Kohat is surrounded by a chain of mountains, holding a beautiful cantonment. It is one of the oldest cantonments of Pakistan and also the old district of Sub-continent. Kohat is described in the old history of Buddhism. This district has boundaries with Aurakazai Agency, district Hangu, district Kurak, district Nowshera and Punjab.
The town centers around a British-era fort, various bazaars, and a military cantonment. Kohat is also known for its Sufi Saints. There are a number of tombs of famous Sufi Saints in the area, like Haji Bahadar Ali Abdullah Shah alias Haji Bahadar Sahib, Shrine of Saint Bona Baba, Janan Baba shrine, Shrine of Peer Ghamkole Sharif and Shrine of Hazrat Banoor Baba.
The District of Kohat has an area of 2973 sq. m. It consists chiefly of a bare and intricate mountain region east of the Indus, deeply scored with river valleys and ravines, but enclosing a few scattered patches of cultivated lowland. Important historical places include Darra, Khushal Garh, Kohat town, Lachi, Shakardarra, Gumbat and Tanda Dam.
According to data from Pakistan's last census in 1998, the district's population stands around 562,640 with an annual growth rate of 3.25%. The predominant language is Pushto, which is spoken by 77.54 percent of the total population, while Hindku is mostly spoken and understood in Kohat city and adjacent areas.
Kohat is blessed with many natural resources. The orchards of Kohat Guava are popular in the whole country as it is the major fruit of the area and Kohat is famous for its quality and taste. This fruit gives very high returns to the farmers. Other fruits are apricot, mulberry, citrus etc. Other resources included honey, gypsum, arms and ammunition, kohati chappal and Mazari products.
Cadet College Kohat, a boarding military college is also located in the outskirts of Kohat spread over an area of about 144 acres.
The early history of the district is limited to the vaguest traditions. It is said that in Buddhist times two Rajas named Adh and Kohat settled along the northern border of the district. Raja Kohat gave his name to the town of Kohat and Raja Adh to the ruins of an old fort on the hill side north of Muhammadzai, a village four miles to the west of Kohat.The remains of this fort, which is known as Adh-i-Samut, consist of the ruins here and there of the old ramparts. The only other remnant of the Buddhist days is a road cut out of the mountain aide, near the Kohat Kotal, leading by a very even gradient towards the crest of the hill.
Another version about this name is that it is a combination of two words, "Koh and Hat" meaning mountain range.
Five natural springs of water known as Panj Peer are located in between Kohat city and Jungle Khel area of Kohat, where Founder of Sikh religion Baba Guru Nanak used to do meditation, Once Baba Guru Nanak was doing meditation while sitting at the bank of spring of water in Kohat a needle from his hand was fallen into transparent water of spring, when he concentrated, he had found the needle visible in water, suddenly Baba Guru Nanak had ordered his followers to pack up and leave Kohat, when his followers asked him, he had replied, Kohat is transparent city, even a needle can not be lost in its water how the hidden sins of the human being will remain hidden from the people of this city.
The first historical mention of Kohat is to be found in the memoirs of Emperor Babar who visited Kohat in 1505 AD. Babar in his memoirs calls the inhabitants of the area as Afghans. From 16th to 18th centuries, Kohat remained as a part of Afghanistan Kingdom, administered by the Chiefs of two tribes i.e. Khattak and Bangash. In the beginning of 19th century Kohat came under the control of Sikhs who ultimately withdrew leaving the administrative control of Khan of Teri in 1836 AD.Kohat was finally annexed to the British dominion on 28th March 1849 with the rest of Punjab and an Assistant Commissioner was posted here to run the administration and to look after the British interests.
3. Economic Scenario of the District:
Kohat is famous for agri products and hand made kohati chappal. Agricultural products of the area include wheat, maize, barley, guava and citrus fruit. Poultry and local breeds of cattle are also good source of income for the people of Kohat.
Different regions of Kohat are characterized by the production of different items e.g. Billitang is famous for the production of mazri products. These products are being sold in Kohat, Peshawar and Islamabad markets, while some organizations have started exporting them to UK and Holland as well.
Darra Adam khel is famous for the production of arms and ammunition throughout the country. The technical skill attained by these gunsmiths is acknowledged even in foreign countries. It has also become a major source of livelihood for the people of this area. Shakar Darra is famous for Bee keeping and Honey processing. About 150 bee keeping farms are currently present in Kohat district making it a good source of income for the habitants of this area
Tanda Dam was built in 1960s near Kohat city towards the Hangu district. It is the main source of irrigation to adjoining areas. It has lovely surroundings, which attract a large number of people especially on weekends. The peaceful recreation provided by its natural beauty is unsurpassed.
Main bazaars of the area are Kohat, Gumbat, Lachi and Bilitang. Lachi is the main vegetable market and also Sub Tehsil of District Kohat. Gumbat is alos Sub Tehsil of Kohat and is main market located on Pindi Kohat Road.
Three big units of industries established in Kohat are Kohat Cement, Babri Cotton and Saif Cotton Mills and the Janana the maloocho Textile Mill are the major contributors to the economy of not only Kohat region but for the national economy as well.
INDUSTRIAL UNITS, KOHAT DISTRICT
1 Textile Units 3
2 Cement 1
3 Ghee units 1(Closed)
4 Arms 3
5 Flour Mills 6
6 Cement Based Industry 3
7 Carpet 1
8 Dall Factory 2
9 Mineral Based industry 1
10 Ice Factory 10