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CHARSADDA

Charsadda is a town and headquarters of Charsadda District, in the Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is located at 34°8'43N 71°43'51E with an altitude of 276 metres (908 feet) and lies 29 kilometres from the provincial capital - Peshawar. District Charsadda consists of two main geographical parts. 1. Hashtnagar (Pushto: Ashnaghar) 2. Do Aaba (Pushto: Duava)

Hashtnagar

Hashtnaga is a corruption of the Sanskrit word 'Ashtanagara', meaning Eight Cities. Once cities Do Aaba
Do Aaba is also a Persian word, meaning Two Waters. A place surrounded by the waters of rivers from all four sides is known as Do Aaba. Do Aaba consists of Shabqadar and adjecent areas of Mohmand Agency.

History

The earliest archaeological deposits recovered at Charsadda are dated to ca. 1400 BCE, constituting a series of post holes in association with ceramic sherds and ash. Subsequent periods indicate that more permanent structures were built at Charsadda, including stone-lined pits. Between the 14th century BCE and the 6th century BCE, when an Achaemenid presence is represented at the site (see below), the inhabitants of Charsadda developed an iron-working industry and used ceramics that are typical for this period in the Vale of Peshawar, Swat and Dir.
The father of Sanskrit grammar, Panini was from this area and lived around 500−700 BCE.
The later history of Charsadda can be traced back to the 6th century BCE. It was the capital of Gandhara from the 6th century BCE to the 2nd century CE. The ancient name of Charsadda was Pushkalavati, which means "Lotus City". It was the administrative centre of the Gandhara kingdom. Many invaders have ruled over this region during different times of history. These include the Persians, Alexander the Great's Greeks, the Mauryas, the Greco-Bactrians, the Indo-Greeks, the Indo-Scythians, the Indo-Parthians, the Kushans, the Huns, the Turks, the Guptas.
Charsadda is contiguous to the town of Prang;(city of jaguars) and these two places were identified by Alexander Cunningham with the ancient Pushkalāvati, capital of the region at the time of Alexander's invasion, and transliterated as Peukelaus or Peukelaotis by the Greek historians. Its chieftain (Astes), according to Arrian, was killed in defence of one of his strongholds after a prolonged siege by Hephaistion. Ptolemy fixes its site upon the eastern bank of the Suastene or Swat. In the seventh century CE Hiuen Tsiang visited the city, which he describes as being 100 li (16⅔ miles) north-east of Peshawar. A stupa, erected over the spot where Buddha made an alms-offering of his eyes, formed the great attraction for the Buddhist pilgrim and his co-religionists. The city, however, had even then been abandoned as a political capital in favour of Purushapura, Parashāwara, or Peshawar. It probably extended over a large area, and the entire neighbourhood is covered with vast ruins. Excavation was carried out in the neighbourhood of Charsadda for about two months in the spring of 1902-3. Some interesting finds of coins and pottery ornaments, including an engraved amethyst, were made, and the remains of the ancient Bala Hisar (Acropolis) were mapped. There are eight main villages, giving Hashtnagar its name, Prang, Rajjar, Utmanzai, Umarzai, Tangi, Sherpao, Turangzai and Charsadda Bazar.

Crops

The main crops of Charsadda are tobacco, sugarcane, sugarbeet, wheat and maize. Vegetables include potato, tomato, cabbage, brinjals, okra and spinach. Charsadda is especially famous for lotus roots, known as barsanday. Among orchards, apricot, citrus, plum, strawberry and pears are famous.[citation needed]

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.in addition to this ther are mian.s of qazi khel old,jadeed and gari hameed-gul 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 influencial 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 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) 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.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 leage ,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 bussiness 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 parlimentary 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 doulet 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) A khel called piran, 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.


Renowned Personalities
1. Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan (Bacha Khan) 2. Abdul Ghani Khan (Pashto Poet) 3. Abdul Wali Khan (Politician) 4. Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao (Politician) 5. Asraf Maftoon (Poet) 6. Dr. M. Azam Azam (writer, Poet) 7. Haji Sab Turangzai.
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