General Description Of The District Mardan
1.1.1.†† Name, Location, Boundary and Area
In the beginning, the name Mardan was given to a small area
after the name of Pir Mardan Shah, a prominent religious figure. Gradually,
a large surrounding area came to be known as Mardan. 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
The district lies from 34 degrees 05 to 34 degrees 32 north
latitudes and 71 degree 48 to 72 degree 25 east longitudes. It is bounded on
the north by Burner district and Malakand protected area, on the east by Swabi
and Burner 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
1.1.2. Physical Features/Topography
Mardan district may broadly be divided into two parts, North-Eastern
hilly area and south western 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. It is gradually accepted that 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.
1.1.3. 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 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
is observed from May to June. Even in July, August and September record quite
high temperatures. During May and June dust storms are frequent at night. The
temperature reaches its maximum in the month of June i.e. 41.50 degree centigrade.
Due to intensive cultivation and artificial irrigation, the tract is humid and
heat is oppressive. However, a rapid fall 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 degree
Most of the rainfall occurs in the months of July, August, December
and January. Maximum rainfall was recorded for the month of August the rainiest
month 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 i.e. 73.33 percent.
The present flora of the irrigated areas is exotic. The common
trees are mesquite, ber, different species of acacia and jand. The most common
shrubs are tarmariax articulata, spands, akk, small red poppy, spera, pueghambrigul,
drab grass, eamelthorl and pohli chaulai etc.
The district has a variety of fauna comprising the following:
- Leopard Cat
- Black Bear
- Brown Monkey
- Wild Goat
1.2. AGRICULTURE AND RELATED SECTORS
Mardan is known as the best agricultural area in the country.
Its land is very suitable for cultivation of sugarcane and tobacco. The major
crops grown in the district are wheat, sugarcane, tobacco, maize, rice, rapeseed
and mustard etc. Fruits and vegetables are also grown. The important frits are
orange, plum, peach, apricot, pear, rare mango and apple.
The main sources of the irrigation are the canals. The upper
Swat canal irrigates, mostly, Mardan district and the lower Swat canal irrigate
southwestern part of the district. Besides, irrigation is done by tube-wells
and lift irrigation.
1.3. HISTORY, ENTHICITY/TRIBES AND CULTURE
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
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 the 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 15th century, the Pathans of Ghor overthrew the
Ghaznavis and the era of Ghaznavis came to an end. In 1505 the Mughal emperor
Babar invaded the area through Khyber Pass. It remained under the rule of the
Mughal emperors up to the time of Aurangzeb. 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. Ranjit Singh took Attock in 1814 and Peshawar in 1818. He left
Hari Singh Nalwa in command and withdrew himself to Lahore. This valley remained
under the control of the Sikhs up to 1849. The Sikhs were defeated by the British
Army in the Second Sikh War. Major Lawrence was appointed as the first Deputy
Commissioner of Peshawar. From that date Peshawar became an administrative district
under the Punjab Government. At that time the present Mardan district was a
part of Peshawar district. In 1909 Frontier Province was constituted and in
1937, Peshawar district was bifurcated into Peshawar and Mardan districts.
1.3.2. Ethnicity And Tribes
Mardan district is mainly inhabited by the Yusafzai Pathans
but the Lundkhwar valley has sizeable Khattak population. The origin of the
Pathans is traced back to two brothers Khakai and Gori who gave their names
to the two divisions of the tribes settled near Qandhar. The Khakal were subsequently
expelled by the Ghoris and they settled near Kabul about the middle of the 13th
century. When they increased in number and acquired wealth they split into three
clans, the Yusafzais, Gigyanis and Turklays. At the close of the 15th
century, the Yusafzais and the Gigyanis moved to the plains of Peshawar and
eventually ousted the Dalazaks and spread into Buner district. They eventually
moved into Mardan district and the area came to be known as “Yousafzai Plain”.
The other main tribe of Mardan is Khattak. The Khattaks trace
decent from Lukman surnamed Khattak, son of Burhan and grandson of Karran. The
Khattaks and Yousafzais were in a state of perpetual war with each other before
the reign of emperor Aurangzeb. In the time of Aurangzeb, Khushal Khan Khattak
,the great Pushto poet and warrior, fell out with Aurangzeb and made peace with
the Yousafzai Tribe. After the construction of Upper and Lower Swat canals from
the Swat River, the Mohammad tribes started penetrating in the district. They
started as petty tenants of land-lords of the district and gradually by their
hard work they replaced many of their landlords. The Mohmmads are mainly found
in Shumali Kamalzai and Junubi Kamalzai area of Mardan Tehsil, but are also
found in small number all over the district.
Besides these main tribes, some Sayyeds and Gujars are also
found in the district. The Gujars are more in number and some historian told
that they are the original inhabitants of the area.
The most common diet is bread, which is made of wheat or maize
flour. The people of the area are fond of meat, especially various forms of
beef cooked in shape of chapli kabab, seekh kabab, tikkas and qahwa (green tea)
is popular and is liked by most of the people.
1.3.4. 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 lose 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 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 chadder or plain white
chadder or burqa.
The use of ornaments among female is also common in the district.
The women adorn themselves with ear rings and bangles with rare use of band
quba, which consists of two egg like cups connected by chain or a flat circle
shaped gold hanging on forehead.
The villages are divided into Kandis have congested house. Each
kandi is further occupied by sub-section. The divisions of Kandis are on the
pattern of agricultural lands. Their houses are generally consists of two or
three rooms and a court-yard turned as ghollai and varandah. The cattles and
poultry are also accommodated beside the shelter for family.
Each Kandi of the village has its own mosque and its own Maulvi
and a place of meeting or for public assembly called Hujra. In most cases it
is the property of elders of the Kandi; who are expected to feed and give shelter
to visitors/ travelers. These Hujras are commonly used for the settlement of
public disputes/business beside public meetings. Residents of Kandi assemble
there to smoke, hear news of the day and discuss their problems and politics.
Now a day the people in service abroad have accumulated sufficient wealth which
brought a distinct change in the life of the villagers who construct pacca houses
of cement, bricks and timber.
A Tandoor (Oven) is also found for baking bread in many houses
and some time women of three or four houses assembled on one Tandoor (Oven)
for baking breads on their turn. The houses have huge compound walls around
with gates. Chair and tables are used in the houses of well-to-do persons whereas
others use the ordinary cot (Charpoy).
Most of the people are farmer in profession in village. They
are engaged in agriculture either directly or indirectly. Industrial labor has
increased after the establishment of factories in different places of the district.
Some people are engaged in business and Government service also.
1.3.7. Culture, Customs and Traditions
Religion has a great impact on the culture of people. Most of
the people are Muslims. However, there are Hindus, Buddhists and Parsis.
The Sayyeds, Mians and Sahibzadas enjoy special respect amongst
the Pathans on account of their ancestry. The visit to shrines or ziarats is
very common especially among the women.
The Yousafzai Pathans are lively, brave and hospitable people.
They are very courteous towards each other. A slight insult is greatly resented
and can result in violence. It is considered permissible to take revenge even
from the son or grandson for the wrongs of the father or grandfather. 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.
1.3.8. 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: -
i) Marriage Customs
Frequently the parties have some previous acquaintance before
the marriage. The parents of the boy and girl make the choice. Some times after
the girl’s father agrees to the match, the relatives of the boy take presents
to the girl’s 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, cloths 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 parents
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 completed, alms are distributed to the poor at the graveyard. At the house
of deceased, the mourners are provided with food by relatives or friends of
the deceased’s family, as no food is then cooked at home. People continue to
come for condolence to the Hujra of the area for three consecutive days.
iv) Festivals and Fairs
Festivals and fairs are a part of the Pathan life. The most
important festivals are the two Eids. Apart from that, there are weekly cattle
fairs in all towns and important villages, at which cattle and other necessities
of life are bought and sold.
1.4. IMPORTANT/HISTORICAL PLACES
1.4.1. Shahbaz Garhi
Shahbaz Garhi is situated on Mardan Swabi Road at a distance
of 12 kilometer from Mardan. The Emperor Babar in his book Tuzk-e-Babri has
given reference of this monastery. It has also been stated that this village
has named with the name of a famous religious person. In the ancient books the
name of this village is Varshapura. In 7th century, a Chinese pilgrim
Mr. Haven Sang visited this monastery and recorded this polosha in his book.
1.4.2. Kashmir Garh
Kashmir Garh is situated east of Katlang near village Babozai.
Nearby the walls of this monastery small broken sculptures are available. It
means that Hindu Pandit worshiped here. There is also a swimming pool, which
seems to be ashnon.
1.4.3. Sawal Dher
This site is situated at a distance of 4/5 kilometer in the
south west of Jamal Garhi. Most of the sculptures of this monastery are preserved
in the Lahore Musuem. It is the ancient city where a village Sawal Dher is now
1.4.4. Jamal Garhi
Jamal Garhi is situated at 13 kilometers from Mardan city and
is connected by a metal led road. It is situated in the middle of Takht Bhai
and Shahbaz Garhi at equal distance of 12 kilometers from each side.
A company Sappers and Miners explored this site firstly. The
Kharoshti inscription was discovered from this site, having main round stupa.
The Buddhist inscription discovered from this site preserved in Peshawar Museum.
From this monastery the Kharoshti inscription also discovered on which the figure
46 has been written. In 1836 Sikh General has made it Gandaparas. Kahamghum
also explore this monastery in 1876. Later on in 1910-11 it has been excavated.
1.4.5. Takht Bhai
Takht Bhai is situated on Mardan Malakand Road at a distance
of 15 kilometers from Mardan. The ancient Buddhist monastery is situated at
the height of 5500 feet from the surrounding land. In 1908-9 Sandapora Kharoshti
inscription and coins were discovered. This monastery has a large number of
buildings, such as conference hall.
1.4.6. Sari Behlol
This monastery is situated at Mardan Malakand Road at a distance
of about 10 kilometers from Mardan. It is situated at a mount. According to
the statement of Dr. Spooner and Dr. Arl-Strain, it is a big treasury of Gandahara
Art. The 2/3 sculptures of Peshawar Museum have been taken from Sari Behlol
site. In the opinion of Archaeologists due to sudden fire burning here the sculpture
remained preserved. Coins were also found from this site.
1.5. POPULATION SIZE, GROWTH AND DISTRIBUTION
1.5.1. Population Size and Growth
The population of Mardan district has increased about four times
since 1951. According to 1998 census it is 1460 thousands as compared to 357
thousands in 1951. The %age increased since 1951 is therefore comes to 3.09
percent. The average annual growth rate of the district is very similar during
all the intercensal period. It was 3.03 percent during 1951-61, 3.23 during
1961-72, 2.81 during 1972-81 and 3.01 during 1981-98.
The total area of the district is 1632 square kilometers having
population density of 894.7 persons per square kilometer in March, 1998 which
was 480 persons in 1981.
1.5.2. Rural/Urban Distribution
The urban proportion of the district is 20.2 percent of the
total population where as rural proportion is 79.8 percent. The big urban area
is Mardan Municipal Committee with population of 239 thousands. The other urban
areas are Takht Bhai Municipal Committee with population 49 thousands and Mardan
Cantonment with population of 7 thousands.
The population of the district is almost Muslim who constitute
99.51 of the total population. The main minorities are Ahmadi and Christian
who are 0.32 and 014 percent respectively. Other minority is Hindu who are 0.02
percent of the total population. The population of rural and urban area are
mostly Muslim which is 99.69 and 98.81 percent respectively. The percentage
of minorities i.e. Christian and Ahmadi is greater in urban area which is 0.62
and 0.46 as compared to rural area which is 0.29 and 0.02 percent.
1.7. MOTHER TONGUE
Pashto is the most common mother tongue of the popualation of
the district as reported by 98.44 percent. Urdu, Punjabi, Sindi, Balochi, Saraiki
the other languages spoken as mother tongue are 0.33, 0.49, 0.02, 0.01, 0.03
percent of the population respectively.
1.8. LITERACY AND EDUCATION ATTAINMENT
The literacy ratio of the district among the population aged
10 years and above is 36.45 percent. It has increased by 20.50 percentage points
since 1981 when it was only 15.95 percent. The male literacy ratio is much higher
at 53.50 percent compared to 18.38 percent for female.
1.8.2. Educational Attainment
The percentage of educated persons like literacy ratio is 36.03
percent of the population aged 10 years and above. Among them 53.15 percent
of male and 17.87 percent of females.
PROJECT RELATED INFORMATION
† Human Development Foundation started its activities from one unit (one
thousand households) of Mardan Region in June 1999, serving a population of
10,000 men and women. By the end of year 2001 the program has been expanded
to 3 units (3,000 households) and has been able to serve a population of 30,000.
† Chronologically the progress of the Mardan region was as follow:
As of April 2002
† # of units
† Households covered
† Population covered
† # of DOs formed
† Membership of DOs
† DO savings
† Credit Disbursement
† Enterprises established
† Community members trained
† # of Schools opened
† School enrollment
† Health centers established
Staff At Regional Office Mardan
Major Responsibilities of Staff
- Regional Manager
- Plan, manage, and report on the activities of the regions
- Coordinate with the National Office for all interventions
- Report to the Country Director about the activities
undertaken in the region on periodical basis
- Create linkages with the NGOs, Government Departments,
and donors of their respective regions
- Recruit and train staff of the region
- Social Organizers
- Mobilize communities by forming DOs
- Monitor and follow up on the DOs’ activities
- Report on their field work to Regional Managers
- Disburse credit and follow up on the enterprises established
by the borrowers
- Prepare the annual regional budgets
- Prepare monthly and periodical regional accounts and
- Cashiering and dealings with banks