Kala Dhaka

Kala Dhaka

Kala Dhaka historically known as the Black Mountain of Hazara 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. It is bounded on the east by Agror and on the south by Tanawal, the range has a length of 25 to 30 miles from north to south and an elevation of 8,000 feet above sealevel. The 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 Pathans. The rest of the range is held by Swatis tribal group of Pahtuns. The Black Mountain forms a long, narrow ridge, with higher peaks at intervals and occasional deep passes. 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 [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V08_257.gifBlack Mountain - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 8, p. 251] ] .


Kala Dhaka is a Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) of Mansehra district. It cover an area of 497km2 (25,8125 acres) and is divided into 11 Union Councils.


Historically, the British sent more than four expeditions to subdue the Black Mountain Tribes from 1852 to 1892, due to the intrigues of Ata Mohammad Khan Swati and his sons, who was the Khan of Agror and Arsala Khan of Allai, 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 sept 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, and soon culminated in a general advance of the Black Mountain tribes against the British position. This was repulsed, but not until twenty-one 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 5th Gurkhas were surprised and killed by Gujar dependants of the Akazai. Hashim All, 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. 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. A second expedition was dispatched in 1892, which resulted in the complete pacification of the Black Mountain border.

Earthquake 2005

Kala Dhaka was badly affected by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, according to a report in Time magazine:

Regions that remain inaccessible to common public have one thing in common: many myths are created, many stories arise, the main thing which is common in between all of them is ignorance. This leads to creation of stereotypes. Kala Dhaka has also not been immune to this. For Example:

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 [http://caseyconnor.org/pakistan/gallery_kaladhaka.html here:] and [http://www.caseyconnor.org/pakistan/gallery_kaladhaka3.html here] .


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 Chittabut. 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 world.

Thakot is on the Karakoram Highway and thus coming out of Kaladhaka Via Thakot is a much better route as compared to choosing the Darband Route. The Karakoram Highway is in a much better shape from Thakot down to Abbottabad. The Road that traverses through Kala Dhaka keeps in touch with the Left bank of River Indus almost throughout its course.

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.

This area has also been called as Chagharzai , because of adjoining Chagharzai Areas Of Buner District. opposite to Kala Dhaka, across River Indus is the Swat. District Kohistan is to the North/North East.

On the western slopes most people in Kala Dhaka are Pukhtoons of the Yousuf Zai clan , while eastern slopes dominated by the Swati clans, some Hindko speaking people can be found at the fringes of the region.

Lately this area has been renamed as Dar Us Salam (area of Peace or house Of Peace, cf Dar es Salaam)by members of Tablighi Jamaat, but it has always been known as Kala Dhaka. This area has been notorious for the large number of bandits living in the in accessible parts of the mountains. Most of these are wanted by the Police. Unfortunately too many stereotypes have been cast in people's minds about this area, though it has largely been a peaceful area.


On the western slopes and face of the Black Mountain, the leading tribes inhabiting the area include the BassiKhels, (Largest Tribe), Hassanzais, Akazais and Chagharzais. On some eastern slopes or face and spurs of the Black Mountain, the prominent clans belong to the Swati Pashtun tribes like Madda Khel, Kuchelai, Malkals, Sumla Khel, Warozais, Deshiwals, Tanawalis (Tanolis), Tikriwals and Jahangiris. The Priari Syyads are also a well-known clan of the Black Mountain. There are five tribes in Kala Dhaka, they follow the jirga system a tribal assembly of elders to make decisions.

The Main Town of Kala Dhaka is Judba . which is situated about 52 kilometres north west of Darband along the Left Bank of River Indus. The Town basically consists of three villages . Bar Kaley ( Upper Village), Mainz Kaley ( Middle Village ) and Kooz Kaley ( Lower Village). Thakot which is situated near the Karakoram Highway is about 32 km from Judba. Tribesmen which inhabit Judba and surrounding areas belong to the BassiKhel, which by and large is the biggest tribe of Kala Dhaka.

Population: - 174682No. Of Households: 32026General Clans: Yousaf Zai PathanSub- Clans: Issa zai, Mali Zai


The area has 9 Basic Health Units and one Dispensary.

Education facilities

*GMPS: 20
*GPS: 140
*GGPS: 56
*GMS: 16
*GHS: 3
*GHSS: 1


#Darband (Tanawal) To Thakot Road 84 km
#Khanano Dheri (Buner District) to Manjakot Kala Dhaka
#Petao Amazai (Distt: Sawat) To Mada Khail.
#Shungali Bandi (Tanawal) To Tilli Saydan Hassan Zai.
#Choor Kalam Oghi To Machai Sar.
#Gijborri (Batagram District) To Mangri.
#Kotgala (Batagram District) to Bartooni.


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