For those who have never been to Peshawar, I’m sharing some photos from Peshawar for you. It was called Puruṣapura, in Sanskrit, and was actually founded by the Kushans, a Central Asian tribe, over 2,000 years ago. The inhabitants of Peshawar were mostly Hindu and Buddhist before the arrival of Christianity and Islam. Peshawar was made part of the Muslim world in 1001, when the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud of Ghazni conquered it. The Ghaznavids further expanded their empire from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa into the Punjab region. Until 1818, Peshawar was controlled by Afghanistan, but was invaded by the Sikh Empire of Punjab. Peshawar was captured by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1818, and paid a nominal tribute until it was finally annexed in 1834 by the Sikhs, after which the city fell into steep decline. Many of Peshawar’s famous Mosques and gardens were destroyed by the Sikhs at this time. Acting on behalf of the Sikhs, Paolo Avitabile, the Italian administrator of Peshawar unleashed a reign of fear. His time in Peshawar is known as a time of “gallows and gibbets.” The city’s famous Mosque Mahabat Khan, built in 1630 in the Jeweler’s Bazaar, was badly damaged and desecrated by the Sikh conquerors.

Wazir Akbar Khan, succeeded in regaining control of the city in the Battle of Jamrud in 1837. He was the son of the Afghan Ameer (King) Dost Mohammad Barakzai. After the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, British control remained confined within the city walls as vast regions of the Frontier province outside the city were claimed by the Kingdom of Afghanistan. Peshawar emerged as a centre for both Hindko and Pashtun intellectuals. Peshawar has hosted the largest number of Refugees in the world, ever since the Afghan war in 1979.

Peshawar links Pakistan to Afghanistan and is a focal point for Pashtoon culture.

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