Nowshera – known locally as Nowkhaar or Nowshaar in the Pashto dialects is the chief city of Nowshera District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is also one of the largest cities of the province and lies on the Grand Trunk Road 27 miles due east of Peshawar at 34°0’55N 71°58’29E.
Nowshera city is notable for its colonial era cantonment, which is located at 33°59’48N 72°0’47E and is home to the Pakistan Army School of Artillery, School of ASC, ASC centre, Armour centre, Armed Forces Medical Stores Depot and School of Armour. The area is the home of many Pakhtun tribes, including the Babars, Yousafzais,Muhammadzais,Parachas, Awankhel, Kaka Khels,Manki khel and Khattak. (It is a matter of debate whether Kaka Khels qualify as a Pashtun tribe as they are a family group with affiliation to one progenitor, Kaka Sahib – but it is not known if he was a Pashtun – Mian or Miah are the descendents of Kaka Sahib.) Khattak is the predominant tribe, making up 65% of the population of the District. The GT Road is the main road connecting villages and towns across the District. The town is also at the junction of Peshawar and Swat Road.
Nowshera is the only district of Pakistan with three cantonments, namely Nowshera Cantonment, Risalpur Cantonment and Cherat Cantonment.
During British rule, Nowshera was a town and cantonment as well as tehsil of the Peshawar District (later Peshawar Division). The town was on the route of the North-Western Railway. The population according to the 1901 census of India was 9,518.
The Imperial Gazetteer of India describes the cantonment as follows: