Kala Dhaka historically
known as the Black Mountain of Hazara & in
Pashto it is known as "Tor Ghar" is a mountain
range and a tribal area of Mansehra
District on the north-western Hazara border of the North-West
Frontier Province of Pakistan.
It lies between 34º32' and 34º50' N. and 72º48' and 72º58' E.
bounded on the east by Agror and on the
south by Tanawal, toward east it is bounded
by Buner, On North East this area border with
Batagram the range
has a length of 25 to 30 miles from north to south and an elevation
of 8,000 feet above sea level.
This area has also been
called as Chagharzai , because of adjoining Chagharzai Areas Of
Buner District. Opposite to Kala Dhaka, across River Indus is
District Shangla, mainly the area belonging
to Tehsil Martung.
Indus washes its northern extremity and thence turns due south.
Between the river and the crest of the range the western slopes are
occupied by Yusufzai Pakhtoons. The rest of the range is held by
Swatis tribal group of Pakhtoons. The Black Mountain forms a long,
narrow ridge, with higher peaks at intervals and occasional deep
passes. Highest peak is known as "Machay Sar" which is visible from
Agror & other adjoining areas. Numerous spurs project from its
sides, forming narrow gorges in which lie the villages of the
tribes. The upper parts of the ridge and spurs are covered with
thick forests of pine, oak, sycamore, horse-chestnut, and wild
cherry; but the slopes are stony and barren.
Picture showing the Indus River.
RVDO (Rose valley Development Organization) DWF (Dost Welfare
Foundation Joint approach In Kala Dhaka five Tribs about Drugs
addict patients .RVDO/DWF established a dara ul Falah Center in
Darband area .Those patients are refres from kala dhaka to Darband
Dara ul falah center .
Kala Dhaka is a Provincially Administered
(PATA) of Mansehra district. It cover an area of
497km2 (25,8125 acres) and is divided into 11 Union Councils
‘The Black Mountain massif was a series of spur running up to a
central, dominating ridge line, which as its highest, the peak of
Machai Sar reached 9817 feet. Along this ridge ran the line beyond
which the British writ did not run, though the local tribes lived
on both sides regardless. The area was not on road to anywhere and
the british had been happy to let it be; unfortunately the
inhabitants were not inclined to let them do so. These were
unusually mixed group of tribes, not aprticularly large or
powerfull, although combined the could put up between six to seven
thousand men in the field, but warlike, and in some cases,
religiously inspired against the infidel British. Politically, they
were nominally under the influence of two independent princelings,
the Nawab of Amb
and the Wali of Swat
, but these exercise little real power in the
hills. On the eastern mountain, nearest British territory, lived
the Swatis who pretended to be Pathans but fooled neither their
neighbours nor the British, and were so little regarded that they
were described by a contemporary as 'cowardly, deceptive, cruel,
grasping, lazy. Replacing the bold frank manner of the Pathan by
the hand-dog look of the wipped cur. On the Western flanks of the
Black Mounatins, and on either sides of the indus riverwhich ran
around it, lived men the british regarded as of better stock,
isazai pathans of the yousafzai tribe.’
British sent more
than four expeditions to subdue the Black Mountain Tribes between
1852 to 1892 because Ata
Mohammad Khan Swati, the Khan of Agror and Arsala
Khan of Allai, and his sons intrigued against
the British Government.
In 1851 two officers of the British Customs (Salt) department
within the borders of Tanawal were killed, allegedly by the
Hasanzai sect of the Yusufzai. The British then sent an expedition
under Colonel Mackeson which destroyed a number of tribal
strongholds. In 1868 the Yusufzai, instigated by the Khan of Agror,
who resented the establishment of the police post at Oghi in the
Agror valley, attacked that post in force, but were repulsed.
Further attacks on the troops of the Khan of Tandwal, who remained
loyal, followed. This culminated in a general advance of the Black
Mountain tribes against the British position. It was repulsed, but
not until 21 British villages had been burnt, and a second
expedition under General Wilde had overrun the Black Mountain and
secured the full submission of the tribes.
In 1888 the British blockaded the area due to the raids by the
Hasanzai and Akazai aided by the Madda Khel into the Agror valley.
While more stringent measures were being organized, Major Battye
and Captain Urmston and some sepoys of the Fifth Gurkhas were
surprised and killed by Gujar dependents of the Akazai. Hashim Ali,
the head of the Hasanzai and Akazai, was suspected of having
instigated the attack. An expedition was sent in the same year,
with the result that the tribes paid the fines imposed upon them,
and agreed to the removal of Hashim Ali from Kala Dhaka and the
appointment in his place of his near relative and enemy Ibrahim
Khan ( Hasanzai Tribe Elder). In 1890 the tribe opposed the march
of troops along the crest of the Black Mountain, and an expedition
was sent against them in the spring of 1891. Immediately after the
withdrawal of the troops, the Hindustanis and Madda Khel broke
their agreement with the British Government by permitting the
return of Hashim Ali Hasanzai. A second expedition was dispatched
in 1892 which resulted in the complete pacification of the Black
Kala Dhaka was badly affected by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake
to a report in Time magazine:
Regions that remain inaccessible have one thing in common: fear of
the unknown can create legends and stereotypes that spread. Kala
Dhaka has not been immune to this. For example, the highway was
diverted around this region because engineers were unwilling to be
put in rifle range of these tribesmen. A British journalist who
went to the region reported its recent history:
Here are the impressions of an " outsider " about Kala Dhaka who
happened to Visit the area as a member of relief organisation after
October 8, 2005 earthquake.
Some Images depicting daily life in Kala Dhaka can be seen on
The Black Mountain itself has a total length of 20 to 25 miles, and
an average height of 8,000 ft. It rises from the Indus basin near
the village of Kiara up to its watershed by Bruddur, thence it runs
north west by north to the point on the crest known as
From Chittabut the range runs due north, finally
descending by two large spurs to the Indus again.
The only road that traverses Kala Dhaka from Darband to Thakot is
84 Kilometres Long. This Road connects the area with the Outer
on the Karakoram
Highway and thus coming out of Kaladhaka Via Thakot is a
much better route as compared to choosing the Darband Route.
Karakoram Highway is in a much better shape from Thakot down to
The Road that traverses through Kala Dhaka
keeps in touch with the Left bank of River Indus almost throughout
Kala Dhaka is called F.R Mansehra as well. F.R denotes Frontier
Region. This tribal area is administered by Administrator Kala
Dhaka on the behalf of Provincial Govt. who is based at Mansehra.
There is also a Political agent/Political Havaldar
who is usually based at Oghi Town (Ogai )
in the Map.
1. Darband To Thakot Road.
2. Khanano Dheri (Buner District) to Manjakot (not completed yet)3.
Petao Amazai (Distt: Shangla) To Mada Khel.(not completed yet)4.
Shugli Bandi Oghi To Tilli Saydan Hasanzai.
5. Choor Kalam Oghi To Machai Sar.
6. Gijborri (Batagram District) To Mangri & Kamasir.
7. Kotgala (Batagram District) to Bartooni.
8. Topi(district swabi)to teetay madakhail(the best way to travel
to kala dhaka)
On the western slopes most people in Kala Dhaka are Pukhtoons
of the Yousuf Zai, Priari Syyads
and Tanolis clan , while eastern
slopes dominated by the Swati clans, some Hindko
speaking people can be found at the fringes of
The Black Mountain's (Kala Dhaka) tribe have a more certain origin
among the people of Mansehra district. They belong to
clans of the
. These are divided into five
sections or "Khels" which are Nusrat Khel, Basi Khel, Hasanzai,
Akazai, Madakhel. The first two belong to the
segment of Malizai
clan while the other three are the descendant of
. Basikhel is the largest group consisting
of 37% of the population Kala Dhaka while Nusrat khel and Akazai
constitute 12% each and the population of Hasanzai & Mada khel
is 18.5% and 20% respectively. Basi Khel, Nusrat Khel and Akazai
are inhabitants of the left bank of Indus while the Mada khel tribe
resides on the right side and Hasanzai area is situated on both the
sides of river Indus.
Hassanzai or Hasanzai.
The population of the Kala Dhaka (Approximately) : See table
Total Population Of 5 Major Tribes= 185,000
Tribe: Yousaf Zai
Sub- Clans: Isazai, Malizai
There are growing concerns about the presence of militants in this
large number of fugitives are hiding in the area after the recent
military operation against them in the adjacent Swat valley by the Pakistan army.
In this regard, a warning has been issued to the elders of the
tribes to locate their hideouts to be targeted by the military.
Some influential people of the area are blamed for assisting their
safe arrival and stay in the area. NGO access is significantly
restricted, however Médecins Sans Frontières (French
Section)(MSF-F) has been operating the ER, IPD and female
outpatient departments of a hospital in nearby Darband since late
2008. This hospital receives patients from throughout Kala Dhaka,
including cases of malnutrition and cutaneous Leishmaniasis. MSF-F
has also recently commenced mobile clinics in one village after
invitation by the elders, however general access to health care
remains poor for the region.
- Black Mountain - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 8,
- Nigel Collett in 'The Butcher of Amritsar: General Reginald
Dyer' on pg 53.