Note: The following research material are extracts from various chapters of "Gazetteer of the Kohat District", published in 1883-84. Some of the dates, numbers, and other census-related figures may be outdated as the publication is over a century old.
|General Description & Geography|
The Kohat district is the southernmost of the three districts of the Peshawar division, and lies between north latitude 32° 47' and 33° 53' and east longitude 70° 34' and 72° 17'. It is bounded on the north by the Peshawar district and the Afridi and Orakzai hills, on the east by the Indus, on the south by the Bannu district and on the west by the river Kuram and the Waziri hills. It comprises the greater portion of the rough hilly country that lies between the open valleys of Peshawar and Bannu, its extreme length from north-east to south-west being 104, and its extreme breadth 50 miles. It has a supposed area  of 2,973 square miles, and a population of 181,540 souls.
|History & Settlement of Kohat District|
|The early history of the district is limited to the vaguest traditions. It is said that in Buddhist times two Rajas named Adh and Kohat settled along the northern border of the district. Raja Kohat gave his name to the town of Kohat, and Raja Adh to the ruins of an old fort on the hill side north of Muhammadzai, a village four miles to the west of Kohat. The remains of this fort, which is known as Adh-i-Samut, consist of the ruins here and there of the old ramparts. These show that the plan of the fort was merely escarping with walls and bastions a spur of the hill projecting between two ravines. Like most of the forts of those days, Adh-i-Samut is situated far below the crest of the range, and is easily commanded with the weapons of the present day from the adjacent hill-side. The masonry of the ruins is inferior. None of those gigantic blocks are to be seen, such as compose the walls of the Buddhist forts of Bil and Til Kafir Kot on the Indus in the Dera Ismail Khan district.|
|Social & Religious Life in Kohat District|
The people of the district are of light brown complexion with black hair and eyes. Some are nearly as fair as Europeans, and brown hair and blue or grey eyes are not uncommon. The upper classes, as usual, are a good deal fairer than the ordinary population. Both Bangashes and Khattaks, who form the main portion of the population, vary a good deal in dress and appearance in different parts of the district.
|Castes, Tribes & Leading Families|
The Census statistics or caste were not compiled for tahsils, at least in their final form. It was found that an enormous number of mere clans or subdivisions had been returned as castes in the schedules and the classification of these figures under the main heads shown in the caste tables was made for districts only. Thus no statistics showing the local distribution of the tribes and castes are available. But the general distribution of the more important land-owning tribes is indicated below.
Mr. Tucker observes: The fact that in the Census statistics no effort is made to distinguish between temporary visitors and residents, makes the returns much less valuable for district purposes than they otherwise would be. In Kohat the number of Adam Khels, Orakzais, Waziris and Ghilzais who come down for trading purposes is very large, especially in the winter, when the census was taken. Adam Khels and Orakzais are also to a large extent permanently located in the district as cultivators.
|Relations of Kohat with Bordering Tribes|
|All along the Derajat much interest is taken in the passes leading into Independent Territory. The Derajat districts are level and open, and extend to the foot of the low hills that fringe the main Suleman range. These low hills are cleft by numerous streams and torrents whose beds form natural highways leading from the plains into the hill country beyond. They do not as a rule lead anywhere in particular, and very few of them are of any trading importance. Still they are marked geographical features; they all have well known names, and are generally made over to some tribe, which is responsible for their safe custody. The Kohat district is disappointing in the matter of passes. It is itself a jumble of hills and valleys very similar to the country on the other side of the border.|