File:Baba Wali Kandahar-m.jpg

Kandahār 31°36′18″N 65°45′36″E / 31.605°N 65.76°E / 31.605; 65.76, also spelled Qandahār, is the second largest city in Afghanistan after Kabul, the capital and has a population of 324,800 (2006 estimate). It is the capital of Kandahar province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m (3,297 feet) above sea level. The Arghandab River runs right next to the city.

Hamid Karzai, the 12th President of Afghanistan is an ethnic Pashtun of the Popalzai tribe. He was born in the village of Karz, which is located on the edge of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

Baba Wali's shrine

The shrine of Baba Wali, its terraces shaded by pomegranate groves beside the Arghandab River, is also very popular for picnics and afternoon outings.

Sitting on the banks of the Arghandab River is the Baba Wali Shrine, also known as Baba Sahib by Kandaharis. Gul Agha Sherzai, the twice-former Governor of Kandahar, fierce warlord and former Mujahideen commander constructed the shrine at a cost of millions of dollars to honour one of his revered tribesmen.

It provides a great view to the verdant Arghandab Valley, which is in stark contrast to the rest of the dusty province. The multi-level shrine, marble and mirror-clad, set into a hillside is a popular picnic place for the Kandaharis, with kebabs, hand made ice cream and local fruit juices available from cart vendors.

Ancient history

Many empires have long fought over the city, 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 Kandahar the capital of Afghanistan.

It is believed that Kandahar may have derived from the Pashto pronunciation of Alexandria, or Iskanderiya.[3] A temple to the deified Alexander as well as an inscription in Greek and Aramaic by the Indian Emperor Ashoka, who lived a few decades later, have been discovered in the old citadel.

See also

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Kandahar. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

External links

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