Kandahar Afghanistan



Kandahar Afghanistan is a large pashtun province in Afghanistan, with the 2006 estimated population of 324,800 people.

The city of Kandahar is located in the south of the country around 1,005 m (3,297 feet) above sea level. The city is completely dominated by Pashtuns and the spoken language is mainly Pashtu. The city is a major trading center for grains, fresh and dried fruits. The region produces fine fruits, especially pomegranates and grapes, and the city has a place for canning, drying, and packing fruits as well. Kandahar city is linked by road to Farah and Herat, to the west, Ghazni, and Kabul to the northeast, Tarin Koutt to the north, and Quetta in Pakistan to the south.

Many empires have fought over Kandahar Afghanistan due to its strategic location along the trade routes of Southern and Central Asia. In 1748, Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the Durrani Empire, made the city as the capital of Afghanistan.

brief history of Kandahar

    

Kanahar city and around its region is identified as one of the oldest human settlements known so far. The early peasant farming villages came into existence in Afghanistan ca. 5000 B.C., or 7000 years ago. Deh Morasi Ghundey, the first prehistoric site to be excavated in Afghanistan, lies 27 km (17 mi.) southwest of Kandahar Afghanistan.

Another Bronze Age village mound site with multi-roomed mud-brick buildings dating from the same period sits were found nearby at Said Qala. Second millennium B.C. Bronze Age pottery, copper and bronze horse trappings and stone seals were found in the lowermost levels in nearby the cave called Shamshir Ghar. Stylistically the discoveries from Deh Morasi and Said Qala tie with those pre-Indus Valley sites and with those comparable age on the Iranian Plateau and in Central Asia, indicating cultural contacts during this very early age.

Under the shimmering turquoise dome that dominates the sand-blown city of Kandahar Afghanistan; lies the body of Ahmad Shah Abdali(Durani), the young Kandahari warrior who became Afghanistan's (Khurasan’s) first Pashtun king in 1747, and has been crowned by Saber Shah Kabuli. His mausoleum is covered in a deep blue and white tiles behind a small grove of trees. In front of his grave is a small mosque with a marble vault containing one of the holiest relics in the Islamic world, ( kherqa ) the Sacred Cloak of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) which was given to Ahmad Shah by Murad Beg, the Amir of Bokhara.

The Sacred Cloak is kept locked away, and taken out in certain Islamic occasions but the mausoleum is open and there is a constant line of men every single day leaving their sandals at the door and shuffling through to marvel at the surprisingly long marble tomb and touch the glass case containing Ahmad Shah's brass helmet.

Kandahar province has one international airport which was built in 1960s and it's about 10 miles (16 kilometers) to the south-east of the city. It was used by the Red Army during their ten year occupation of the country. As of 2001, the airport is used by the US and NATO forces as a military base.

The security of the Kandahar Afghanstan is provided by Afghan military and NATO forces. The city is under control of the Afghan government and presence of the Canadian Forces which led by NATO security force in the province with their command headquarters in the region.

The international airport in Kandahar Afghanistan was being used by the NATO forces only to deliver troops and supplies to the forces since the invasion of US in 2001 but in late 2006 the airport re-opened for civilian use as well. During the Taliban regime this airport received the high-jacked Indian airlines IC814 on 30 December 1999.

The public transportation system (Millie Bus) is active in the city with the existence of yellow taxicabs in Kandahar city. Uses of private vehicles are daily increasing due to road and highway improvements and large numbers of dealerships which import different types of cars from Dubai, UAE to the region.

A proposed rail link is being studied to establish a rail link from Kandahar Afghanistan to the neighboring country Pakistan, to help facilitate trade and commerce between the two nations. Due to the ongoing war in southern provinces especially existence of Taliban in a several districts of Kandahar provice, the safety of traveling by road has become very dangerous as insurgent attacks on convoys and destruction of bridges make it unreliable link between the cities.

Communication and Media

The Telecommunication services in Kandahar Afghanistan are provided by InstaTelecom, Afghan Wireless, Roshan, Etisalat and Areeba mobile companies.

The media and journalists in southern provinces of Afghanistan have alsways been in danger and several journalists have been killed by the Taliban rebels in recent years. Despite all that, there are still a few local television channels and radio stations providing news and entrainment for the people of the region such as:

ART (Afghanistan National Radio Television)

Ayna TV

Ariana TV

Ariana Afghanistan TV

Khorasan TV

Noor TV

Noorin TV

Tolo TV

Tamadun TV

Shamshad TV

The reconstruction in Kandahar Afghanistan along with the rest of the country, is in progress. It's believed that from 2001 up to now, large amounts of money have been pouring in for reconstruction purposes but the reality is that the money dose not reach to Afghanistan. It usually goes back to the pockets of the foreign contractors and foreign employees. If some portion of the money reaches in Afghanistan, it's being lost in due to corruption.

Inspite of that, there are new modern-style buildings are slowly replacing the older ones, and major highways are being repaired. However, construction work in rural areas are not going rapidly and it has been seiously declined, due to the ongoing war in the country and corruption in the Afghan government.


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Interesting places and monuments in the city of Kandahar:

Mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Durrani, who found the Durrani Empire.

The shrine or the Mosque of the Cloak of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), adjoining Ahmad Shah’s mausoleum, is one of the holiest shrines in Afghanistan.

The Mosque that contains the Prophet Muhammad’s holy hair and it is located inside the covered bazaar.

The charming village of Sher Surkh located southeast of the city, in the suburbs of the old city of Nadirabad.

Kandahar Museum, located east of Durwaza Eidgah (Eid Gah gate).

The grave of Hazratji Baba, 23 feet (7.0 m) long to signify his greatness.

A monument to pious martyrs (Sha heeddan: those who have been killed in battles for defending their land) stands in the center of Kandahar’s main square called Da Shahidanu Chawk, and it was built in the 1940s.

The Chehilzina, forty steps rock-cut chamber located at the end of the rugged chain mountains forming the western defense of the Old City and the lead to the chamber is guarded by two chained lions, defaced, and inscribed with an account of Moghul conquest. The rugged cliffs from which the Chehilzina was hewn form the natural western bastion of the Old City of Kandahar which was destroyed in 1738 by Nadir Shah Afshar of Persia. A short distance from Chehilzina, going west on the main highway, a bright blue dome appears on the right which is the mausoleum of Mir Wais Khan, the Ghilzai chieftain who declared Kandahar’s independence from the Persians in 1709.

The shrine of Baba Wali, It’s terraced and shaded by pomegranate groves, located beside the Arghandab River which is a popular place for picnics in the summer.

Kandahar Afghanistan has several districts such as:

  • Arghandab Valley

  • Daman

  • Dand

  • Kandahar Valley

  • Karz

  • Mirwais Mina

  • Sarpuza

  • Shari Nauw

  • Zoar Shar (Old City)

General interesting places are:

Baba Sahib (picnic area & weekend spot)

Baghi Pull (picnic area & weekend spot)

Shari Nauw Fairground (local amusement park)

Friday Mosque

Jama-e Mubarak or Mosque of the Hair of the Prophet (PBUH)

Shopping places in Kandahar province are:

Herat Bazaar (Shopping mall)

Kabul Bazaar (Shopping mall)

Shah Bazaar (Shopping mall)

Shkar Pur Bazaar (Shopping mall)

The city Banks are:

AIB Bank

Kabul Bank

Azizi Bank

Western Union

The Hospitals of the city are:

Afghan National Army Regional Hospital

Mirwais Hospital

Al Bilal Hospital

Al Hadi Farhad Hospital

This is the satellite map of Kandahar Afghanistan and some of it's districts. Please click on the + button on top lift side of the map to zoom in or move your cursor for more details of the city.



Notable people of Kandahar province:

Hamid Karzai (The Current Afghan President)

Said Tayeb Jawad (Current Afghan Ambassador in US)

Nashenas (Famous male singer)

Naghma (Famous lady singer)

Mirwais Khan Hotak (see above history)

Mir Mahmud Hotaki (see above history)

Gul Agha Sherzai (Current Jalalabad Governor)

Mohammed Omar (Leader of the Taliban)

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