• Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The History of Peshawar

Discussion in 'Pakistan History' started by Taimur Khurram, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Taimur Khurram

    Taimur Khurram BANNED

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    So in the previous thread I let you guys decide which topic you'd like me to cover next. Unfortunately, you guys were evenly split with 7 votes on each side (the options were for me to either make a thread about a Pakistani historical city or a Pakistani historical figure).

    Therefore, I shall try to incorporate both options listed into this thread.

    Peshawar is the capital of KPK, and was founded as a small city in roughly 539 BC, going by the name of Puruṣapura which means "City of Men" in Sanskrit. This makes it the oldest city in Pakistan and one of the oldest cities in the world.

    Here are some pictures of Peshawar:

    [​IMG]

    The city of Peshawar has been subject to many people coming to it and going from it, such as the Persians, Greeks, Mauryans, Scythians, Parthians, Huns (who actually destroyed many famous historical monuments in Peshawar), Mongols, etc. However, the city itself really became important during the era of the Kushans, the Mughals, Sher Shah Suri, and the Durranis, so I will be focusing on those parts of Peshawar's history.

    The Kushans themselves were an Eastern Iranic people (just like the Pashtuns who inhabit Peshawar today) who ruled over a vast empire from 30 to 375 AD:

    [​IMG]

    During the reign of the Kushans, Peshawar flourished as one of the empire's largest cities, with an estimated 120,000 people living there, which made it the worlds 7th most populated city at the time. Funnily enough, one of the communities inhabiting Peshawar (the Gujjars) might also be descended from them. The Kushans had built many great monuments in the city, most notably the Kanishka stupa:

    [​IMG]

    What a lot of people don't realise is that this is not what the Kanishka stupa originally looked like, but rather, this is just the decayed remains of the base of the stupa after being ravaged by the Huns. In reality, during the reign of the Kushans, it may have been the tallest man made structure in the world, with the Chinese traveller Faxian who visited Peshawar describing it as being a whopping 560 feet (170 metres) tall.

    Here is a reliquary of the tower from the Jaulian which gives an idea of what it actually looked like:

    [​IMG]

    As the name suggests, the stupa was made by none other than Kanishka, the most powerful ruler of the Kushan Empire (although it was further developed by later Kushan rulers).

    Kanishka was born in Peshawar, ruling over the Kushan Empire from 127-150 AD, and under his rule the empire managed to expand even further into the Gangetic Plains as well as conquer the Tarim Basin. He was also a great patron of Buddhism, and his conquest of the Tarim Basin as well as his authority over much of the Silk Road enabled the religion to spread rapidly across China via Buddhist monks from northern Pakistan (mainly Gandhara). Furthermore, it was during Kanishka's reign that Peshawar became the capital of the Kushan Empire.

    Here is a coin issued by Kanishka:

    [​IMG]

    The side of the coin on the left depicts Kanishka himself, and the side of the coin on the right depicts the Buddha.

    Eventually, the Kushan Empire would fall into decline, and the Huns would fight a bloody battle with the Persians for domination over their territories, with the latter eventually emerging victorious (after being completely humiliated by the Huns).

    Kushan Empire

    Kushan dynasty | Asian dynasty

    KUSHAN DYNASTY i. Dynastic History

    Kushan and Gujjars

    Kanishka stupa

    8th wonder of the world status for Kanishka's stupa at Peshawar suggested

    Faxian

    Faxian | Chinese Buddhist monk

    Kanishka

    Kaniska | Kushan king

    Kanishka - History of Pakistan

    The Mughal rule of Peshawar started in the early 16th century when Babur, with the assistance of local Pashtun tribes, took the city from the Lodi Sultanate. Babur is said to have renamed the city Begram, and rebuild the Lodi fort he had previously destroyed in battle. Peshawar then acted as a base for Babur to launch further attacks into the territory under Lodi rule, as well as continue to provide him with a steady supply of troops.

    [​IMG]

    During the rule of Babur's successor Humayun, the empire was briefly interrupted by a takeover acted out by the Sher Shah Suri, in which Peshawar was a critical piece of Suri's Grand Trunk Road:

    [​IMG]

    However, Sher Shah Suri's rule did not last as Humayun eventually retook his lost territory, and the Mughals were back in business, with Humayun's successor Akbar expanding the territory of the empire greatly. Akbar also changed the name of the city of Begram to Peshawar, which is how the city got the name it has today. It is said that Akbar named it taking inspiration from the Persian words "pish shehr", which mean "forward city", obviously signifying the fact that the city was on the outskirts of the Mughal Empire. During Akbar's reign, Peshawar was one of the cities in which the Roshaniyya Revolt occurred under the leadership of Pir Roshan the Pashtun warrior poet. The Roshaniyya's were devout Sufi's who fought against the perceived injustices of the Mughal Empire and advocated a social system similar to Communism, however, the Mughal Empire quickly put down the revolt.

    The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan is also noteworthy for having built a set of gardens in Peshawar similar to the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, however, these gardens no longer exist today. For those of you who haven't seen the Shalimar Gardens:

    [​IMG]

    It is rather disappointing that their sister gardens in Peshawar are no longer around today, they would have surely been very beautiful.

    Under the rule of Aurangzeb, the Pashtuns of Peshawar also engaged in another massive revolt againt the Mughal Empire, with the Afridi tribe managing to completely crush a Mughal battalion near the Khyber Pass and therefore shutting down the important Mughal trade route. However, Aurangzeb ended up cracking down on the revolt with an iron fist, completely crushing it. However, soon after Aurangzeb the Mughal Empire fell into decline, with it eventually holding very little influence over large portions of its former territories. As a result, no more revolts occurred in Peshawar.

    Not too long after the Mughal rule of Peshawar, the Durrani Empire came along and incorporated the city into their empire. Since Peshawar had (and still has) a large numbers of Pashtuns living in it, they naturally got on well with the Durranis who were also Pashtun. Peshawar then acted as a source of soldiers for yet another empire, and under the rule of Timur Shah it officially became the winter capital of the Durrani Empire.

    [​IMG]

    However, not all was bliss. During the reign of the first Durrani King (Ahmed Shah Durrani), the city fell to Maratha invaders during the Battle of Peshawar in 1758, but Durrani forces eventually retook the city in early 1759.

    Peshawar

    Peshawar | Pakistan

    History of Peshawar

    Mughal Empire

    Mughal dynasty | History, Map, & Facts

    Babur's relations with Pashtun tribes

    Sūr dynasty

    Durrani Empire

    Ahmad Shah Durrani: A King of High Rank

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  2. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    We are smart....we wanted you to write on all the topics :p::partay:
     
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  3. Taimur Khurram

    Taimur Khurram BANNED

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    Asalamu Alaikum

    Well, the greater effort should hopefully get me a positive rating or two. I was hoping for one on the last thread but alas, my expectations were too high.
     
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  4. RealNapster

    RealNapster SENIOR MEMBER

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    This thread is a wakeup call to those Pashtoons who claim Pashtoons were never defeated nor ruled by anyone... i tell them history have many surprises for you (which is weird, because normally future holds suprises for us) , but alas...
     
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  5. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    Wa Alykum Salam,
    Bro, I'm not a title holder so I have no authority to positively or negatively rate a post. But I will always be encouraging you and sharing my ideas with you through discussion. Just an advice, never stress too much about ratings... these will come with time. Focus on the content and you will see good things will start to happen all around you.
     
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  6. Imran Khan

    Imran Khan PDF VETERAN

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    nice input i will read carefully soon thanks for tag
     
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  7. newb3e

    newb3e SENIOR MEMBER

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    thanks for tag will read later! history is awesome!
     
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  8. MultaniGuy

    MultaniGuy ELITE MEMBER

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    lovely photos of Peshawar. I would love to visit one day.
     
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  9. Cobra Arbok

    Cobra Arbok FULL MEMBER

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  10. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    Great post brother. Peshawar has been an important city throughout history.
     
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  11. Indus Pakistan

    Indus Pakistan PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    It's not that defeat defines us. Everybody at some time have been defeated. It is how you fought, who you fought and how to took defeat that separates the "men from boys".

    For instance one of the favourite comments of Indians is Pakistan Army has lost every war it has fought in the last 70 years. Overlooking the truth of this comment but did you now that the feared Wermacht or the German Army lost every war in the 20th century? But boy did they not go down fighting in epic battles.
     
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  12. GHALIB

    GHALIB BANNED

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    very informative post .
     
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  13. Army research

    Army research FULL MEMBER

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    Splendid read ,
    Kudos sir
     
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  14. Chakar The Great

    Chakar The Great FULL MEMBER

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    Excellent, feel like learnt something new.
     
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  15. Khumariyan

    Khumariyan FULL MEMBER

    New Recruit

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    Phustoons are brave and very resilient race... they have faced so many invasions and subsequent wars but no one could ever defeat their spirit . They keep coming back ....
    Lovely read . Really enjoyed it . Thank you
     
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