Bannu is mentioned in the events of year 1398 AD, when Amir Timur invaded India , at which time he came through Kurma’h into Bannu . In Timur’s biography “Zafar-namah”, name of the place is written as Bano with long a (بانو). Timur left a body of his troops in Bannu to deal with turbulence caused by Awghans (i.e Afghans) and crossed the Indus to enter India. Traditional oral history of Bannuchis also verify the fact that they originally named the place Bano (بانو). According to Pashtun tradition, Bano (بانو) was the wife of Shitak, whence his descendants are called Bannuzais or Bannuchis. She had two sons, Kiwi and Surani. Bannuchis dug drains and sowed corn after occupying these lands, and said, “Let us call this place Bano, after our mother, for its fruitful, even as she was”. With time Bano changed to Bannu (بنو).
Notes and References:
1- A 9th century Arabic source Futuh-al-Buldan mentions a place by name of in Bannah (بنة) located between Multan and Kabul. Bannah could be Bannu of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
1- Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi, “Zafarnama”, Vol-II (English translation)
2- S.S.Thorburn, “Bannu or our Afghan frontier”
3- Habibullah tegay, “Pakhtana”
|A group of students, Bannu, 1909. Photograph taken from book “Among the wild tribes of the Afghan frontier” by Theodore Leighton Pennell|
|Mahsud labourers in Bannu cantonment, 1909. Photograph taken from book “Among the wild tribes of the Afghan frontier” by Theodore Leighton Pennell|
|Bannu villagers, 1909. Photograph taken from book “Among the wild tribes of the Afghan frontier” by Theodore Leighton Pennell|
|Razmak to Bannu mail truck with armed tribesmen (khasadars) on top, 1940|
|Inhabitant of Bannu – Tank, 1827-1843. By Imam Bakhsh Lahori.|
|A train arrives at Bannu railway station as troops wait on horses in an undated photograph likely taken circa 1920.|
|Bannu – D.I.Khan road, c.1900|
|Bannu Railway Station in 1913|
|Cavalryman from Bannu, c.1830. The portrait an album of paintings held in the British Library.|
|The football team from Bannu, 1905
|Arrival of train at Bannu railway station, c.1936. From Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf collection.|
|Bannu Bazar, 1880s. Dunlop Smith Collection|
|Market day at Bannu, 1915. From “The Times of India Illustrated weekly”.|
|Bannu road, 1932.|
|Palm tree lane in Bannu, NWFP, 1941. Postcard photo.|
|Herbert Edwardes monument, Bannu, 1880s. Dunlop Smith Collection.