Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers

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Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Taliban. The name has changed the histories of lands; being a travel writer, I'm not here to give my political opinion but just a fact. But Peshawar, this beauty, is beyond the fights and violence taking place these days. Known as the City of Flowers, Peshawar isn't about fancy cars and concrete jungles, she is a city that wears her tradition with all her pride. You must go to Peshawar because Pashtuns really know their traditions well and they are merrily hospitable, at heart.

Peshawar, from afar. Image taken from the Instagram account of @ibrahimzauq

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Where's Peshawar, yo?

● To start it off, Peshawar is the capital of the Pakistani province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It serves as the administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. (The closest city for the tribe-administered areas).

The contrast. Image taken from the Instagram account of @peshawarx

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

● Peshawar is the oldest city of Pakistan and one of the oldest of South Asia. It is the largest city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the sixth largest in all of Pakistan.

A rather regular street but is it? Image taken from the Instagram account of @khyberpakhtunkhwa

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

● It is situated in a broad valley near the eastern end of the historic Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pass, close to the border shared with Afghanistan. You would find a mixed crowd in Peshawar which makes it a melting pot for multiple ethnicities.

A sunset like that is priceless, to say the least. Image taken from the Instagram account of @peshawarx

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

● Peshawar is surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides with the fourth range opening to the Punjab plains. The city is located in the Gandhara plains.

Peshawar after the rains. Image taken from the Instagram account of @peshawarx

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

● Peshawar is not a monsoon region, unlike the other areas of Pakistan. But it receives winter rainfall due to western disturbances.

WHAT YOU GOTTA KNOW TO PESHAWAR IT BETTER:

Bacha Khan International Airport. Image taken from the Instagram account of @indriaulia

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Who wouldn't wanna be up in the air on a day such as this one? Image taken from the Instagram account of @christiandyrbing

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

● You can enter Peshawar via the Bacha Khan International Airport also known as the Peshawar International Airport which is barely a 25 minute drive from the main city. You can avail direct flights to Jeddah, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Doha, etc.

Peshawar Cantonment Railway Station. Image taken from the Instagram account of @iamwaleedabbas

Photo of Bacha Khan International Airport, Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

Peshawar Cantonment in its evening glory. Image taken from the Instagram account of @sarmad_akhunzada

Photo of Bacha Khan International Airport, Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

● You can take a train from Karachi (36 hours) and Quetta (25 hours), both via Lahore and Rawalpindi. If you happen to be coming from Islamabad, you could always enter via road.

A walk down the lanes in the free time. Image taken from the Instagram account of @ibrahimzauq

Photo of Peshawar Cantonment Railway Station, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

If you only knew. Image taken from the Instagram account of @ibrahimzauq

Photo of Peshawar Cantonment Railway Station, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

● Sure you can take an auto-rickshaw which gives Peshawar it's polluted character but if you really want to get an insight into the city, you would by all means have to walk through the streets and the lanes and the bilanes and watch people when they feel that no one's seeing them.

Kawa or Green Tea. Image taken from the Instagram account of @mk_chetan_babu

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Sharbat-e-sandal. Image taken from pakladies.com

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

● You gotta know the foods popular in the region you're traveling to. Hence, I've got the drinks first. Kawa or Green Tea is the most popular drink in the region. Its mostly served sweet and prepared in a special way. Healthy, eh? The other drink you could look out for is Sharbat-e-sandal which is a sweet, nonalcoholic, non-carborated drink found primarily in the summers. It's served ice cold so sounds like manna. Also, alcohol is a naah since ahem, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan actually) is a dry state.

The Pashtun-style minced meat chapli kebab. Image taken from the Instagram account of @safar.kahani

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Fried fish. I'll die just by the look of it. Image taken from the Instagram account of @dishwmish

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Falooda yo! Image taken from the Instagram account of @karachista

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

And them Pakistani pakoday. Image taken from the Instagram account of @goharbeer

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

● Peshawaris love their kebabs and if you do too, you're in for a variety. What you've really gotta try is the Chapli Kebab, a flat beef kebab, a lot like a minced meat patty. This, my friend, one of the most popular kebabs but what you've also gotta check out is the fried fish. Absolutely divine. Samosas and pakodas are what you'll find all through the city so that goes without saying. And for dessert, there's Falooda. You got your desi gastronomy covered.

Let's move on to where you gotta go in Peshawar.

Accommodation, buddy?

1) The Pearl Continental: The expensive stuff. The rates would certainly be higher than 10,000 PKR

Places to head to when in Peshawar:

Bala Hisar Fort

Live the lavish way!

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder
Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder
Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

The fort from a distance. Image taken from the Instagram account of @fahadshahjehan

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

The fort and the city lights. Image taken from the Instagram account of @khyberpakhtunkhwa

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

What's a fort without these byways? Image taken from the Instagram account of @mishaal.photography

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Grandeur. Image taken from the Instagram account of @mishaal.photography

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

The Bala Hisar Fort is one of the most historic places of Peshawar. The name comes from Persian meaning elevated or high fort. Hieun Tsang called the fort a "royal residence" during his travels in 630 AD and man, oh man, is he right. Highly recommend.

Mahabat Khan Mosque

The mosque in all the grandeur albeit under construction. Image taken from the Instagram account of @bearded.guy

Photo of Bala Hisar Fort, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

Jannah sometimes in the vision of man and the colors of God. Image taken from the Instagram account of @fahad_bin-abidullah

Photo of Bala Hisar Fort, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

Men and worship. Image taken from the Instagram account of @zubariajan_

Photo of Bala Hisar Fort, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

Before I write anything about it, can we take a moment to appreciate the sheer beauty of the masjid. It's absolutely beautiful. Makes you want to stare at every carving. The Mahabat Khan Mosque or Masjid Mahabat Khan has been built by the namesake who had been the Governor of Peshawar during the reign of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1630 AD. I'm sold to this. Hope you're too.

Islamia College

Such a beautiful place to study in. I'd rather stare. Image taken from the Instagram account of @uzikha12

Photo of Masjid Mahabat Khan, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

That's a massive campus! Image taken from the Instagram account of @peshawarx

Photo of Masjid Mahabat Khan, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

Lit as heaven. Image taken from the Instagram account of @peshawarx

Photo of Masjid Mahabat Khan, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

Is that not a little too beautiful and massive to be a university? Opened as a constituent college of University of Peshawar, the institute is anything but a place for religious education. Opened by Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan and Sir George Roos-Keppel, the institute is renowned for being premier for arts, humanities and sciences. But it's pretty so I'd come. And so should you, haha!

Old City Center

An aquamarine off the Pak Skardu mine in the Namak Mandi. You'd find it all here. Image taken from the Instagram account of @obi1492

Photo of Islamia College University Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

The Charsi Tikka at Namak Mandi. Image taken from the Instagram account of @sheheryarkhan1

Photo of Islamia College University Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

The famous 'Kulfa' found at Qissa Khawani bazaar. Image taken from the Instagram account of @hassampervaiz

Photo of Islamia College University Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

You'd find most of what you'd want or fancy at Khyber Bazaar. Image taken from the Instagram account of @sadam_husyan

Photo of Islamia College University Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan by Shinjini Majumder

Why have you gotta go to the Old City Square? Because of the proximity of all things interesting all around it. A walk through the streets is a treat to the senses. It's the center of the places you'd like to go to when in Peshawar so I suggest you start from here. With Qissa Khwani bazaar, Bazaar-e-Kalaan, Clock Tower, Mahabbat Khan Mosque, Peshawar Museum, Shahi Bagh, etc in vicinity, you've gotta come here.

Shopping!!

Dean's Trade Center from the outside. Image taken from the Instagram account of @peshawarx

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Grand. Image taken from the Instagram account of @shariq_ph0t0graphy

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

Outside a mosque in the old city, Peshawar from a good few centuries ago. Image taken from the Instagram account of @karackm02

Photo of Peshawar, More Than The City Of Flowers by Shinjini Majumder

The Dean's Trade Center is the poshest place to shop from although you could tour the Sadar Road where you'll find the best and pricey. However traveling through the smaller bazaars and the namak mandi would give you access to less expensive products although you've got to be prepared to bargain a good deal. If you're chill with that, game set ready!

Peshawar is a beautiful city with an earnestness in all people. Fearing the unrest is one way to look at things but you're missing a place worth not missing. I recommend.

Happy Travels~

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