Peshawar is situated at the gateway to the famous Khyber Pass, which is situated in the Sulaiman Hills (which form the Western barrier of Pakistan). The hills dip down here, leaving a passage on to Kabul.
The city is a commercial center and the traditional terminus of caravans from Afghanistan.
Until the mid-fifties of the 20th century Peshawar was enclosed witin a city wall and sixteen gates. Of the old city gates the most famous was the Kabuli Gate but only the name remains now. It leads out on the Khyber and on to Kabul.
In 1998 Peshawar had a population of 988,005 and was the capital of the North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan.
The prime attraction in this region is the Khyber Pass situated in the Sulaiman Hills which form the Western barrier of Pakistan. The hills dip down here, leaving a passage sometimes as broad as one mile and sometimes as narrow as fifty-two feet. The pass begins near Jamrud Fort, eleven miles from Peshawar and extends beyoiund the border of Pakistan at Torkham, thirty six miles away.
Peshawar is a road and rail center and an important military and communications center and the major depot for trade with Afghanistan.
Local handicrafts and farm produce from the surrounding fertile agricultural valley are sold in the many bazaars of the city.
Industries in Peshawar include food processing, and the manufacture of steel, cigarettes, firearms, textiles, pharmaceuticals, furniture, and paper and board.
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Founded over 2,000 years ago by the Kushan Kimgs of Gandhara, the city has had almost as many names as rulers.
Moghal emperor Akbar gave the city the name Peshawar which means "The Place at the Frontier" (frontier town). Peshawar ('Pe-kha-war' in Pushto). For centuries, the city had been the target of successive Afghan, Persian, and Mongol invaders.
Earlier it had been known as the "City of Flowers" and the "City of Grains". The city is also known as "City of the Story Tellers".
One of the main attractions of Peshawar is Qissa Khwani Bazaar. Here perhaps visiting travellers or the relaxing townesmen were regaled with stories by professional story-tellers, in the evening, in the many tea-shops. Hence the name Qissa Khwani (story telling). The tea-shops still adorn the bazaar front with their large brass samovars and numerous hanging teapots and tea-cups, though the legendary story-tellers are nowhere to be seen.
The British captured Peshawar in 1848 and the city became an important outpost of British India and was a base for British military operations.
During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (197989) Peshawar was the center of relief operations for Afghan refugees and the command center of the coalition of guerrilla groups intent on expelling the Soviet forces from Afghanistan.
Major cities near Peshawar:
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