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Bala Hissar, Peshawar
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Bala Hissar is a historic fortress located in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The fort was used as a royal residence for the Durrani Empire, and was renovated during Sikh rule. The fort now serves as headquarters for Pakistan's Frontier Corps.EtymologyThe word Bala Hissar is from Dari Persian, meaning, "elevated or high fort". The name was given by the Afghan Pashtun King Timur Shah Durrani (1773–1793), who used the fort as the winter capital of the Durrani EmpireDesignThe fort stands on a high mound in the northwestern corner of Peshawar City. Not long ago, the fort used to be conspicuously away from the old city of Peshawar, but now the construction of new buildings has covered space between the old city and the fort. However, the fort's position on a high mound gives a commanding and panoramic view of Peshawar and the entire Peshawar valley. On a clear day, one can see the mountains encircling Peshawar valley and beyond. The area covered by the inner wall of the fort is about 10acre and the outer wall is about 15acre. The height of the fort is about 90ft above ground level.HistoryRenowned historian Dr A.H. Dani in his book Peshawar-Historic City of Frontier writes that when Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveller, visited Peshawar in 630 AD, he spoke of a "royal residence".He says that Chinese word "Kung Shing" used for its significance and is explained as fortified or walled portion of the town in which the royal palace stood.