Peshawar, city (1998 pop. 988,005), capital of the North-West Frontier Province, NW Pakistan. A road and rail center near the famed Khyber Pass, Peshawar is an important military and communications center, the historical terminus of the Grand Trunk Road of India, and the major depot for trade with Afghanistan. Local handicrafts and farm produce from the surrounding fertile agricultural valley are sold in the many bazaars of the city. Industries include food processing and the manufacture of steel, cigarettes, firearms, textiles, pharmaceuticals, furniture, and paper.

The city, once called Purushapura, was the capital of the ancient Greco-Buddhist center of Gandhara. The Kushan leader Kanishka (2d cent. A.D.) made it his capital. For centuries, it was the target of successive Afghan, Persian, and Mongol invaders. It was named Peshawar [frontier town] by the Mughal emperor Akbar. A favorite residence (18th cent.) of the Afghan Durrani rulers, it was taken by the Sikhs (early 19th cent.), from whom the British captured it in 1848. It became an important outpost of British India and was a base for British military operations against Pathan tribes. During the decade-long Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89) it was the center of relief operations for Afghan refugees and the command center of the coalition of guerrilla groups intent on expelling the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. More recently, Peshawar and the surroundy area have been the scene of Taliban activity and attacks.

Peshawar has a museum containing Buddhist relics and Gandhara sculpture, a 2d-century Buddhist stupa bearing an inscription by Kanishka, and a university (1950) with several affiliated colleges. The Bala Hisar fort, still used as military headquarters in the early 21st cent., dates to at least the 15th cent.

{{Infobox Settlement |name = |official_name =Peshawar |other_name = |native_name = پشاور |nickname = |settlement_type = |total_type = |motto = |image_skyline = Islamiacollegepesh.jpeg |imagesize = |image_caption = |image_flag = |flag_size = |image_seal = |seal_size = |image_shield = |shield_size = |image_blank_emblem = |blank_emblem_type = |blank_emblem_size = |image_map = |mapsize = |map_caption = |image_map1 = |mapsize1 = |map_caption1 = |image_dot_map = |dot_mapsize = |dot_map_caption = |dot_x = |dot_y = |pushpin_map = Pakistan |pushpin_label_position = |pushpin_map_caption =Location within Pakistan |pushpin_mapsize = |subdivision_type = Country |subdivision_name = Pakistan |subdivision_type1 = Province |subdivision_name1 = North-West Frontier Province |subdivision_type2 = |subdivision_name2 = |seat_type = |seat = |parts_type =Union Councils |parts_style = |parts =25 |p1 = |p2 = |government_footnotes = |government_type = |leader_title =Nazim (Mayor) |leader_name =Haji Ghulam Ali |leader_title1 = |leader_name1 = |established_title = |established_date = |area_magnitude = |unit_pref = |area_footnotes = |area_total_km2 =2257 |area_land_km2 = |area_water_km2 = |area_total_sq_mi = |area_land_sq_mi = |area_water_sq_mi = |area_water_percent = |elevation_footnotes =

Peshawar’s environment has suffered tremendously due to an ever increasing population, Afghan influx, unplanned growth and a poor regulatory framework. Air and noise pollution is a significant issue in several parts of the city, and the water quality, once considered to be exceptionally good, is also fast deteriorating.

In addition the city has lost of agriculture land during the two decades (1965-85). This in the addition to of vacant land that has been also eaten up by expending urban functions. In the same period, the land under parks and green space has shrunk from .


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

Peshawar's inhabitants consist mainly of two groups, namely; the majority Pashtuns and Peshawaris (Hindkowans who are also referred to as "Khaarian" or 'city dwellers'). In addition, thousands of Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Persians, Panjabis, Chitralis and Gypsies can be found in the city.

  • Urban Population: 48.68% (983,000 persons)
  • Rural Population: 51.32% (1,036,000 persons)
  • Male/Female ratio: 1.1:1
  • Average annual growth rate 3.56%

In 2002, on the growth rate of 3.56% population doubled in 20 years from 1.1 million in 1981 to 2.242 million in 2002. Peshawar District covers a large area extending over from north to south and over from east to west. It is situated at an altitude of 347 m (1,138 ft) above sea level. The Peshawar valley is nearly circular, extending from the Indus to the Khyber Hills. It is bounded on the North and North East by hills, which separate it from the Valley of Swat. 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 Indus. The lower portion of this branch separates the district of Peshawar and Kohat.

Over 99% of the Peshawar population is Muslim. Despite the overwhelmingly Islamic nature of modern Peshawar, the city was previously home to other smaller communities such as Afghan Jews, Zorastrian, Bahá'ís, Hindus and Sikhs. The Partition of British India and the creation of Israel resulted in the virtual elimination of some of these groups, particularly Sikhs and Hindus from Peshawar, but there are still small Christian, Zorastrian, Bahá'í and Sikh communities that remain in the city.


Peshawar is the centre of Pashtun culture and arts as well as a major centre of Hindko culture. With the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the influx of millions Afghan Refugees into Pakistan, Peshawar became the home for Afghan musicians and artists as well. The city has become the centre for Pashto music and cinema as well Dari music from Afghan Tajiks. However, the election of the MMA Islamic coalition in 2002 has resulted in restrictions on public musical performances, as well as a ban on playing recorded music on public transports. Despite these restrictions, Peshawar has become host to a thriving underground scene.

There is also a thriving book publishing activity in Persian language in Peshawar, concentrated primarily of Islamic Shia literature located in Qissa Khawani Bazaar operated primarily by Shia Pashtuns.


Peshawar's local government consists of 25 Union Councils.

City Development & Municipal Department (CD&MD)

City Development & Municipal Department (CD&MD) previously known as Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) is the department in charge of construction in Peshawar. This includes roads, parks, and plant life. The director of Raigilalma, Hafiz Hidayatullah Khan, was awarded the certificate of "best construction engineer" in 1997 by the Japanese delegation for the construction of the Dalazak road and flyover. The department (CD&MD) was renewed because of the immense corruption which had taken place before.Its first Director General was Malik Saad.The then governor Lt. Gen Iftikhar Hussain Shah specifically requested Malik Saad to help tackle the corruption and bring the department back up to its former success again.This decision proved successful, because not only was the corruption tackled, but also the city`s development was in full gear and the city`s only fully functional flyover,also named after Malik Saad, was built along with many other projects and developments in the city.

Educational institutions

With the level of higher education on the rise, there has been a surge of prestigious educational institutions in Peshawar.

  • University of Peshawar
  • Khyber Medical University
  • Agriculture University of Peshawar
  • University of Engineering & Technology (U.E.T.)
  • I.M|Sciences
  • National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU), (Peshawar Campus)
  • Islamia College Peshawar (1913)
  • Gandhara University
  • Iqra University
  • Institute of Management Studies
  • ICMS
  • City University Of Science & Technology
  • Institute of Business & Management Sciences
  • Gandhara Medical College
  • Sarhad University
  • Ghulam IOshaq Khan Institute of Science & Technology, Topi, NWFP
  • College of Aeronautical Engineering (CAE, NUST), Risalpur, NWFP
  • Peshawar Medical College
  • Abasin University
  • Preston University
  • Greenwich University
  • PAC
  • Jinnah College for Women
  • Edwardes College Peshawar (1900)
  • Government College Peshawar
  • Superior Science College Wazirbagh Peshawar.
  • Fazaia Degree College (PAF Degree College)
  • University Public School (1964)
  • University Model School
  • Peshawar Model School
  • Collegiate School Islamia College
  • Peshawar Grammar School
  • The Convent High School
  • Army Public School
  • BeaconHouse School System
  • The City School
  • The Educators
  • The Roots School
  • American International School
  • I.L.M
  • The Smart School
  • Qadeems Educational System
  • Iqra School
  • Frontier Model School
  • Peshawar Grammar School
  • Lahore Grammar School (Peshawar Campus)
  • Saint Merry's High School

Tourist information

Peshawar, one of the oldest cities of the world. It is a conservative Islamic city with a rich history. It offers everything from goldsmiths and silversmiths, traditional carpets (one of the big exports of Pakistan today), pottery, and clothing to artwork in wood, brass or semi-precious stones. The old walled city, was known for its 16 gates — Bijouri, Kabuli, Aasamai, Kutcheri, Rampura, Hasht Nagri, Toot, Kohati, Sirki, Thandi Khoi, Barzaqan, Ganj, Ramdas, Dabgari and Lahore Gate. The names given to these gates are significant. It was Sikh General Avitabile, who built a mud wall surrounding the city. Under the British nearly the whole of the enclosure wall had been built of pucca brick. You could also go to visit one of the many resturants provided by the Shiraz family, the Shriaz resturants are ranked as the best in the city og Peshawer

There are many bazaars with different goods and souvenirs for travellers. The main ones include the historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar, the Copper market, Chowk Yadgar and Andarsheher Bazaar. In addition because of its access to the Khyber pass, the Khyber train safari starts from here.

Due to the resurgence of extremists such as the Taliban, the city is off limits to all but the most intrepid Western travelers.

Notable people

of the Shiraz resturants


The Peshawar International Airport serves the city and the province of the North-West Frontier as the main international airport in the region. It is served by all airlines of Pakistan as well as many major airlines including Emirates and Qatar Airways who have regular flights to the Gulf and forward connections to Europe. The city is linked to the main motorway as well as the Karakorum Highway from which it is connected to all of the major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan. The roads are also linked to Afghanistan and China. Afghanistan is linked through the Khyber Pass, which the main gateway for most cargo and passenger travel. There is also a central railway station run by Pakistan Railways, the largest operator of rail companies in Pakistan, with connections to all parts of Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. In the city, there are all sorts of methods to travel around the city, from coaches, buses, rickshaws (Auto rickshaws), yellow and black taxis as well as traditional methods such as horse and carts.


Further reading

  • Ahmad, Aisha and Boase, Roger. 2003. "Pashtun Tales from the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier: From the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier." Saqi Books (March 1, 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.
  • Baghaat-i-Peshawar By Imran Rashid Imran

External links

Search another word or see Peshawaron Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature