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Map of Afghanistan with Ghowr highlighted


Ghōr (غور)
Country Flag of Afghanistan.svg Afghanistan
Capital Chaghcharan
 - coordinates 34}}{{{2}}}N {{Coord/dec2dms/{{{4}}}|65}}{{{2}}}E / 34°N 65°E / 34; 65]
Area 36,479 km2 (14,085 sq mi)
Population 635,302 [1]
Density 13.29 /km2 (34 /sq mi)
Timezone UTC+4:30
Main language Persian

Ghōr (Persian: غور), also spelled Ghowr or Ghur, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in central Afghanistan, towards the north-west. The capital of Ghor is Chaghcharan. The name "Ghor" is a cognate to Avestan gairi-, Sanskrit giri- and Middle Persian gar, meaning "mountain", and survives in modern Pashto as ghar (غر "mountain"). 97% of the population speak Dari Persian.[1]


Template:History of Afghanistan


Remains of the oldest settlements discovered by the Lithuanian archaeologists in 2007 and 2008 in Ghor date back to 5000 BC[2]. Ruins of a few castles and other defense fortifications were also discovered in the environs of Chaghcharan. A Buddhist monastery hand-carved in the bluff of the river Harirud existed in the first centuries during the prevalence of Buddhism. The artificial caves revealed testimony of daily life of the Buddhist monks[3].

'The rise to power of the Ghurids at Ghur , a small isolated area located in the mountain vastness between the Ghaznavid empire and the Seljukids, was an unusual and unexpected development. The area was so remote that till the 11th century, it had remained a pagan enclave surrounded by Muslim principalities. It was converted to Islam in the early part of the 12th century after Mahmud raided it, and left teachers to instruct the Ghurids in the pricipts of Islam. Even then it is believed that paganism, i.e. a variety of Mahayana Buddhism persisted in the area till the end of the century .[4]


Various scholars and historians such as John McLeod attribute the conversion of the Ghauris to Islam at the hands of Mahmud Ghazni who converted them to Islam after his conquest of Ghor.

a people from central Afghanistan who had been converted to Islam by Mahmud [5]

Traditional Muslim historians such as Istakhri and Ibn Haukal attest to the existence of the non-Islamic enclave of Ghor prior to the time of Ghazni, who is attributed with converting its population to Islam.

Ghor - Also called Ghoristan. The mountainous country between Hirat and Ghazni. According to Istakhri and Ibn Haukal it was a rugged mountainous country , bounded by the districts of Hirat, Farrah, Dawar, Rabat, Kurwan, and Gharjistan back to Hirat, which were all Muhammadan countries. Ghor itself was a country of infidels, containing only a few Musulmans, and the inhibitants spoke a language different from that of Khurasan[6]

Minhaju-S-Siraj records the strife between the non-Muslim and Muslim populations.

It is said that Amir Suri was a great king, and most of the territories of Ghor were in his possession. But as many of the inhabitants of Ghor of High and low degree had not yet embraced Islam, there was constant strife among them. The Saffarians came from Nimroz to Bust and Dawar, Yakub Lais overpowered Lak-Lak, who was the chief of Takinabad, in the country of Rukhaj. The Ghorians sought the safety in Sara-sang and dwelt there in security, but even among them hostilities constantly prevailed between the Muslims and the infidels. One castle was at war with another castle, and their feuds were unceasing; but owing to the inaccessibility of the mountains of Rasiat, which are in Ghor no foreigner was able to overcome them, and Shansbani Amir Suri was the head of all the Mandeshis.[7]

According to Minhahu-S Siraj, Amir Suri was captured by Mahmud of Ghazni, made prisoner along with his son and taken to Ghazni, where Amir Suri died.[8]

The region had previously been conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni, and the population converted to Islam.[9]
It was also the last stronghold of an ancient religion professed by the inhabitants when all their neighbors had become Muhammadan. In the 11th century AD Mahmud of Ghazni defeated the prince of Ghor Ibn –I-Suri, and made him prisoner in a severly-contested engagement in the valley of Ahingaran. Ibn-I-Suri is called a Hindu by the author, who has recorded his overthrow; it does not follow that he was one by religion or by race, but merely that he was not Muhammadan.[10]

Attack by Mahmud of Ghazni

In the following year AH 401 (AD 1010), Mahmood led his army towards Ghoor. The native prince of the country, Mahomed, occupied an entrenched camp with 10000 men. Mahmood was repulsed in repeated assults which he made from morning till noon. Finding that the troops of Ghoor defended their entrenchments with such obstinacy, he caused his army to retreat in apparent confusion, in order to lure the enemy out of his fortified position. The Ghoorians, deceived by the stratagem, pursued the army of Ghizny; when the king, facing about, attacked and defeated them with great slaughter. Mahommed Soor, being made prisoner was brought to the king, but having taken poison, which he always kept under his ring, he died in a few hours; his country was annexed to the dominions of Ghizny. The author of the Towareekh Yumny affirms, that neither the sovereigns of Ghoor nor its inhabitants were Mahomedans till after this victory; whilst the author of the Tubkat-Nasiry, and Fukhr -ood -Deen Moobarik Shah Lody, the latter of whom wrote a history of the Kings of Ghoor in verse, both affirm, that they were converted many years before, even so early as the time of Ally[11]

Ghor was also the centre of the Ghurid dynasty in the 12th and 13th century. The remains of their capital Firuzkuh, including UNESCO World Heritage site the Minaret of Jam, are located in the province.

On June 17, 2004, hundreds of troops of Abdul Salaam Khan, who had rejected the Afghan government's plan to disarm regional militias, attacked Chaghcharan and took over the city in an afternoon-long siege. Eighteen people were killed or wounded in the fighting and province governor Mohammed Ibrahim fled. Three days later the Afghan government announced that it would not retake Chaghcharan. Khan and Ibrahim began negotiations soon after, but reached no agreements. Khan's troops left Chaghcharan on June 23, a day ahead of the arrival of an Afghan National Army battalion, led by Lieutenant-General Aminullah Paktiyanai, arrived with the support of about twenty U.S. soldiers.

In his 2004 travel book, The Places in Between, Rory Stewart travels by foot from Herat to Kabul and on his way, he provides a riveting portrait of Ghor Province as well as much historical information about the region.

Ghor, which was part of Persia for many centuries, was one of the regions which participated in the Persian Cultural Revival after the Arab invasion of Persia.


The population of Ghor today is about 635,302 people, consisting of Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks and small community of Pashtuns.[1][12][13] Tajiks are the majority ethnic group in the province.[12][14]

Geography & Weather

Ghor occupies the end of the Hindu Kush mountains. Ghor is 2,500m above sea level and heavy snowfalls often block many of its rugged passes from November to April. It is also a drought-prone area in the summer.


Ghor districts

Districts of Ghor.

Districts of Ghor Province
District Capital Population Area[15] Notes
Chaghcharan Sub-divided in 2005
Charsada Created in 2005 within Chaghcharan District
Dawlat Yar Created in 2005 within Chaghcharan District
Du Layna Created in 2005 within Chaghcharan District and Shahrak District
Lal Wa Sarjangal


The current Governor of the province is Baz Mohammad Ahmadi. A Lithuanian contingent of the ISAF force is stationed in the province.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ghor Provincial Profile on
  2. Province hides monuments some of which date back to 5000 BC,, 22 May 2008
  3. Lithuanian archeologists make discovery in Afghanistan, The Baltic Times, May 22, 2008; Archaeologists make new discoveries about ancient Afghan cultures, Top News, 05/23/2008.
  4. Medieval India Part 1 Satish Chandra Page 22
  5. The history of India By John McLeod Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 Page 34
  6. The History of Inda as told by its own Historians by Eliot and Dowson, Volume 2 page 576
  7. The History of Inda as told by its own Historians by Eliot and Dowson, Volume 2 page 284
  8. The History of Inda as told by its own Historians by Eliot and Dowson , Volume 2 page 286
  9. The wonder that was India II by S A A Rizvi published by Picador India page 16
  10. The Kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch By George Passman Tate Edition: illustrated Published by Asian Educational Services, 2001 Page 12 ISBN 8120615867, 9788120615861
  11. Ferishta -Translation John Briggs page 28 vol 1
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ghor Province on
  13. Bosworth, C. Edmund. "GÚUR". Encyclopædia Iranica (Online Edition ed.). United States: Columbia University. Retrieved January 2008. 
  14. Tribal map of Ghor
  15. Afghanistan Geographic & Thematic Layers

The current governor of Gho Province is Sayed Munib Eqbal who replaced Baz Mohammad Ahmadi almost four months ago.

External links

Template:Provinces of Afghanistan Template:Districts of Ghorar:ولاية غور ast:Gor az:Qövr bg:Гор (провинция)et:Ghowri provintsfa:ولایت غورko:구르 주 hi:ग़ोरja:ゴール州 no:Ghowr (provins) pnb:صوبہ غور ps:د غور ولايتpt:Ghowr (província) ru:Гор (провинция, Афганистан) fi:Ghowrin maakunta sv:Ghor tg:Вилояти Ғувр tr:Gur Vilayeti ur:غور war:Ghor (lalawigan) zh:古爾省