History of Tank district (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)

1844’s description of Tak town ;

“Tak, in Afghanistan, a thriving town of the Derajat, is situated north of Dera Ismael Khan, and twenty-six miles west of the Indus. It is surrounded by a strong and high mud wall, surrounded by towers; within is a citadel of burnt brick, having a high tower at each of the four corners, and mounted with twelve pieces of cannon. It has some transit trade, being situate on a route from east to west, which crosses the Suliman range to the north of the Goolairee Pass. The surrounding country is fertile and populous, being crowded with good villages, but it is not healthy, the heat in summer being intense, and the water bad. The Afghan khan or chief has a revenue of about 150,000 rupees per annum, on which he lives in petty state, though obliged to pay the Sikhs a tribute of 60,000 rupees annually. Tak is celebrated for fine fruits, grapes, oranges, pomegranates, apples, and especially mulberries.” [“A Gazetteer of the Countries Adjacent to India on the North-West”, Vol-2, by Edward Thornton, p-263]

1780’s description of Tak (ټک) and Daulat Khel Nuhanis ;

“The Afghan people of the Tak territory belong to the Daulat Khel branch of the great tribe of the Nuharni Afghans, but who have separated from the parent stock. They number between 8,000 and 9,000 families.  Katal Khan, the Sardar or Chief of the clan, who dwells in the town of Tak, belongs to a subdivision of the Daulat Khel. He pays 4,000 rupis yearly as ‘ushr, or a tenth, into the treasury of Timuir Shah, Sadozi, Durrani, Badshah of Kabul, and furnishes a contingent of 200 horse and foot to the Badshah’s army.”

 “The territory of Tak, which forms the extreme north-west part of the territory called Sind, from south to north, is twenty kuroh in length, and from ten to twelve kuroh in breadth from east to west. Its surface is somewhat rough, containing many elevations and depressions, low ranges of hills, deep ravines, and stony plains. The Dzamad, or Jamad river flows through this territory, and is expended in the irrigation of the lands in the country or tract inhabited by the Gandah-purs [or Dzandah-purs] a little farther south.” [Raverty, “Notes on Afghanistan”,  p-329]

The old town of Tank was gradually abandoned during the time of Katal Khan and Sarwar Khan, and the inhabitants transferred to the present site. The site of the old town, now quite deserted, is in the lands of Satti Mian, three or four miles to the north of the new town. [“Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Dera Ismail Khan District”, 1872, p-129]

Old city gate , Tak, c.1910. These are the ruins of old fort/town of Tak. It was abandoned in late 18th century.






Tank city, c.1910







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