Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Historical photographs of Kohat

The early history of Kohat is limited to the vaguest traditions. It is said that in Buddhist times two Rajas named Adh and Kohat settled along the northern border of the district. Raja Kohat gave his name to the town of Kohat, and Raja Adh to the ruins of an old fort on the hill side north of Muhammadzai, a village four miles to the west of Kohat. The remains of this fort, which is known as Adh-i-Samut, consist of the ruins here and there of the old ramparts.

The first historical mention of Kohat is to be found in the memoirs of the Emperor Babur. The district was then being taken possession of by the Bangashes and Khattaks who now hold it. Babur's annals, however, throw little or no light on the extent of their occupation. He narrates that in the year A.D. 1505, when at Peshawar, he was induced by Baki Cheghaniani to visit Kohat on the false hope of obtaining a rich booty. Babar had never before heard even the name of Kohat. He reached the town through the Kohat pass in two marches, and fell on it at luncheon time. After plundering it he sent foraging parties as far as the Indus. Bullocks, buffaloes and grain were the only plunder. He released his Afghan prisoners. After two days he marched up the valley towards "Bangash." When he reached a narrow part of the valley, the hill men of Kohat and that quarter crowded the hills on both flanks, raised the war shout and made a loud clamour. At last they foolishly occupied a detached hill. Now was Babur's opportunity. He sent a force to cut them off from the hills. About a hundred and fifty were killed. Many prisoners were taken. These put grass in their mouths in token of submission, being as much as to say "I am your ox," a custom which Babar first noticed here. Notwithstanding he had them beheaded at once. A minaret of their heads was erected at the next camping place. Babur gives us no further account of Kohat . He uniformly speaks of the inhabitants of the country as Afghans, making no mention of special tribes by name.


1- "Report on the Settlement of the Kohat District in the Panjab" , 1884, by G. Tucker , p-35

A scene of Kohat, c.1900

Local People posing in front of a car at Kohat, 1929 (c)

General view of the cantonment including the church, Kohat, 1865. Photo by William Henry Baker.

Kohat, 1920's Aerial photograph

Usterzai village, Kohat, c.1900.

A view of Kohat Cantt, 1924

Cantt Bazar Kohat, 1945). Union Jack can be seen in the back ground.

Khushal-garh railway bridge, 1920's Aerial photograph

Entraining at Kohat, 1919.
Illustration from late 16th century manuscript (1590-1593) of Baburnama depicting foray to Kohat 


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