District Charsadda

 Charsadda (Urdu: ضلع چارسدہ‎) is a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan that contains the town of Charsadda. The town was part of the Peshawar ex-metropolitan region. Pashtuns make up majority of the population of the district.

 
 History
 
Charsadda was once part of the kingdom of Gandhara, however around 516 BC Gandhara became part of the seventh satrapy or province of the Achaemenid Empire and paid tribute to Darius the Great of Persia, until its overthrow by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.
 
After the death of Alexander in 323 BC the Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya rose to power and brought Gandhara under his sway. According to a popular tradition, Emperor Ashoka built one of his stupas there. This stupa was mentioned by the famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Hieun Tsang, who visited in 630, according to him Po-Lu-Sha (as he called the stupa) was 2.5 miles (4.0 km) in circumference.
 
A Brahminical temple to the east and a monastery to the north which according to Buddhist legends was the place where Buddha preached the Law. The name Gandhara disappeared after Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the area and converted it to Islam in 1026.
 
 Bactrian Greeks
 
This area was also ruled by the Bactrian Greeks between 250–125 BC which was succeeded by the Indo-Greek Kingdom who ruled until 10 AD.
 
 Sharkargarh
 
Shabqadr is a small town in Charsadda tehsil 17 miles (27 km) north west of Peshawar. Here is a fort built by the Sikhs called Sharkargarh. The town was burnt by Mohmands in 1897 It has since been rebuilt.
 
 Bibi Syeda Dheri
 
Bibi Syeda Dheri is a site half a mile to the north of Umarzai village in Charsadda tehsil here is a mound 60 ft (18 m) high. Believed to be the site of the stupa erected to commemorate the conversion by Lord Buddha of goddess Hariti who used to devour children of the locality. There is also a shrine of a lady saint Bibi Syeda. It is believed that a pinch of earth from the site is an effective antidote in the case of smallpox.
 
 Shar-i- Napursan
 
Shar-i-Napursan is an archaeological site in Charsadda tehsil near the village Rajjar Excavations have unearthed two distinct settlements of the Buddhist period and two of the Muslim period. Coins of Manander, Hermaeous and Kanishka have been unearthed.
 
[edit] Palatu Dheri
 
Palatu Dheri is another archaeological site near Charsadda tehsil. A mile from Shar-i-Napursan A mound which contains the remains of a stupa, which according to Hieun Tsiang, was built by one Deven and some coins which connect them both to the first century AD have been unearthed Other finds include the image of the goddess Kalika-devi. Three inscribed jars, which were presented by some laymen to "the Community of the Four Quarters", are now in the Peshawar Museum.
 
 Charsadda
 
Main article: Charsadda
 
The city of Charsadda originally known as Pushkalavati is first mentioned in the Hindu epic story the Ramayana.
 
 Bala Hisar of Charsadda
 
Bala Hisar was excavated twice by the head of the Archaeological Survey of India, Sir John Marshall, in 1902 and by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1958. According to South Asian Archaeology Research Group of Bradford University Wheeler suggested that Bala Hisar "was founded by the Persians in the sixth century BC as a colony guarding the eastern edge of their empire".
 
Location
 
Map of Charsadda district
The district lies between 34-03' and 34-38' north latitudes and 71-28' and 71-53' east longitudes. Charsadda is located in the west of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is bounded by Malakand District on the north. Mardan district on the east, Nowshera and Peshawar districts on the south and the Mohmand Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on the west. The district covers am area of 996 square kilometres.
 
Administration
 
The district is administratively subdivided into two tehsils which contained a total of 46 Union Councils:
 
Charsadda : 34

Tangi: 12
 

Tribes (khels)
 
In charsadda 80% population belongs to muhammadzai tribe then they are divided into subtribes which are locally called "khel" .These subtribes(khels) are enjoying the status of khans. These subtribes (khels) are basically pure khans families in charsadda as compared to other khan families. In addition there exists numerous syed families amongst whom mainly are Kakakhel Mians/Syeds who are descendants of Sheikh Rehamkar Hazrat Kaka Sahib the most revered Pir/Spiritual Figure of the entire Pashtun belt including Pukhtoonkwha and Afghanistan. These Mians/Syeds enjoy special respect and status among pashtuns due to their righteous nature and pious ancestry. They are also big land lords having most prime lands in Charsadda and neighbouring districts.
 
The following are the main khans families in charsadda
 
1.. Parich Khails They are the most influential and top most Khan family in Charsadda. They are in the village of Utmanzai, Mera Utmanzai and Khanmahi. The Khans of Qazi Khel are from Parich Khails, as rajar and prang have enmity, a brother from the family was asked to stay in the area between them for peace. He was provided with the same amount of land he had left behind in his original village. The PARICH KHAILS are the desendants oF Haji Muhammad Akram khan, He lived in Khanmahi,(He is the father of GEN.AKBAR KHAN, MUHD.AZAM KHAN)
 
The Parich Khails of Utmanzai are the descendants of Muhammad Azam Khan,they reside in the Mohallah Tariq abad. Their family elder is Tariq Azam Khan. The Parich khails of Khanmahi village are cousins of Muhammad Azam Khan family. The village of Khanmahi was founded by Haji Muhammad Akram Khan, after his death Muhammad Hassan Khan was the elder of family who died in 1996. Muhammad Sikandar Khan is the grandson of Haji Muhammad Akram Khan of Khanmahi and is the only Engineer in the family.
 
2.. Kanan khel They are in the village of Rajjar and Mera Rajjar but some of these family members are in Sardehri(Wardaga) village this family is also the only top most khan family in Rajjar and Mera Rajjar
 
3.. Bati khel They are in the village of Umarzai and Mera Umarzai some of the famous personalities of bati khel are Ismail khan(Famous celebrity Ismail khan from "Ismail and Junaid band", Liaqut khan (D.I.G police), Zafarullah khan (Ex IGP motorway)
 
4.. Muhammad Zai Khaas: Residing in the village of Rajjar, they are the major Khan family in the surroundings and comprise one of the most documented figures of the village. Descendants of a son of Muhammad Zai, who was renamed Muhammad Khan Tal Muhammad Zai, they are, therefore, named Muhammad Zai Khaas. The notables are Haji Yarqand Khan, Muhammad Salim Khan(late), a famous business-man who resided in Calcutta besides others.
 
5.. Ghani Khel this family is locally called as Ani khel they are in the village of prang and mera prang. This is the only top most khan family in the prang and Mera prang The family is named as Ghani khel by the family elder name "Ghani khan". He was the son of "Saffar khan".The Notables of Ghani Khel are Haji Attaullah Khan,Hamid Jan khan,Azim Khan,Barrister wisal Khan,Arshid khan etc.
 
6.. Khwazi khel(BACHA KHEL AND MUNAF KHEL) They are known for education in charsadda. They are also in Utmanzai and Mera Utmanzai The Khwazi Khel of Mera Utmanzai are the descendants of Khawas Khan,they reside in the Mera Utmanzai (shaheedan) sarfaraz keli, Utmanzai, Azeem khan pul (named after late AZEEM KHAN KHAN f\o late DSP(r) HAJI MUHAMMAD YOUSAF KHAN), Munaf khan kaly (named after MUNAF KHAN f\o AZEEM KHAN KHAN).Sarfaraz khan keli elder is haji qaiser khan.
 
7.. Shamozai, Sultan khel belong to Sultan Muhammad Khan. Famous personalities are Saddar Sarfaraz khan (late) is a president of Khudi Khidmatgar Tanzeem before Abdul Gaffar khan(Bacha khan),Nawab Shanawaz khan(late),Qazi Muhammad khan(salar sab)tha first president of all Muslim league, Ameer khesro khan (late) EX-MPA,Tila Muhammad Khan (late)Chief engr in PWD,Abdullah jan khan EX- MD Wapda, Haji Muhammad Yaqoob khan (late) Cherman MC Utmanzai,Haji saad ullah khan (late) is also a member o khudi khidmat gar tanzeem and a great business man,Hidayat ullah khan (jano khan)president of Distt Bar Association charsadda, Haji Farman ali khan EX-Distt Naib Nazimalla Charsadda, Barrister Arshad Abdullah jan khan (Manister of Law and parliamentary affairs and human rights),They are another prominent tribe of village Utmanzai and are also living in Mera Utmanzai. Important personalities of this tribe are Gen Imranullah Khan, ex Governor Baluchistan, Farukh syar khan (late), a renowned politician, Jaliya Khan (late), poet and author and Shaheen Khan who lives in Marwandai adjacent to utmanzai.
 
8.. Daulet khel, these khel live in tangi barazai and banda namoe, this is one of the sub tribe of Muhammad zai, the family elder name is daulet khan, after them ghulam muhi ud din has 4 sons, kamal ud khan, jalal ud khan advocate, siraj ud khan, and shams ud din khan, kamal ud din khan was the elder of the family, he has five sons amjad kamal khan, capt hamid kamal khan, docter tariq kamal khan, khalid kamal khan and mustafa kamal khan.
 
9.. Shabas khel They are in the village of Mera Umarzai. The Shahbas khel of Umarzai are the descendants of Muhammad Umar khan (Umerzai),they reside in the Zarbab ghari. Some of the famous personalities are Khalid Khan Umerzai & Muhammad Jan Khan Umerzai.
 
10.. Hassan Khel They living near Prang and the Post graduate college Charsadda There are four Primary schools for boys and girls and one high school name Govt High School Babra.it is at the edge of the famous grave yard of charsadda. The peoples are mostly the sons of hassan baba they very noble and peaceful people, mostly people are educated and govt employee. Hassan kel is the only khel left which has its own old Combine Hujra and Mosque. This Hujra was rebuild by the son of Haji Kashmir Khan (Late)Mr. Tariq Aman who is a teacher by profession. There are more than 600 houses.
 
11.. Piran khel, they are living in umerzai, tarangzai and utmanzai. They belong from syed cost, and Hajji sahab tarangzai (fazle-al-wahid) is one of the famous personality during British period in subcontinent.(reference book is baresagheer ke tehreky azadi ka aik azeem mujahid)written by Aziz Javeed.
 
12.. Oryaz khel they are living in umerzai,and mera umerzai they are very noble and peaceful people most people are educated and govt employee Dr M younas khan Amilrulmulk khan M Azam khan belongs from this khel.
 

The district is represented in the provincial assembly by six MPAs who represent the following constituencies:

ConstituencyMPAParty
PF-17 (Charsada-1) Fazle Shakoor Khan (nisata) Awami National Party
PF-18 (Charsada-2) Barrister Arshad Abdullah Awami National Party
PF-19 (Charsada-3) Shakeel Bashir Umerzai Awami National Party
PF-20 (Charsada-4) Aftab Ahmad Sherpao Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpao)
PF-21 (Charsada-5) Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpao)
PF-22 (Charsadda-6) Mohammad Ali Khan Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpao)

 

References

1.^ Bradford University - The Bala Hisar of Charsadda
2.^ Tehsils & Unions in the District of Charsada - Government of Pakistan
3.^ Constituencies and MPAs - Website of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
wikipedia

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