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Heritage Buildings/ Monuments; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

KP has been the historic gateway to South Asia and was once the cradle of the Gandhara Civilization. The classical Gandhara territory was the Peshawar Valley, and included the hilly areas of Swat, and Dir, extending in the east to the Indus River and Taxila. The Khyber Pass has always been the route between Peshawar and Afghanistan. The province has many archeological remains, some of which are listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. There are 87 protected heritage sites and monuments in the province. The following table shows the number of sites that are protected under KP Laws in each district[1]

District No. of Sites District No. of Sites
Abbottabad 21 Bannu 04
Buner 01 Dera Ismail Khan 05
Kohat 01 Mardan 16
Nowshera 01 Peshawar 13
Swat 20 Gilgit 01

Table ‎1.12 KP Number of Historical Sites

The following sites are the heritage sites listed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites:

  • Buddhist Ruins of Takht-e-Bahai
  • City remains at Sehr-i-Bahlol

Figure ‎1.23 Takht-e-Bahai main cluster of ruins.

Figure ‎1.24 Brass Shop in Historical Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Peshawar

Recreational Areas/ Tourist Attractions; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

KP has the potential of becoming one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world due to its scenic beauty, geographical location, climate, and natural resources. The northern part of the province is exceptionally rich in picturesque and alluring landscapes, exotic valleys, and dense pine forests. The natural lakes and dense forests of the province are a safe haven for eco-tourism. Major tourist attractions of the province are:

  • The Galliyats, the most important of which is Nathiagali
  • Swat
  • Shangla
  • Shogran
  • Kaghan Valley
  • Naran Valley
  • Mahabat Khan’s Mosque, Peshawar
  • Bala Hisar Fort
  • Akra Mounds, Bannu
  • Takht-e-Bahai, Mardan
  • Shahbaz Garhi, and Chanako Dheri (Buddhist Monasteries)
  • Jamal Garhi (archeological site), Mardan
  • Uch and the Noor Mahal relics, Timergara, Lower Dir District: Noor Mahal is a mini-museum, located in the mosque of the town. About 200 years ago, Maulana Muhammad Nasim Siddiqui, a scholar, brought many relics and rare books from Delhi; some of these relics include the hair of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and items belonging to Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Imam Hussain, as well as the Ghilaf of Khana Kaaba (in Mecca). All are housed in Noor Mahal
  • Hund, Mardan: This town was of importance as part of the silk route between China and India. Alexander the Great is said to have crossed River Indus at this point in 327 BC. It remained the capital of India during the Hindu Shahi Period, for about 300 years. A fort was built here by Mughal Emperor Akbar
  • Andan Dheri, near Uch, Timergara, Lower Dir. This is a Buddhist Stupa made of stone masonry
  • Tarbela Dam. This is the world’s largest earth-filled dam and is located in Haripur
  • Malam Jabba: This is the most promising hill resort in Swat Valley. It contains a modern Four Star hotel, golf course, ski runs, and chair lifts
  • Shandur Pass
  • Thandiani: Located 2,700 m above sea level, on a small plateau surrounded by pine forests
  • Khyber Steam Safari.

There are a large number of important historical forts that need protection by the government in the region of Ex Fata. Some of the important forts are in Bajaur, Jamrud, Wana, Miranshah, Razmak (NWA), and FR Bannu.

Some historic shrines include shrines of Ghazi Baba, Sakhi Baba, Sheikh Baba, and Mir Ali Baba (all situated in Bajaur district). The tomb of Sakhi Arab Khan (Governor of this area under the Mughals) at Naway Dhand in the outskirts of Khaor (Bajaur) is also historically important.

Jamrud Fort at the mouth of the Khyber Pass was built by Ranjit Singh’s General, Hari Singh Nalwa, in 1836-37.

Landi Kotal plateau on top of Khyber Pass, located 1,072 m above sea level, has a large showroom for arms and ammunitions manufactured in the Tribal Arms Factory located beyond the hills.

Pakistan's Swat Valley : An unexplored destination for international family tourism -

Figure ‎1.25 KP Swat Valley


Makra Peak- Siri Paye Shogran Kaghan Valley Pakistan -Aerial Galance /Aerial View - YouTube

Figure ‎1.26 KP Shogran, Kaghan Valley

Figure ‎1.27 Khattak Dance, KP

Figure ‎1.28 KP Polo Match, Shandur

Khyber train safari - Wikipedia

Figure ‎1.29 KP Khyber Train Safari

[1] Guidelines for Sensitive and Critical Areas, Government of Pakistan 1997.