Bannu (A district of British India) is presently a district of Khyber PakhtunKhwa province in Pakistan. Bannu, Bana, or Bani Gul, (as pronounced by the locals) was the Principal city of the district and was an important road junction and market city. It is situated on the south of Peshawar and Kohat at a distance of nearly 118 miles and 79 miles respectively, It is at 89 miles distance in the north of Dera Ismail Khan. It forms the base for all punitive expeditions to the Tochi Valley and Waziri frontier. The district of Bannu, contains an area of 1680 sq.miles lying north of the Indus. The valley of Bannu proper forms an irregular oval, measuring 60 miles from north to south and about 40 miles from east to west. After the annexation of the Punjab the valley was administered by Sir Herbert Edwardes and thus was also known as Edwardesabad. Majority of the population still live in villages. Still the Urban area is over crowded with people. Urban Area of Bannu is divided in two phases i.e Main City and Cantonment Area.
Main City : -
Bannu Town is situated in the north-west corner of the district, in the valley of the Kurram river. Before partition this Province was known as North West Frontier Province and was constituted in 1901. The Main city of Bannu was surrounded by a wall. Entry to this walled city was possible through several gates. These includes Lakki gate, Paredi gate, Railway gate, Kachari gate, Meryan gate, Qasaban gate, Hinjal gate, Pori gate, Haved gate, Sokari gate, and Mandan gate etc. These gates were used to be closed at night. Local residents of Bannu used to call this wall as “Kot Di Baan” in their own language. In present Pakistan this wall is almost removed except towards Mandan, Meryan and Hinjal sides. Chowk Bazaar and Tanchi Bazaar were the famous business and social centers in Bannu city.
Cantonment Area : -
Second phase is cantt. area. A large Fort is situated here. In the past its name was “Duleep Singh Fort”. Thus Bannu was also called upon as Duleep Nagar by some people.
The Villages of Bannu : -
As stated earlier, that majority of Bannu population lived in villages, but these villages were grouped into areas. Some of the major areas were :
Bazaar Ahmad Khan, Mandan, Mamash Khel, Kaki, Khojari, Ghori wala, Doud Shah, Sukari, Shah-Dev, Man Dev, Shahbaz Azmat Khel, Surani, Norar, Baraat, e.t.c.
MAHARAJA DULEEP SINGH