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History of Peshawar

Peshawar derives its name from a Sanskrit word "Pushpapura", meaning the city of flowers. Peshawar's flowers were even mentioned in Mughal Emperor Babur's memoirs. Peshawar is old, so old that its origins are lost in antiquity, founded over 2,000 years ago by the Kushan Kings of Gandhara, it has had almostas many names as rulers. 

After the Kushan era, Peshawar declined into an obscurity not broken until the 16th century. Mughal emperor Babar came to Peshawar, he found a city called Begam and rebuilt the fort there, in 1530. His grandson, Akber, formally gave the name Peshawar which means "The Place at the Frontier" and much improved the bazaars and fortifications. Earlier it had been known as the "City of Flowers" and the "City of Grain". In the days of the Kushan King it was called the "Lotus Land". Sher Shah Suri, his successor, turned Peshawar renaissance into a boom when he ran his Dehli-to-Kabul Shahi Road through the Khyber Pass. Thus Mughals turned Peshawar into "City of Flower" by planting trees and laying out gardens.

Peshawar was the center of Buddist Gandhara civilization and an important place of pilgrimage. As Buddhism declined in international importance, Peshawar also fell on hard times. In the 9th century the provincial capital was shifted by the Hindu Shahi kings to Hund on the Indus. After the invasion of Mahmood of Ghazni, all traces of gentle, artistic Gandhara were lost. The great Babur marched through historic Khyber Pass to conquer South Asia in 1526 and setup the Mughal Empire in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent Peshawar not regain any of its former glories until the advent of the Mughals in the 16th century.

When Marco Polo visited Peshawar province in 1275 or there about, he found a place "The people have peculiar language, they worship idols and have an evil disposition". But these days Pathan hospitality is legendary, and since conversion to Islam, worshipping idols has ceased. 




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