Visit Guide to Bala Hissar Fort

Bala Hissar Fort is a historic fortress located in Peshawar. First mentioned by 7th-century explorer Xuanzang, the fort was used as a royal residence for the Durrani Empire since December 1747, when Ahmad Shah Durrani conquered Peshawar. The Maratha Empire captured it after the Battle of Peshawar in 1758. The fort was rebuilt after the Sikhs captured Peshawar in 1823.

Getting There

Bala Hisar Fort is one of the most beautiful, eye-catching, and famous fort of Pakistan in the KPK Province and it’s located at the distance of 184 km from Islamabad Motorway M-1

By Air: The nearest airport that can be used for air travel to Bala Hisar Fort is Bacha Khan International Airport

By Train: Train service to Bala Hisar Fort is up to Peshawar. You can use BRT, local bus or taxi to go further.

By Road: Through a car, bus and Jeep you can easily reach to Bala Hisar Fort from Islamabad Motorway M-1 in One and half hours. The distance of Bala Hisar Fort from Islamabad is 184 Km.

What to Expect

What to see: ChowkYadgar, Mahabat Khan Mosque, Andershehr Bazaar, Meena Bazaar, Gor Khatri, Balahisar Fort, Tomb of NawabSayid Khan, All Saint Church, Nishtar Hall, Peshawar Museum, Saddar Bazaar, Polo Ground on Shami Road, Khalid bin waleedbagh,  Peshawar zoo.

Where to Eat in Peshawar: Combining the flavours of Central Asia, colours of the Indus and sweetness of Persia, Peshawar is famous for its cuisines. It has many specialties, which are peculiar in taste and aroma. The most famous is Chapli Kebab, which is the diet, made from beef, herb and corn flour. These taste best when served from a hot large frying pan.Safron Rice is another aromatic dish that is consumed for any meal including breakfast.A variety ofgrilled meats and freshly baked flat bread called ‘Nan’ is readily available.The favorite beverage of Peshawar is green tea that is always served with style and ceremony.It carries a faint aroma of cardamom. Peshawar food is readily available in all restaurants, big or small. Chicken, mutton, beef, lentils, vegetables and a wide variety of freshly baked breads are on the menu.There is plenty of fresh and dry fruits available almost everywhere in Peshawar.Drinking water is not safe unless it is bottled and sealed.


Ahmad Hasan Dani, a Chinese Buddhist monk, and traveler Xuanzang, when visiting Peshawar in 630 AD, found a “royal residence” and called it with Chinese word Kung Shing, which is used for its significance and is explained as a fortified or walled portion of the town in which the royal palace stood. Hiuen Tsang then makes a separate mention of the city, which was not fortified. This shows that the royal residence formed the nucleus of a Citadel, which must have been further protected by a moat. Dani further says that a channel of old Bara River surrounded by a high spot, which includes the Bala Hissar and Inder Shahr. The higher area could have been the citadel, which is the present Bala Hissar. The fort still existed during the time of the Mughal Emperor Babur, who referred to it as Bagram Fort.

The fort was used as a royal residence for the Durrani Empire since December 1747, when Ahmad Shah Durrani conquered Peshawar. The Afghan King Timur Shah Durrani (1773–1793) used the fort as the winter capital of his empire. Up to the early 19th century, Peshawar was the winter capital of the Afghan Empire and the Bala Hissar was the royal residence of Afghan kings.

The Sikhs fought and defeated the Afghans at the Battle of Nowshera near Peshawar in March 1823. The Sikhs followed this by the destruction of the Afghan royal court and the fort of Bala Hissar in Peshawar.

Facilities Available

  • Local guides are available
  • People of  Peshawar are very hospitable
  • PC Hotel, Shelton’s Rezidor Peshawar,Fort Continental Hotels, Hotel Gateway, Emaraat Hotel, Green’s Hotel Restaurant
  • Bala Hisar Fort can be easily accessible thought local transport and can book a car on rent.
  • Tourism Department helps the Tourist/ Visitors through providing broachers in both Urdu and English languages. The local Police and the local Guides can speak multi languages (i.e local languages, Urdu, English and some of them can speak Chinese also).
  • There is a bus stand-in for public transportation.
  • Filling stations are available in which includes Petrol and Diesel.
  • Taxis are available in Bala Hisar Fort on daily rent basis.
  • Shops are available
  • You can easily travel to Bala Hisar Fort in BRT bus service is a comfortable service for the tourist. The BRT buses run from Chamkani to Karkhanay a total distance of 26 Kilometer with 31 stations.