PESHAWAR THROUGH THE AGES...










The Peshawar, capital city of the NWFP(PUKHTUNKHWA) province, is believed to have existed two thousand years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. Peshawar derives its name from Sanskrit word Pushpapura meaning city of flowers, since the valley abounds in flowers and orchards.
Apart from the Got Khuttree's ruins, ancient religious scriptures as well as the writings of famous travellers including Herodotus (5th century BC), throw ample light on the profile of Peshawar city as well as its surrounding valley. The city and its surrounding valley was invaded by scores of invaders from across the Hindu Kush mountains range, mostly through the world famed Khyber Pass.

In the Peshawar valley near the town of Charsda, about 30 KMs north-east of Peshawar city, a cluster of imposing mounds, have been found which are considered to be the most important archaeological sites. The site which has been identified as Pushkalavati, the Pre-Kushan capital of Gandhara, was overrun by Alexander's troops after a siege of 30 fsyd.

Similarly is the Peshawar valley, Shahbaz Garhi, the small village of the Peshawar valley is believed to be the site of ancient city of Varusha. On the Southern side of the village at the edge of a hill are Ashoka's rock edicts 14 in number on two large boulders, in Kharoshti scripts of Gandhara urging people to follow the code of religion as well as instill tolerance, non-violence and respect to the monarchy.

Another important historical place in Peshawar valley is Chanako Dheri which means glazing mound. The site houses, a hall, a lake and a base of a stupa. The valley also has in its fold the World Heritage Site of "Takhti-i-Bhai" which is located over 80 KM north-east of Peshawar. The site's fame is due to the existence of remains of monastery on top of a 160 meter high hill dating back to 2nd century AD, with fragmentary sculptures in stone and stucco indicating highly developed sculptural art of the era. Further 20 km north of Mardan city, the 2nd biggest town of Peshawar Valley, is a small village at an elevation of 122 meters which houses a big complex containing a beautiful monastery and the main stupa, round in shape, surrounded by closely packed chapels. The complex also has a meeting hall, monks' quarters as well as visiting monks and scholars quarters. According to renowned archaeologist, John Marshell, the circular stupa is one of the earliest from the Gandhara period.

At the periphery of Peshawar valley, the site of Hind, pronounced as Wai-hind and Udak Bandapura in ancient history is a village located 22 KM north of Attock in the Swabi district. The village, within, the ruined walls of old fortification is thought to have been the resting place of victorious army of Alexander. Excavation for ancient sites in Peshawar valley is still going on with many thousands artifacts representing ancient civilization have been shifted to 100 years old Peshawar Museum for better preservation.

The tribes inhabiting in the Peshawar and its surrounding valley are thought to have embraced Islam in late 7th and early 8th century AD. An Arab missionary Khalid Bin Abudllah who settled in the area is thought to be the first to have spread the message of Islam among the valley's inhabitants. The Zenith of the Muslim era in the valley is mainly attributed to be Mughal period. At the downfall of the Mughal dynasty the Peshawar and its surrounding valley remained under the control of Afghan Kings from 1744 to 1826 AD when the Sikh ruler of Punjab from the east captured it in 1826. However, eventful short lived rule of the Sikhs and in 1840, British under the command of Sir Walter Gilbert took over and ruled the valley until the independence in 1947. Ghanta Ghar: City's gates: Chowk Yadgar: Bala Hisar Fort: Mahabat Khan Mosque: and Gurdwari Bhai Jogian Shah are some important historical places of their rule.

Qiswa Khawani Bazar: Qisawa Khawani (the street of story tellers) was called by Sir Herbert Edwards, as picadilly of central Asia. In ancient times, it was a throbbing market when travellers and traders of yore regaled each other with tales of incredible journeys. While telling stories, they shared a bubbling Hukah or sipped tea in the shade of bazaar shop fronts.

In a nutshell, the city of Peshawar and its surrounding valley's uninterrupted glory and fame had never receded into oblivion. The city with unique architecture, sprawling streets, lush green parks, modern communication network and historical buildings, is considered to be the gate way to Afghanistan and Central Asia as well as transit point to the snow capped valleys of Chitral and northern Pakistan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

please add peshawari chappals collection. Thanks