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About Peshawar City

Peshawar ('Pe-kha-war' in Pushto) is situated at the gateway to the famous Khyber Pass in the North-West Frontier Province(NWFP) of Pakistan . Peshawar the capital city of North-West Frontier Province, is a frontier town, the meeting place of the sub-continent and Central Asia. Through the centuries Peshawar has been the melting pot of civilizations. The footprints of the Mongol invaders, the Chinese pilgrims and the Tajik traders are still visible. It is the land where Buddhism took birth, where Sikhs once ruled and the British Raj battled the brave Pathan tribes. No wonder then, that Peshawar is called the "City of the tellers”. Peshawar, is perhaps the oldest city in Pakistan and in its narrow alleys and bazaars one can catch colourful glimpses of the unique culture and handicrafts of the frontier people. Particularly famous are the beautiful tapestries of Swat, hand-made guns of Darra, and intricately crafted copper and brassware.

It is also a place where ancient traditions jostle with those of today, where the bazaar in the old city has changed little in the past hundred years except to become the neighbour of a modern university, some modern hotels, several international banks and one of the best museums in Pakistan.

Mahabat Khan Mosque :
Masjid Mohabat Khan The only significant remaining Mughal mosque in Peshawar was built by Mahabat Khan in 1670 A.D. when he was twice governor of Peshawar under Mughal emperor Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb. The mosque was nearly destroyed by Sikh's in 1898 AD and was only saved by unremitting efforts of the faithful. The extensive renovation of the mosque was done by the traditional craftsmen. The mosque is a fine specimen of Mughal Architecture of Shah Jehan period. The interior of the prayer chamber has been lavishly decorated with floral with work and calligraphy.
Khyber Pass

The historic Khyber Pass being at a distance of 16 kms west of Peshawar and extends upto the Pak-Afghanistan border at Torkham, 55 kms away. Starting from the foot-hills of the Suleman Range it gradually rises to an elevation of 1,066 metres above sea level. Khyber Pass has been a silent witness to countless events in the history of mankind. As one drives though the Pas at a leisurely pace, imagination unfolds pages of history, the Aryans descending upon the fertile northern plains in 1,500 BC subjugating the indigenous Dravidian population and settling down to open a glorious chapter in the history of civilisation, the Persian hordes under Darius (6th century BC) crossing into the Punjab to annex yet another province to the Achaemenian Empire; the armies of Alexander the Great (326 BC) marching through the rugged Pass to fulfil the wishes of a young, ambitious conqueror; the terror of Ghanghis Khan unwrapping the majestic hills and turning back towards the trophies of ancient Persia; the white Huns bringing fire and destruction in their wake; the Scythians and the Parthians, the Mughals and the Afghans, conquerors all, crossing over to leave their impact and add more chapters to the diverse history of this sub continent.

Culture

Peshawar is the centre of culture of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Its culture has evolved over the years and has been principally influenced by Ghandhara culture, Pakhtun culture and Hindko culture. Although the province in which Peshawar is located has predominantly Pakhtun population however Peshawar itself till 1980s had predominantly Hindko speaking population. These hindko speaking people are, in fact, migrants from various places including Kashmir, Punjab, etc. and have been living in Peshawar for many generations. Although Pakhtun and Hindko culture have many things in common but since the Hindko speaking people are mostly urbanites whereas majority of Pakhtuns until recently came from rural background therefore the customs of these two differ in some respects like marriage ceremonies, living style, etc.

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.[31] The city has become the centre for Pashto music and cinema as well Persian music for the Tajiks. There is also a thriving book publishing activity in the Persian language in Peshawar, concentrated primarily on Islamic Shia literature and located in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar .[citation needed]

However, the election of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Islamic coalition in 2002 resulted in restrictions on public musical performances, as well as a ban on playing recorded music on public transports. Peshawar has become host to a thriving underground scene. In 2008, the secular Awami National Party (ANP) swept elections and won power from the Islamic coalition. Since then, some restrictions have been lifted, but there has not been a full restoration of the liberties guaranteed before the MMA victory in 2002.
Sethi Mohallah

The historic old city of Peshawar was once a heavily guarded citadel with high walls. Today, not much remains of the walls, but the houses and havelis have an essence of days gone by. Most of the houses are made of unbaked bricks with wooden structures for protection against earthquakes. Many of them have beautifully carved wooden doors and latticed wooden balconies. Areas such as Sethi Mohallah still contain many fine examples of the old architecture of Peshawar. There are many historic monuments and bazaars in the Old city, including the Mohabbat Khan Mosque and Kotla Mohsin Khan, Chowk Yadgar and the Qissa Khawani Bazaar. This part of inner Peshawar has been damaged by rapid growth and development and is in need of urgent protection.

The walled city was surrounded by several main gates which served as the main entry points into the city, some of which still survive today. They include: Lahori Gate, Sarasia Gate, Ganj Gate, Sirki Gate, Sard Chah Gate, Kohati Gate Former Gates which were demolished during wars were Kabuli Gate, Berikian Gate, Bajori Gate, Yakatut Gate, Dabgari Gate, Kachahri Gate, and Hasht Nagri Gate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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