Akbarpura – A historical village

Akbarpura – آکبر پورہ is a village, which is located roughly 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Peshawar – پشاور and is part of Pabbi Tehsil – پبی تحصیل of Nowshera District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. Akbarpura is named after the Mughal Emperor Akbar, who camped there before going to Afghanistan. It was known originally as Sapalikhera. Akbarpura is noted for its Sufishrines Baba Saib and Nanga Baba. The entire population of Akbarpura is Sunni Muslims. Before the Pakistan-India partition, there were several Hindu families residing in the village but most of them left for India after its independence, and other Hindu families converted to Islam.

Akbarpura is one of the densely populated villages in District Nowshera and serves as a local business hub for the surrounding villages. Some main villages located around Akbarpua are Zakhi Miyana, Zahki Qabristan, Zakhi Kohna, Camp Korona, Zakhi Charbagh, Gari Momin, Jabba, Kandar, Tarkha, Natal, Khoshmakam.

Several families/castes are presented in Akbarpura:

  1. Bukhari Syeds (40%–45%);
  2. The Mians (Miangaan) are the descendants of a well-known saint Syed Abdul Wahab known as Akhund Panjo Baba (25–30%);
  3. Other castes include The Qazi, Parachas, Jhakars, Awan, and Bajoury.

Akbarpura is famous for the shrines of Sufis. Among these shrines are Akhund Panju Baba, Nanga Baba, Nadan Shaheed. Every day hundreds of people do visit these shrines to pay their respect to the Sufis. Abdul Wahab alias Akhund Panju Baba was a famous Sufi and preacher of Islam. Thousands of Hindus embraced Islam in his hand. Baba sahib migrated from Sawabi during the Gaju Khan era due to Clashes between Ghazi Khan (Akhund Panju’s father) and Gaju Khan to Akbarpura, he started his teachings and preaching from the Misri Pura area of Akbarpura, where today his tomb is present. Akhund Panju’s descendants are locally called as Miangaan.

The main and noted events of the year are the annual Urs of Akhund Panju Baba and Nanga Baba. Both shrines are located at the entrance of the village and at the night of Urs thousands do visits to attend the Urs and pray. Akhund Panju Baba Urs is famous for its Milad and the speeches of religious scholars while the Urs of Naga Baba is famous for its Legendary Qawali. The famous Qawal of Pakistan Aziz Mian was a regular visitor/Performer of the Nanga Baba Urs.

The tombs of Akhund Panju Baba and Nanga Baba are excellent examples of sub-continent artwork, The inside roof and walls of Akhund Panju Baba tomb has been decorated and painted with traditional and cultural blue color flowers and designs centuries ago, while the glass work at Nanga Baba tomb is a classic example of the glass artists of Pakistan. Nadan Shaheed is the third famous shrine of the village and is located on the outskirt of the village.

As he preached the truth of his forefathers, fanatics became his enemy. He was martyred & shot dead with 7 Revolver bullets in his body. He left two sons Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah Bukhari (Divisional Superintendent Railways Lahore Division.) and second Syed Hamid Ali Shah Bukhari Alias Syed Ansar Ali Shah Bukhari (Chairman West Pakistan Railways).

His Elder son Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah Bukhari’s shrine is in Garhi Momin a nearby Village.

Built about 400 years ago, Pokh Jumaat (stone mosque) of Akbarpura has sunk more than four feet since its establishment. Its main hall now requires four steps down for someone to enter. The mosque is subsiding at a rate equivalent to the size of wheat grain (3 mm) per year according to one local resident.

Government Hgher Secondary School, Akbarpura, Nowshera

Giving the scientific explanation, Dr Mohammad Iqbal, deputy chief geologist of Pakistan Petroleum Limited, says that the mosque is slowly sinking due to the depletion of the water level beneath it. Giant aquifers that serve as water reservoirs are being emptied faster than they can be refilled, causing the earth to sink, he says, adding it seems that it is built on layers of clay and highly permeable sand and gravel that easily compress when fluid is withdrawn.

(Source: NT correspondence, National print and online media with input from social media.)

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