Bala Hisar Fort (Pashto/Urdu/Persian: قلعه بالا حصار) is one of the most historic places of Peshawar. The word Bala Hisar is from Dari Persian, meaning, “elevated or high fort”. The name was given by the Pashtun King Timur Shah Durrani (1773–1793), who used the fort as the winter capital of the Afghan Durrani Empire, with the summer capital being in Kabul. The Sikhs who conquered Peshawar in the early 19th century named it Samir Garh in 1834 but the name did not become popular.
The Fort has been the headquarters of the Frontier Corps since 1949.
The 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 10 acres (40,000 m2) and the outer wall is about 15 acres (61,000 m2). The height of the fort is about 90 feet (27 m) above ground level.