Today, in this busy and dreary world of traveling between home and workplace, everyone wants to have a bit of a sigh of comfort. Many people spend their weekend staying at home and merely enjoyed watching a thriller horror movie with their family. However, it is not a suitable remedy to get rid of boredom, instead, trying to refresh yourself by packing your luggage and take your family on thousands of miles away journey that could introduce you to a new culture and people. Exploring unseen cultural oriented sites can make your weekend full of energy, thus boost your lifestyle, which could also be very beneficial to supplement your balanced psychological health.
The City of Peshawar
What if the location you would like to visit is significant in terms of its history and rich culture? A region which is considered to be the oldest known place where humans ever lived. A route that has been the gateway of many historical invaders, including the great Alexander and most importantly, a place where people have a tremendous culture following that you could be experienced whenever you get there. Yes, indeed, I am talking about the city of hospitality “Peshawar” that has been among the oldest known cities in south Asia.
Peshawar, also known as “the city of flowers,” is the capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan. It is situated in the North West region of Pakistan, which formerly had been the frontier of the sub-continent at the time of the British Empire. The vicinity of the Peshawar region is quite hilly, with average heights of over 3,300 ft. Above sea level.
Dialect and People
The majority of the people of Peshawar speaks Pashto, which is the dominant language in the entire province. Since the people also have a strong influence on the Afghani people and many Afghan refugees live there and do businesses and jobs, so the culture is proudly termed as “Afghani culture.” Though there are also a small proportion of Hindko and Urdu speaking people, they are so used to Afghani Pashto that they speak it very fluently.
Pathan people love to wear loose clothes, and they are feeling comfortable in Shalwar Qameez. They used to wear simple footwear. The famous footwear is known as “Peshawari chappal” is made in Peshawar, which emphasizes the tradition of Pathans.
Pathans are very foodaholic, and they love mutton and beef from the core of their hearts. Amongst Pathans, the Shinwari and Afridi families are very fond of lamb’s meat and sheep’s mutton recipes such as lamb chops and kebabs, etc.
While visiting Peshawar, you could come across many traditional restaurants and hotels which offer high-quality foods, and also you could stay there for a while to take a nap and then start your journey to the must-see places in Peshawar.
1. Qissa Khawani Bazaar
The market known for its traditional gathering of local people in shops which told stories while enjoying green tea, cannot be left aside by the Peshawari people. These past events of this bazaar reminded the Peshawarians of their ancestors, and hence the name Qissa Khawani means “story-tellers.”
This market is the epicenter of all trades in Peshawar, which has the beauty of surrounded by numerous historical places. When you get there, make a round of the whole area, which will get you to the Cunningham Clock Tower, Chowk Yadgar, coming towards the west there the Khyber Bazaar, which is best known for electronic appliances and bookshops. Further, transcend, and you will reach the famous Shoba bazaar, prominent for machinery and auto parts workshops.
While in Shoba Chowk facing the Railway road turns towards the left side, there comes the Namak Mandi (Salt Market), which is best known for its hotels and street foods. It is regarded as one of the best spicy tail fat mutton and lamb and goat meats. Here the Emaraat Hotel is the best resting place for visitors to continue their journey after a peaceful sleep.
2. Mahabat Khan Mosque
Built-in 1670s, under the rule of Moghuls. The mosque was named after a regional governor Mahabat Khan, who had been in service at the time of both Emperors Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. Upon entering the narrow gateway between the jewelry shops, you could see a large pond made of white marbles for ablution purposes. The internal of the mosque is colorfully ornate with floral arts and geometric designs.
The mosque is seized between bunches of markets surrounded by, which, you could experience when observed from the minaret. Must try the fresh fish fried curry from the nearby street food shops.
By the Mahabat Khan mosque, there is another famous site which you should never forget while visiting Peshawar is the residence of Bollywood famous actors Raj Kapoor’s ancestor’s haveli (Kapoor Haveli) and the legendary Dilip Kumar whose house was declared by the government of Pakistan to make it a national heritage in 2013.
3. Bala Hissar Fort
This fort comes after about ten minutes’ walk towards the west from the Qissa Khawani Bazaar. The first Moghul Emperor Babur built this mighty historical enclave in 1526 – 30. Presently, it is occupied by government officials.
Upon entering the fortress, you have to pass through a long stretched road with beautiful scenery of gardens. In the center, there is the main army barrack whose wall is ornate with galleries of Moghul emperors, Moghul sipahi outfits, guns, etc.
4. Peshawar Museum
The Peshawar Museum is adjacent to the Shuhada-e-APS Public Library when heading from Shoba bazaar to Saddar via Saddar road. It was established in 1907 as “Victoria Hall,” in tribute to Queen Victoria of Great Britain.
This two-story building has the most extending collection of Gandhara art of the Buddhist era and is considered to be one of the most comprehensive collections of Buddhist sculptors in the world. Alongside sculptors, you can see the marvelous Mughal and Islamic art galleries, pre-Islamic numismatics, and coins, etc.
5. Islamia College Peshawar
Islamia College Peshawar is amongst one of the best heritage of the state of Pakistan. It was established in 1913 by the joined venture of Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum and Sir George Roose-Keppel. It was one of the oldest colleges of higher education after Edwardes College Peshawar.
It is located on the main Jamrud road in the university town when traveling from the Haji camp transport stand, and it is about 10km distance directly away. Here you can either hire a taxi that will pick you to the Islamia College via Habib Jalib Road to Tehkal. Another way is to pick a public transport that will take you via Saddar Road and then to Tatkal. The former is the shortest and easiest route to reach Islamia College.
The Islamia College reminded us of the Aligarh College, whose founder was Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan, who constructed it by the excellent charity program he organized. The architectural building site of the Islamia College traces the likes of Aligarh College.
Islamia College is situated on a whole land with scenic beauty that can be seen on the front side of the building. Upon entering the College, you can see many buildings, a century-old of that time. These buildings are now converted into student’s hostels and departments. Visitors can enjoy the mesmerizing old architectural style of building long walls with beautiful woodworking on the windows and doors.
There are many hotels and restaurants around the College that offers delicious food. Here the Charsi Tikka Restaurant is exceptionally famous among locals. On the roadside, you can see numerous other refreshment places and shops to buy toys or garments.