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The name dates from the time of Babar who writes in his memories that it is derived from the name of famous Muslim saint, Shahbaz Qalandar. Its ancient name was varshapura of Polushah.
The village is built on the ruins of the ancient town the foundation walls, which are still to be seen in tolerably good formation. As a proof that it was in the past occupied by the Buddhists and Hindu races, coins of those periods are still found at the site. From the description of Song Yun, a Chinese pilgrim, it appears that it was on one of the four great cities lying along the important commercial route to India. It was a well-fortified town with four gates outside the northern one, on the mound known as Chajaka Dehri which was a magnificent temple containing beautiful stone images covered in gold leaves. Not far from the rocky defile of Khaperdra did Ashoka build the eastern gate of the town outside of which existed a stupa and a sangharama.
The larger mound of But-Sagru on the main road to Swabi and close to the Ziarat of Akhun Baba confirms its Buddhist origin. The principal interest of the town to archeologist is the fact that it was the seat of the most celebrated of the jatakas and of fourteen rock edicts of Ashoka in Kharshti script, a form of Aramaic character introduced into this region by Darius the Great son of Hystaspes, about 500 B.C. All in all, it is an interesting journey consisting of a mixture of cultures and religions.