Kohat Pass is a picturesque landscape with hilltops that rise from the Toll River. The tallest is the one where Allah, in Urdu, is boldly inscribed: This is a major landmark of this wonderful place.
Kohat City lies to the south of the Pass and is on the left bank of the river where the Toll River changes course from flowing south to east. The river flows into the Tanda Lake and Dam. These features and the protected Tanda Wildlife Park are a must for all visitors for its beautiful scenery, flora, fauna, and wildlife, including a rich variety of mammals and birds.
Kohat City is an important link between Peshawar and Karachi. It is also a vital route to Islamabad via the 1,2 km Kohat Tunnel. The Kohat Cantonment Railway Station is an important terminus for both passengers and goods. The closest commercial airport is Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar.
The city has an estimated population of 220,000+ (2017). The people, who are mostly south-central Pathans, are friendly and welcoming. They are also highly motivated to make every effort to better their lives and welcome tourists all yearly. The city is renowned for its delicious Chapali kebabs, Peshawari chapals (sandals), handicrafts, mud crafts, and guavas. These can readily be purchased in the main Kohat Bazaar.
As you enter this place your senses are assailed with a diverse aroma of mouth-watering cooked foods, including the very tasty jalebis, samosas, and countless other unique dishes of the region. The street vendors make the entire place lively and energetic from all sorts of people (either on their own or in groups) vying to purchase these delicacies and goods.
Traveling is exhilarating either moving gently along in the ‘roaring rickshaw’ or speeding off on a Suzuki scooter that zooms from place to place, weaving through traffic. These are the preferred modes of transport for locals.
At any given moment it could be a middle-aged woman in her burqa, or a youngster exploring the various shops, or on their way to the schools, universities, government departments, or the Kohat Development Authority. Some would be on their way to explore the other scenic attractions, like the Allah Hoo Track, or the Ghamkol Shareef, to name a few.
The rise of the Kohat Development Authority (KDA) is incredible. They are tasked with building up the city and surrounding villages to improve the lives of all the citizens. They are very active in constructing various commercially orientated buildings, parks, streets and monuments, and housing developments.
The most famous sport is cricket. Children are enthusiastic about playing it even though they presently have limited resources. They nevertheless do well in regional tournaments, trying to live up to their role models, two famous cricketers who were born in Kohat: Shahid “Boom-Boom” Afridi (former captain of the Pakistan national team) and Rohan Mustafa (UAE national team player).
The celebrated Urdu poet, Ahmad Faraz, also hailed from Kohat. He was the founder and served as the Chairman of the Academy of Letters.
However, even in the 21st century Kohat still faces some problems; from blackouts (which drown the bright city in darkness) to petty issues like centuries-old ongoing infighting amongst the locals. Pitifully, this disarray has a negative impression on the outside world. These problems continue to disadvantage this beautiful region and its people. Here most of the people are naturally peaceful, extremely hospitable, and unique.
The loving people, neighbours, and families in the social spheres of Kohat are connected in ways that are not present in metropolitans. The special charm of Pakistan is most spectacular in Kohat, even though the city and district have been bombarded with bombs, bullets, and terrors, and they still constantly live in fear. No matter what happens to them, the people of Kohat continue to heal and build bridges. The people from Kohat and their city and villages certainly deserve special attention and as much tourism as possible.
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