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
|District||No. of Sites||District||No. of Sites|
|Buner||01||Dera Ismail Khan||05|
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
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
- 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.
Figure 1.25 KP Swat Valley
Figure 1.26 KP Shogran, Kaghan Valley
Figure 1.27 Khattak Dance, KP
Figure 1.28 KP Polo Match, Shandur
Figure 1.29 KP Khyber Train Safari
 Guidelines for Sensitive and Critical Areas, Government of Pakistan 1997.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Districts
- D I Khan
- Lower Dir
- Upper Dir
- Lakki Marwat
- NW TD
- SWA TD