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.

Bannu Pakisthan Map

Origin of People of Bannu
About Bannu - History




At first Bannu was predominantly dwelled by Hindus. However after the advent of Islam, through the efforts of Muslim saints and conquerors most of the population converted to Islam. Many Afghan tribes are also settled here. Two major tribes named “Hanni” and “Mangal” settled here in Bannu. It is said that these two tribes settled here in twelfth or thirteenth century A.D. These two tribes were then kicked out of Bannu by a new invader named “Shah Farid Shithek”. Then Shah Farid and his tribe got settled in Bannu. Most of the population of Bannu we see now a days are the descendents of Shah farid Shithek`s tribe.


People of Bannu :-


The people of Bannu known as the Banisee were really ethnocentric. By ethnicity, they were Pushtoons. The population consisted of the native-born’s called Banisees, Wazirs those who migrated from Waziristan, Marwats, and Khataks. Before partition Bannu was having 80% and above as Hindu’s of the total population and rest of the 20% population was of the Pashtoon Pathan’s, Wazirs from Wazirastan, Marwats and Khataks. The Bannuwal’s were very Laborious, Self dependent and Crotchety by nature. A very little numbers of Christians were also the part of Bannu. They all were known for their hospitality. People of Bannu, in a sense were fanatics, as they go to extremes in both friendliness and hostilities.


In the present Bannu 98% of the population practices the Sunni branch of Islam while the other 2% is a combination of Shia and Christians. The backwardness in people of Bannu is gradually disappearing as they are heading towards urban areas.




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People of Bannu
About Bannu - History


Costumes of Bannu
About Bannu - History

The Bannuwal’s were used to wear Salwar-Kameez known as Suthan-Chola in the local language along with the turban called Lunggi on head. A particular kind of sandals were worn in feet with this dress known as Chappli. On the special occasions like marriages etc. some Banisee were in practice of making Turra in their turban or some used Kullah in the turban for a royal look only.

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Bannu Festivals
About Bannu - History

The main festivals of the Banisee (Bannuwal’s) were Dussehra, Baisakhi, Lohri, Basant Panchami and Gopaashtami. Lanka Dehan was a way of celebrating the almost defeat of Ravan (The king of giants or the king of Lanka). On this day a good number of Tableau were made and as the Procession taken to the Big ground in front of Pandit Hargopal ji temple.

Points of visit in Bannu
About Bannu - History

Bannu was a very peaceful town in the time of British India. The people of this town were very Fun loving and Frolicsome. Lakki Gate market, Chowk Bazaar, Char Bijjli, Company Baag and Goryaan Da Qila (Fort of British men) etc. were the places mostly visited by the local people. Groups of young men, were fond of wearing garlands of flowers, and very often in the afternoon gather on the roads and in the parks. For the entertainment point of view two Cinema Halls namely Ganga Talkies and Regal Cinema were there in Bannu. Owners of these Cinema Halls were Mr. Khanna and Mr. Ricky Singh. It is said by the old men that after partition Ricky Singh’s family settled in Bannu and adopted Islam.

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