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Peshawar History, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan – History

Peshawar is a great historical and cultural city of Pakistan. It is situated in NWFP province of Pakistan. History of Peshawar expands over thousands of years. Historical findings indicate that this region has been inhabited by Aryan tribes and Elamo-Dravidian settlements. Historically, the region of Peshawar is also linked to the Harappan civilization and to Afghanistan.

The historical border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is known as Durand Line, which was fixed in 1893 by the British Government. This border line divided the Pakhtun territories into two major parts: one part in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan.

It is also believed by the historians that the old name of Peshawar was Pushkalwati and it was founded by Pushkal who is believed to be settled in this region during Indo-Iranian times. Some historians believed that the city of Peshawar was founded by Kushans 2000 years ago. Before this time, the region of Peshawar was affiliated with the Ghandara civilization of the Indus River. The city has also been ruled by Alexander the Great and his successor Seleucus I Nicator.

In the same time, Buddhism was introduced in Peshawar and it became a major center of Buddhism. Buddhism was a major religion in the region of Peshawar before the arrival of Islam. One of the most important relics of Buddhism, Kanishka stupa was also set in Peshawar during that time.

Before Alexander the Great, the area of Peshawar was also seized and ruled by the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides. Later on, a series of the Greco-Bactrian kings ruled this area for many years. After the Greco-Bactrian Kings, this area was ruled by the Parthian kings and Kujula Kadphises.

A famous writer Sir Olaf Caroe believed that a group of people called Pakhtuns and Paktye existed in this area with the Indo-Iranian tribes. Over centuries, Pakhtuns came here to dominate this area and soon Peshawar became the major center of Pakhtuns along with Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar and Quetta. Arab Muslims entered this area in the 2nd century. With the arrival of Arabs, the Pakhtuns began converting to Islam. Turkic Muslims took over Peshawar in 988.

Later in the 15th century, Mughal Emperor Babur came in Peshawar and built a fort here. In the following year, Babur’s grandson Jalal u Din Akbar formally named the city Peshawar. During this time, Muslim soldier, traders, scientists, Sufis, theologians, architects, and teachers moved into this region from the rest of the Islamic world. Many of them settled in the region of Peshawar. The city of Peshawar has also served as a great trading point between Afghanistan, Central and South Asia.

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