalition. Since the ANP assumed power in Peshawar, a greater focus has shifted towards the areas of culture and the arts, but the party has been hindered by a well-established conservatism among the population and the Taliban militancy. In June 2012, a Pashto singer, Ghazala Javed, and her father were killed in the city, with the subsequent investigation revealing that the pair were murdered. Javed's career was very successful and her death occurred close to three years after the death of another promising Pashto musical artist, Aiyman Udas, who was also murdered in a fringe area of the city. Such incidents have been associated with Peshawar's conservative culture and the influence of the Taliban, the latter being the reason for Javed's movement to Peshawar, as the Taliban had strengthened its presence in the Peshawar Valley in 2007.[41]

Historically, the old city of Peshawar was a heavily guarded citadel that consisted of high walls. In the 21st century, only remnants of the walls remain, but the houses and havelis continue to be structures of significance. Most of the houses are constructed of unbaked bricks, with the incorporation of wooden structures for protection against earthquakes, with many composed of wooden doors and latticed wooden balconies. Numerous examples of the city's old architecture can still be seen in areas such as Sethi Mohallah. In the old city, located in inner-Peshawar, many historic monuments and bazaars exist in the 21st century, including the Mohabbat Khan Mosque, Kotla Mohsin Khan, Chowk Yadgar and the Qissa Khawani Bazaar. Due to the damage caused by rapid growth and development, the old walled city has been identified as an area that urgently requires restoration and protection. Author, Dr Raj Wali Shah Khattak, a former director of the Pushto Academy and a senior academic at the University of Peshawar, has written in his book, An Intangible Heritage: The Walled City of Peshawar:

To protect the inheritance of the walled city of Peshawar, the establishment of a heritage centre should be a priority. The centre should have audio and visual documentation equipment so that every aspect of culture and life, be it folklore, music, types of instruments, stories, etc., can be recorded. Moreover, visual documentation of customs and traditions should include marriage functions, clothing, lifestyle, manners and habits. Research into the oral nature of life in the bazars and streets, both during the day and at night, should be carried out to preserve this historical record. Fairs, festivals and traditions, both secular and religious, should be included in this record.[42]

The walled city was surrounded by several main gates that served as the main entry points into the city — in January 2012, an announcement was made that the government plans to address the damage that has left the gates largely non-existent over time, with all of the gates targeted for restoration.[29] The numerous gates include: Lahori Gate, Sarasia Gate, Ganj Gate, Sirki Gate, Sard Chah Gate and Kohati Gate. Former gates that were demolished were Kabuli Gate, Berikian Gate, Bajori Gate, Yakatut Gate, Dabgari Gate, Kachahri Gate and Hasht Nagri Gate.


Languages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Most of the city's residents speak one or more of the following languages:

Other languages include Gojri, Kashmiri, Shina, Romani, Burushaski, Wakhi, Balti, Balochi, Brahui, Sindhi and English (official and used in tourism).

Only Urdu and English are found as written languages in the city, with Pashto and Persian to a much smaller extent.


Numerous educational institutes — schools, colleges and universities — are located in Peshawar. The University of Peshawar (UOP) was established in October 1950 by the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. Edwardes College, founded in 1900 by Herbert Edwardes, is the oldest college in the province.

The following is a list of some of the public and private universities in Peshawar:


Clock Tower of Peshawar city known as "Ghanta Ghar" (Clock Home) in Urdu
Flower work inside Mohabbat Khan Mosque
Fruit vendors selling local melons

Peshawar is a host city for many bazaars that sell various goods and souvenirs for travellers. The main bazaars are the historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar, the Copper Market, Chowk Yadgar and Andarsheher Bazaar. Due to the city's access to the Khyber Pass, the Khyber Train Safari starts from Peshawar.

The following is a list of other significant landmarks in the city that still exist in the 21st century:

Shopping markets[edit]

A high number of shopping markets and plazas have been opened in Peshawar. Some of the main shopping markets are listed below:


Numerous public and private hospitals operate in Peshawar. Some of the notable hospitals are listed below:


Main article: Peshawar Press Club

The media of Peshawar serve a large population in area.


The main transport infrastructure in Peshawar consists of the Peshawar International Airport also known as Bacha Khan International Airport (served by all Pakistani airlines and several major foreign airlines), the Peshawar Railway Station (operated by Pakistan Railways), and links to several highways, including the Grand Trunk Road and the Karakoram Highway. The city's infrastructure enables road, rail and air connections to all Pakistani cities, as well as neighbouring countries like Afghanistan and the People's Republic of China. Within the city, coaches, buses, auto rickshaws and taxis are utilised for travel purposes.


Arbab Niaz Stadium is the test cricket ground of Peshawar. Other stadiums are Army Stadium, Peshawar Club Ground and Qayyum Stadium. Cricket is the most popular sport in Peshawar and the city is home to the Faysal Bank T20 Cup team, the Peshawar Panthers. Hockey and squash are also popular in Peshawar.


Notable people[edit]


Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b From Sanskrit puruṣa, "(primordial) man", and pura, "city".


  1. ^ "NWFP Introduction". Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Population size and growth of major cities" (PDF). Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. 1998. 
  3. ^ "Administrative System". Government of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Retrieved 12 December 2007. 
  4. ^ Peshawar: Oldest continuously inhabited City in South Asia. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  5. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica: Gandhara
  6. ^ Ian Pearce (May 2002). "The Bakhshali manuscript". The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. Retrieved 24 July 2007. 
  7. ^ a b The Pathans – 550 BC – AD 1957 by Sir Olaf Caroe, 1958, Macmillan Company, Reprinted Oxford University Press, 2003
  8. ^ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. 1834. pp. 114–. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
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Further reading[edit]

  • Ahmad, Aisha and Boase, Roger. 2003. "Pashtun Tales from the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier: From the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier." Saqi Books (1 March 2003). ISBN 0-86356-438-0.
  • Beal, Samuel. 1884. "Si-Yu-Ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World, by Hiuen Tsiang." 2 vols. Trans. by Samuel Beal. London. Reprint: Delhi. Oriental Books Reprint Corporation. 1969.
  • Beal, Samuel. 1911. "The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang by the Shaman Hwui Li, with an Introduction containing an account of the Works of I-Tsing". Trans. by Samuel Beal. London. 1911. Reprint: Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi. 1973.
  • Dani, Ahmad Hasan. 1985. "Peshawar: Historic city of the Frontier" Sang-e-Meel Publications (1995). ISBN 969-35-0554-9.
  • Dobbins, K. Walton. 1971. "The Stūpa and Vihāra of Kanishka I". The Asiatic Society of Bengal Monograph Series, Vol. XVIII. Calcutta.
  • Elphinstone, Mountstuart. 1815. "An account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India,: comprising a view of the Afghaun nation." Akadem. Druck- u. Verlagsanst (1969).
  • Foucher, M. A. 1901. "Notes sur la geographie ancienne du Gandhâra (commentaire à un chaptaire de Hiuen-Tsang)." BEFEO No. 4, Oct. 1901, pp. 322–369.
  • Hargreaves, H. (1910–11): "Excavations at Shāh-jī-kī Dhērī"; Archaeological Survey of India, 1910–11, pp. 25–32.
  • Hill, John E. 2003. "Annotated Translation of the Chapter on the Western Regions according to the Hou Hanshu." 2nd Draft Edition.
  • Hill, John E. 2004. "The Peoples of the West from the Weilue" 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE. Draft annotated English translation.
  • Hopkirk, Peter. 1984. "The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia." Kodansha Globe; Reprint edition. ISBN 1-56836-022-3.
  • Moorcroft, William and Trebeck, George. 1841. "Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir, in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara... from 1819 to 1825", Vol. II. Reprint: New Delhi, Sagar Publications, 1971.
  • Reeves, Richard. 1985. "Passage to Peshawar: Pakistan: Between the Hindu Kush and the Arabian Sea." Holiday House September 1985. ISBN 0-671-60539-9.
  • Imran, Imran Rashid. 2006. "Baghaat-i-Peshawar." Sarhad Conservation Network. July 2006.
  • Imran, Imran Rashid. 2012. "Peshawar - Faseel-e-Shehr aur Darwazay." Sarhad Conservation Network. March 2012.

External links[edit]