Peshawar derives its name from a Sanskrit word ‘Pushpapura’, meaning the city of flowers. The Kushan Kings of Gandhara founded Peshawar over 2,000 year’s age. The Mughal emperor Babar came to Peshawar in 1530 A.D. His grandson Akbar formally gave the name Peshawar that means ‘The Plae of the Frontier’. During the region of Sher Shah Suri Peshawar’s witnessed another boom with the construction of the Delhi to Kabul Shahi Road, which ran through the Khyber Pass. Over the centuries Peshawar has been the entry point to invaders and conquerors such as Alexander the great, the Mughal kings and Mehmood Ghanznavi all whom traveled through the famous Khyber Pass that traverses the Afghan border.
Peshawar is the provincial Capital of the KP and is also the largest city in the Province. The city district enjoys tremendous historical, military, economic and political importance. The formerly Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and now the settled districts adjoining, Peshawar, the Khyber district which lies to its West, Mohmand district to its North, Frontier Region Kohat to its South. The districts of Charsadda and Nowshera are situated to its North and North-East respectively, whereas the Afghan border is approximately 40 Km to the West. Pushtu is the predominant language followed by Hindko and the national language Urdu.
The district is almost a fertile plain. The central part of the district consists of fine alluvial deposits. The cultivated tracts consists of a rich, light and porous soil, composed of a pretty even mixture of clay and sand which is good for cultivation of wheat, sugarcane and tobacco. It is approximately 1173 feet (358 m) above sea level.
Peshawar valley is covered with consolidated deposits of silt, sands and gravel of recent geological times. There is a small hilly area in the Southeast, which is a part of main Khattak range. The highest point is at Tarakai with a height of about 700m.
The floods Plains/Zones are the areas between Kabul River and Budni Nala. The meander flood plain extends from Warsak in the Northwest towards Southeast in the upper Northern half of the district. The Kabul River enters the district in the Northwest. On entering the Peshawar Plain, the Kabul River is divided into several channels. Its two main channels are the Adizai River Eastward flows along the boundary with Charsadda District. Another channel branching from the right bank of the Naguman River is the Shah Alam, which again merges with Naguman River further in the East. In general the sub-soil strata are composed of gravels, boulders, and sands overlain by silts and clays. Sand, gravel and boulders are important aquifer extends to a depth of about 200 feet. As further confined water bearing aquifer occurs at depths greater than 400 feet.
Peshawar valley is famous for its fertile and densely cultivated lands/soil. The district is famous for producing both food and cash crops. The main food crops are wheat, maize and barley. The main cash crop is sugarcane.
Winter in Peshawar is starts from mid-November to March; summer months are May to September. The mean maximum temperature in summer is over 40°C and the mean minimum temperature is 25°C. The mean minimum temperature during winter is 4°C and maximum is 18.35°C. The spring comes somewhere around the middle of March which is the most pleasant period of the year.
Rainfall is received both in winter and in the summer. The winter rainfall due to western disturbances shows a higher record during the months of February and April. The highest winter rainfall has been recorded in March, while the highest summer rainfall in the month of August. The average winter rainfall is higher is higher in winter than that of the summer. Based on a 30 year record, the average annual precipitation has been recorded as 400 millimeters
Winds and humidity
Wind speeds vary during the year from 5 knots in December to 24 knots in June. The relative humidity varies from 46% in June to 76% in August. (DCR Peshawar, 1998)