Introduction:

The 7 Places to Visit in Peshawar are going to help you in narrowing down your plan to visit the most preferred places in Peshawar. Peshawar is considered among one of the famous and key cities of Pakistan.

It is located almost 172 km west of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), earlier known as North-West Frontier Province (N.W.F.P). Peshawar is one of the cities that is frequently visited by tourists every year.

Peshawar is known for its traditions, food, local handicrafts, Peshawari chappal, and most importantly, its tourists’ sites. These sites have significance due to their rich history, culture, bazaars, and food corners. For the past few years, tourism activity has been increased as Peshawar is being developed at a quick pace.

History of Peshawar:

Before we talk about the 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar, we must learn a few things about its history.

The history of Peshawar dates back to 539 BC. The word “Peshawar” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Purushapura,” meaning “City of Men”. The modern name of “Peshawar” is derived from two Persian words’ Pesh’ – ‘Awardan’ that means “the first coming city”.

One of the oldest cities of Asia, Peshawar, has seen the rise and fall of several kingdoms and empires. For centuries, several Afghan, Persian, and Mongol invaders tried to conquer the area. The region was named ‘Peshawar’ by the great Mughal emperor Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar.

Peshawar is also popular for its huge 16 gates:

  • Kabuli Darwaza
  • Kohati Darwaza
  • Saraki Darwaza
  • Darwaza Andar Shahr (Asamai)
  • Kachehri Darwaza (Tangsali)
  • Reti Darwaza
  • Lahori Darwaza
  • Ganj Darwaza
  • Darwaza Ekkatut
  • Sard Chah Darwaza
  • Sar Asiya (or Tabiban) Darwaza
  • Bajauri Darwaza
  • Rampura Darwaza
  • Hashtnagari Darwaza
  • Darwaza Ramdas
  • Dabgari Darwaza

Old City of Peshawar Map:

Peshawar was captured by the Sikhs in the early 19th century. The British took it from them in 1848. It was a crucial military base of British-India who carried out several military operations against tribes of Pathan.

After the independence, Peshawar was marked as a crucial part of Pakistan. At the time of independence, it came under the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). Peshawar was and still is the capital of the province. The name of the province was changed from NWFP to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in 2010.

Old City of Peshawar Map

During the occupation of Afghanistan (neighboring region of Peshawar) by the Soviets from 1979–89, Peshawar became the relief operation center for the Afghan refugees and anti-Soviet Movement.

Since then, Peshawar has been a center for various terrorist activities, but due to Pak Army operations against the terrorists, Peshawar is now considered safe to be visited by national and foreign tourists.

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7 Famous Places of Peshawar:

Over the past few years, Pakistan has been recognized as one of the best countries for tourism. Peshawar is among other cities of Pakistan that is considered a good destination for tourism purposes. Other than the rich and versatile culture, Pakistan is blessed with a large number of tourists sites. Some of them are explained in detail in the following paragraphs.

Mahabat Khan Mosque:

The Mahabat Khan Mosque is at the top of the list of 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar. It is considered among one of the best Peshawar historical places. The Mahabat Khan Mosque location is nearby Andar Sheher Bazar.

Mahabat Khan Mosque

The famous and beautiful mosque is a 17th-century Mughal-era mosque. It was built in 1630 and was named after Nawab Mahabat Khan Bin Ali Mardan Khan, the Mughal governor of Peshawar under Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The mosque was renovated in 1898.

Mahabat Khan Mosque

Architectural Features of Mahabat Khan Mosque Peshawar:

The Mahabat Khan Mosque is considered one of the most iconic sights of Peshawar due to its white marble façade. The mosque is covered on a land area of 30,155 square feet. Its vast courtyard has a huge pool for ablution right in the center. Moreover, a series of rooms line with the exterior walls of the mosque.

Mahabat Khan Mosque

Mahabat Khan Mosque

The exterior of the mosque is covered with white marble that gives it a very classic look. The interior of the mosque is decorated with frescoes of the Mughal period. The ceiling of the mosque is embroidered with graceful red frescoes in floral and geometric patterns. The prayer hall lies on the west side of the mosque and is covered by three domes. The mosque has two huge minarets and 6 smaller decorative minarets.

Mahabat Khan Mosque

The mosque lost its original essence during the Sikh era as they used it as a site for punishments. It is said that they used to hang people from the minarets of the mosque. In 1898, most of the mosque was destroyed in a huge fire. The mosque was restored and rebuilt in the British Empire era.

Mahabat Khan Mosque Location:

Mahabat Khan Mosque Location

Jamrud Fort:

Jamrud Fort is another name among the 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar. Jamrud Fort, also known as Fatehgarh, is located almost 17 kilometers to the west of Peshawar, adjacent Bab-e-Khyber at the to the  Khyber Pass.

Jamrud Fort

It was constructed by Hari Singh Nalwa (1791-1837), who was then commanding officer of the Sikh Khalsa Army, the Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s army. The Fort was finished in 1834, and its almost 10 feet thick walls were completed in 54 days.

Jamrud Fort

Jamrud Fort in Old Times:

Hari Singh Nalwa played a key role in the conquests of Multan, Kasur, Attock, Kashmir, Sialkot, Peshawar, and Jamrud. He is also known for establishing the city of Haripur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which bears his name.

Jamrud Fort in Old Times

In the last few years, the Armed Forces of Pakistan are controlling the Fort. No one is allowed to enter the premises of the Fort without any approval or permission. It is ranked among the top valued heritage place of Peshawar.

Jamrud Fort Location:

Jamrud Fort location

Bab-e-Khyber:

The Bab-e-Khyber or the Khyber Gate is located at Jamrud. It is a monument that was built in1964 by General Ayub Khan and served as the entrance to the famous Khyber Pass. The Jamrud Fort is also located adjacent to the Khyber Gate. The Bab-e-Khyber is considered among the 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar. The Bab-e-Khyber has its importance mainly due to the Khyber Pass.

Bab-e-Khyber

The Kyber Pass is approximately 16 kilometres long in the north of Peshawar, close to the Pak-Afghan border. The Pass rises gradually from the Suleiman Range’s foothills near Jamrud to an elevation of 1,066 meters above sea level. The Khyber Pass was a very integral part of the Old Silk Road and links Pakistan with Afghanistan.

Bab-e-Khyber

The Khyber Pass was used as a passage to South Asia by invaders, barbarians, kings, and smugglers. The Khyber Pass is a witness to history – several armies and warriors of the invaders and conquerors such as Alexander’s Macedonian, Genghis Khan, Ahmad Shah Abdali, and Mehmood of Ghazna passed through the fabled Pass.

Bab-e-Khyber

The Bab-e-Khyber, a gray-brown brick gate built in the early 1960s and inaugurated by president Ayub Khan on June 11, 1963, was built to recognize the importance of this gateway. The gate has evolved into a symbol of the KPK and its tribal belt throughout time.

Bab-e-Khyber Location:

Bab-e-Khyber Location

Bala Hisar Fort:

Bala Hissar is one of the 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar. The historic site in Peshawar, Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is a Dari Persian word that means “elevated or towering fort.” Pashtun King Timur Shah Durrani (1773–1793) gave the Fort its name. The King used it as the winter capital of the Afghan Durrani Empire, with Kabul serving as the summer capital.

Bala Hisar Fort

Bala Hisar Fort

In 1834, the Sikh kingdom that captured Peshawar in the early nineteenth century renamed it as “Samir Garh”, but the name did not catch on. Since 1949, the Fort has served as the Frontier Corps’ headquarters. Access to the inside of the Fort is limited. For entering the premises, one requires military permission.

Bala Hisar Fort

Bala Hisar Fort

However, you can visit the small museum displaying recovered uniforms, weapons, photographs, and other war-related artifacts. At the souvenir shop, you may purchase mementos. The ramparts of the Fort offer a great view of the city.

Bala Hisar Fort

Bala Hisar Fort

Bala Hisar Fort in Old Times:

The Bala Hisar Fort is covered on a land area of 10 Acres, and the outer wall covers the land area of 15 Acres. The Fort is almost 90 feet high above ground level.

Bala Hisar Fort

Bala Hisar Fort Location:

Bala Hisar Fort Location

Qissa Khawani Bazaar:

One of the 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar is definitely Qissa Khwani Bazaar. This Bazaar is known as the most famous market in the subcontinent’s history. It functioned as a meeting point for all traders and passengers of various nationalities before the Indo-Pak division.

Qissa Khawani Bazaar

Merchants from India and Central Asia used to stop in Qissa Khwani Bazaar’s tea rooms. People of many origins used to tell stories over a cup of tea, and the attribute evolved into a custom. As a result, the market was given its name.

Qissa Khawani Bazaar

The word “Qissa” means “story” and “Khawani” means “to tell a story,” and “Bazaar” means “market,” therefore the phrase “Market of Story Tellers” comes to mind.

Qissa Khawani Bazaar

This Bazaar was notable for its Paper Publishing before the independence. It was the starting point for several independence movements, and it played a significant part in the 1947 Freedom Movement.

Two statues tell the story of the British slaughter of independence fighters in 1930, which are located in the lanes of this Bazaar. This tragic event resulted in the deaths of around 400 protestors. Qissa Khwani is currently famous for its sweets, spices, dried fruits, and tea.

Qissa Khwani Bazaar Location:

Qissa Khwani Bazaar Location

Shahi Bagh:

Shahi Bagh is among the 7 Famous Places to visit in Peshawar. It is one of Peshawar’s oldest and largest gardens in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is a Mughal-era park near the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar that has served as a focus for political, literary, and social gatherings in the city.

Shahi Bagh

Shahi Bagh is in Peshawar’s Faqirabad district. In local languages, “Shahi Bagh” literally means “The Royal Park.” The park is nearly 100 Acres in size and was constructed during the Mughal era. For the city and its citizens, it has important recreational and historical importance. The garden is a national heritage monument and public property, according to the government.

Shahi Bagh

Shahi Bagh is a favorite hangout for students. In the past, students would travel to the park for leisure activities and even study. Sant Kirpal Singh, who attended Edwardes Church Mission High School (Edward College) in Peshawar, says that he used to study in the Shahi Bagh with his book.

The state of Shahi Bagh had deteriorated over time owing to wear and tear and neglect by previous governments. So, with the help of USAID, the then-ANP-led government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa began the restoration and repair of Shahi Bagh in August 2009.

The Peshawar High Court Chief Justice took notice of the park’s condition in 2012 after receiving applications from social activists and citizens of Peshawar. The province’s government was ordered to remove all newly illegally built structures and buildings in the garden and restore the garden to its original old shape.

Shahi Bagh Location:

Shahi Bagh Location

Shahi Bagh Location

Peshawar Museum:

Peshawar Museum is the last on the list of 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar. It was founded in 1907 as “Victoria Hall” in remembrance of Queen Victoria. It is a two-story building that was designed in a fusion of British, Hindu, Buddhist, and Mughal Islamic architectural elements.

Peshawar Museum

Peshawar Museum

The building of the museum is made of red bricks. The museum began with only one display hall, but in 1969–70, two more were constructed. The museum was extended again in 2004–05, with the addition of a new block that included two galleries, two storage rooms for the museum’s collection, offices for the provincial directorate of archaeology, a conservation laboratory, and a cafeteria. At the same time, the historic exhibition hall was renovated.

Peshawar Museum Peshawar Museum Peshawar Museum

The display rooms of Peshawar Museum feature a diverse collection of paintings, inscriptions, sculptures, household items, manuscripts, jewelry, and other items.

Peshawar Museum Location:

Peshawar Museum Location

Conclusion:

These 7 Famous Places to Visit in Peshawar are surely going to make your trip worth it. These sites are popular mainly because of their ancient and rich history. If you are planning to visit Peshawar, knowing about its origin and various historical events and places linked to those events would make your trip wholesome.