Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the eastern section of the country. It is a municipality, forming part of the greater Kabul Province. According to estimates in 2015, the population of Kabul is 4.635 million, which includes all the major ethnic groups of Afghanistan. Rapid urbanization had made Kabul the world's 75th largest city. Kabul is located high up in a narrow valley between the Hindu Kush mountains, with an elevation of 1,790 metres making it one of the highest capitals in the world; the city is said to be over 3,500 years old, mentioned since at least the time of the Achaemenid Empire. It is at a strategic location along the trade routes of South and Central Asia, a key location of the ancient Silk Road, it has been part of the Achaemenids followed by the Seleucids, Greco Bactrians, Indo Greeks, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Qarlughids, Timurids and Hotaks, until becoming part of the Durrani Empire in 1747. Kabul became the capital of Afghan Empire in 1776, during the reign of Timur Shah Durrani, the son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.
In the early 19th century, the British occupied the city but after establishing foreign relations they were compelled to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan. The city was occupied by the Soviets in 1979 but they too abandoned it after the 1988 Geneva Accords were signed. A civil war in the 1990s between various rebel groups destroyed much of the city, resulting in many casualties. Kabul is known for its gardens and palaces, it was formerly a mecca for young western hippies. Since the removal of the Taliban from power in late 2001, the city began rebuilding itself with assistance from the international community. Despite the many terrorist attacks by anti-state elements, the city is developing and was the fifth fastest-growing city in the world as of 2012; the city is divided into 22 districts. Kabul is spelled as Cabool, Kabol, or Cabul; the origin of Kabul, who built it and when, is unknown. The Hindu Rigveda, composed between 1500–1200 BCE and one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism, the Avesta, the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, refer to the Kabul River and to a settlement called Kubha.
The Rigveda refers to Kubha as an "ideal city" and a vision of paradise set in the mountains and is full of poems in praise of the city. The Kabul valley was part of the Median Empire. In 549 BC, the Median Empire was annexed by Cyrus The Great and Kabul became part the Achaemenid Empire. During that period, Kabul became a center of learning for Zoroastrianism, followed by Buddhism. An inscription on Darius the Great's tombstone lists Kabul as one of the 29 countries of the Achaemenid Empire; when Alexander annexed the Achaemenid Empire, the Kabul region came under his control. After his death, his empire was seized by his general Seleucus, becoming part of the Seleucid Empire; the Greco-Bactrians took control of Kabul from the Seleucids lost the city to their subordinates in the Indo-Greek Kingdom around the mid-2nd century BC. Buddhism was patronized by the rulers and majority of people of the city were adherents of the religion. Indo-Scythians expelled the Indo-Greeks by the mid 1st century BC, but lost the city to the Kushan Empire about 100 years later.
Some historians ascribe Kabul the Sanskrit name of Kamboja. It is mentioned as Kophene in some classical writings. Hsuan Tsang refers to the city as Kaofu in the 7th century AD, the appellation of one of the five tribes of the Yuezhi who had migrated from across the Hindu Kush into the Kabul valley around the beginning of the Christian era, it was conquered by Kushan Emperor Kujula Kadphises in about 45 AD and remained Kushan territory until at least the 3rd century AD. The Kushans were Indo-European-speaking Tocharians from the Tarim Basin. Around 230 AD, the Kushans were defeated by the Sassanid Empire and replaced by Sassanid vassals known as the Indo-Sassanids. During the Sassanian period, the city was referred to as "Kapul" in Pahlavi scripts. Kapol in the Persian language means Royal Bridge, due to the main bridge on the Kabul River that connected the east and west of the city. In 420 AD the Indo-Sassanids were driven out of Afghanistan by the Xionite tribe known as the Kidarites, who were replaced in the 460s by the Hephthalites.
It became part of the surviving Turk Shahi Kingdom of Kapisa known as Kabul-Shahan. According to Táríkhu-l Hind by Al-Biruni, Kabul was governed by princes of Turkic lineage whose rule lasted for about 60 generations; the Kabul rulers built a defensive wall around the city to protect it from enemy raids. This wall has survived until today, it was held by the Tibetan Empire between 801 and 815. The Islamic conquest reached modern-day Afghanistan in 642 AD, at a time. A number of failed expeditions were made to Islamize the region. In one of them, Abdur Rahman bin Samana arrived to Kabul from Zaranj in the late 600s and converted 12,000 inhabitants to Islam before abandoning the city. Muslims were a minority until Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar of Zaranj conquered Kabul in 870 and established the first Islamic dynasty in the region, it was reported. Kábul has a castle celebrated for its strength, accessible only by one road. In it there are Musulmáns, it has a town, in which are infidels from Hind. Over the following centuries, the city was successively controlled by the Samanids, Ghurids, Kh
Badakhshan Province is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the farthest northeastern part of the country between Tajikistan and northern Pakistan. It shares a 56.5-mile border with China. It is part of a broader historical Badakhshan region; the province contains 22 to 28 districts, over 1,200 villages, 904,700 people. Feyzabad serves as the provincial capital. Badakhshan is bordered by Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and Khatlon Province in Tajikistan to the north and east. In the east of the province a long spur called the Wakhan Corridor extends above northern Pakistan's Chitral and Northern Areas to a border with China; the province has a total area of 44,059 square kilometres, most of, occupied by the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges. Badakhshan was a stopover on the ancient Silk Road trading path, China has shown great interest in the province after the fall of the Taliban, helping to reconstruct roads and infrastructure. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Badakhshan contains temperate grasslands and shrublands, as well as Gissaro-Alai open woodlands along the Pamir River.
Common plants found in these areas include pistachio, walnut, apple and sagebrush. Montane grasslands and shrublands are existent in the province, with the Hindu Kush alpine meadow in the high mountains in the northern and southwestern regions; the Wakhan corridor contains two montane grassland and shrubland regions: the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe and in the Pamir Mountains and Kuh-e Safed Khers in Darwaz region. South of Fayzabad the terrain becomes dominated by xeric shrublands. Common vegetation includes thorny bushes, zizyphus and Amygdatus. Paropamisus xeric woodlands can be found in central areas. Common vegetation includes almond, pistachio and sea-buckthorn; the area has a long history like the rest of Afghanistan, dating to its conquering by the Achaemenid Empire and beyond. Badakhshan etymologically derives from an official title; the suffix of the name, -ān, means the region belonged to someone with the title badaxš. The territory was ruled by the Uzbek Khanate of Bukhara between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century.
It was given to Ahmad Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty of friendship was reached in or about 1750 and became part of the Durrani Empire. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty, was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries, it remained peaceful for about 100 years until the 1980s Soviet–Afghan War at which point the Mujahideen began a rebellion against the central Afghan government. During the 1990s, much of the area was controlled by forces loyal to Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud, who were de facto the national government until 1996. Badakhshan was the only province that the Taliban did not conquer during their rule from 1996 to 2001. However, during the course of the wars a non-Taliban Islamic emirate was established in Badakhshan by Mawlawi Shariqi, paralleling the Islamic Revolutionary State of Afghanistan in neighboring Nuristan. Rabbani, a Badakhshan native, Massoud, were the last remnants of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance during the peak of Taliban control in 2001.
Badakhshan was thus one of the few provinces of the country that witnessed little insurgency in the Afghan wars - however during the 2010s Taliban insurgents managed to attack and take control of several districts in the province. On 26 October 2015, the 7.5 Mw Hindu Kush earthquake shook northern Afghanistan with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII. This earthquake destroyed 30,000 homes, left several hundred dead, more than 1,700 injured; the current Governor of the province is Shah Waliullah Adeeb. His predecessors were Baz Mohammad Ahmadi; the borders with neighboring Tajikistan and Pakistan are monitored by the Afghan Border Police. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police. A provincial Police Chief is assigned to lead both the ANP and the ABP; the Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by the military, including the NATO-led forces. Fayzabad, the capital of Badakhshan province, sits on the Kokcha River and has an approximate population of 50,000.
The chief commercial and administrative center of northeast Afghanistan and the Pamir region, Fayzabad has rice and flour mills. Fayzabad Airport serves the province with regular direct flights to Kabul; the percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 13% in 2005 to 21% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 1.5% in 2003 to 2% in 2011. The overall literacy rate fell from 31% in 2005 to 26% in 2011; the overall net enrolment rate increased from 46% in 2005 to 68% in 2011. Despite massive mineral reserves, Badakhshan is one of the most destitute areas in the world. Opium poppy growing is the only real source of income in the province and Badakhshan has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, due to the complete lack of health infrastructure, inaccessible locations, bitter winters of the province. BORNA Institute of Higher Education being the first private university located on the bank of Kokcha river. Lapis lazuli has been mined in the Sar-e-Sang mines, located in the Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan, for over 6,000 years.
The mines were the largest and most well-known source in ancient times. Most recent
Kābul, situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul city, Afghanistan's capital; the population of the Kabul Province is nearly 4 million people as of 2012, of which 80 percent live in the urban areas. The current governor of the province is Hamid Akram. Kabul is located between Latitude 34-31' North and Longitude 69-12' East at an altitude of 1800 m above sea level, which makes it one of the world's highest capital cities. Kabul is strategically situated in a valley surrounded by high mountains at crossroads of north-south and east-west trade routes. One million years ago the Kabul region was surrounded from south-east between Lowgar and Paghman Mountains; this region formed an icy sea. Some deep wells in the region of today's Poli Charkhi in the east part of city are the evidence of that time. Kabul is surrounded by Koh-e Paghman Mountain from the east, Koh-e Qrough Mountain from the south-west and Koh-e Shirdarwaza Mountain from the north-east.
Kabul has only one river, called Kabul River. Kabul River rises at the Paghman Mountain toward South Pass about 70 km west of Kabul, it flows in an easterly direction, past Kabul, through Jalalabad city, on to Dakka where it enters Pakistani territory and runs into the Indus at Attock. The climate within region of Kabul is considered to be arid to semi-arid steppe; because of the low amounts of precipitation from May to November, Kabul can be dry and dusty. Extreme temperature changes occur from night to day, season to season, from place to place; the chief characteristic of Afghanistan's climate is a blue cloudless sky with over 300 days of sunshine yearly. During the winter, skies remain clear between snowfalls, which are on average 15–30 cm annually; the daily temperature for Kabul city in winter is −1 °C and in summer 24 °C. The coldest month of the year is January and the hottest month is July; the maximum temperature has been recorded as +42.7 °C in July and the minimum as -26.3 °C in January.
Kabul's history dates back more than 3,500 years. It was once the center of Zoroastrianism and subsequently a home for Buddhists and Hindus; the native citizens of Kabul as per the records of the British Museum are Tajiks. The city was invaded by Arab Muslims in the 7th century by introducing Islam but was taken back by the Hindu Shahi's of Kabul, it was re-invaded by the Saffarids and Samanids in the 9th century followed by Mahmud of Ghaznavi in the 11th century, when the Hindu Shahi King Jay Pala committed suicide. It became part of the Ghurids after defeating the Ghaznavids, it was invaded by the Mongols under Genghis Khan. Timur, founder of the Timurid dynasty, invaded the region in 14th century and developed it into a major trading center. In 1504, the city fell to Babur from the north of the country and was made into his capital, which became one of the principal cities of his Mughal Empire. In 1525, Babur described Kabulistan in his memoirs by writing that:In the country of Kābul there are many and various tribes.
Its valleys and plains are inhabited by Tūrks, Aimāks, Arabs. In the city and the greater part of the villages, the population consists of Tājiks. Many other of the villages and districts are occupied by Pashāis, Parāchis, Tājiks and Afghans. In the hill-country to the west, reside the Hazāras and Nukderis. Among the Hazāra and Nukderi tribes, there are some. In the hill-country to the north-east lies Kaferistān, such as Kattor and Gebrek. There are eleven or twelve different languages spoken in Kābul: Arabic, Persian, Tūrki, Hindi, Pashāi, Parāchi, Geberi and Lamghāni... For much of its time Kabul was independent until it became part of the Durrani Empire in 1747. During the First Anglo-Afghan War in 1839, the British army invaded the area but withdrew in 1842, although thousands of them were killed during a surprise ambush on their way to Jalalabad. In retaliation another British force burned Kabul before retreating back to British India; the British again occupied the city during the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1879, after their resident staff were massacred there, but withdrew about a year when they installed Emir.
In 1919, King Amanullah Khan rose to power during the Third Anglo-Afghan War when Afghanistan's capital and its eastern city of Jalalabad were air raided by the No. 31 and 114 squadrons of the British Royal Air Force in May 1919. Amanullah Khan defeated the British and began modernization of the country after the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi. In the late 1920s, switching of power took place. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kabul was known as the Paris of central Asia as it was transforming into a European style city. Once the jewel of Asia, a progressive and moderately modern capital. Kabul in those days had, modern cinemas, formal French gardens, libraries, fine boutiques; the inhabitants of Kabul known as "Kabulis" were educated, modern and cosmopolitan people. Where women and men attended primary school, high school and university. Mini-jupes were a common sight in the 1970s. Educated, culturally aware and yet religious at the same time, there was never an issue with not having your hair covered or the clothes you wore in the Kabul of the 1960s and 1970s.
This progressive peaceful society lasted until foreign interference occurred in the late 1970s plummeting the country to what Afghanistan has b
Paghman is a town in the hills near Afghanistan's capital of Kabul. It is the seat of the Paghman District which has a population of about 120,000 Pashtuns and Tajiks; the gardens of Paghman is a major attraction, is why the city is sometimes known as the garden capital of Afghanistan. After King Amanullah Khan and Queen Soraya Tarzi's return from Europe in 1928, Amanullah brought in foreign experts to redesign Kabul. At that time, at the entrance of Paghman, they created a European style monumental gate similar to but smaller than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, called the Arch of Victory. A small village at the bottom of the Hindu Kush, Paghman turned into a holiday retreat with villas and chalets as well as the summer capital, its wide avenues contained fir and nut trees which flew past the arch, villas and a golf course. It was the aristocracy to visit; the new royal gardens were opened to the public under the proviso—as a matter of reform—that western dress was adopted there, as in the royal residential areas of nearby Kabul.
On September 1, 1928, King Amanullah convoked the Loya Jirga to Paghman to the puzzlement of many delegates, who found themselves at odds with the dress-code. On September 7, 1928, the Hazrat of Shor Bazaar—an influential political figure in Kabul—presented the king with a petition signed by some 400 religious leaders opposing many of Amanullah's reforms; this action led to the arrest of the Hazrat, the execution of some of his followers and the rebellion of 1929 led by Habibullah Ghazi, that overthrew the king. The gardens became a popular place for local and foreign tourists. Wealthy Kabulites owned summer homes there who employed maids. During the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s, Paghman was a major battleground and it suffered from bombardment from both the Soviet-backed government and the mujahideen rebels. Most buildings were destroyed and residents had fled. Little remained of the prosperous Gardens, save for the remains of the Arc de Triomphe style arch, which has had its top blown off.
Following the formation of the Karzai administration, the Arch was rebuilt from 2003 to 2005 and other damaged parts of the former Gardens were rebuilt. It once again became a popular touristic site, is popular with residents of Kabul. There was further development in the 2010s. In 2012, 1,000 families in the Paghman district received electricity; the power was distributed to families in the Pracha village of Pashaee valley after the installation of three 1,000 kilovolt transformers. The electricity was supplied to people from the Mahipar Dam in the Surobi district at the cost of 35 million AFN. In 2014, a newly built palace, the Paghman Hill Castle, was opened to the public; the palace's surroundings consists of thousands of newly planted trees as well as a Buzkashi field, a waterfall and other attractions. The palace's interior is decorated with traditional handmade Afghan carpets and other traditional material, it was planned to be used for major festivals. The Paghman area is greener compared to many other parts of the region, has fruit trees.
Located at the foot of the Hindu Kush mountain range, Paghman became a holiday retreat with villas and chalets, as well as the summer capital. The Kabul River, the only large river in the Kabul province, is fed by springs and snow-melt runoffs from Paghman. There is a canal system, in need of repair, which extends from Paghman to Tapa. There are several villages in the district, including Adam Khel Kala, Hatam Kala, Seeno Kala, Mullah Khel Kala, Muhabbat Khan Kala, Lachi Khel Kala, Pajakk Tappa. Agriculture, labour work, animal husbandry and employment in Kabul are the major sources of income; the locality was traditionally the family seat of the Paghman saadat most noted for its famous descendant Idries Shah. Prominent Paghman natives include some leaders of Loya Jirgas, tribal chiefs, a president, one king. King Amanullah Khan - Known as a reformist, Amanullah Khan ruled Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929. President Hafizullah Amin - Hafizullah Amin was the second President of Afghanistan, after he murdered a Musahiban during the period of the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
Abdullah Wardak, the late governor of Logar Province, was assassinated in an attack by the Taliban on his motorcade near Paghman in September, 2008. Alice Springs, since January 2005 after joining Sister Cities International. Qargha Reservoir Paghman Gardens
Darwaz-e Bala District
Darwaz-e Bala known as Nusay, is a district in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan. It was created in 2005 from part of Darwaz District, it is home to 11,000 residents. This district borders the Shekay, Kuf Ab, Maimay districts, along with districts in Darvoz, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan; the district was part of the Darvaz principality, a semi-independent statelet ruled by a mir. Badakhshan Province Map – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Wakhan District is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. The total population for the district is about 13,000 residents; the district has three international borders: Tajikistan to the north, Pakistan to the south, Afghanistan's only border with China to the east. The capital of the district is the village of Khandud, which has a population of 1,244. Wakhan Wakhan Corridor Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services
Kuran wa Munjan District
Kuran wa Munjan District is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. Located in the Hindu Kush mountains, the district is home to 8,000 residents; the district administrative center is Kuran wa Munjan. The district is in the southwest corner of the province, is bordered on its northeast side by the Jurm and Zebak Districts. Most of the district's boundaries are adjacent to other Afghan provinces, but a small section on the eastern edge of the district lies on the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan; the epicenter of the October 26 2015 Hindu Kush earthquake was 45 km north of here. Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services