Peshawar is city of many splendors. It is the city of the brave.it is embedded in history, having been in existence as far back as 400 years B.C. Over the centuries, the inhabitants of Peshawar have witnessed the march of many conquerors, some ruthless, some brave and magnanimous.It is a city of legends and of folklore. Proud, rugged and fierce as they may appear. Pathans inhabiting this age old city are a very hospitable people.Peshawar also retains much of its traditions, old grandeur and character, having been in the path of all major invasions of the subcontinent.As the invading armies rolled down the historic Khyber Pass, Peshawar saw the march of Alexander,s warriors as well as those of the white Huns, the Mughals, Sikhs, British and so on.The successive invasions have helped to enrich the cultural mosaic of the city.it is, therefore, not uncommon even today to find and odd village bearing a Greek name.The people are handsome with sharp features closely resembling those of the Greeks.
Peshawar Retains the narrow lanes and streets as well as the typical crowded oriental bazaars, overflowing with goods and people.Among the most famous of the Peshawar bazaars is the Qissa Khawani bazaar, immortalized by the British poet and writer Rudyard kipling as the street of the story-tellers.The Peshawar bazaars flourished as the city has traditionally been a wholesale market for goods transported across the Khyber pass to and from Afghanistan and the subcontinent. In fact it has also been a resting post for merchants carrying their wars beyond Afghanistan into Central Asia.
For any visitor to Peshawar, Qissa Khanwani is an unavoidable haunt.it retains all the romanticism and chivalry that has been the hallmark of the area.Tribesmen and traders gather here to ex-change news and anecdotes and to haggle and bargain.As the fierce but friendly, war and hospitable Pathans chater and gossip between cups of sweet tea, brightly painted and gaily decorated trucks, vans and cas pass by, with all horns blaring.The bazaar also has all other trappings of the oriental market place with street vendors dispensing health pills, for-telling fortunes and snake-charmers alluring people towards their baskets-full snakes, minus the venom of course.
The bazaars of Peshawar are a buyer,s delight.Craftsmanship is of an exceptionally high standard with brass and copper work.Intricately carved wood work and handsomely designed Pehawari sandals being the principal attraction. A visitor to Peshawar will no doubt notice the happy blend of the new and the old.This natural blend of the old and the new is as much evident in the mosques, houses,schools and colleges of the city as it is in the people who inhabit Peshawar and the North West Frontier Provinces.
For visitors, Peshawar offers more than the charm of its bazaars and its people.There is the the Bala Hisar fort built by the Mughal Emperor Babar in the early sixteenth century.There is the famous Mahabat Khan mosque built in the late seventeenth century. By its design and architectural magnificence, it is smaller version of the Badshahi Mosque at Lahore. Peshawar also has its version of the Hyde park in the form of a famous square known as Chowk Yadgar. It is here that the politicians propagate their programs and policies.
A visit to Peshawar will be incomplete without a visit to the Peshawar museum which was founded at he turn of the present century.The museum has a particularly rich and rare collection of antiquities relating to Gandhara Civilization.
Peshawar City Tour
Drive to Peshawar and visit Peshawar Museum, which is renowned for its collection of Gandhara art.
Then we Explore old city of Peshawar and visit Mahabat Khan mosque, which is a 17th-century Mughal-era mosque.The mosque is named after the Mughal governor of Peshawar, Nawab Mahabat Khan.
We stroll down Qissa Khawani Bazaar (Street of Storytellers), where raconteurs once fascinated crowds with lurid tales. Today, dentists have replaced the storytellers and rows of teeth vie for our attention. We wander down side-streets and see donkeys, goats, sheep, camels, men smoking ‘hookahs’ or sipping tea; but we see few women. And the few that pass by us will be accompanied by a male. Even then, they will reveal only their mysterious eyes peeking through the spidery veil of their ankle-length ‘burka’.we will move to Sethi Streets which is in the heart of the walled city. These streets contains seven houses (including Sethi House a cultural heritage) built by the Sethis. These unique houses are a blend of the art and architecture of Gandhara and Central Asia, are rare architectural masterpieces located in the walled city.
Peshawar – steeped in its own legends and the culture of the Pathan tribes who live by an unbreakable code of conduct – ‘badala’ (revenge) and ‘melmastia’ hospitality) – and the law of the gun. Many call Peshawar and its network of markets the shopper’s paradise of the subcontinent, Dazzling copper-and brass-ware, old carpets and kilims, spectacular tribal jewelry, antiques – it’s all available at unbeatable prices.