Kandahār, Afghanistan

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kandahār, Afghanistan

Region: Kandahar


Geographic Coordinates: 31.620000, 65.715800
Temperature Range: 5.0°C to 40.0°C (41°F to 104°F)
Climate: Dry and hot summers, mild winters with occasional snowfall.
Population: 614254
Language: Pashto

Kandahar is a city located in southern Afghanistan and is the second-largest city in the country, After Kabul. It has a rich history dating back to ancient times and was once an important center of trade and commerce on the Silk Road. The city has been ruled by various empires throughout history, Including Alexander the Great’s Macedonian Empire, Islamic Caliphates, Mongol Empire, Timurid Dynasty, Safavid Dynasty, Mughal Empire and British colonial rule. The city is situated on a fertile plain surrounded by mountains with a population of approximately 500, 000 people.

Kandahar’s economy primarily relies on agriculture as it produces fruits such as grapes, Pomegranates and apricots along with cotton and wool. The region also produces opium poppies which have become a major source of income for many farmers. Kandahar is home to several historical landmarks such as the Mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Durrani who founded modern-day Afghanistan in 1747. The city also has several mosques including Masjid-i Jami’ which was built during the reign of Timurid dynasty in 1415 AD. Another famous landmark is Bala Hissar Fort that dates back to at least the 5th century AD.

However, Kandahar’s recent history has been marred by conflict due to its strategic location near Pakistan’s border making it an important battleground for Taliban insurgents fighting against Afghan government forces supported by NATO troops since 2001. Despite this ongoing conflict situation in Kandahar today there are efforts underway towards reconstruction efforts aimed at rebuilding infrastructure destroyed during years of war along with improving education facilities for children especially girls who were previously denied access to education under Taliban rule.

In terms of culture, Kandahari people are known for their hospitality towards guests from all over Afghanistan or other countries visiting their beautiful land. They have retained their traditional Pashtun culture and customs despite years of conflict. Kandahari people are also known for their love of music, Poetry, And dance. Kandahar is a city with a rich history that has been shaped by various empires throughout the centuries. While it has experienced conflict in recent years due to its strategic location near Pakistan’s border, There are efforts underway towards reconstruction and improving education facilities for children.

The city is home to several historical landmarks and is known for its hospitality towards visitors from all over Afghanistan or other countries visiting their beautiful land.



Important Landmarks

  1. Arg Citadel: A historic fortress located in the heart of Kandahar city.
  2. Shrine of the Cloak: A sacred site that houses a cloak believed to have belonged to the Prophet Muhammad.
  3. Chilzina Garden: A beautiful park that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  4. Green Mosque: A stunning mosque with a green dome that is a popular tourist attraction.
  5. Baba Wali Shrine: A revered shrine dedicated to a Sufi saint.
  6. Arghandab River: A scenic river that flows through Kandahar province.
  7. Spin Boldak: A bustling border town that connects Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  8. Mausoleum of Mirwais Khan Hotak: A grand mausoleum dedicated to Mirwais Khan Hotak, a prominent Afghan leader.
  9. Kandahar Museum: This museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Kandahar and Afghanistan.
  10. Air Force Base: Located on the outskirts of Kandahar, this base has played a significant role in the war in Afghanistan and is an important military landmark.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture, particularly pomegranate and grape farming
  2. Clothing manufacturing
  3. Construction
  4. Transportation
  5. Trade
  6. Handicrafts
  7. Carpet weaving
  8. Leather goods production
  9. Government institutions such as the Afghan National Police headquarters and the governor’s office

Noteable History

  1. Alexander the Great founded Kandahar in 330 BC, and it was a crucial city in his empire.
  2. Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of modern Afghanistan, made Kandahar his capital in 1747.
  3. Kandahar was occupied by the British during the First and Second Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839-1842 and 1878-1880).
  4. The Taliban took control of Kandahar in 1994 and used it as their stronghold until they were ousted by US-led forces in 2001.
  5. Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s first democratically elected president, is from Kandahar province.
  6. Mullah Omar, the founder of the Taliban movement, is believed to have been born near Kandahar.
  7. Mirwais Hotak rebelled against Persian rule in the early 18th century and established an independent state centered around Kandahar.
  8. Khushal Khan Khattak was a Pashtun poet and warrior who lived during Afghanistan’s late Mughal Empire period (17th century) and is considered one of its greatest literary figures.
  9. Abdul Ahad Mohmand became Afghanistan’s first astronaut when he flew on a Soviet mission in 1988.
  10. Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan was a former Afghan president who was assassinated during a coup d’état that led to decades of conflict and instability in Afghanistan.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Arghandab National Park: This beautiful park is located near Kandahar city and offers scenic views and a peaceful environment.
  2. Shrine of Baba Wali: A famous Sufi shrine located in the heart of Kandahar city that attracts thousands of visitors every year.
  3. The Citadel of Alexander: An ancient fortress built by Alexander the Great in 330 BC that is now a popular tourist attraction.
  4. Kandahar Museum: A museum showcasing the rich cultural heritage and history of Kandahar and its surrounding areas.
  5. Shahidani Martyrs Cemetery: A cemetery dedicated to Afghan soldiers who lost their lives during various conflicts throughout history.
  6. Baba Sahib Shrine: Another popular Sufi shrine located on the outskirts of Kandahar city known for its beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere.
  7. Mirwais Nika Tomb: The tomb of Mirwais Khan Hotak, a prominent Pashtun leader who played a crucial role in Afghanistan’s history during the 18th century.
  8. Spin Boldak Border Market: A bustling market located at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border where visitors can experience local culture and buy traditional Afghan goods like carpets, spices, and handicrafts.

Please note that due to security concerns it is recommended to check with local authorities before visiting any tourist attractions in Afghanistan as some places may be closed or unsafe for tourists at certain times due to ongoing conflicts or other safety concerns within this region.




Cultural Events

  1. Eid al-Fitr: This is a significant Islamic festival celebrated at the end of Ramadan.
  2. Nowruz: A Persian New Year celebration usually held on March 21st-22nd.
  3. Jashn-e Afghan (Afghan Independence Day): Celebrated on August 19th to commemorate Afghanistan’s independence from Britain in 1919.
  4. Mela Ghazi Khan Baba: A Sufi festival held annually at the shrine of Ghazi Khan Baba in Kandahar city.
  5. Kandahar International Polo Tournament: A popular sporting event that takes place every year in Kandahar province.
  6. Shaikh Mati Baba Festival: Held annually to honor the Sufi saint Shaikh Mati Baba, who is buried near Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province.
  7. Ashura: An important Shia Muslim holiday commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Cuisine

  • Kabuli Pulao: This is a traditional Afghan dish made with rice, lamb meat, carrots, raisins and spices.
  • Mantu: A dumpling filled with minced beef or lamb served with tomato sauce and yogurt.
  • Ashak: A vegetarian dish made of steamed dumplings stuffed with leeks and topped with tomato sauce and yogurt.
  • Tandoori Chicken: A grilled chicken marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices cooked in a clay oven called tandoor.
  • Afghan Bread (Naan): This is a staple food in Afghanistan which is baked fresh daily at local bakeries called naanwais.

Some popular restaurants in Kandahar that serve these dishes include:

  1. Kabul Restaurant
  2. Khyber Restaurant
  3. Zarghona Palace Hotel & Restaurant
  4. Ariana Restaurant
  5. Mandi House Restaurant

Parks and Recreation

  1. Arghandab National Park: This park is located 20 km north of Kandahar city and covers an area of 710 hectares. It is a popular spot for picnics, hiking, and bird watching.
  2. Ahmad Shah Baba Mazar Park: This park is located in the heart of Kandahar city and features a mausoleum dedicated to Ahmad Shah Baba, the founder of the Durrani Empire. The park also has playgrounds for children and areas for picnics.
  3. Spin Boldak Border Market: This market is located near the Pakistan border and offers a variety of goods such as clothing, electronics, food items etc. It is a popular spot for shopping among locals as well as tourists.
  4. Bazaars: There are several bazaars in Kandahar city that offer local handicrafts such as carpets, jewelry, pottery items etc., which can be great souvenirs to take back home.
  5. Sports facilities: There are several sports facilities in Kandahar that offer activities like football (soccer), volleyball etc., where locals can participate or watch matches being played by teams from different parts of Afghanistan.

Note – Due to security concerns it’s advisable to check with local authorities before visiting any public place or engaging in any recreational activity within Afghanistan especially if you are not familiar with their culture or customs.


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