Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at one time the North-West Frontier Province, or NWFP, runs for over one, 100 kilometers along the border with Afghanistan.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial capital and largest town is Peshawar, with Mardan being the second-largest. It shares borders with the Federally Administered tribal Areas to the west; Gilgit–Baltistan to the northeast; Azad Kashmir, Islamabad and Punjab to the east and southeast. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa doesn’t formally share a border with Balochistan, that instead borders Federally Administered tribal Areas. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa conjointly shares a global border with Afghanistan, to that the province is joined via the historic khyber pass.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the site of the traditional kingdom Gandhara, together with the ruins of its capital, Pushkalavati, close to modern-day Charsadda, and therefore the most distinguished center of learning within the Peshawar valley, Takht-i-Bahi. It has been beneath the suzerainty of the Persians, Greeks, Mauryans, Kushans, Shahis, Ghaznavids, Mughals, Afghanistan, Sikhs, and British Empire at various points throughout its long history.
Geographically the province might be divided into 2 zones: the northern one extending from the ranges of the mountain range to the borders of Peshawar basin and the southern one extending from Peshawar to the Derajat basin.
The northern zone is cold and snowy in winters with significant precipitation and pleasant summers with the exception of Peshawar basin that is hot in summer and cold in winter. it has moderate rainfall. The southern zone is arid with hot summers and comparatively cold winters and scanty rainfall.
The major rivers that criss-cross the province are the Kabul, Swat, Chitral, Kunar, Siran, Panjkora, Bara, Kurram, Dor, Haroo, Gomal and Zhob.
Its snow-capped peaks and luxurious green valleys of bizarre beauty have huge potential for tourism.
The climate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa varies vastly for a locality of its size, encompassing most of the various climate varieties found in Pakistan. The province stretching southward from the Baroghil Pass within the mountain range covers nearly six degrees of latitude; it is primarily a mountainous region. Dera Ismail Khan is one amongst the most popular places in South Asia whereas in the mountains to the north the weather is mild in the summer and intensely cold in the winter. The air is mostly terribly dry; consequently, the daily and annual vary of temperature is sort of massive. Rainfall also varies widely. though massive parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are generally dry, the province conjointly contains the wettest elements of Pakistan in its eastern fringe specially in monsoon season from middle June to middle Sept.
Urdu, being the national and official language, serves as a language for inter-ethnic communications, and generally Pashtu is the language among communities that speak alternative ethnic languages. English is co-official and conjointly employed in education, whereas Arabic is employed for religious purposes and education. there is some population in Peshawar town World Health Organization speak Persian since nineteenth century.
Hindko and Pashtu ethnic music are in style in Pakhtunkhwa and have a rich tradition going back many years. the most instruments are the rubab, mangey and harmonium. khowar folk music is in style in Chitral and northern Swat. The tunes of khowar music are terribly totally different from those of Pashtu, and therefore the main instrument is the Chitrali sitar. A sort of band music composed of clarinets (surnai) and drums is popular in Chitral. It is played at polo matches and dances. A similar sort of band music is played within the neighbouring Northern Areas.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Malam Jabba the fairytale land of romance and beauty, offers unlimited sights that the eye can behold, mighty ranges of Hindu Kush, the Karakuram and black mountains, gentle slopes, placid plains, torrential streams, lush green meadows and thick green forests of pine. Come over for an exciting experience to this nature’s art gallery and you will never forget.
Stands on top of a mountain of the Hindu Kush range, at a distance of 40 Kilometers north east of Saidu Sharif. Surrounded by wonderful panorama of scenic splendor and mighty mountains, Malam Jabba is much more than just a ski resort. It is a holiday resort that holds great fascination for tourists and is also home to the remains of ancient civilization. Malam Jabba is 314 Kilometers from Islamabad and 51 Kilometers from Saidu Sharif airport.
Lake Saiful Muluk has a touch of the unreal about it, nestling 3,200 meters high in the shadow of the Malika Parbat (Queen of the mountains) 5,291 meters high.
Words can hardly be just to this place’s attraction. The sea green, clear as crystal, freezing water surface amid gigantic glaciers is one part of it. A classic fable goes about this area of a prince and a fairy queen still residing and dancing above water surface every month on 14th of lunar calendar. Should you get along with a local inhabitant by chance, they would certainly run you through this tale.
You must have heard about this one a lot. It is more about seeing this one rather, anyway. It is simply said that this area is a maze of scenic beauty. It’s a host of hiking and great weather that is a lot cooler because of its magnificent altitude. Nathiagali is located midway and an hour’s drive away from Abbottabad and Murree; double the time if you’re driving from Islamabad. Head out during May, June, July, and August, it would be best suited, since during these months the temperature is tolerable for a visitor generally in KPK. However, when you hear about fog here, take your steps back because visibility is reduced to a few feet only. Nothing like your hometown’s fog. Top attractions Pakistan can be scattered in hazards.
Presenting nature; nothing like anything or anywhere you have seen before. Known to be the second highest hill of Galyat and located in the hilly areas of Abbottabad. Although there is an arduous journey of nearly 3 hours to the top, which takes your breath away – ascend like you have never had experienced before. Another trek follows from Dungagali to Mushkpuri, however, this one is more amiable and boasts an appealing sight of Ayubia National Park in KPK. Must explore the water pond at the top which casts a remarkable reflection of sky and trees. That is not it yet because a beautiful sight of Kashmir valley can also be seen from Mushkpuri top. So, basically, not only this breathtaking location offers you its intrinsic beauty but also glimpses of surrounding places – so much to offer in one place.
AYUBIA NATIONAL PARK
AYUBIA NATIONAL PARK
Covering an area of approximately 3128-hectare acres, this place is specifically one in KPK that is home to migrating birds and animals prone to extinction threat. The black bear and leopards dangle in common sight. Two species: Koklass Pheasant and Kalij Pheasant – specifically subjected to extinction – are found here. One’s inner child and sense of adventure come into play upon adventure because it is surprising to witness such animals here. If you happen to be keen of hiking, tramp along the pipeline which leads to Dunga Gali after passing through Ayubia National Park. However, one must be sure since this 45-minute voyage can overwhelm with picturesque beauty of River Jhelum and hills dressed in pine.
Swat was once the cradle of Buddhism of all its schools- Little Vehicle, Great Vehicle and the Esoteric sects where once 1,400 monasteries flourished. It was the home of the famous Gandhara School of Sculpture which was an expression of Graeco-Roman form in the local Buddhist tradition.
Swat was also the historical land where the Muslim conquerors, Mahmud of Ghazni, Babur and Akbar fought their battles preparatory to the conquest of the South Asia.The ruins of great Buddhist stupas, monasteries and statues are found all over Swat. The valley of Swat sprawls over 10,360 sq. kms at an average elevation of 975 meters. The maximum temperature in July is 38 C and minimum (during January) is 1 C. The normal temperature is maximum 21 C and minimum 7 C. Located in the monsoon belt, it receives more rain than most northern areas, so the land is particularly fertile and green. The Swat River and its tributaries gush through rocky gorges and are particularly known for trout fishing. The houses of the small villages in the area are stacked one on top of the other up the mountainsides, with the roofs of one level of houses used as a front street for houses on the next level.
The hillsides abound with forts, a testament to the region’s strategic importance. Alexander the Great and his army marched through Chakdar, and subsequent invaders left their mark: the town still has remains of Buddhist monasteries from the 1st to 7th centuries, while Hindu forts from the 8th to 10th centuries loom on the hilltops. Worth visiting are the valley’s graveyards, which have been used for 3,500 years.
Mount Ilam (2,811m, 9,222 ft) has been considered sacred since prehistoric times. A trek to the top brings visitors to a group of massive square blocks of stone, which archaeologists guess were used as an ancient altar.
The Greek fought for its beauty, the Buddhist inhabited it because of its eternal beauty and peace, the Moguls envied its lush green valleys and fast flowing rivers and today it is coveted by the pathans, the Kohistanis and the Gujars. Over two thousand years ago, this prosperous valley of Swat originally known, as Udyan was the home of well-settled people, living with magnificently planned towns. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great fought his way to Udigram and Barikot and settled a good part of his army here. Later, the Buddhists came, they preached, converted, fought and stayed to worship. Graphic remains of Buddhist culture date back to the 2nd century. In the 11th century Muhmud of Ghazni invaded Swat after having advanced through Dir, and defeated Gira, the local ruler, near Udigram. After him followed Moguls, under Babar and his grand son Akbar, yet they were unable to conquer the valley. There is evidence that by then the Yusufzai pathans – fierce, proud and resolute warriors – defended their soil against all invaders, including the British. Winston filled slopes, meandering rivers, and tumbling streams and is surrounded by the mighty ranges of the Hindukush and the Karakurams. The valley is 3250 feet above sea level and Saidu Sharif and Maingora are the towns that form the twin capital of this area. The Museum in Saidu Shariff has a large collection of Gandhara sculptures collected from some of the Buddhist sites in Swat. In the ethnographic section there is some local embroidery, carved wood and tribal Jewelry. There are also a few coins on display. Butkara- the remains of one of the most important Buddhist shrines in the valley. This site consists of a main stupa around which jostle 215 votive stupas in apparently glorious disarray. The main stupa was believed to contain some ashes of Lord Buddha and to have been built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. It is difficult to imagine it, as it must have been once, all painted and gilded and topped by stone umbrellas. You can still see the statues of lions crouching on the tall columns, which once stood near the stupa.
One of the major attractions of Chitral are the Kalash valleys- the home of the Kafir-Kalash or “Wearers of the Black Robes”, a primitive pagan tribe. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedonia settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir-Kalash.
Over 3,000-strong Kafir-Kalash live in the valley of Birir, Bumburet and Rambur, south of Chitral. Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir-Kalash , is 40 kms. from Chitral and is connected by a jeep-able road. Birir, 34 kms. away is accessible by a jeep-able road. Rambur is 32 kms from Chitral.The Kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and hand-spun wool dyed in black in winter. Their picturesque headgear is made of woolen black material decked out with cowry shells, buttons and crowned with a large coloured feather.The Kalash are fun loving people who love music and dancing particularly on occasion of their religious festival like Joshi Chilinjusht (14th & 15th May-spring), Phool (20th – 25th September) and Chomas (18th to 21st December for a week).
This location finishes a league apart. Along the standards of valleys, one may not find anything like Shogran. It opens an array of awe-inspiring features, from flora and fauna to primeval surroundings, making it a heart of greenery in KPK. Shogran is hardly a destination for trekker and encourages constant sightseeing via local facilities provided here. In order to reach here safe and sound, heading from Islamabad and through Kawai is a viable option. However, one must be concerned about conditions of vehicles for commuting and also required to be driven by experienced personnel.
Located about 31 kilometers from Abbottabad, this area is breathtaking and surely would curb the gasp out of you. Situated on a plateau, 2700 meters above sea level and amid pine forests. The term “thandiani” refers to “very cold”; no more can be said about the climate here. In summer, it is revived, colored green and altogether an alluring spot for anyone who wishes to see heaven on earth.
Ready to test your nerves and hardihood? The expense of witnessing the wonder of nature is strong willingness to contest the savage temperament welcoming any tourist here. But, it is all worthwhile when you are one of the few people to have magnificent pictures of this place in your camera. This area is most covered in snow, reaching via a tiring journey from Saif-ul-Malook. This place is worth the wreaking havoc in your nerves. Despite the difficulty, the impulse overwhelms almost every tourist and leaves no chance of canning this place. If you think you are a bit of travel fanatic then this place is ideal for you.
The Kaghan Valley has long been one of the most popular destinations for all type of tourists. This is a 154.5 km. (96 miles) long picturesque valley ending northwards in the 4148 meters (13.600 ft.) high Babusar Pass. It is an ideal area for trekking and trout fishing.. Its mountains, dales, lakes, water-falls, streams and glaciers are still in unbelievable pristine state, and unspoiled paradise. That is why it can be such a deeply satisfying experience to spend a few days in Kaghan. The Valley extends for 155 kms. Rising from an elevation of 2,134 meters to its highest point, the Babusar Pass, at 4,173 meters. Kaghan is at its best in the summer months (May to September). In May the temperature is: maximum 11 C and the minimum 3 C. From the middle of July up to the end of September, the road beyond Naran, snow-bound throughout the winter, is open right up to Babusar Pass. Movement is restricted during the monsoon season also.
Four hours journey, preferably by jeep from Balakot, is Naran. 10 km east at an elevation of 10500 feet lies the famous Saif-ul-Muluk Lake. The visit to the lake takes one hour by jeep and about two and a half hour if you decide to trek. The famous Lalazar plateau is about 20 km ahead. Interesting excursions to Batakundi and Lake Lulusar can also be made. Further on the route over Babusar Pass takes one onto the KKH at Chilas.
Makra Peak is a 3586 meters (11765.feet) high Himalayan mountain located in Tehsil Balakot of Mansehra District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Makra is a word of Urdu which means spider. According to local people they named it Makra Peak because snow formation over the peak resembles the shape of a spider. The iconic Makra Peak of Shogran Valley is located in south-east of Kiwai and south of Paye Meadow. A moderate 4-6 hours trek (depending on trekker fitness) from Paye leads to Makra Top. From Makra Top the visitors can enjoy the picturesque views of the Kaghan Valley on one side and mesmerizing Kashmir on another. Many other famous mountains like Malika Parbat, Chambra, Musa Ka Musalla and Shingri are also visible from top.
Chitral located in the North west of Pakistan is a beautiful valley in the Hindukush range of Mountains. It has always been a very important route for many invaders to south east Asia, Including Alexander the great Scythians, Mangol Changez Khan and numerous others.
Chitral with its artistic handcrafts and precious stones attracts tourists from all over the country. At the end of summer the whole region is decorated with oodles of flowers and fruits. Famous fruits of Chitral are peach, apricot, damson, apple, pomegranate, grapes and pear. It is also famous for its dry fruits Almonds, apricot, pistachios and walnut.
There many motels and restaurants in town of Chitral. One can find a suitable motel according to his budget and need. People of Chitral are very welcoming and cooperative. You can easily find a guide if need. Following are some famous tourist attractions in Chitral.
KHANPUR DAM LAKE
KHANPUR DAM LAKE
Khanpur Lake is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) in Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The lake is sighted near the town Khanpur, on the road between Taxila and Haripur. The lake was constructed along with the construction of Khanpur Dam in 1983. The dam is 51 meters (167.33 feet) high and has total capacity of 140,000,000 cubic meters.
KPK MAJOR CITIES / TOWNS
- Dera Ismail Khan
Peshawar derives its name from a sanskrit word “Pushpapura” which means town of flowers. Peshawar’s flowers were mentioned even in Mughal Emperor Babur’s memoirs.
Alexander’s legions and also the southern wing of his army were held up here in 327 B.C. for forty days at a fort excavated recently, twenty seven ½ kms north-east of Peshawar at Pushkalavati (lotus city) close to Charsadda.
Mardan is a town and the headquarters of Mardan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan.
The name Mardan was given to a little area after the name of Pir Mardan Shah of Iran, a distinguished spiritual figure.In 1937, Mardan was created as an independent district after the name of its headquarters city.
Mingora is the largest business town of Swat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Mingora is the third-largest town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after Peshawar and Mardan. Mingora is found at an altitude of 984 metres (3,228 ft) and about two kilometres away from Saidu Sharif, the current administrative capital of Swat District. Mingora is a major tourist destination with a large variety of grand hotels.
Kohat, is a town in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is the capital of the Kohat District. The city centers on a British-era fort, numerous bazaars and a military cantonment. A British-built narrow gauge railway line runs through the city.
Kohat town is found at an altitude of 489 meters. Kohat Pass lies to the north. It is situated on the left bank of the Toi river at a point wherever after running nearly due east for fifty miles (80 km), it turns to the south. The entire area of the district is a pair of,545 sq. kms.
Abbottabad, 116 kms from Rawalpindi at 1,222 m. on top of sea level, could be a neat and clean city in a very spacious valley encircled by green hills. it’s a well-liked summer resort. It serves as a base for visits to Kaghan valley and the Gallies. PTDC maintains a tourist info Centre here to facilitate the guests. Places worth visiting in and around Abbottabad are; Ilyasi masjid with a water spring, Shimla hill view point. Thandiani is another enticing hill resort thirty km east of Abbottabad at an altitude of 8,800 feet.
Dera Ismail Khan, typically abbreviated to D.I. Khan, is a town in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. It is located on the West Bank of the Indus River, two hundred miles (320 km) west of Lahore and a hundred and twenty miles (190 km) northwest of Multan. The city is the capital of the district and tehsil of the same name.
D.I. Khan is known for its lacquered woodwork, glass and ivory ware, mats and sarongs.
Nowshera is the cheif city of Nowshera district and one of the largest cities situated in KPK Province, Pakistan. It lies on Kabul River and around twenty seven miles due east of the foremost city of Peshawar on the Grand highway.
Nowshera city is notable for its British colonial era cantonment, and is home to the Pakistan Army school of Artillery, school of ASC, ASC centre, Armour centre, armed forces Medical Stores Depot, and school of Armour.
Charsadda is a town and headquarters of Charsadda District, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It lies about 29 kilometres from the provincial capital of Peshawar at an altitude of 276 metres (906 ft). The total area of Charsadda District measures about 996 square Km. The district is geographically organized into two primary parts: Hashtnagar (Pashto: Ashnaghar) and Do Aaba (Pashto: Duava).
Mansehra is a city situated in Mansehra District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of West Pakistan.
The name of the city springs from that of its founder, Sardar Maha Singh Mirpuri, who was a Sikh administrator and general within the Sikh Khalsa Army during the rule of the Khalsa Empire of prince Ranjit Singh.