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About Nowshera

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 300px-Nowshera_NWFP.svgthe 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.

History

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:

The cantonment stretches along the right bank of the Kābul river on a sandy plain, 3 miles in diameter, and is surrounded by low hills on all sides except the north, which is open towards the river. The garrison now consists of one British infantry regiment, two Native cavalry and four infantry regiments, a mountain battery, and a bearer corps, belonging to the Peshāwar division of the Northern Command. The Kābul river is crossed by a permanent bridge of boats, whence roads lead to Mardān and Chārsadda. The iron road and railway bridge across the river was opened on December 1, 1903. The village of Naushahra Khurd, west of the cantonment, and the large village of Naushahra Kalān, on the north bank of the Kābul, are both outside cantonment limits. The head-quarters of the Naushahra tahsīl, with the police station, are in the former, 3 miles from the cantonment. The town contains a Government dispensary and a vernacular middle school, maintained by the District board.
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