Pari Chehra is an 18th century tomb located in the Kohati Gate Peshawar, KPK Archaeological Department’s information board pointing to Pari Chehra (Fairy Face) mausoleum hardly gets anyone’s attention due to the wheelbarrows
As soon as you enter Kohati Gate, a densely populated area of ??Peshawar city, you will see busling bazaar like scene.
In the same crowd, if your eyes fall on a dilapidated wall or a banner attached to the trees at the very beginning of the market and you are also attracted to the date, then the writing on it will be of interest to you.
The words written on the board are: ‘Tomb Pari Chehra. This cemetery has been associated with the queen Pari Chehra (fairy face) of the Persian king Nadir Shah Afshar since the 18th century.
The present desolate condition of this tomb is such that no one can guess the love story or the glorious historical status hidden behind this rotten wall.
So let’s turn the pages of the past and go for you in the 18th century.
Who were the fairy faces?
According to most well known historians, Pari Chehra was the beloved wife of Nadir Shah Afshar. Nadir Shah Afshar was the king of Iran from 1736 to 1747 and he was the founder of the Afshar dynasty. Due to his military prowess, historians also remember him by the titles ‘Napoleon of Asia’ and ‘Alexander II’.
But there are conflicting opinions regarding the relationship of the fairy face with Nadir Shah.
The fairy face has also been described as ‘Nadir Shah’s Beloved’ in ‘Fasil, Shahar O Darwaza’, ‘Saqqat Sarhad’ and other books written on the history of Peshawar.
Major M. Nawaz Khan is the author of more than 113 books in Urdu, Pashto and English. In his book ‘Peshawar, The Eternal History’, he has described the fairy face as Nadir Shah’s ‘beloved wife’. On the other hand, Bakht Mohammad, a research officer at the Directorate of Archeology, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who has been researching the history of the fairy face for the past one year, says that the protocol given to the fairy face by the ruler of Peshawar during this period was an honor. No one was lucky except him.
According to Bakht Mohammad, the research proves that the fairy face was the wife of Nadir Shah, who traveled with him from Iran to Peshawar in 1739.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, he said that since Nadir Shah Afshar’s wife was not a warrior and did not interfere in the affairs of the empire, she was not mentioned in the major history books. Major events are documented, but we find information about the Queen Fairy’s face in the form of books written by local historians, as well as in the form of side-by-side narratives, which have been narrated in the form of folk tales for a long time.
According to Bakht Mohammad, handing over the fairy face of Nadir Shah Afshar to Governor Nasir Khan (who will be mentioned later) is also a big proof that she did not come with him from Iran but from a local woman. There were no close relatives in Peshawar.
Dr. Ali Jan, who narrates the history of Peshawar, also considers this research of Bakht Muhammad to be largely correct. According to him, the fairy face came with Nadir Shah from Iran, the main reason being that Nadir Shah had to accompany the fairy face on the occasion of important victories, because the fairy face itself had no official role in the war. Zikr did not become part of the authentic books.
Kohati Gate in the inner city of Peshawar which is covered by the tomb of the Queen Fairy face on the right as you enter
In a book written four decades ago called ‘Culture Frontier’, author Qari Javed Iqbal writes something like this about the fairy face. “She was the epitome of beauty, youthfulness and charm. There is no reference to her real name, but due to her beauty, she became known as a fairy face.”
According to historians, when Nadir Shah left Kandahar to invade Delhi and entered Peshawar via Kabul and Khyber in 1738, 1739, it was the time of the 13th and last powerful Crown Prince Muhammad Shah who succeeded Nawab Nasir Khan, ruler of Peshawar. Was set.
Nawab Nasir Khan was the person whose far-sightedness, understanding and excellent management saved Peshawar from the destruction of Nadir Shah Afshar’s army. When Nadir Shah arrived in Peshawar with his Lao lashkar, Nawab Nasir Khan, in the spirit of peace, order and goodwill, received Nadir Shah at Bab Peshawar Kotla Mohsin Khan and handed over the keys of the city to Nadir Shah himself.
Nadir Shah was impressed by the good behavior of Nawab Nasir Khan and decided to stay in Peshawar for a few days while giving him the honor of hosting. As the disease progressed, the fairy face did not appear to be able to travel further.
Nadir Shah, seeing the situation, did not consider it appropriate to keep the fairy face with him on the troubled and dangerous journey of Delhi. The fairy face also urged Nadirshah to move forward for victories instead of the return journey. It was a difficult decision for Nadirshah. Instructing them to leave no stone unturned, they set out to attack Delhi.
In ‘Sarqat Sarhad’, Qari Javed Iqbal has described the condition of the fairy face in such a way that after the departure of Nadir Shah, the health of the sick fairy face faded with each passing day and despite thousands of efforts and many treatments The beauty of Shabab faded away like sunset until she died in the same condition.
In this regard, it is written in the book of Dr. Syed Amjad Hussain Shah, a researcher affiliated with the History Department of the University of Peshawar, that there is also a mention of the young Khadim (who was famous in storytelling) who came with him on this journey from Iran. The fairy faces used to call Governor Nasir Khan and tell him stories of Nadir Shah’s bravery.
It is written in the book that one day the sick queen passed away while listening to the story. Nawab Nasir Khan buried the queen in the garden in front of the guest house and the royal court according to the tradition of that time.
In this regard, research officer Bakht Mohammad has researched that in those days messengers were sent for messaging, therefore the news of the death of the queen was also conveyed to Nadir Shah in Delhi through this channel. When the news of the death of the fairy face reached Nadir Shah, he became very sad and saddened.
After 56 days or about two months of stay in Delhi, Nadir Shah came to Peshawar as conqueror and under his supervision erected a magnificent tomb of fairy face for which precious stones and jewels were imported from Kabul, Kandahar and Iran as well as a large compound. I built gardens around it after which Nadir Shah went to Iran.
The present condition of the tomb of the fairy face
4. The interior view of the tomb fairy face across the wall
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Across the wall is the interior view of the tomb fairy face compound
Historians have written that the tomb of the fairy face was built on a vast land of eight kanals. But today it is nothing more than a mound of mud whose imprints are just about to disappear.
As time goes on, this monument of love is on the verge of extinction. After leaving, the residents of the area started cutting and then the time came when no precious stone was left in the tomb and the status of this place did not remain the same.
As the tomb became unmarked, the memory of it began to fade from the minds.
Some of the locals in Peshawar are also familiar with the mausoleum and its history at this place but the elders still remember this place by the name of fairy face which may have lost its cultural and historical status to a great extent now. Is.
A look at the tomb of the fairy face a century later by the Archaeological Department
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Archeology is the guarantor of the preservation of ancient sites, but looking at the history of Peshawar, Dr. Ali Jan says that we see negligence and carelessness in the protection of the tomb of Nadir Shah’s queen.
5. Awareness banner regarding tomb fairy face, erected by Archaeological Department.
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Awareness banner regarding fairy face mausoleum erected by Archaeological Department
Under the recently enacted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Act 2016, all the places and buildings in the province which are more than 100 years old fall under the category of archeology. The work continues from time to time.
The archeology department also noticed the fairy face on the tomb. According to the Director of Archeology, Dr. Abdul Samad, he is well aware of the historical significance of this place, but the land of the mausoleum is now occupied by influential local people. Delivery of this location has been requested by
The director of archeology said that in case of serious steps taken by the district government and the deputy commissioner, the site could be handed over to them soon. After the first phase of cleaning, archaeologists preserved two more tombs (including the family of Nawab Nasir Khan, the ruler of Peshawar), including the fairy face at the site, to be used for tourism promotion. Want
All these plans are in place, but the Department of Archeology has put up an information board outside the premises of the last resting place of the fairy face, from the claimants of the ownership of the mausoleum land to the negotiations of the district administration and settlement of the matter. Has been declared.