Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is very near to Abbottabad city. It is a major stop for tourists on the Karakoram Highway which leads to China. It is also a major transit point to the northern areas and locations such as the Kaghan Valley, Naran, Shogran, Lake Saiful Mulook and Babusar Top.
The area of Mansehra has been under the rule of various emperors and governments, including Alexander the Great, Ashoka the Great, the Turks and the British Empire.
Alexander the Great conquered and established his rule over a large part of northern India, including the Mansehra area. In the year 327 B.C. Alexander handed the area over to the Indian king Abisares.
During the Maurya dynasty, Mansehra was a part of Taxila. Ashoka the Great was the governor of this area when he was a prince. After the death of his father, the Mauryan emperor Bindusara, Ashoka ascended to the throne around 272 B.C. and made this area one of the major seats of his government. The Edicts of Ashoka inscribed on three large boulders on the side of a rocky outcrop near Mansehra serve as evidence of his rule here. The Mansehra rocks record fourteen of Ashoka's edicts, presenting aspects of the emperor's dharma or righteous law, and represent the earliest irrefutable evidence of writing in South Asia. Dating to middle of the third century BC, they are written from right to left in the Kharosthi script.
The Turkish Shahi and Hindu Shahi dynasties ruled Mansehra one after another. Among the Hindu Shahi dynasty rulers, Raja Jayapala is the best known. Mahmud of Ghazni defeated him during his first Indian campaign. However, there is no historical evidence that Mahmud of Ghazni ever visited or passed through Mansehra.
After the fall of the Hindu Shahi dynasty in the 11th century, the Kashmiris took control of this area under the leadership of Kalashan (1063 to 1089). From 1112 to 1120, King Susala ruled this area. In the 12th century, Asalat Khan captured this area but soon after Mohammad of Ghor's death the Kashmiris once again regained control of Mansehra.
In 1399, the Muslim warrior Timur, on his return to Kabul, stationed his Turk soldiers in Manshera to protect the important route between Kabul and Kashmir. By 1472, Prince Shahab-ud-Din came from Kabul and established his rule over the region. Prince Shahab-ud-Din, a Turk of central Asian origin a descendant of Amir Taimur, founded the state and named it Pakhli Sarkar and chose the village of Gulibagh as his capital.
During the period of Mughal rule, local Turkish chiefs acknowledged Mughal authority. In fact, Mansehra (Pakhli) provided the main route to Kashmir and was the most commonly used route for Emperor Akbar to travel to Kashmir.
In the 18th century, Turkish rule came to an end due to the increased aggression of the Pashtuns and their allied forces. The most crucial attack was that of the Swatis in collusion with Syed Jalal Baba in 1703. Syed Jalal Shah was the son in law of the last ruler of Turkic dynasty, Sultan Mehmud Khurd.The Swatis ousted the Turks and captured this area.The descendents of this Turkic dynasty still live in various parts of Hazar, such as Bahali, Manakrai, Girwal, Mohar etc.
When Ahmad Shah Durrani expanded his kingdom to Punjab, Mansehra also came under his control. Durrani considered it wise to rule the area through local tribal chiefs. The Durranis' rule ended abruptly in the beginning of the 18th century.
The fall of the Durranis led way for the Sikhs to rise to power under Ranjit Singh. The Sikhs gained control of Mansehra in 1818, after stiff resistance from its inhabitants. When Mansehra fell under Sikh control, it was annexed to Punjab. Syed Ahmad Shaheed, with the help of the Mujahadeen, led many revolts and attacks against the Sikhs. At last, in 1831 during a fierce battle at Balakot, Syed Ahmad Shaheed was killed. This allowed the Sikhs to consolidate their control of Mansehra. After Rajit Singh's death, the Sikh empire began to disintegrate. At this time, the British gained control of Punjab, and, through this, gained control of Mansehra.
By 1849, the British had gained control of all of Mansehra. However, the western Pashtun tribes remained rebellious. Unlike the people of the settled areas, the Pukhtoon (Pathan) tribes that lived on the western outskirts of Mansehra remained a constant source of trouble for the British for four decades (1852–92). The British sent many expeditions against the Pashtun tribes to crush the rebellion, especially against the Black Mountains. To maintain peace in the area the British also took preventive measures by co-opting the local rulers.
The British divided Hazara District into three tehsils (administrative subdivisions): Mansehra, Abbottabad, and Haripur; and decided to annex it to the Punjab. In 1901, when the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) was formed, Hazara was separated from Punjab and made a part of it. Throughout their rule in Mansehra, the British met fierce resistance from the local Pashtun tribes and declared martial law. Meanwhile, the many villages around Mansehra largely governed themselves. Many of Mansehra's citizens joined the Khilafat Movement.
During British rule, Mansehra was still a village; its population according to the 1901 census was 5,087. During the British period Mansehra was the headquarters of Mansehra Tehsil, then a subdivision of Hazara District.
When the Muslim League in Pakistan started its movement for a separate land, the local people joined and struggled for liberation under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam. Their eventual victory culminated in the creation of Pakistan, an independent state for the Muslims of the sub-continent.
During Bhutto's regime, Mansehra was upgraded to a district, containing two subdivisions: Mansehra and Battagram. Later, the Mansehra district had the Balakot subdivision added to it.