Shah was a prominent religious figure of Mardan so people gave this this
name. The area constituting Mardan district is part of Peshawar valley, which first appears in
history as part of Gandhara Kingdom. Until 1937, Mardan district was a
part of Peshawar district. In 1937, Mardan was set up as an independent
district after the name of its headquarters town. The district lies from
34° 05’ to 34° 32’ north latitudes and 71" 48’ to 72° 25’ east
longitudes. It is bounded on the north by Buner district and Malakand
protected area, on the east by Swabi and Buner districts, on the south
by Nowshera district and on the west by Charsadda district and Malakand
protected area. The total area of the district is 1632 square
The area constituting Mardan district is a part of the Peshawar valley,
which first appears in the history as part of the Gandhara kingdom.
After invasion of Alexander the Great, the mists of obscurity began to
clear up. The armies of Alexander reached the Indus valley by two
separate routes, one direct through the Khyber Pass and the other led by
Alexander himself through Kunar, Bajaur,Swat and Buner in 326 B.C. After
Alexander's departure, the valley came under the rule of Chandragupta,
who ruled the valley from 297 to 321 B.C. During the reign of the
Buddhist emperor Asoka, the grand-son 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
Seythians and Indians followed and retained control of the valley till
the 7th century A. D.
Before the close of the 7th century, the Afghans appeared in the valley.
At that time Peshawar valley was under the control of the rulers at
Lahore. The Afghans joined the Gakkhars who held the country between the
Indus and the Jhelum rivers and compelled the Lahore rulers to cede to
them the hill country west of the Indus and south of the Kabul river. In
the 10th century the area came under the control of Sultan Sabuktgin who
defeated Raja Jaipal, the hindu ruler of Lahore. Sabuktgin's son Sultan
Mahmud of. Ghazni made this area as the rallying point for his numerous
raids into the interior of India. In the 1 Sth century the Pathans of
Ghor overthrew the Ghaznavis and the era of Ghaznavis came to an end. In
1505 the Mugha) emperor Babar invaded the area through Khyber Pass. It
remained under the rule of the Mughal emperors up to the time of
Aurangzebs. During his regime the Pathan tribes revolted and Aurangzeb
himself led his army to re-establish his authority but after a hard
struggle which lasted for two years(1673-75) he was compelled to agree
to the terms which left the Pathans practically independent. In 1738
came the surrender of Peshawar to Nadir Shah by which all the territory
west of the Indus, which included present Mardan district was ceded by
the Mughals to Nadir Shah.
Culture, Customs and Traditions
Religion has a great impact on the culture of people. Most of the people
are is. However, there are some Hindus, Buddhists and Parsis. .
The Sayyeds,Mians and Sahibzadas enjoy special respect amongst the
pathans of their ancestry. The visit to shrines or ziarats is very
common specially the women.
The Yousafzai Pathans are lively, brave and hospitable people. They are
very towards each other. A slight insult to it is greatly resented and
sometimes in violence. It is considered permissible to take revenge even
from the son or grand-son for the wrongs of the father or grand-father.
This pattern of life has resulted in extreme insecurity and utter
disregard for human life.
There are many forms of greetings and salutations. It is very usual for
the pathans to embrace each other when they meet. This is followed by a
chain of inquiries like jor ye (Are you all right), Khushal ye (are you
happy) besides, some other similar expressions of good will.
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 or coarse chader during winter season around the
body. Among the villagers use of mazari cloth is common for qamiz and
shaiwar. A chitrali woolen cap is used in winter white a typical light
color cap in summer. Chapplies are the most common foot wear. Shalwar
qamiz and dopatta is the dress of female. Pardah is universal among
women in a form of a printed coarse chaddar or plain white chaddar or
Marriage and Deaths
There are different customs and traditions which are followed on
occasions, such as marriages, births and deaths. The main features of
such occasions are described below:-
Frequently the parties have some previous acquaintance before the
marriage. The parents of the boy and girl make the choice. Sometimes
after the girl's father agrees to the match, the relatives of the boy
take presents to the girls house and the engagement is announced. On
that occasion shots are fired and friends of both the parties
congratulate each other. After engagement the boy seldom sees the girl
till they are married. The ornaments, clothes for the bride and other
articles required for the marriage ceremony are provided by the parents
of the boy.
The birth of a boy is an occasion of great rejoicing. The parent of the
baby receive felicitations from friends and relatives. The birth of a
girl is not welcomed and generally goes unnoticed.
On the death of a person, the women of the neighborhood also join the
women of the deceased family in lamentation. After the funeral rites are
completes alms are distributed to the poor at the graveyard. At the
house of decease( the mourners are provided with food by relatives or
friends of the deceased' family, as no food is then cooked at home.
People continue to come for condo fence to the Hujra of the area for
three consecutive days.
The most common diet of the people is bread which is made of wheat or
maize flour. The poeple of the area are fond of meat, especially various
forms of beef cooked in shape of chapli kabob, seekh kabob, tikkas and
qahwa (green tea) is popular and is liked by most of the people.
Festivals and Fairs
Festivals and fairs are a part of the pathan life. The most important
festival are the two Eids. Apart from that, there are weekly cattle
fairs in all towns an important villages, at which cattle and other
necessities of life are bought an sold.
Rivers And Streams
Generally stream flows from north to the south. Most of the streams
drain into Kabul river. Kalpani, an important stream of the district
rises in the Baizai and flowing southwards join Kabul river. Other
important streams which join Kalpani are Baghiari Khawar on the west and
Muqam 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 observed
from May to June. Even July, August and September record quite high
temperatures. During May and June dust storms are frequent at night. The
temperature reaches to its` maximum in the month of June i.e. 41.50"C.
Due to intensive cultivation and artificial irrigation the tract is
humid and heat is oppressive. However, a rapid fat! of temperature has
been recorded from October onwards. The coldest months are December and
January. The mean minimum temperature recorded for the month of January
the coldest month is 2.09° C.
Most of the rainfall occurs in the month of July, August, December and
January. Maximum rainfall recorded for the month of August the rainiest
month is 12S.8Smm. Towards the end of cold weather there are occasional
thunder storms and hail storms. The relative humidity is quite high
throughout the year while maximum humidity has been recorded in December
i.e. 73.33 percent.
Climatic data are not available. However, climatic conditions of Mardan
district have been interpreted in the light of the data recorded at
Risalpur station which is nearest to the Mardan district and have more
or less similar topographic condition.