Peshawar is one of the most ancient cities in the subcontinent, and is one of the most important cities of Pakistan. As the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it holds immense economic and historical significance, which is further cemented by the plethora of landmarks in the city.
Nestled in a valley amidst beautiful mountains, and being one of the most developed areas around, Peshawar is a great place to live in as well. In recent years, it has seen a rise in customer demand for high-quality residential developments. One such project is HB Housing Scheme, which promotes secure, community living with quite an attractive payment plan and versatile features in a central location on Main Warsak Road.
Whether you plan to live in Peshawar, or are just visiting, the city has a number of landmarks you must visit. These places will make you fall in love with the frontier capital, and truly appreciate its history, culture, and progress.
1. Khyber Pass
First, let’s talk about the iconic Khyber Pass, which also appears on the ten-rupee note. This mountain pass connects the town of Landi Kotal to Peshawar via Jamrud, and marks the border crossing to Afghanistan.
This pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road, the legendary trade route of the region. Additionally, major invasions in history took place via this route, such as the ones led by Genghis Khan, Darius I, and Cyrus. It is marked by the Bab-e-Khyber, a gateway built in 1964 to mark the entrance to the Khyber Pass. It is a sight worth seeing and makes for a good family outing.
2. Islamia College Peshawar
Islamia College Peshawar is both an architectural marvel and home to a rich culture of academic excellence. Established back in 1913, the building is a prime example of colonial architecture from the era of the British Raj.
It was one of the seats of the Aligarh Movement, and still retains its legacy of intellectualism and architectural splendour.
3. Mahabat Khan Mosque
This mosque dates back to the 17th century and is a fine example of Mughal architecture. It was named after the then-governor of Peshawar Nawab Mahabat Khan, who served under both Emperor Shah Jehan and Aurungzeb.
4. Qissa Khwani Bazaar
Qissa Khwani Bazaar is a shopper’s paradise, and you can find an array of items here, from garments to kitchen utensils, at amazing prices. Its name was derived from the storytelling tradition prevalent in its merchants since historic times. This tradition arose due to the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the traders visiting this commercial hub. These traders would sit together at the local teahouses and share stories. This bazaar is no stranger to tragedy either, as the British massacred numerous protestors calling for independence in April 1930 here.
5. All Saints’ Church
This church was opened back in 1883, and was designed by a local architect for the native Christian population. It is located inside the old walled city’s Kohati Gate, and is a unique specimen when it comes to church architecture. This is because it has minarets and domes, reminiscent of saracenic (Islamic) mosque architecture.
6. Chowk Yadgar
Located at the convergence of major avenues of Peshawar, Chowk Yadgar has represented various causes and people over the years. Originally, it was built in memory of Colonel C. Hastings in 1883. Then, when the Qissa Khwani Massacre took place in 1930, the memorial came to represent it. In 1969, it was dedicated to the martyrs of the 1965 war.
Currently the site of a public park, Gorkhatri is located within a Mughal-era caravanserai next to ancient ruins dating back to at least the 3rd Century BCE. These ruins, along with the Kanishka stupa erected by King Kanishka the Great, are believed to be the site where the famous tower of the Budhha bowl one stood.
This place is unique, as it shows the diversity of Peshawar’s culture throughout history. Apart from Buddhist ruins, there is also evidence of a Mughal-era Jamia Masjid, as well as a Hindu temple to Shiva here.
8. Bala Hissar Fort
The Bala Hissar Fort was built in 1526 in Babur’s era after he conquered Peshawar, and has been destroyed and reconstructed numerous times in battles between the Mughal, Sikhs, and Afghans. It was named by the Afghan King Timur Shah Durrani, who also used the fort as the Durrani empire’s winter capital. It stands on a high mound in a corner of Peshawar, and gives a beautiful birds-eye view of the city and the valley.
9. Cunningham Clock Tower
Cunningham Clock Tower, also known as ‘Ghanta Ghar’ is located just a few meters away from the historic Chowk Yadgar. It was inaugurated back in 1900 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was named after Sir George Cunningham, who had served as governor of the province and had laid the tower’s foundation stone in 1898.
10. Peshawar Museum
The Peshawar Museum is well-known for its collection of Gandharan artefacts, and is an amalgamation of architectural styles such as British, Buddhist, Mughal and Hindu styles. It was inaugurated back in 1907 as Victoria Hall, in memory of Queen Victoria.
It has been expanded over the years and boasts a large collection of art and artefacts from the Gandhara era, Kushan, Parthian, Greco-Buddhist, and Indo-Scythian eras, as well as the British colonial era. It is an excellent place to learn about the city’s rich history.
In conclusion, visiting these places will give you a newfound appreciation for Peshawar’s history and culture. Who knows, these visits might make you even more proud of your decision to move here. After all, the city is home to modern wonders as well, such as HB Housing Scheme, which is the perfect place to live with your family in Peshawar, and is quite affordable too!