Mardan is a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. The city of Mardan is the capital of the district. The district is administratively divided into three tehsils (subdivisions); Mardan, Takht Bhai and Katlang. The district also contains the famous archaeological site of Takht Bhai, Jamal Ghari and Sawal Dher.
Brief History: Mardan District is a part of the Peshawar Valley. The Valley was part of the ancient Gandhara civilization but at that time the name Mardan was not constructed. Gandhara civilization consisted of small sub-kingdoms at the hill tops of Jamal Garhi, Shahbaz Garhi and Thakhat Bahi. Mardan City’s foundation was laid down by Saint Ali Mardan Shah in about 11th – 12th century A.D. His shrine is at Jalala. The armies of Alexander the Great reached the Indus Valley by two separate routes, one through the Khyber Pass and the other led by Alexander himself through Kunar,Bajaur, Swat, andBuner in 326 BC. After Alexander’s death, the Valley came under the rule of Chandragupta, who ruled the Valley from 297 to 321 BC. During the reign of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka (the grandson of Chandragupta) Buddhism became the religion of the Peshawar Valley. The Valley saw the revival of Brahmanism after the Greeks took over in the time of King Mehanda. The Scythians and Indians followed and retained control of the Valley till the 7th century AD.
By the 8th century, the Afghans had appeared in the Valley. In the 10th century the area came under the control of Sultan Sabuktigin (father of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi). In the 12th century the Pashtun of Ghor overthrew the Ghaznavis.
In 1505 the Mughal emperor Babar invaded the area through Khyber Pass. The most prominent ratan of emperor Akbar – Beerbal was killed in the Katlang area during a battle with the Yousafzai tribe. Babar was defeated in Swat three times. Then he married a young lady of a Pashtun ruler from Buner and made a peace treaty. During the regime of Aurangzeb the Pashtun tribes revolted and Aurangzeb himself led his army to re-establish his authority but after a hard struggle which lasted for two years (1673–75) he was compelled to agree to the terms which left the Pashtuns practically independent. In 1738 came the surrender of Peshawar to Nadir Shah by which all the territory west of the Indus, which included present Mardan district was ceded by the Mughals to Nadir Shah.
Ranjit Singh conquered Peshawar city in 1822 and it came under Sikh rule for a while. Peshawar city fell to Pashtuns in 1834 but soon the British took it in 1837. Major Lawrence was appointed first Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar. Attock and Peshawar regions became an administrative district under the Punjab Government. In 1909, NWFP (Now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ) was constituted and in 1937, Peshawar district was bifurcated into Peshawar and Mardan districts.
Main Entrance of Mardan Sports Complex. Photo by jjawads.
Bacha Khan Chowk Mardan. Photo by GhazanfarAliKhan.
Mardan Railway Station
Platform of Mardan Railway Station
Topo Chowk, Mardan. Photo by jjawads.
Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan
Bilal Masjid, Mardan
Mardan Medical Complex
Buddhist Monastery at Takht Bai near Mardan
Mardan Old Photos: The Guides Mess at Mardan. Photo taken from “The Story of the Guides” by Younghusband. Probably this building is adjacent to Punjab Regt Centre Offrs Mess where PRC is maintaining a Museum. Hollywood Movie ‘FAR PAVILLION” was also filmed here. (Photo by R.B. Holmes, Peshawar).
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