Mansehra District:

Mansehra District  is in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, which contains the town of Mansehra  and the Kaghan Valley area (a popular tourist destination in Pakistan). The Karakoram Highway passes through the district.

Alexander the Great and Ashoka
Bust of Alexander III in the British Museum.
Alexander the Great, after conquering parts of Punjab, established his rule over a large part of Mansehra District. In 327 B.C., Alexander handed this area over to Abisaras (ءâéَلٌçٍ), the Raja of the Poonch state. Mansehra remained a part of Taxila during the rule of the Maurya dynasty. Ashoka the Great was the Governor of this area when he was a prince. After the death of his father, Bindusara, around 272 B.C., Ashoka inherited the throne and ruled this area as well as Gandhara. Today, the Edicts of Ashoka inscribed on three large boulders on the side of a rocky outcrop near Bareri Hill serve as evidence of his rule here. The Mansehra rocks record fourteen of Ashoka's edicts, presenting aspects of the emperor's dharma or righteous law, and represent the earliest irrefutable evidence of writing in South Asia. Dating to middle of the third century BC, they are written from right to left in the Kharosthi script.
The name Mansehra is a modified form of the name Maan Singh, who once ruled over this area.
The Tanoli territory of Amb State has also been part of Mansehra District, since the State was abolished by the Government of Pakistan in 1969. Amb and its surrounding areas of Hazara have a long history which can be traced to Alexander the Great's invasion of India. Arrian, Alexander's historian, did not indicate the exact location of Embolina, but since it is known that Aoronos was on the right bank of the River Indus, the town chosen to serve as Alexander's base of supplies may with good reason be also looked for there. The mention in Ptolemy's Geography of Embolima as a town of Indo-Scythia situated on the Indus supports this theory.
In 1854 General Abbott, the British frontier officer from whom Abbottabad, administrative centre of Hazara, takes its name, discussed his location of Aornos on the Mahaban range south of Buner. He proposed, as M. Court, one of Ranjit Singh's French generals had done before him in 1839, to recognize Embolima in the present village of Amb situated on the right bank of the Indus. It lies about eight miles to the east of Mahaban and is the place from which the Nawabs of Amb take their title.

Hindu Shahi dynasty & Kashmiris
In the 2nd century CE, a mythical Hindu king Raja Risalu, son of Raja Salbahan of Sialkot, brought the area under his control. The local people consider him as their hero and, even today, parents tell their children the stories of Raja Risalu and his wife Rani Konklan on winter nights. When a Chinese pilgrim, Hiun-Tsang, visited this area, it was under the control of Durlabhavardhana, the ruler of Kashmir.
The Turkish Shahi and Hindu Shahi Dynasties ruled Mansehra one after another. Among the Hindu Shahi dynasty rulers, Raja Jayapala is the best known. Mehmood of Ghazni defeated Raja Jayapala during his first Indian campaign. However, there is no historical evidence that Mehmood of Ghazni ever visited or passed through Mansehra. After the fall of Hindu Shahi dynasty, in the 11th century, the Kashmiris took control of this area under the leadership of Kalashan (1063 to 1089). From 1112 to 1120, King Susala ruled this area. In the 12th century, Asalat Khan captured this area but soon after Mohammad of Ghor's death the Kashmiris once again regained control of Mansehra.

Turkish rule
In 1399, the great Muslim warrior Timur, on his return to Kabul, stationed his Turk soldiers in Manshera to protect the important route between Kabul and Kashmir. By 1472, Prince Shahab-ud-Din came from Kabul and established his rule over the region. Prince Shahab-ud-Din, a Turk of central Asian origin, founded the state and named it Pakhli Sarkar and chose Village Gulibagh as his capital. During the Mughal rule, these local Turkish chiefs acknowledged Mughal authority. In fact, Mansehra (Pakhli) provided the main route to Kashmir and was the most commonly used route for Emperor Akbar to travel to Kashmir. During the last days of Emperor Akbar's rule, the Turkish Chief Sultan Hussain Khan revolted against the Mughals. He claimed that the Mughals were interfering with his internal affairs. After this complaint, he was exiled by the Mughals, but later was pardoned and given back his land. Now, descendants of these Turkish rulers live in village Behali and some other villages of Mansehra, Abbottabad, and Haripur districts.
Akbar as a boy around 1557

Sikh Rule
Turkish rule came to an end due to the increased aggression of the Pashtuns and their allied forces. In 1703, the Turks came under attack by the Swatis under the leadership of Syed Jalal Baba, who was son in law of last Turkish ruler of Hazara, (Sultan Memud Khurd) took benefit of absence of his father in law and with the help of Swaties succeeded to overthrow the Turks from the throne of Pakhli Sarkar.The Turks were pushed towards the mountainous areas of Tanawel (Behali) and other parts of Hazara, including Haripur (Manakrai). The Turks remained in control of certain small areas, assuming the title of Raja. Raja Amanulla of Manakrai, Haripur, one of the descendants of the Turkish rulers of Hazara, rose to prominence during post-independence era, when he became the Speaker of the NWFP assembly in 1985.
When Ahmad Shah Durrani expanded his kingdom to Punjab, Mansehra also came under his control. Durrani considered it wise to rule the area through local tribal chiefs, like Saadat Khan of Garhi Habibullah. Saadat Khan was such an authoritative man amongst Swatis, even disputed matters of Jadoons and Tannolis had been sent to him for rectification through jirgas[citation needed]. The Durranis ruled ended abruptly in the beginning of the 18th century.
The Tanolis had already established their authority over Tannawal and thus Tannawal was never annexed by the Durranis. The voluminous Urdu copy of the settlement report of Hazara compiled by Major Wace in 1872 contains many passages in its historical resume of the area. In a number of maps drawn at the time and enclosed in the report, showing Hazara under the Mughals and under the Durranis, the Amb state has been shown as Mulk-i-Tanawal. The original existence of that Mulk is as old as the middle period of the great Afghan invasions of India. Their leader Nawab Khan (Father of Painda Khan) never accepted the Durrani Rule and used to heavily tax the Durrani caravans which passed through the Mulk-e-Tanawal. He defeated the Durranis in battle but met his death at the hands of Sardar Azim Khan Durrani in 1818, who invited him to his camp and killed him by treachery. Upper Tanawal (mostly now in present day District Mansehra) and Lower Tanawal (mostly now in present day district Haripur), covering the greater part of Hazara, have been ruled by Tanolis for centuries.
The fall of the Durranis led way for the Sikhs to rise to power under Ranjit Singh. The Sikhs gained control of Mansehra in 1818, after stiff resistance from its inhabitants. When Mansehra fell under Sikh control, it was annexed to Punjab. Syed Ahmad Shaheed, with the help of the Mujaheddin, led many revolts and attacks against the Sikhs. At last, in 1831 during a fierce battle at Balakot, Syed Ahmad Shaheed was killed. This allowed the Sikhs to consolidate their control of Mansehra. After Rajit Singh's death, the Sikh empire began to disintegrate. At this time, the British gained control of Punjab, and, through this, gained control of Mansehra.
Painda Khan Tanoli was the tribal chief of the Tanolis at the time of the invasion of Hazara by the Sikhs. Painda Khan is famed for his staunch rebellion against Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Governors of Hazara. From about 1813, he spent a life long rebellion against the Sikhs. Painda Khan's relentless rebellion against the Sikh empire, cost him a major portion of his Kingdom, leaving only his twin capitals Amb and Darband. However, this deterred him less and appeared to increase his resistance against the Sikh government.
Painda Khan son Jehandad Khan also followed the footsteps of his famed father. "Of all the tribal chiefs of Hazara, the most powerful said to be Jehandad Khan of the Tanoli, whose land straddled both banks of the Indus and whose fellow-tribesmen were 'brave and hardy and accounted for the best swordsmen in Hazara'.
When Sikh power was on the fall in 1845 Jehandad Khan blockaded the garrisons of no less than 22 Sikh posts in Upper Tanawal; and when they surrendered at discretion, he spared their lives, as the servants of a fallen Empire.
In the meantime other Chiefs of Hazara rushed to arms to exterminate the Sikhs who were in their country. They invited Syud Akbur, of Sitana (after wards king of Swat), to come over and be King of Hazara, and make a holy war with them. Nawab Khan of Thingri, became Syad Akbur's "Wazir", Pir Khan came down to join with the Jaduns, Khan i Zeman brought the Tarkheylies; the Swatis of Publi, and the Mushwanis, swelled the tumult. For two months they besieged Diwan Mulraj, the Kardar, in the fort of Hurkishengarh; and at last, after several gallant repulses, reduced the garrison to evacuate by cutting off the water.
On 19 March, 1846, a peace treaty was signed between the Sikhs and the British according to which Raja Gulab Singh took Kashmir and Hazara from the British for 75,00,000 rupees. But due to widespread civil disorder and resistance movement Raja asked the British government to take over Hazara in exchange of the Jamu-Jehlum belt. The British accepted this offer and took over Hazara from him. They deputed James Abbot to Hazara to restore peace. He defeated Chuttar Singh, a Sikh general, after coming to Hazara and thus completely ousted the Sikhs from power.

British rule
By 1849, the British had gained control of all of Mansehra. However, the western Pashtun tribes remained rebellious. These tribes included the clans of Allai Valley and Nandhiar Valley, and the tribes inhabiting both slopes of the Black Mountain of Hazara.
In 1852, after three years of relative peace, Zaman Shah of Kaghan turned against the British. James Abbot sent an expedition to Kaghan which deprived Zaman Shah of his territory and he was exiled to Pakhli plain. After four years the British forgave him and he was permitted to get back his lost territory.
However, the British sent many expeditions against the Pashtun tribes to crush the rebellion between 1852 and 1892, especially against the Black Mountains.
To maintain peace in the area the British also took preventive measures by co-opting the local rulers.
The British divided Hazara District into three Tehsils (administrative subdivisions): Mansehra, Abbottabad, and Haripur; and decided to annex it to the Punjab. In 1901, when the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) was formed, Hazara was separated from Punjab and made a part of NWFP. Throughout their rule in Mansehra, the British met fierce resistance from the local Pashtun tribes and declared martial law. Meanwhile, the people of Mansehra's many villages largely governed themselves. Many of Mansehra's citizens joined the Khilafat Movement.
The British accepted the independence of the Nawab of Amb; within his own territory and thus no writ of the British Government, civil or criminal, was ever enacted within the Tanoli State of Amb. The smaller Tanoli State of Phulra, which was granted by Painda Khan to his brother Madad Khan, was also acknowledged by the Britishers as a semi-independent Princely State. Thus the British Government agreed not to meddle with the affairs of the Tanoli territory of Hazara, with the mutual understanding that the Tanolis would not attack the British controlled territories.
When the Muslim League in Pakistan started its movement for a separate land, the local people joined and struggled for liberation under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam.[citation needed] Their eventual victory culminated in the creation of Pakistan, an independent state for the Muslims of the sub-continent.
Nawab Sir Muhammad Farid Khan (K.B.E) of the Amb State had very good relations with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan. His contributions to the Pakistan movement have been acknowledged by letters from Quaid-i-Azam.[6][7] In 1947 the Nawab of Amb, Mohammad Farid Khan, acceded to Pakistan by signing the Instrument of Accession of his State, in favour of Pakistan. In 1969, the State was incorporated into the North-West Frontier Province and in 1971 the royal status of the Nawab was abolished by the Government of Pakistan.
Shergarh Fort, summer residence, Nawab of Amb
During Bhutto's regime, Mansehra was upgraded to a district, containing two subdivisions: Mansehra and Batagram. Later, the Mansehra district had the Balakot subdivision added to it.

Mansehra is located at the eastern border of the North-West Frontier Province, two hours away from Peshawar and three hours away from Islamabad. The district is located at 34° - 12' and 35° - 50' and 47° - 07' longitude. It is closely linked to Afghanistan in the west, which has increased the number of Afghan refugees in Mansehra over the past years.
The district of Mansehra has been blessed with wonderful scenery. Some of Mansehra's main features are mountain ranges, plains, valleys, and numerous lakes and rivers.
 Bordering districts.
Mansehra shares its borders with numerous other districts: the Kohistan and Diamir districts to the north, Abbottabad District to the south, the Neelum District of Azad Kashmir to the west, and the Swat district to the east and Batagram District to the northeast.

Administrative subdivisions of Mansehra District.
The district consists of three tehsils, which are divided into 59 Union Councils, and two PATA (Provincially Administered Tribal Areas):

   1. Balakot .....  2. Mansehra  ..... 3. Oghi  ..... 4. Kala Dhaka  ..... 5. Upper Tanawal area of Hazara Division.

Balakot Tehsil consists of 16 Union Councils:
    * Atter Shisha .......... * Balakot  .......... * Garhi Habibullah .......... * Garlat .......... * Ghanool .......... * Hangrai ..........  * Kaghan .......... * Karnol .......... * Kewal ..........* Laber Kot .......... * Mohandri .......... * Pairan ..........  * Sandasar .......... * Satbani .......... * Shohal Mazullah .......... * Talhata ..........

Mansehra Tehsil consists of 33 Union Councils:
    * Baffa Town ..........     * Battal .......... * Behali .......... * Belian .......... * Bherkund .......... * Bhogerr Mong .......... * Chater Plain .......... * Datta .......... * Devli Jaberr .......... * Dhodial .......... * Hamsherian .......... * Hilkot .......... * Icherrian .......... * Inayat Abad ..........  * Jaborri .......... * Jaloo .......... * Labarkot .......... * Lassan Nawab ..........  * Lassan Thakral .......... * Malik Pur ..........  * Mansehra City No 1 .......... * Mansehra City No 2 .......... * Mansehra City No 3 ..........  * Mansehra City No 4 ..........  * Mansehra(Rural) ..........  * Perhinna .......... * Phulrraa .......... * Sacha Kalan ..........   * Shinkiari .......... * Shoukatabad .......... * Sum Alahi Mong .......... *Swan Miara ..........  * Tanda ..........   * Trangi Sabir Shah .......... * Panjool Nawazabad.

Tehsil Oghi consists of 11 Union Councils:
    * Darband ..........  * Karori ..........    * Nikka Pani ..........   * Shergarh ..........    * Shinayah ..........    * Shungli Bandi ..........  * Ballian .......... * Dalbori ..........  * Khatai  ..........  * Oghi ..........  * Shamdara

The district is represented in the provincial assembly by six elected MPAs who represent the following constituencies:
    * PF-53 (Mansehra-1)    * PF-54 (Mansehra-2)    * PF-55 (Mansehra-3)    * PF-56 (Mansehra-4)    * PF-57 (Mansehra-5)    * PF-58 (Mansehra-6)

There are three lakes in the district: Lulusar Lake, Dudipatsar Lake and Saiful Muluk Lake. All three are located in the beautiful Kaghan Valley and act as a mirror reflecting the snow-clad mountains surrounding them.
Lulusar Lake is approximately 48 kilometres away from Naran and has an altitude of 3325 meters. Surrounded by wildflowers in almost all colours imaginable, this lake is the main source for the Kunhar River. Lake Lulusar is said to be one of the most tranquil spots on the Kaghan Valley, the lake is fenced by snowcapped mountains whose image is reflected on the standstill blue-green waters of the lake.
Dudipat Lake is enclosed with beautiful, high, snow-drizzled peaks, it is one of the hardest places to reach, requiring a tough hike lasting four to seven hours. The hike is rewarding, as tourists are greeted with green pastures and the lake's blue-green waters.
The most famous of the district's many lakes is Lake Saiful Muluk, named in a folktale—the Qissa Saiful Muluk—about a romance between a Persian prince and a fairy princess. In the folktale, the lake was the meeting site for the two lovers. Lake Saiful Muluk is located at the northern end of the Kaghan valley. At an altitude of 10,578 feet (3,224 m) above sea level, it is one of the highest lakes in Pakistan. The water is spectacularly clear with a slight green tone. It is accessible by a jeep road during the summer months or can be hiked up from the village below in four to six hours. The clarity of the water comes from the multiple glaciers all around the high basin feeding the lake.

Mansehra is considered a good place for education because of its natural beauty and climate, it is the location of Hazara University and also contains colleges and many good schools. The First primary school in the district was established in 1872 in Behali village. Almost at the same time in Baffa and in 1892 in Mansehra city.

The largest river is the Kunhar River, also known as the Kunnar (not to be confused with the Kunar River of the Chitral District). The river is the gateway to the Kaghan Valley and runs through Balakot. Siran is a largest river in the area of Pakhhal it comes from mountain namely Musa Da Masalla and ends in the lake of Tarbela Dam.

Mansehra is home to a diverse group of people, Gujjars, Syeds, Awans are the main tribe with numerous Rajputs, Maliars, Yousufzai Pashtuns, Tanoli Pashtuns, Hassanzai Pashtuns, Swati Pashtun, Karlugh Turks and Afghan refugees and many other ethnic groups. Its population in 1998 was 1,152,839[10].

Introduction to Mansehra Valley
Mansehra is a gate way to the tourism. And has played and still playing a vital role in the development of tourism. Mansehra itself is a little city but lies in the heart of the region that is very important.
Mansehra is a beautiful area and has very famous areas around itself which are always pleasing to eyes and are the best example of the natural beauty. I was always keen to let people know that how important it is to have a special arrangement to coming to this area. So here we go!
First of all I want to give a little bit of summary of what to see here. Very west of the city Mansehra, there lies an area named as TANAWAL which is such big area that contains 84 villages in itself. This area is very good and attractive and is full of Pine trees. Unfortunately this area is never given importance that’s the reason it doesn't have any special arrangements for the tourists to stay. So if one is interested to come to TANAWAL then he must go early in the morning and must be back before the sun set. The most visting area are as below:

Moving almost 30 KMs away from Mansehra City, there's the first special place to see and enjoy and to take the 1st stay of the tour. This is very beautiful area. The river named as KUNHAR and plays the most important role in the beauty of this area. This area is full of pine trees. When traveling to BALAKOT you will find a lot of beautiful things to see, very attractive things to enjoy. You can also go to the place named as BATRASSI, which is in way of BALKOT but you will have to change your way a little to get there.

At the drive of 2 hours after moving from Balakot, another most attractive and the main point for tourists is SHOWGRAN. This area is very brilliant and beautiful, But when you get to Showgran you will not find anything much interesting except hotels and restaurants, but the real beauty is up there on SIRREE PAYE. You will have to get a jeep on rent to get there, If you are not an experienced driver then don't take the risk of driving yourself because it is not good to drive in yourself. At the top of SIRREE, there are a lot of things to enjoy the main attrecting thing is a little lake at the top.Which is naturally made with the water of rain and snow. In the end, this plce needs a visit.

This area is also an example of what the natural beauty is. It is at the drive of 5 to 6 hours from Showgran. But you don’t get bore while driving to Kaghan because there are a lot of things to enjoy in the way. The river Kunhar moves along side the road, as you will be moving up it will be going down. When reached Kaghan, you will find a lot of attractive things. This area has special arrangements for the tourists at the cheap rates, Hotels and Restaurants are available. One thing you will obviously enjoy is the TROUT FISH, which is also available in Balakot and Naran. Well this place is also as so very much attractive that needs a visit.

At the drive of 2 hours from Kaghan there lies a place named as NARAN, which is the place where the tourists' ratio is very high due to its beautiful and attractive looks. The main thing which people enjoy here is the fish TROUT and another thing named as the LAKE SAIF-UL-MALUK.A great scene. Between the four mountains this lake lies. Its water is very cold and of the color green and blue. So very much attractive. People enjoy staying here, due to its natural beauty and weather. which is very cold. In the end, It needs a visit of at least 3 days. NOTE: When coming to Mansehra Side then please do bring your all warm cloths with you because the weather here is cold.