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Mardan known as The city of hospitality, is a city and headquarters of Mardan District
Mardan District
Mardan is a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The city of Mardan is the headquarters of the district. The district also contains the famous archaeological site of Takht Bhai, Jamal Ghari and Sawal Dher.-Administration:...

 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. It is the de facto headquarters of the Yousafzai
The Yūsufzai is one of the largest Pashtun tribes...

 tribe and the second most populous city in the province, located at 34°12'0N 72°1'60E and an altitude of 283 metres (928.5 ft) in the south west of the district. Mardan is a federation of a number of small towns coming together to form a large city.

Mardan valley was part of the ancient Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

 civilization but at that time the name Mardan and Mardan City was not constructed, instead Gandhara civilization consisted of small sub-kingdoms at the hill tops of Jamal Garhi, Shahbaz Garhi and Thakhat Bahi. The ruins of these cities still exist. Mardan City foundation was laid down by Saint Ali Mardan Shah (nickname Madai-Baba) in about in 11th - 12th century A.D. His shrine is at Jalala
Jalala is a village and union council in Mardan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is located at 34°20'8N 71°54'10E and has an altitude of 339m .-Jalala - Galilee:...

. His son Zamin Shah Baba was also a saint, buried in Mardan Cantt. Most of its land is agricultural. It has one of the world's best irrigation systems, which was laid down in 1934 from the Swat River
Swat River
The Swat River is a river in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. Its source is in the Hindukush Mountains, from where it flows through the Kalam Valley and Swat District...

 through Jabban Hydel Power Station, during the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 between 1857 and 1947. There are still remains of the Gandhara civilization, scattered in different areas of Mardan.


The area constituting Mardan district is a part of the Peshawar valley, which first appears in history as part of the Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

 kingdom. The armies of Alexander The Great reached the Indus Valley by two separate routes, one through the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

 and the other personally led by Alexander through Kunar, Bajaur, Swat, and Buner in 326 BC. After Alexander's departure, the valley came under the rule of Chandragupta, who ruled the valley from 321 to 297 BC. During the reign of the Buddhist emperor Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta, Buddhism was the religion of the Peshawar Valley. The valley saw the revival of Brahmanism after the Greeks took over in the time of King Mehanda. The Scythians followed and retained control of the valley till the 7th century AD.


Over the years, since independence, Mardan has had a gradual improvement in education and educational facilities, although the standards are fairly low in government funded schools, as compared with the rest of the country.

The literacy rate of the district among the population aged 10 years and above is 36.45 percent. It has increased by 20.5% since 1981 when it was only 15.95 percent. The male literacy ratio is much higher at 53.50% compared to 18.38% for women. There are separate educational institutes for girls and boys, although there are many co-educational institutes for school going children.

Some of the educational institutes in Mardan are:
  • Abdul Wali Khan University, Easy Load Awkum
  • Agriculture University Mardan Campus
  • govt:college of managment Science mardan
  • Ansi Degree College Mardan
  • Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Army College
  • Bacha Khan Medical College
  • Beaconhouse School System (Pakistan)
    Beaconhouse School System (Pakistan)
    Beaconhouse School System in Pakistan is the branch of a company with same name. It is a group of private fee-paying academic institutions located throughout 30 cities in Pakistan...

  • The City School (Pakistan)
  • Defence College for Girls, Mardan Cantt
  • Engineering University (Mardan Campus)
  • F.G. Public High School Mardan
    F.G. Public High School Mardan
    F.G. Public High School Mardan is situated in the cantonment area of Mardan near Baghdada. It is one of the progressive educational institutions of Mardan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The foundation stone was laid by the then President of Pakistan Ayub Khan in 1964 and completed in two years...

  • F.G. Inter College
  • F.G. Girls High School
  • Government Post Graduate College Mardan
  • Government Post Graduate College for Women
  • Mardan Model School
  • Pak American School
  • Pak London Kids School
  • Saint Andrew's School System
  • St John School Mardan
  • The Fazle Haq College
  • TheMardan Model School and College
  • The Yousaf Zai Model School
  • Women Institute of Legal Studies, Mardan Cantt
  • Virtual University of Pakistan Campus)


Mardan is largely an agricultural area. The major crops are wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

, tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

, maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, rapeseed
Rapeseed , also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae...

, mustard
Mustard plant
Mustards are several plant species in the genera Brassica and Sinapis whose small mustard seeds are used as a spice and, by grinding and mixing them with water, vinegar or other liquids, are turned into the condiment known as mustard or prepared mustard...

 and various vegetable crops. Important fruits are orange, plum, peach, apricot, pear, rare mango and apple.

The main sources of the irrigation are the canals. The upper Swat canal mostly irrigates the Mardan district, and the lower Swat canal irrigates the southwestern parts of the district. Irrigation is also done by tube-wells
Tube well
A tube well is a type of water well in which a long 100–200 mm wide stainless steel tube or pipe is bored into the underground aquifer. The lower end is fitted with a strainer, and a pump at the top lifts water for irrigation...

 and lift irrigation.

Even though the population is still largely poor and relatively uneducated, recent years have seen major improvements in education, health and infrastructure. Manufacturing has also grown over the years and so has the financial sector where the town centre has become home to many national and international banks. The town of Sheikh Maltoon has developed on the outskirts of Mardan city where the population is growing rapidly.

Industries include a well-established sugar mill, The Premier Sugar Mill, the Pakistan Railways
Pakistan Railways
This article is about the rail company in Pakistan. For technical details and operations see: Transport in Pakistan.Pakistan Railways is a national state-owned rail transport service of Pakistan, head-quartered in Lahore. It is administered by the federal government under the Ministry of Railways....

 Locomotive Factory, which is located near Mardan and small to large cigarette manufacturing industries, besides various other large and small industrial units such as flour and paper mills. Some small sector industries of gur (jaggery
Jaggery is a traditional unrefined non-centrifugal whole cane sugar consumed in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It is a concentrated product of cane juice without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color...

), tobacco leaf processing, tile
A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal, or even glass. Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, walls, showers, or other objects such as tabletops...

s, soap
In chemistry, soap is a salt of a fatty acid.IUPAC. "" Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. . Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford . XML on-line corrected version: created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN...

s, marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

, and brick
A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar. It has been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout history.-History:...

s are also present. Marble mining is becoming a notable industry, presently with over 100 units, becoming a very good source of earning for local people.


Mardan district may broadly be divided into two parts, the north-eastern hilly area and south-0western plain. The entire northern side of the district is bounded by the hills. In the district, the highest points in these hills are Pajja or Sakra, 2056 meters high, and Garo or Pato, 1816 meters high. The southwestern half of the district is mostly composed of fertile plain with low hills strewn across it. This plain once formed the bed of a lake, which was gradually filled up by the load of the river flowing into from the surrounding hills. From the foothills the plain runs down at first with a steep slope, which carried the rainwater to the lower levels and ultimately to the Kabul River.22

Rivers and streams

Generally streams flow from North to the South. Most of the streams drain into Kabul River
Kabul River
Kabul River , the classical Cophes , is a 700 km long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass...

. Kalpani, an important stream of the district, rises passing through the vally of Katti Garhi (Chota Kalaam). This stream waters the maximum cultivation land of the valley which help in agriculture products and flowing southwards joins Kabul River. Other important streams join Kalpani, such as Baghiari Khawar on the west and Maqam Khawar, coming from Sudham valley and Naranji Khawar from the Narangi hills on the left.


The summer season is extremely hot. A steep rise of temperature occurs from May to June, and July, August and September record high temperatures. During May and June dust storms are frequent at night. The temperature reaches its maximum in the month of June i.e. 41.5 °C. Due to intensive cultivation and artificial irrigation, the area is humid. A rapid fall of temperature occurs from October onwards. The coldest months are December and January. The mean minimum temperature recorded for the month of January is 2.1 °C.

Most of the rainfall occurs in the months of July, August, December and January. Maximum rainfall for August is 125.85 mm. Towards the end of cold weather there are occasional thunderstorms and hail storms. The relative humidity is quite high throughout the year while maximum humidity has been recorded in December at 73.33%.

Flora and fauna

Common trees are mesquite
Mesquite is a leguminous plant of the Prosopis genus found in northern Mexico through the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Deserts, and up into the Southwestern United States as far north as southern Kansas, west to the Colorado Desert in California,and east to the eastern fifth of Texas, where...

, ber
See here for Ber Ber is a tropical fruit growing on the tree Ziziphus mauritiana.BER is the IATA area code for airports in the Berlin region, Germany:* Berlin-Tegel Airport...

, different species of acacia and jand (Prosopis cineraria
Prosopis cineraria
Prosopis cineraria is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to arid portions of Western and South Asia, such as the Arabian and Thar Deserts...

). The most common shrubs are Tamarix articulata
Tamarix articulata
Tamarix articulata, also called farash , is a moderate sized tree with feathery foliage and an erect stem usually attaining a height of 40 feet to 50 feet and girth of 5 to 6 feet...

, spands, akk, small red poppy, spera, pueghambrigul, drab grass, eamelthorl and pohli chaulai etc.

The district has a variety of fauna, including the leopard, leopard cat, black bear, brown monkey, jackal, wild goat, and pheasant.


Popular foods are beef cooked as chapli kabab, seekh kabab, tikkas, and qahwa (green tea). A tandoor (oven) for baking bread is present in many houses.Most of the people like Cholay (Chick pea) and Lobya (beans),Saag and Roti of Juwar (maize) is liked by a lot of people. Kachalan (yam) is also favoutite dish of youths. Gur Juice is liked by people of Mardan in summer. Badayuni Peray, a special sweet of Mardan is quite popular in the Pakistan.Naswar, ground tobacco is the most fovourite among everything. There are a lot of small factories of Naswar are being setup in Mardan but Naswar of Khaksar and Baghdada are most popular. The popular hotels are
Said Wali Hotel Bank Road,
Al Hussain Chargha House,
Al Jabbar Chargha House,
Shelton Hotel, Noshehra Road,
Shin Gul Hotel Swabi Road, Baghdada,
Khalid Lobya Farosh, Hoti Bazar,
Shirin Lobya, Bijli Ghar,
Safdar Kabab, Takht Bhai,
Umar Kabab, Mardan,
Jalil Kabab, Mardan,
HFC fast foods, Sheikh Maltoon Town,
Executive Club Hotel, Sheikh Maltoon Town,

Dress and ornaments

There is significant difference in dress of common people and educated and upper classes. The upper class people are inclined to western dress. The middle and lower classes are generally wearing typical pathan dress, the old loose coat or khalqa has been replaced by the less cumbersome qamiz with blanket and coarse chader during winter season around the body. Among the villagers use of mazari cloth is common for qamiz and shalwar. A chitrali woolen cap is used in winter, while a typical light color cap is worn in the summer. Sapley (studded, leather sandals) are the most common footwear. Shalwar qamiz and dopatta is the dress of women. Pardah is universal among women in a form of a printed coarse piece of cloth called "Parhoone" or plain white version or burqa. Burqa of various designs are going to be worn by most of the women but Shuttle cork type Burqa is going to be very popular among those women having religious back ground.

The use of ornaments among women is also common, such as earrings and bangles, and sometimes a quba, which consists of two egg-like cups connected by a chain or a flat circle of shaped gold hanging on the forehead.


The villages are divided into Kandis. The divisions of Kandis are on the pattern of agricultural lands. The houses generally consist of two or three rooms and a courtyard. Cattle and poultry are also accommodated beside the shelter.

Each Kandi of the village has its own mosque and a place of meeting or for public assembly called a Hujra. Most famous Hujra of the Village Katti Garhi (Chota Kalaam) is named as Utman Khel which is open for travelers for 365 days of the year. In most cases it is the property of elders of the Kandi, who are expected to feed and give shelter to visitors. These Hujras are commonly used for the settlement of public disputes and business.

Houses have compound walls around them with gates.


Mardan is populated by people of different backgrounds and ethnicities, although almost all of its residents are Pashtuns. The people of Mardan are not usually entwined in tribal culture, although there is a presence of tribalism in Mardan.

The Yousafzai
The Yūsufzai is one of the largest Pashtun tribes...

 clan is the majority (Pashto: يوسفزی, Urdu: یوسف زئی)(also Youssofzay, Yousafzai, Esapzey, Yousufi, or Yūsufi)(Sons of Joseph).A small number of Myaghan , Sayyads, Awan , Ghourghusht, Kakar, Daavi, Aman Zai, Daulat Zai and Mohmands or (momand), afridis, Khattak, Shilmani
The Shilmani or Shalmani شلمانى are a Sarbanri Pashtun tribe who are primarily concentrated in the Shalman valley in Khyber agency near Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, the tribe is also present in different areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.In Pakistan, they live in Swat, Upper...

, Utmankhel, Tanoli, Akhun Khel Mian (Syed)Sons of Akhun Haroon Baba and Hindokowans are also present in the district.
Piran is a family of Mardan who are known for their religious background. Piran reside in the center of Mardan City in union council Mardan Khass. The area is known as Pirano Daga Mardan.

The Syed Akhunkhel Mians, Peers and Sahibzadas,Syed, enjoy special respect amongst the Pathans on account of their ancestry. These individuals were religious people who traveled many years back and the Pukhtons welcomed and honored them. Visits to shrines or ziarats were very common especially by the women, however this is gradually declining as the implications of bida't are getting familiar.

Mardan is the considered as the de facto headquarter of Yousafzai
The Yūsufzai is one of the largest Pashtun tribes...

 Pakhtoons. They are well known for their bravery, valor and hospitality among all pakhtoon tribes. The Yousafzai Pukhtuns are courteous towards each other. They love to help their Pashtun brothers from other tribes, as well as anyone who is their guest.


Religion has a great impact on the culture of people. The Majority of the population are strict followers of the sunnah (Sunni).

The main minorities are Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya is an Islamic religious revivalist movement founded in India near the end of the 19th century, originating with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad , who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies about the world reformer of the end times, who was to herald the Eschaton as...

 Muslims and Christians, who are 0.32 and 0.14 percent respectively. Hindus are 0.02 percent of the total population. The population of the rural and urban area is 99.69 and 98.81% Muslim respectively. The percentage of Christians and Ahmadiyya is greater in the urban area—0.62 and 0.46—as compared to the rural area—0.29 and 0.02 percent.

Festivals and fairs

Festivals and fairs are a part of the Pukhton life. The most important festivals are the two Eids. Apart from that, most of the youngster move towards the hills which are around the village of Katti Garhi in the pleasant season of rain, there are weekly cattle fairs in all towns and important villages, at which cattle and other necessities of life are bought and sold.

Population size and growth

The population of Mardan district has increased about four-fold since 1951. According to 1998 census it is 1.46 million compared to 357,000 in 1951, with an annual percentage increase of around 3%.

The total area of the district is 1632 square kilometers having population density of 894.7 persons per square kilometer in 1998.

Rural distribution

The urban proportion of the district is 20.2% of the total population whereas the rural proportion is 79.8%. The largest urban area is Mardan Municipal Committee with a population of 239,000. The other urban areas are Takht Bhai Municipal Committee with a population of 49,000 and Mardan Cantonment with 7,000 inhabitants.


Pashto is the most common language spoken by about 98.44%. Urdu, Punjabi, Sindi, Balochi, Saraiki are also spoken by 0.33, 0.49, 0.02, 0.01, and 0.03% respectively. However, most of these non-Pukhtun immigrants from the neighboring provinces gradually adopt Pukhto language at homes as well.

Transport links

Mardan is connected by the M1 motorway to the rest of the country. The roads are generally busy as Mardan is the link between different cities. The nearest airport is Peshawar International Airport
Peshawar International Airport
Peshawar International Airport is an airport located in the city of Peshawar in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Located about a 10-minute drive from the centre of Peshawar, it is the fourth busiest airport in Pakistan...

, about forty miles away. Buses, taxis and private vehicles are the main means of transport. The rail system which was developed during the British Empire has gradually disappeared for passenger travel, although it is still used for cargo and heavy goods.

External links