History of Mardan
Mardan is centrally located city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its importance is due to its topography which makes it unique and conspicuous from other Districts of the province. It is connected through metal road network with almost all regions of the province and is easily accessible from all sides. This District has been a gateway and a trade centre for the cities of Nowshera, Swabi, Swat, Buner, Malakand, Chitral, Bajur and Dir areas. After Peshawar, it is the second biggest city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a population of 2.25 m.
Mardan is a District of 2.25 Million individual, located in the heart of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This District is also the Centre of the Buddhist Civilization of Gandhara. The famous World Heritage Site of Takht-e-Bhai and the other World fame Buddhist sites of Shahbaz Garhi, Jamal Garhi & Sahri Bahlol are located here. In addition to this, the Asoka Rock Edicts at Shahbaz Garhi located in this district speak of the glory of the Buddhist Art. The remains of Buddhist period of Gandhara civilization can be seen in many museums of the advanced countries of the world. Peshawar Museum, housing the World's largest and most unique collection of the Buddhist Art of Gandhara is the outcome of the relics of Takht-e-Bhai and many other sites in the Mardan region.
This City also came under the siege of Greeks lead by Alexander the Great in 327 B.C. At that time, Pushkalavati (Charsadda) was the capital of Gandhara, which is only 25 km from Mardan. The last capital of Gandhara, Hund- located in Swabi District is also located at the same distance from Mardan as Charsadda. Pushkalavati remained the capital of Gandhara from 6th to 1st century BC and Hund was the capital from 6th to the end of 10th century A.D In between Peshawar remained the capital of Gandhara from first to 5th century, AD. It is for this reason, that Mardan is well known to the scholars and researchers of the entire world. However, due to the Ghaznavies invasions in 998 AD the prosperity of Gandhara came to an end and many teaching and religious institutions vanished with the exception of a few like the ones mentioned above. Needless, to mention here that 300 teaching institutes of the Buddhist period are known from Mardan.