Peshawar owes its founding 2,000 years ago to those same Kushans. In the second century AD, Kanishka, the greatest of the Kushan kings, moved his winter capital here from Pushkalavati, 30 kilometers (20 miles) to the north. His summer capital was north of Kabul at Kapisa, and the Kushans moved freely back and forth through the Khyber Pass between the two cities, from which they ruled their enormous and prosperous empire for the next 400 years. After the Kushan era, Peshawar declined into an obscurity not broken until the 16th century, following the Mughal emperor Babar's decision to rebuild the fort here in 1530. Sher Shah Suri, has successor (or, rather, the usurper of his son's throne), turned Peshawar's renaissance into a boom when he ran his Delhi-to-Kabul Shahi Road through the Khyber Pass. The Mughals turned Peshawar into a 'city of flowers' (one of the meanings of its name) by planting trees and laying our gardens
In 1818, Ranjit Singh captured Peshawar for his Sikh Empire. He burned a large part of the city and felled the trees shading its many gardens for firewood. the following 30 years of Sikh rule saw the destruction of Peshawar's own Shalimar Gardens and of Baba's magnificent fort, not to mention the dwindling of the city's population by almost half. The British caused the Sikhs and occupied Peshawar in 1849 but, as much as Sikh rule had been hated, its British replacement aroused little enthusiasm. More or less continuous warfare between the British and the Pathans necessitated a huge British garrison. When the British built a paved road through the Khyber Pass, they needed to build numerous forts and pickets to guard it.
Extending from west to east in the heart of the city is the romantic 'Street of Story-tellers' - the Qissa Khawani Bazzar. In olden days, this was the site of camping ground for caravans and military adventures, where professional story-tellers recited ballads and tales of war and love to throngs of traders and soldiers. Today the story-tellers are gone but the atmosphere lingers on. Bearded tribesmen bargain with city traders over endless cups of green tea. Fruit stalls look small colorful pyramids. People from everywhere throng the crowded street. Afghans, Iraqis, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Afridis, and Shinwaris move around with ease and grace in their colourful native robes and run shoulders with the Western tourists-lost in a world so different, so enchanting. Bazaar Bater-bazan 'The Street of Partridge Lovers' lies on the left hand corner of Qissa Khawani Bazaar. It derives its name from the bird-market which stood here till a few decades ago and has now been replaced by stores and shops selling exquisitely engraved brass and copper ware. However, a single bird shop still remains as a long reminder of the not too distant past. Built on a raised platform from the ground level, the Bala Hisar Fort stands at the north-western edge of the city. the original structure was raised in 1519 AD during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Babar. It was reconstructed in its present form by Sikhs who ruled over Peshawar valley between 1791 and 1849 AD. Jamrud Fort Same 16 kms from Peshawar, on the Khyber road, an old battle-ship attracts the eye: this is Jamrud Fort. Looking ruggedly majestic with its jumble of towers and loop-holed walls, the fort contains the grave of its builder, the famous Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa, who died here in action against the forces of the Amir of Kabul in 1837 AD.