Peshawar - 07-22-2012, 09:59 AM
No other city is quite like old Peshawar. The bazaar within the walls is like an American Wild movie costumed as a Bible epic. Pathan tribesmen stroll down the street with their hands hidden within their shawls, their faces half obscured by the loose ends of their turbans. (With his piercing eyes and finely chiseled nose, the Pathan must be the handsomest man on earth).
On the other side of the railway line is the cantonment, its tree-lined streets wide and straight as they pass gracious gardens. Clubs, churches, schools, The Mall, Saddar Bazaar and the airport round out the British contribution to the modernization of Peshawar. Further west is University Town, Peshawar's newest section and the site of Peshawar University.
A local book, Peshawar, History City of the Frontier, by A.H. Dani and published by Khyber Mail Press in 1969, makes a good first purchase. It provides a detailed account of Peshawar's history and a tour of this city walls and ancient monuments.
The fortunes of Peshawar at inextricable linked to the Khyber Pass, the eastern end of which it guards. The pass seems to have been little used in prehistoric times, and even in early historic times it was generally shunned as too narrow and thus too prone to ambush. Not until the powerful Kushans invaded Gandhara and pacified the area in the first century AD did the Khyber become a popular trade route.
Peshawar owes its founding 2,000 years ago to those same Kushans. In the second century AD, Kanishka, the greatest of the Kushan kings, moved his winter capital here from Pushkalavati, 30 kilometers (20 miles) to the north. His summer capital was north of Kabul at Kapisa, and the Kushans moved freely back and forth through the Khyber Pass between the two cities, from which they ruled their enormous and prosperous empire for the next 400 years.
After the Kushan era, Peshawar declined into an obscurity not broken until the 16th century, following the Mughal emperor Babar's decision to rebuild the fort here in 1530. Sher Shah Suri, has successor (or, rather, the usurper of his son's throne), turned Peshawar's renaissance into a boom when he ran his Delhi-to-Kabul Shahi Road through the Khyber Pass. The Mughals turned Peshawar into a 'city of flowers' (one of the meanings of its name) by planting trees and laying our gardens.
Qisa Khawani Bazaar
In 1818, Ranjit Singh captured Peshawar for his Sikh Empire. He burned a large part of the city and felled the trees shading its many gardens for firewood. the following 30 years of Sikh rule saw the destruction of Peshawar's own Shalimar Gardens and of Baba's magnificent fort, not to mention the dwindling of the city's population by almost half.
The British caused the Sikhs and occupied Peshawar in 1849 but, as much as Sikh rule had been hated, its British replacement aroused little enthusiasm. More or less continuous warfare between the British and the Pathans necessitated a huge British garrison. When the British built a paved road through the Khyber Pass, they needed to build numerous forts and pickets to guard it.
Extending from west to east in the heart of the city is the romantic 'Street of Story-tellers' - the Qissa Khawani Bazzar. In olden days, this was the site of camping ground for caravans and military adventures, where professional story-tellers recited ballads and tales of war and love to throngs of traders and soldiers. Today the story-tellers are gone but the atmosphere lingers on. Bearded tribesmen bargain with city traders over endless cups of green tea. Fruit stalls look small colorful pyramids. People from everywhere throng the crowded street. Afghans, Iraqis, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Afridis, and Shinwaris move around with ease and grace in their colourful native robes and run shoulders with the Western tourists-lost in a world so different, so enchanting.
'The Street of Partridge Lovers' lies on the left hand corner of Qissa Khawani Bazaar. It derives its name from the bird-market which stood here till a few decades ago and has now been replaced by stores and shops selling exquisitely engraved brass and copper ware. However, a single bird shop still remains as a long reminder of the not too distant past.
Built on a raised platform from the ground level, the Bala Hisar Fort stands at the north-western edge of the city. the original structure was raised in 1519 AD during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Babar. It was reconstructed in its present form by Sikhs who ruled over Peshawar valley between 1791 and 1849 AD.
Same 16 kms from Peshawar, on the Khyber road, an old battle-ship attracts the eye: this is Jamrud Fort. Looking ruggedly majestic with its jumble of towers and loop-holed walls, the fort contains the grave of its builder, the famous Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa, who died here in action against the forces of the Amir of Kabul in 1837 AD.
Situated on the Grand Trunk Road in the Cantonment area, the museum houses a rich treasure of art, sculpture and historical relics, particularly of the Gandhara period (300 BC - 300 AD). The pieces on show at the museum include Graeco-Buddhist stone and stucco sculpture, gold, silver and copper coins, antique pottery, armour, old manuscripts, Buddha images, terra-coat plaques, antiques of ivory, shell and metal and a replica of the famous casket which contained the relics of Lord Buddha.
The Khyber Train
For trail enthusiasts, the Khyber Railway from Peshawar to Landi Kotal is a three-star attraction. The British built it in the 1920s at the then enormous cost of more than two million pounds. It passes through 34 tunnels totaling five kms (three miles) and over 2 bridges and culverts. The two or three coaches ar pulled and pushed by two SG 060 oil-fired engines. At one point, the track climbs 130 meters in little more than a kilometer (425 feet in 0.7 miles) by means of the heart-stopping Changai Spur. This is a W-shaped section of track with two cliff-hanging reversing stations, at which the train wheezes desperately before shuddering to a stop and backing away from the brink.
The Khyber train currently runs only by appointment. Groups of 20 to 45 passengers can book one bogey for an all day outing to Landi Kotal and back, a ride lasting ten to eleven hours, for US $ 1,000. But you can easily see the train at rest at Peshawar Station.
By; MUHAMMAD ALI
A line[Durrand line] of hatred that raised a wall between the two brothers -Hamid Karzai
The men of Kábul and Khilj also went home; and whenever they were questioned about the Musulmáns of the Kohistán (the mountains), and how matters stood there, they said, "Don't call it Kohistán, but Afghánistán; for there is nothing there but Afgháns and disturbances." Thus it is clear that for this reason the people of the country call their home in their own language Afghánistán, and themselves Afgháns. The people of India call them Patán; but the reason for this is not known. But it occurs to me, that when, under the rule of Muhammadan sovereigns, Musulmáns first came to the city of Patná, and dwelt there, the people of India (for that reason) called them Patáns—but God knows!
07-25-2012, 03:31 PM
Some old photos of Peshawar
07-25-2012, 04:08 PM
I didn't realize that Peshawar had a Shalimar Garden, too.
But I knew for sure I couldn't stand Ranjit Singh : here is ANOTHER reason why.
Nice old pictures.
It's interesting that there is little coverage of Peshawar any more, due to
the fact that the US media is based in Kabul and doesn't need to be
spectators in this war from Islamabad and Peshawar.
07-25-2012, 04:37 PM
He is considered like a shaheed for us, but the muslims have another opinion of him.
It's the same case for ahmad shah durrani, the pashtuns consider him like a hero, but we have another opinion of him.
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Hakim Khan Urgonai (07-25-2012)
08-10-2012, 10:01 PM
Peshawar Qila Balahisar 1878
08-11-2012, 07:09 PM
Peshawar 1920, photo taken from Ganta Ghar
Camel market 1920 now Lady Reading Hospital.
The Kabli Gate, is also called Kabuli Gate, 1920, is named for the city in Afghanistan it faces and which has long been one of its major trading partners (similarly, Lahori Gate in Delhi faces Lahore and so on). This gate had two turrets on each sides and five ramparts from where arrows and guns could be fired during battle. There was a stepped wall, called Baoli in the local parlance, close to this gate.
Islamia College is an educational institution located in the city of Peshawar of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan. It was founded in October 1913 by Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum and Sir George Roos-Keppel and is considered one of the most prestigious academic institutions of Pakistan. The college educates its students in arts, humanities and modern sciences. It was a constituent college of the University of Peshawar but in the year 2008 it was given the status of University, with Mr. Muhammad Ajmal Khan as its first vice chancellor and Professor Dr.Mohammed Rashid Farooqi as its patron in-chief ,Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean Faculty of Arts.
Qisa Khwani, 1920
Peshawar Bazar 1920
Fur Coat market, 1920
Peshawar city 1903
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