Charsadda is a district in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan that contains the town of Charsadda. The town was part of the Peshawar ex-metropolitan region. Pashtuns make up majority of the population of the district.
Charsadda was once part of the kingdom of Gandhara, however around 516 B.C Gandhara became part of the seventh satrapy or province of the Achaemenid Empire and paid tribute to Darius the Great of Persia, until its overthrow by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.
After the death of Alexander in 323BC the Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya rose to power and brought Gandhara under his sway. According to a popular tradition, Emperor Ashoka built one of his stupas there. This stupa was mentioned by the famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Hieun Tsang, who visited in 630, according to him Po-Lu-Sha (as he called the stupa) was 2½ miles in circumference.
A Brahminical temple to the east and a monastery to the north which according to Buddhist legends was the place where Buddha preached the Law. The name Gandhara disappeared after Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the area and converted it to Islam in 1026.
This area was also ruled by the Bactrian Greeks between 250-125 BC which was succeeded by the Indo-Greek Kingdom who ruled until the year 10.
Shabqadr is a small town in Charsadda tehsil 17 miles (27 km) north west of Peshawar. Here is a fort built by the Sikhs called Sharkargarh. The town was burnt by Mohmands in 1897 It has since been rebuilt.
Bibi Syeda Dheri
Bibi Syeda Dheri is a site half a mile to the north of Umarzai village in Charsadda tehsil here is a mound 60 ft (18 m) high. Believed to be the site of the stupa erected to commemorate the conversion by Lord Buddha of goddess Hariti who used to devour children of the locality. There is also a shrine of a lady saint Bibi Syeda. It is believed that a pinch of earth from the site is an effective antidote in the case of smallpox.
Shar-i-Napursan is an archaeological site in Charsadda tehsil near the village Rajan Excavations have unearthed two distinct settlements of the Buddhist period and two of the Muslim period. Coins of Manander, Hermaeous and Kanishka have been unearthed.
Palatu Dheri is another archaeological site near Charsadda tehsil. A mile from Shar-i-Napursan A mound which contains the remains of a stupa, which according to Hieun Tsiang, was built by one Deven and some coins which connect them both to the first century AD have been unearthed Other finds include the image of the goddess Kalika-devi. Three inscribed jars, which were presented by some laymen to "the Community of the Four Quarters", are now in the Peshawar Museum.
The city of Charsadda originally known as Pushkalavati is first mentioned in the Hindu epic story the Ramayana.
Bala Hisar of Charsadda
Bala Hisar was excavated twice by the head of the Archaeological Survey of India, Sir John Marshall, in 1902 and by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1958. According to South Asian Archaeology Research Group of Bradford University Wheeler suggested that Bala Hisar "was founded by the Persians in the sixth century BC as a colony guarding the eastern edge of their empire".
The district lies between 34-03' and 34-38' north latitudes and 71-28' and 71-53' east longitudes. Charsadda is located in the west of the NWFP and is bounded by Malakand District on the north. Mardan district on the east, Nowshera and Peshawar districts on the south and the Mohmand Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on the west. The district covers am area of 996 square kilometres.
The district is administratively subdivided into two tehsils