The magnificent Bala Hisar Fort is one of the oldest landmarks in Peshawar...
The Magnificent Bala Hissar Fort is located in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The word Bala Hissar is from Dari Persian, meaning, elevated or high fort. The name was given by the Afghan Pashtun King Timur Shah Durrani (1773–1793), who used the fort as the winter capital of the Durrani Empire. The fort was used as a royal residence for the Durrani Empire, and was renovated during Jatsikh rule. The fort now serves as headquarters for Pakistan Frontier Corps.
The fort stands on a high mound in the northwestern corner of Peshawar City. Not long ago, the fort used to be conspicuously away from the old city of Peshawar, but now the construction of new buildings has covered space between the old city and the fort. However, the fort's position on a high mound gives a commanding and panoramic view of Peshawar and the entire Peshawar valley.
According to historian Ahmad Hasan Dani, a Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, when visiting Peshawar in 630 AD, found a royal residence and called it with Chinese word Kung Shing, which is used for its significance and is explained as fortified or walled portion of the town in which the royal palace stood. Hiuen Tsang then makes a separate mention of the city, which was not fortified. This shows that the royal residence formed the nucleus of a Citadel, which must have been further protected by a moat. Dani further says that a channel of old Bara River surrounded by a high spot, which includes the Bala Hissar and Inder Shahr.
The provincial government has expressed desire the control of the fort from the Frontier Corps in order to open it to tourists. The fort has been opened for tourists (Saturday for families only and Sundays will be opened for everyone, with or without family) with out any cost but, tourists are requested to bring their CNIC along with them, while international tourists are requested to bring their passports.
There is also a museum of the Frontier Corps in the fort showcasing the different uniforms of Frontier Corps throughout time since the start of Frontier Corps and weaponry used by different local units of Frontier Corps.