The first memory of my home town is a small peaceful town with reasonable population encircled by hills and mountains, a road slithering on the North East Mountains to join it to Peshawar. I used to watch traffic lights on this road at night. The sight of traffic lights on that road fascinated me and I took them for fire worms chasing each other. The sound of water stream called Kohat Toi, coming from the North West out skirt of city, and howling of wolves which scared me to death and made me to take refuge in my grandma’s bed.
I was accustomed to see sun rising and setting behind the mountains. I thought it hiding behind mountains. The mountains not only bounded my city but also spectrum of my vision. I never thought there would be any world beyond these mountains. A clear blue sky on which I used to find different shapes and figures whenever a cloud happened to sail on it, the sound of wind mill coming far of a distance, busy in crushing grains, the street on which my home was located where I used to run bare footed and a shop on the corner of that street with glass jars full of colorful candies in its shelves. The sight of these jars stirred up my temptation to filch a hand full of candies from them but I never had courage to take a step with this intention.
The town bearing all these specifications is my home town. Kohat is the name of my home town. It is in KPK province of Pakistan. The word Kohat is Hindko word which means the market surrounded by mountains. The district is bounded by the mountains and hills. The intervening open valleys between the hills are seldom more than eight kilometers in width.
The town centers around a British-era fort, various bazaars, and a military cantonment, Kohat cantonment the most beautiful cantonment of Pakistan. Its dwellers loved to walk on its Mall Road in the evening and consider it a great recreation. But with the invasion of Taliban this beautiful cantonment is sealed for civilians. A British-built narrow gauge railway runs through the town passes to the north. It joined Kohat with Tal, is now about to demolish due to lack of funds and maintenance. The town of kohat is situated on the left bank of the Kohat toi. The total area of the district is 2545 square kilometres.
River Indus forms Eastern boundary of district. It separates it from the province of Punjab. Kohat Toi is a principal stream, which enters from Hangu district and drains into river Indus. Another stream is Teri Toi, which flows from Southern half of the district, and joins the river Indus. Jangal khel, Chali Bagh, Jauzara, and Kachai are famous for their natural springs. We used to go there for picnic in summer.
Kohat valley is most important agriculturally rich area. The main occupation of people is business and agriculture. Kohat is famous for its guava yield. The town was surrounded by guava orchards. But with the blast of population, most of these orchards are cut down and sold out for housing.
Population of Kohat district is mostly Muslim, Sunni predominate and there is also large Shia population settled in the district. Here are some Christian families, which settled during the British colonial rule, Cantonment Board and defence services also reside in Kohat city and Cantonment area. Some scattered families of Hindus also reside in Kohat, Kachai and Marai while a good numbers of Balmiks are employed in various local bodies.
There are several schools and colleges both under private and public sector. There are three universities, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Preston University Kohat, and Virtual University Kohat. All these institutions impart quality education.