Charsadda District, Pakistan

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Charsadda District
Pakistan - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - Charsadda.svg
Location in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Country Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan
Province PK-NWFP.svg  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Headquarters Charsadda
   District 996 km2 (385 sq mi)
   District 1,616,198
  Density1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+5 (PST)
Number of Tehsils 3

Charsadda District (Pashto : چارسدہ ولسوالۍ, Urdu : ضِلع چارسدہ) is a district in Peshawar Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. Prior to its establishment as a separate district in 1998, it was a tehsil within Peshawar District. [2] Pashtuns make up majority of the population of the district. District headquarter is town of Charsadda, which was part of the Peshawar ex-metropolitan region.

Districts of Pakistan administrative division used in Pakistan

The Districts of Pakistan, are the third-order administrative divisions of Pakistan, below provinces and divisions, but form the first-tier of local government. In total, there are 154 districts in Pakistan including the Capital Territory, districts of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. These districts are further divided into tehsils or talukas.

Peshawar Division was an administrative division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan until the reforms of 2000 abolished the third tier of government. At independence in 1947, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was split into two divisions, Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar. Until 1976, Peshawar Division contained the districts of Hazara and Kohat, when they both became divisions themselves. Later in the mid-1990s, the district of Mardan also became a division itself.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formerly known as North-West Frontier Province, is one of the four administrative provinces of Pakistan, located in the northwestern region of the country along the international border with Afghanistan. It was previously known as the North-West Frontier Province until 2010 when the name was changed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the 18th Amendment to Pakistan's Constitution, and is known colloquially by various other names. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the third-largest province of Pakistan by the size of both population and economy, though it is geographically the smallest of four. Within Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shares a border with Punjab, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Islamabad. It is home to 17.9% of Pakistan's total population, with the majority of the province's inhabitants being Pashtuns. The province is the site of the ancient kingdom Gandhara, including the ruins of its capital Pushkalavati near modern-day Charsadda. Originally a stronghold of Buddhism, the history of the region was characterized by frequent invasions under various Empires due to its geographical proximity to the Khyber Pass.


Overview and history

The district lies between 34-03' and 34-38' north latitudes and 71-28' and 71-53' east longitudes. Charsadda is located in the west of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is bounded by Malakand District to the north, Mardan district to the east, Nowshera and Peshawar districts to the south and the Mohmand Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the west. The district covers an area of 996 square kilometers.

Malakand District District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Malakand District is a district in Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.

Federally Administered Tribal Areas semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas was a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan that existed from 1947 until being merged with neighboring province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018. It consisted of seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions, and were directly governed by Pakistan's federal government through a special set of laws called the Frontier Crimes Regulations. It bordered Pakistan's provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the east and south, and Afghanistan's provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika to the west and north. The territory is almost exclusively inhabited by the Pashtun, who also live in the neighbouring provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern Balochistan, and straddle across the border into Afghanistan. They are mostly Muslim.

Charsadda was once part of the kingdom of Gandhara, however around 516 BC Gandhara became part of the seventh satrapy or province of the Achaemenid Empire and paid tribute to Darius the Great of Persia, until its overthrow by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.

Gandhara ancient kingdom in the Swat and Kabul river valleys and the Pothohar Plateau

Gandhāra was an ancient state, a mahajanapada, in the Peshawar basin in the northwest portion of the ancient Indian subcontinent, present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The center of the region was at the confluence of the Kabul and Swat rivers, bounded by the Sulaiman Mountains on the west and the Indus River on the east. The Safed Koh mountains separated it from the Kohat region to the south. This being the core area of Gandhara, the cultural influence of "Greater Gandhara" extended across the Indus river to the Taxila region and westwards into the Kabul and Bamiyan valleys in Afghanistan, and northwards up to the Karakoram range. Gandhara was one of sixteen mahajanapadas of ancient India mentioned in Buddhist sources such as Anguttara Nikaya. During the Achaemenid period and Hellenistic period, its capital city was Pushkalavati, modern Charsadda. Later the capital city was moved to Peshawar by the Kushan emperor Kanishka the Great in about AD 127.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

Alexander the Great King of Macedon

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.

After the death of Alexander in 323 BC the Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya rose to power and brought Gandhara under his sway. According to a popular tradition, Emperor Ashoka built one of his stupas there. This stupa was mentioned by the famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Hieun Tsang, who visited in 630, according to him Po-Lu-Sha (as he called the stupa) was 2.5 miles (4.0 km) in circumference.

Chandragupta Maurya Maurya emperor

Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Maurya Empire in ancient India. He built one of the largest-ever empires on the Indian subcontinent and then, according to Jain sources, he renounced it all and became a monk.

Ashoka 3rd Emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, patron of Buddhism

Ashoka, sometimes Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. The grandson of the founder of the Maurya Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka promoted the spread of Buddhism. Considered by many to be one of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka expanded Chandragupta's empire to reign over a realm stretching from present-day Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east. It covered the entire Indian subcontinent except for parts of present-day Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The empire's capital was Pataliputra, with provincial capitals at Taxila and Ujjain.

Xuanzang Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator

Xuanzang was a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller, and translator who travelled to India in the seventh century and described the interaction between Chinese Buddhism and Indian Buddhism during the early Tang dynasty. He is also known as Hiuen Tsang in history books of India.

A Brahminical temple to the east and a monastery to the north which according to Buddhist legends was the place where Buddha preached the Law. The name Gandhara disappeared after Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the area and converted it to Islam in 1026.

Mahmud of Ghazni Sultan of Ghazni

Mahmud of Ghazni was the first independent ruler of the Ghaznavid dynasty, ruling from 998 to 1030. At the time of his death, his kingdom had been transformed into a extensive military empire, which extended from northwestern Iran proper to the Punjab in the Indian subcontinent, Khwarazm in Transoxiana, and Makran.

Bactrian Greeks

This area was also ruled by the Bactrian Greeks between 250–125 BC which was succeeded by the Indo-Greek Kingdom who ruled until 10 AD.

Indo-Greek Kingdom Hellenistic kingdom, covered parts of norwest Indian subcontinent during the two last centuries BC

The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Ionian Kingdom of the Indus Valley(Pakistan) was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan, easterly through the mighty Indus and into the classical circumscriptions of the Punjab of the Indian subcontinent, during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.


Shabqadar is a small town in Charsadda tehsil 17 miles (27 km) north west of Peshawar. A fort was built here by the Sikhs called Sharkargarh. The town was burnt by Mohmands in 1897 It has since been rebuilt.

Bibi Syeda Dheri

Bibi Syeda Dheri is a site half a mile to the north of Umarzai village in Charsadda tehsil here is a mound 60 ft (18 m) high. Believed to be the site of the stupa erected to commemorate the conversion by Lord Buddha of goddess Hariti who used to devour children of the locality. There is also a shrine of a lady saint Bibi Syeda.


Shar-i-Napursan is an archaeological site in Charsadda tehsil near the village Rajjar Excavations have unearthed two distinct settlements of the Buddhist period and two of the Muslim period. Coins of Manander, Hermaeous and Kanishka have been unearthed.

Palatu Dheri

Piedestal of a Buddha statue, with Year 384 inscription, from Palatu Dheri. Hashtnagar Buddha piedestal with Year 384 inscription.jpg
Piedestal of a Buddha statue, with Year 384 inscription, from Palatu Dheri.

Palatu Dheri is another archaeological site near Charsadda tehsil. A mile from Shar-i-Napursan A mound which contains the remains of a stupa, which according to Hieun Tsiang, was built by one Deven and some coins which connect them both to the first century AD have been unearthed Other finds include the image of the goddess Kalika-devi. Three inscribed jars, which were presented by some laymen to "the Community of the Four Quarters", are now in the Peshawar Museum.


The city of Charsadda originally known as Pushkalavati is first mentioned in the Hindu epic story the Ramayana.

Bala Hisar of Charsadda

Bala Hisar was excavated twice by the head of the Archaeological Survey of India, Sir John Marshall, in 1902 and by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1958. According to South Asian Archaeology Research Group of Bradford University Wheeler suggested that Bala Hisar "was founded by the Persians in the sixth century BC as a colony guarding the eastern edge of their empire". [4]


The population of Charsadda district, according to the 2017 census, is 1,616,198. [5] The population of the district over the years is shown in the table below. [6]

Census YearPopulationRural AreaUrban Area
20171,616,1981,346,023270,175 [7]

The population counted in the 1998 census was 1,022,000, of which 19% were urban. [8] The predominant language is Pashto, spoken natively by 99.4% of the population. [9]


The district is administratively subdivided into 3 Tehsils comprising a total of 58 Union Councils: [10]

TehsilNo. of Union Councils
Charsadda 34
Tangi 12
Shabqadar 12

National Assembly Seats

The district is represented in the National Assembly by two MNAs who represent the following constituencies: [11]

NA-7 Charsadda-I fazal mohammad PTI
NA-8 Charsadda-II anwar taj PTI

Provincial Assembly Seats

The district is represented in the Provincial Assembly by six MPAs who represent the following constituencies: [12]

PK-17 Charsadda-I Fazle Shakoor Khan PTI
PK-18 Charsadda-II Sultan Mohammad Khan PTI
PK-19 Charsadda-III Shakeel Bashir khan Awami national Party
PK-57 Charsadda-IV Khalid Khan PTI
PK-21 Charsadda-V Sikandar Hayat Khan Qaumi Watan Party
PK-22 Charsadda-VI Mohammad Arif Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

See also

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  1. "DISTRICT AND TEHSIL LEVEL POPULATION SUMMARY WITH REGION BREAKUP: KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA" (PDF). Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  2. PCO 1998, p. 1.
  3. Problems of Chronology in Gandharan Art p.37
  4. Bradford University - The Bala Hisar of Charsadda
  5. "Pakistan Tehsil Wise Census 2017 [PDF]" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  8. PCO 1998, p. 25.
  9. PCO 1998, p. 29.
  10. Tehsils & Unions in the District of Charsada - Government of Pakistan Archived March 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. Members of the National Assembly of Pakistan
  12. Members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly