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Afghanistan

KABUL Click for forecast

  • The capital of Afghanistan is situated in a fertile valley at an altitude of 1800 meters (6,000ft.) and is located on the Kabul River about 80 km (50 mi) east of the Pakistan border. The mean temperature in summer being 80F. while in the winter it falls below freezing.

  • Kabul (called Kabura by Ptolemy) has existed for more than 3,000 years. The city is dominated by two high hills with the ancient city walls still to be seen on its spurs. kabul is one of the most important old cities of central Asia. In the old days, when most overland trade and commerce flowed by the "Silk Route" through Afghanistan, Kabul served as the gateway to India and the world.


Family in Kabul

  • Kabul has long been of strategic importance, due to its location in a basin between the Hindu Kush and other high mountains. In 664 it was conquered by Arabs, and in the 13th century it was sacked by Genghis Khan. In 1504 the city was conquered by Babur, under whom it was capital of the Mogul Empire until 1526. In 1773, Kabul became the capital of Afghanistan. It was captured by the British in both 1842 and 1879 during the Afghan Wars. The city was a major Soviet military base during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89) and was subsequently devastated by civil war among various Afghan rebel groups. Today, under a new government Kabul is again destined to become a great city and an interesting place to visit.


Timur Shah Tomb

AROUND KABUL

  • PAGHMAN - 19 kms. to the west of Kabul is a beautiful cool valley in the folds of the high Paghman range. It is the summer resort of Kabul, with beautiful gardens.

  • ISTALIF - The picturesque village 40 kms. from Kabul, perched on a beautiful green hiss, offers a magnificent view of the vast plain of Begram with the snow covered mountains of the Hindukush in the background. Unique blue pottery is made here in centuries old method.

  • TANG-I-GHAROO or KABUL GORGE - 25 kms. from Kabul. The road to Jalalabad and Peshawar passes though this narrow and awe-inspiring gorge, winding though a series of tunnels and curves to drop more than 3,000 feet to the bottom. The Mahipar waterfall on the Kabul river is breathtaking.

  • SALANG PASS - 124 kms. from Kabul. This road pierces the great Hindukush range with a tunnel 2600m. long at an altitude of 11,000 feet (3,500m). This highest tunnel in the world is a thrilling experience.

  • JALALABAD - Center of Nangarhar province is 145 kms. from Kabul. The altitude is 1795 feet (556m). It has a pleasant and temperate winter climate and a hot summer. A place to escape the cold snows of Kabul, this winter vacation place has beautiful scenery.

  • KHYBER PASS - The strategically important Khyber Pass is on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The pass links Peshawar, Pakistan, and Kabul through the Safed Koh Range. The pass is 33 miles long, 15 ft to 3 miles wide, and reaches 3,500 ft in elevation. It has been a trade route since ancient times, often used by invaders, and is currently controlled by Pakistan.


Khyber Pass


Sign at Khyber Pass


Another view of Khyber Pass

  • NOORISTAN (Nuristan) - is a beautiful region on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush, North East Afghanistan, bordered on the East by Pakistan. The people are interesting, living in villages built of wood and perched high up on the mountain sides, make this region a fascinating place to visit.

    Formerly called Kafiristan (land of the infidels), it is inhabited by an ethnically distinctive people who practiced animism until their conversion to Islam in 1895-96. In Dari "Nuristan" means "land of light or the enlightened."

    Inhabiting relatively isolated villages in deep, narrow mountain valleys, the Nuristanis grow wheat, barley, millet, peas, wine grapes, and other fruit and raise livestock (chiefly goats). A special artisan caste specializes in woodcarving, pottery making, weaving, and metalwork. The Nuristanis, divided into several tribes, speak Dardic dialects (often mutually unintelligible) belonging to a distinct branch of the Indo-European language family. Nuristan was the scene of some of the heaviest guerrilla fighting during the 1979-89 Soviet war, and again during the civil war and US-Afghan war.