Mardan (Pashto: مردان), known as The city of hospitality, is a city and headquarters of Mardan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. It is the de facto headquarters of the Yousafzai tribe and the second most populous city in the province, located at 34°12'0N 72°1'60E and an altitude of 283 metres (928 ft) in the south west of the district. Mardan is a federation of a number of small towns coming together to form a large city.
Mardan valley was part of the ancient Gandhara civilization but at that time the name Mardan and Mardan City was not constructed, instead Gandhara civilization consisted of small sub-kingdoms at the hill tops of Jamal Garhi, Shahbaz Garhi and Thakhat Bahi. The ruins of these cities still exist. Mardan City foundation was laid down by Saint Ali Mardan Shah (nickname Madai-Baba) in about in 11th - 12th century A.D. His shrine is at Jalala. His son Zamin Shah Baba was also a saint, buried in Mardan Cantt. Most of its land is agricultural. It has one of the world's best irrigation systems, which was laid down in 1934 from the Swat River through Jabban Hydel Power Station, during the British Raj between 1857 and 1947. There are still remains of the Gandhara civilization, scattered in different areas of Mardan.
Mardan City Map.
Main article: Mardan District
The area constituting Mardan district is a part of the Peshawar valley, which first appears in history as part of the Gandhara kingdom. The armies of Alexander The Great reached the Indus Valley by two separate routes, one through the Khyber Pass and the other personally led by Alexander through Kunar, Bajaur, Swat, and Buner in 326 BC. After Alexander's departure, the valley came under the rule of Chandragupta, who ruled the valley from 321 to 297 BC. During the reign of the Buddhist emperor Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta, Buddhism was the religion of the Peshawar Valley. The valley saw the revival of Brahmanism after the Greeks took over in the time of King Mehanda. The Scythians followed and retained control of the valley till the 7th century AD.
Over the years, since independence, Mardan has had a gradual improvement in education and educational facilities, although the standards are fairly low in government funded schools, as compared with the rest of the country.
The literacy rate of the district among the population aged 10 years and above is 36.45 percent. It has increased by 20.5% since 1981 when it was only 15.95 percent. The male literacy ratio is much higher at 53.50% compared to 18.38% for women. There are separate educational institutes for girls and boys, although there are many co-educational institutes for school going children.
Some of the educational institutes in Mardan are:
Abdul Wali Khan University, Awkum
Iqra School And College Mardan (Add by Amir Murad)
Agriculture University Mardan Campus
Defence College for Girls, MArdan Cantt.
Govt:college of management Science mardan
Ansi Degree College Mardan
Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Army College
Bacha Khan Medical College
Beaconhouse School System (Pakistan)
The City School (Pakistan)
Engineering University (Mardan Campus)
F.G. Public High School Mardan cantt.
F.G. Inter College
F.G. Girls High School
Government Post Graduate College Mardan
Government Post Graduate College for Women
Mardan Model School
Pak American School
Pak London Kids School
Saint Andrew's School System
St John School Mardan
The Fazle Haq College
The Mardan Model School and College
The Yousaf Zai Model School
Virtual University of Pakistan (Mardan Campus)
Bacha Khan Monument is a minar at College Square as symbol of Pashtun culture.The Minar is in modern type construction, starting from a rose petal type design at base with lighted fountains.The monument is sixty feet high from ground level with ten feet basement.
Mardan is largely an agricultural area. The major crops are wheat, sugarcane, tobacco, maize, rice, rapeseed, mustard and various vegetable crops. Important fruits are orange, plum, peach, apricot, pear, rare mango and apple.
The main sources of the irrigation are the canals. The upper Swat canal mostly irrigates the Mardan district, and the lower Swat canal irrigates the southwestern parts of the district. Irrigation is also done by tube-wells and lift irrigation.
Even though the population is still largely poor and relatively uneducated, recent years have seen major improvements in education, health and infrastructure. Manufacturing has also grown over the years and so has the financial sector where the town centre has become home to many national and international banks. The town of Sheikh Maltoon has developed on the outskirts of Mardan city where the population is growing rapidly.
Industries include a well-established sugar mill, The Premier Sugar Mill, the Pakistan Railways Locomotive Factory, which is located near Mardan and small to large cigarette manufacturing industries, besides various other large and small industrial units such as flour and paper mills. Some small sector industries of gur (jaggery), tobacco leaf processing, tiles, soaps, marble, and bricks are also present. Marble mining is becoming a notable industry, presently with over 100 units, becoming a very good source of earning for local people.
Mardan district may broadly be divided into two parts, the north-eastern hilly area and south-0western plain. The entire northern side of the district is bounded by the hills. In the district, the highest points in these hills are Pajja or Sakra, 2056 meters high, and Garo or Pato, 1816 meters high. The southwestern half of the district is mostly composed of fertile plain with low hills strewn across it. This plain once formed the bed of a lake, which was gradually filled up by the load of the river flowing into from the surrounding hills. From the foothills the plain runs down at first with a steep slope, which carried the rainwater to the lower levels and ultimately to the Kabul River.22
Rivers and streams
Irrigation House Mardan
Generally streams flow from North to the South. Most of the streams drain into Kabul River. Kalpani, an important stream of the district, rises passing through the vally of Katti Garhi (Chota Kalaam). This stream waters the maximum cultivation land of the valley which help in agriculture products and flowing southwards joins Kabul River. Other important streams join Kalpani, such as Baghiari Khawar on the west and Maqam Khawar, coming from Sudham valley and Naranji Khawar from the Narangi hills on the left.
The summer season is extremely hot. A steep rise of temperature occurs from May to June, and July, August and September record high temperatures. During May and June dust storms are frequent at night. The temperature reaches its maximum in the month of June i.e. 41.5 °C. Due to intensive cultivation and artificial irrigation, the area is humid. A rapid fall of temperature occurs from October onwards. The coldest months are December and January. The mean minimum temperature recorded for the month of January is 2.1 °C.
Most of the rainfall occurs in the months of July, August, December and January. Maximum rainfall for August is 125.85 mm. Towards the end of cold weather there are occasional thunderstorms and hail storms. The relative humidity is quite high throughout the year while maximum humidity has been recorded in December at 73.33%.
Flora and fauna
Common trees are mesquite, ber, different species of acacia and jand (Prosopis cineraria). The most common shrubs are Tamarix articulata, spands, akk, small red poppy, spera, pueghambrigul, drab grass, eamelthorl and pohli chaulai etc.
The district has a variety of fauna, including the leopard, leopard cat, black bear, brown monkey, jackal, wild goat, and pheasant.
Popular foods are beef cooked as chapli kabab, seekh kabab, tikkas, and qahwa (green tea). A tandoor (oven) for baking bread is present in many houses.Most of the people like Cholay (Chick pea) and Lobya (beans),Saag and Roti of Juwar (maize) is liked by a lot of people.
Dress and ornaments
There is significant difference in dress of common people and educated and upper classes. The upper-class people are inclined to western dress. The middle and lower classes are generally wearing typical pathan dress, the old loose coat or khalqa has been replaced by the less cumbersome qamiz with blanket and coarse chader during winter season around the body. Among the villagers use of mazari cloth is common for qamiz and shalwar. A chitrali woolen cap is used in winter, while a typical light color cap is worn in the summer. Sapley (studded, leather sandals) are the most common footwear. Shalwar qamiz and dopatta is the dress of women. Pardah is universal among women in a form of a printed coarse piece of cloth called "Parhoone" or plain white version or burqa.
The use of ornaments among women is also common, such as earrings and bangles, and sometimes a quba, which consists of two egg-like cups connected by a chain or a flat circle of shaped gold hanging on the forehead.
The villages are divided into Kandis. The divisions of Kandis are on the pattern of agricultural lands. The houses generally consist of two or three rooms and a courtyard. Cattle and poultry are also accommodated beside the shelter.
Each Kandi of the village has its own mosque and a place of meeting or for public assembly called a Hujra. Most famous Hujra of the Village Katti Garhi (Chota Kalaam) is named as Utman Khel which is open for travelers for 365 days of the year. In most cases it is the property of elders of the Kandi, who are expected to feed and give shelter to visitors. These Hujras are commonly used for the settlement of public disputes and business.
Houses have compound walls around them with gates.
Mardan is populated by people of different backgrounds and ethnicities, although almost all of its residents are Pashtuns. The people of Mardan are not usually entwined in tribal culture.
The Yousafzai clan is the majority, and Mardan is the considered their de facto headquarters. ,Azi Khel, Mandoori, Myaghan, Sayyads, Awan, Kakar, Daavi,AmanZai, Gojars, Daulat Zai, Lodhi, Mohmand, Afridis, Khattak, Shilmani, Utmankhel, Tanoli and Hindokowans are also present in the district.
Kuzkandi Jamiah Masjid at Baghdada, Mardan
Religion has a great impact on the culture of people. The Majority of the population are strict followers of the sunnah (Sunni).
The main minorities are Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians, who are 0.32 and 0.14 percent respectively. Hindus are 0.02 percent of the total population. The population of the rural and urban area is 99.69 and 98.81% Muslim respectively. The percentage of Christians and Ahmadiyya is greater in the urban area.
Festivals and fairs
Festivals and fairs are a part of the Pukhton life. The most important festivals are the two Eids. Apart from that, most of the youngster move towards the hills which are around the village of Katti Garhi in the pleasant season of rain, there are weekly cattle fairs in all towns and important villages, at which cattle and other necessities of life are bought and sold.
Population size and growth
The population of Mardan district has increased about four-fold since 1951. According to 1998 census it is 1.46 million compared to 357,000 in 1951, with an annual percentage increase of around 3%.
The total area of the district is 1632 square kilometers having population density of 894.7 persons per square kilometer in 1998.
The urban proportion of the district is 20.2% of the total population whereas the rural proportion is 79.8%. The largest urban area is Mardan Municipal Committee with a population of 239,000. The other urban areas are Takht Bhai Municipal Committee with a population of 49,000 and Mardan Cantonment with 7,000 inhabitants.
Pashto is the most common language spoken by about 98.44%. Hindko, Urdu, Punjabi, Gojri, Balochi, Saraiki are also spoken by 0.90, 0.33, 0.49, 0.02, 0.01, and 0.03% respectively. However, most of these non-Pukhtun immigrants from the neighboring provinces gradually adopt Pukhto language at homes as well.The people knows English but half of them can speak.
Bank road at evening
Mardan is connected by the M1 motorway to the rest of the country. The roads are generally busy as Mardan is the link between different cities. The nearest airport is Peshawar International Airport, about forty miles away. Buses, taxis and private vehicles are the main means of transport. The rail system which was developed during the British Empire has gradually disappeared for passenger travel, although it is still used for cargo and heavy goods.[citation
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