Zarobai is a town of Swabi District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. But it was known as Munara in the history books.
Munara once existed on the banks of Abaseen (river Indus) and then destroyed several times in the floods. It was already a buildup village at the north bank of the Indus and a very famous & historical place. Its name has been mentioned in the battles fought between Yousafzai & Dalazak tribes many times and other historic references, which describe its importance.
Abu Rhan, Al-Beroni, in his famous book ‘Al-Hind’, has mentioned the name Munara. Later Maulana Ibrahim Fani, son of Maulana Abdul Haleem, a well-known Deoband also mentioned the geographical position of the village Munara in his book ‘Gandhara’.
According to the distribution of the whole territory belonging to Pashtoons in this area by Sheikh Malli’s Daftar (system), our ancestors were given their portion of land at Munara. It was a small village but the number of people was bigger and they were entitled to a larger share of land. Therefore, they got the remaining portion at Trapakai {now included in Tarbela Dam} and Pajman.
Munara in Pashto means a tower, but it is not clear whether there was a watch tower and if there was one, what happened to it. But the village was completely washed away by a dreadful flood in June 1841 AD. The inhabitants of Munara were used to face horrible floods with great tolerance. In the same year, it was re-built by the sons of Sikander Khan who had come from Bajaur and established this village which was on a small hillock. The people of that destroyed village were brought together at Zarobai derai ( a mound ) and later on it was named just Zarobai.
In his famous book ‘Tareekh e Peshawar’ (Gopal Das) on page 294, mentions that there are: 616 Muddy Houses, 8 Shops, 2400 People, which included both Muslims and Hindus. Till this day it remains and has never been abandoned. It’s mentioned that even in 1872, this village was at its present shape.
The name Zarobai is the abbreviation of Zarobail, and the abbreviation term of ‘Bail’ is commonly read as ‘Be’. As the river Indus flows adjacent to this village, some particles of Gold has been found. Therefore, some people used to search for these Gold and a living, and maybe due to this, it’s been named as Zarobi, as ‘Zar’ means Gold. Some are of the view that this Zarobai, Zarobay or Zarobi is in accordance with Sarobai, Sarobay or Sarobi in Afghanistan but later on a letter Z or S has changed in both either in Zarobai or Sarobai.

From- Tareekh i Peshawar by Munshi Gopal Das ( written in 1874) Page 248 and 249.
Tauheed Khan of Zarobai
September 2015