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Note: The following research material are extracts from various chapters of "Gazetteer of the Bannu District", published in 1887. Some of the dates, numbers, and other census-related figures may be outdated as the publication is over a century old.

Geography of Bannu District
The Bannu district is the most northern of the three districts of the Derajat division. It comprises an area of 3,868 square miles, with an extreme length from north to south of 58 miles and an extreme breadth from east to west of 94 miles. It is bounded:
  • on the north by the Jagir territory of the Khattak chiefs in the Kohat district, the Saghri hills and the Sohan river,
  • on the east by the Jhelam and Shahpur districts with the Thal of which the Mianwali Thal is continuous,
  • on the south by the Dera Ismail Khan district from which it is separated trans-Indus by the Bitanni range, while cis-Indus the Thal of the two districts is continuous,
  • and on the west by the hills of the independent Wazirs and Bitannis.

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History & Settlement of Bannu District
Within historical times, Bannu has never been a theatre for great events, nor have its inhabitants ever played a conspicuous part in Indian history. The secret of its insignificance was that. It lies off all the great caravan routes between Hindustan and Kabul. True, the valley has been occasionally traversed by conquering armies from the west; and Masson, and others, have written of it as being a "highway" between India and Kabul. But in point of fact such armies first debouched upon what is now British territory either by the Khaibar or the Kuram route, which latter commences at the head of the Miranzai Valley in the Kohat district.

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Social & Religious Life in Bannu District
In Bannu proper the villages are very numerous, well built of mud, and thickly inhabited, with cultivation right up to the houses and hardly any open space. They were formerly all surrounded with walls till Edwardes had them thrown down in 1848. Water courses from the numerous canals are very often taken through, middle of the villages, and stagnant pools are common. Mosques, chauks and hujras are studded thickly along the main street of the village.

In Marwat the villages are far apart standing in the open, mud built, and generally large strong villages, without outlying hamlets near the frontier, although these are numerous in the eastern part. Along the Indus, on the contrary, outlying hamlets or wandas are common, and here the houses are commonly built of kanna grass, and roofed with kank or kunde (bulrushes).

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Tribes & Castes in Bannu
The country about Edwardesabad between the Kurram and Tochi rivers, is held by the Bannuchis. The remainder of the Bannu tahsil, north-east of the Kurram and south-west of the Tochi is in the occupation of Wazirs. Marwat is held almost entirely by Marwats, Isakhel by Niazais, and Bhangikhel by Khattaks. On this side of the Indus the Salt Range tract is Awan territory; while Niazai hold the north and Jats the south of the Mianwali Thal and Kacha. The Pathans together constitute 42.4 percent of the population, in which they are in every way the most important element.

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Leading Families of Bannu
Leading Families of Bannu Tahsil (Lal Baz Khan, Jafar Khan, Shermati Khan, Bazid Khan, Sohan Khan)

Leading Families of Marwat Tahsil (Khan Mir Khan, Arsala Khan, Sahibdad Khan)

Leading Families of Isakhel (Isakhel Khans, Sher Kha Isakhel, Mians, Malik Awans)

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