Balakot is located about thirty-eight kilometers north-east of the city of Mansehra, in North West Frontier Province. It has an average elevation of 971 metres (3188 feet). It is a historical town, a famous tourist destination of the region and the gateway to Kaghan valley of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The river Kunhar, originating from Lulusar lake, runs through the city and merges with Jhelum River just Balakot , is a town in Mansehra District in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan.
The town was destroyed during the 2005 earthquake and later rebuilt with the assistance of the Government of Pakistan and Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims (SPAPEV) a Saudi relief organization. A separate project, initiated by the Government of Pakistan ‘New Balakot City’ is being developed near Mansehra, with plans to relocate the population of two Union Councils of Balakot, demarcated as a Red Zone. outside Muzaffarabad in Pakistan administered Kashmir.
The town or village of Balakot is occupied mainly by members of the Awan,Gujar, syed,Qureshi,Mughal, &Swati tribe and is on the banks of the River Kunhar before it enters the Kashmir Valley. The Sikhs tried to free Mansehra in the 1818 but were met with resistance from the occupying army. As the Mansehra region fell under Sikh control, it was annexed to Punjab. The movement placed Waziristan, the Mohmand country beyond Kunhar, Chitral and Yusufzai tribes within the control and responsibility of the Indian government. Syed Ahmad Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed, with the help of the Mujahadeen, including the 6 Swati’s tribes of Balakot and Syeds of Kaghan, led many revolts and attacks against the Sikhs. At last on 6 May 1831, during a fierce battle, Syed Ahmad Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed along with hundreds of their followers were killed. The central mosque of Balakot is named after Syed Ahmed Shaheed. The areas includes diverse groups, the predominant spoken languages however are Hindko and Gojri.Pashto is being spoken by swatis of Balakot.
The town was completely destroyed in the massive earthquake on 8 October 2005. The United Arab Emirates has volunteered to rebuild this town into an improved one with housing colonies, schools, hospitals, and other civic facilities. However the Pakistan government has announced that the city will be relocated.