Peshawar is the capital of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. It is situated at the mouth of the strategically important Khyber Pass and is at a height of 347m from the sea level. Peshawar actually means the ‘City on the Frontier‘ in Persian language. It is known as Pakhawar in Pashto.
In ancient times, the city was known as Purushpura in Sanskrit. When the Kushan rulers founded it, this region was known as Gandhar, and Peshawar was one of the most important trading centers on the Silk Route. Peshawar became the eastern capital of the empire of Gandhara, under the Kushan King Kanishka1. During the period of Kanishka1, Peshawar became a center of Buddhist studies and learning and the majority of the people of this city followed Buddhism. After the defeat of the Sikhs, the British occupied and ruled Peshawar from 1849 to 1947. Till the middle of 50s, Peshawar was surrounded by a wall and as many as 16 gates. The most famous gate amongst them was the Kabuli gate.
In the present day, the majority of the people are Muslims or Pashtuns. The majority of the population is Pashtun and the minority comprises of the Peshawaris. Other than this, Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Persians and Gypsies form the colourful and cultural milieu that is today identified as Peshawar. This city continues to be the epicentre of the rich Pakhtun heritage and culture and also of Hindko culture.
The best bargains in Peshawar are gold and silver ornaments, carpets, pottery and garments etc. The principal bazaars of Peshawar are The Qissa Khawani Bazaar, Chowk Yaadgar, Andarsheher Bazaar, Khyber Bazaar, Namak Mandi, Bazaar Shah Qabool Qila, Sadar Road etc
In and around Peshawar, there are many places, which are worth visiting. Prominent amongst them are the Peshawar Museum, Bala-Hissar fort, Peshawar University, the Karkhano Market, the largest shopping mall in Pakistan. The Attock fort of the Mughal era and the confluence of the Indus and the Kabul River at Attock, Bara Bridge, made by the Mughal rulers in 1629, the Cunningham Clock Tower constructed in 1900 are the remnants of the colonial past. The clock tower is presently known as the Ghanta Ghar.
The Peshawar International Airport is towards the outskirts of the city. This airport is the fourth largest airport in the country. The airport caters to domestic flights to Chitral, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore and international flights mostly to the countries in the Gulf.
Peshawar is connected to Quetta, Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi by rail.
By road, Peshawar is connected to many cities like Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Abbotabad, Lahore etc through bus services.
Peshawar is famous for drinks like the faluda, Kawa and Sharbat e Sandal and food like the Chappal Kabab, tikka and Karai. It is worth mentioning that Peshawar is a Dry City, and alcohol is not easily available.
Star hotels in Peshawar include the Pearl Continental, Greens hotel in Saddar Road is a mid -range Hotel, as is the Khan Klub. While, the Rose Hotel at Khyber Bazaar, Shoba Chowk and the Tourist Inn Motel at Saddar Road are budget hotels.