Bamiyan province is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the center of the country. Its capital city is also called Bamiyan. Bamiyan city is the largest city in the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan, and is the cultural capital of the Hazara ethnic group that predominates in the area.
In antiquity, central Afghanistan was strategically placed to thrive from the Silk Road caravans which criss-crossed the region trading between the Roman Empire, China and India. Bamiyan was a stopping off point for many travellers. It was here where elements of Greek, Persian and Buddhist art were combined into a unique classical style, known as Greco-Buddhist art.
Bamiyan is also known for its amazing natural beauty. The Band-i-Amir lakes in western Bamiyan province continue to be a tourist destination for Afghans.
Snow capped mountains of the Hindu Kush range surround the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Kabul is on the Kabul River, situated at an elevation of about 1800 m (about 5900 ft) making it one of the highest capital cities in the World. The population is around 1 million people.
An ancient community, Kabul rose to prominence in 1504, when it was made the capital of the Moghul Empire by the conqueror Babur. Delhi replaced it as the imperial capital in 1526, but Kabul remained an important Moghul center until it was captured, in 1738, by the Persian ruler Nadir Shah. In 1747 Kabul became part of an independent Afghan state, and in the 1770s it replaced Qandahar as the capital of Afghanistan. It was a focus of British, Persian, and Russian rivalry for control of the Khyber Pass in the 19th century, when it was twice occupied (1839-1842 and 1879-1880) by British troops. The city grew as an industrial center after 1940.
Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian/Farsi) are the official languages of Afghanistan. Pashto was declared the National Language of the country during the beginning of Zahir Shah's reign, however, Dari has always been used for business and government transactions. Both belong to the Indo-European group of languages.
Both Pashto and Dari are written primarily with the Arabic alphabet, however, there are some modifications. Pashto literature saw a massive rise in development in the 17th century, mostly due to poets like Khushal Khan Khattak, who is known today as the national poet of Afghanistan. Other noteworthy Pashto poets in history were Rahman Baba, and the founder of the modern Afghan nation, Ahmad Shah Abdali.
Dari also has an extensive literature, actually, some of the worlds greatest poems have been written in Dari. Dari poems by Jalaluddin Rumi have been translated from its original Dari versions to numerous other languages, and is widely read even in the west. Many powerful kingdoms of the past such as those of the Moghuls in India, primarily used Dari in their royal courts.
Dari is similar to the Farsi spoken in Iran. However Dari is more original and old.
In the picture is a veiled Afghan Woman of Persian/Aryan descent. In Afghanistan the head veil is referred to as a "Chodar", in Arabic one would call it "Hijab."
No other country where the majority of the people are muslims has gained so much praise for beauty like Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the only Muslim country whose modern-day people have graced the covers of numerous international magazines. The most famous being this one, of the young pashtoon girl Miss Sharbat Gulah taken in 1984. Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have the most photographed people in the whole muslim world.
The beauty of Afghans is due to the unique mix of Persians during the Persian conquest, Mongols, during Genghis Khan's conquest, Aryans, Pashtoons, Uzbek, Turkmen and Tajik peoples and Arabs during the Islamic regime.
In the northern city of Badakhshan you can see blondes with fair complexions and light eyes. In Kabul you see more of the Persian influence and you'll see people with tan skin, looking like lighter skinned Indians. And in the south in Kandahar you'll see the Pashtoon people who are considered the most beautiful people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghanistan is a beautiful mix of different races.
The ATAN dance is the most beautiful folkloric dance that I've ever seen. It conveys, power, bravery, religious aspects, toughness and it is all harmonized into one beautiful dance. The music of Atan is amazing and nostalgic. Dancers hold either swords or big drums called "doghs." On every drum beat you either clap your hands and swing to your feet (the most popular way) you can also stomp your feet, clap two swords or beat on drums. To hear ATAN you can go here:
Click on the last song no. 13 "PAKTIA PO DAAG KE"
-This song in particular originated in the Pushtoon-dominated famous city of Paktya, Afghanistan.
The Pashtoons are most famous for their incredible bravery, beauty, courage, hospitality, true friendship, loyalty and strict observance of Islam.
They are the real face of Afghanistan. The Afghan people in general are among the most hospitable people in the world...
The King's Palace is an ancient palace which suffered massives rocket attacks during the 25 years of war. Now is completely destroyed but you can see how beautifull and powerfull was this country years ago.
This is a small part of my job.
This picture was taken when we were building a Government Building in Jalalabad.
The idea is to create the construction business in the country. Good business for a long time.
Nothing starts or ends a day other than an awesome sun/moon rise or set. Afghanistan has some of the best to offer that I have ever seen. Along with awesome mountains which tower anything the U.S. has to offer as for rugged and height.
Ameer taimoor leng, a self-made nomadic chieftain from Kish, taimoor lang, (or taimoor lane, because of some defect in his leg), temoor to the uzbeks, whose real name was Ameer Taimoor Sahib Qiran, was born a minor noble of a Tartar tribe in the middle of transoxiana. “at 12 years of age, i fancied that i perceived in myself all the greatness and wisdom.” he won leadership of his tribe at 24 and, after building up an army, proceeded to dominate first the whole of transoxiana, then much of the wider world – “perhaps the greatest self-made man who ever lived.”
ameer taimoor ascended the throne in 1370 after conquering Balkh. thereafter Iran, Iraq, Syria, eastern Turkey and most of the Caucasus fell under his sway, followed by northern india and he took Delhi in 1398. Europe’s crowned heads trembled as he vanquished the ottoman sultan bayzid in 1402. The King of Constantinople and the Monarch of Castila paid homage to him. Taimoor lang made Samarqand his capital.
he had a multicultural army of nomads and urbanites, muslims and christians, arabs, turks, tajiks, Persians, Georgians, Indians and Tartars. Taimoor lang ransacked Baghdad in 1401 and massacred 90,000 inhabitants, slaughtered 70,000 in isfahan and in afghanistan killed everyone who could not run fast enough.
Taimoor lang was fond of chess, and played the “greater game” with a board of 10 squares by 11, which carried the usual complement plus camels, giraffes and war machines. he planned his campaigns with a chess player’s cleverness – and, like a good mongol, led from the saddle. he used the Mongol tactic of feigned flight to lethal effect, even feigning mortal sickness – vomiting up a bowl of boar’s blood he’d covertly swallowed – to ally an enemy’s fear.
his tomb is in the popular Kabul district which is now famous by his name and also very popular road by his name where lots of places of livings in kabul. Most of the above text I have translated from a book named (tareekh-i-islam)
All the way upto Kabul from Peshawar, one can see the places which are not possible anywhere else. however road condition is very poor but it runs through koh-i-sufaid and kabul river quite unique landscape all around.
on way to kabul my best and most recommended place to visit is the town of Landi Kotal very close to Torkhum border. its the highest railway track and station as well. and very popular for its bimonthly train service only for tourists.
If you - by any chance - should get tired of the calm and chaotic streets of Herat, the village of Gozara, some 40-50 kms south of Herat is not a bad place for an excursion.
Gozara is nothing but a mud house village but a very nice one, and the experience is quite different from being in Herat. The town itself is nothing but a mud labyrinth, but, with the rice fields right outside the mud walls, it's actually very scenic.
The people don't see man foreigners! Hardly any, I should think, so be prepared for being the most interesting thing which has happened to the village for months. They'll surely stare at you like you've never been stared at - at least not outside India and Bangladesh.
Normally, these days at least, the Herat region is comparatively calm, however, do ask the locals if there has been any shooting lately.
Reportely, the remote and distant Minar-e-Jam, close to the very center of Afghanistan, is the second largest free-standing minaret in the whole world. Only surpassed by Q'tab Minar at Delhi, India, Minar-e-Jam was built more than 800 years ago and is tucked away in a narrow valley 350-400 kms east of Herat.
The minaret has not been built in connection to any mosque. It stands all by itself in the valley, surrounded by greyish-brown maountains and a number of tiny villages stuffed with firendly, but rough-looking Afghanis. The minaret itself is leaning a bit like the tower of Pisa, and apart from it being so big, the main attraction by going there is the trip. How to get there rather than being there is the main issue and a challenge to anyone.
There are no scheduled public transport, however, with a bit of luck, you may catch a private vehicle from Herat and 400 kms east. Getting back is probably easier as no cars would ever depart Jam without ending up in Herat. Either way, the journey takes 1½ days of driving, but it's dirt cheap (8 USD each way) and the scenery almost equals the Karakorum.
The road from Kabul to Mazar-e-Sharif passes by this beautiful and meandering valley. The mountains are dry and reddish but the bottom is very green... and small villages nestled on the rugged slopes.
After almost 4 years in Afghanistan, for a change, I thought of spending some nights in the most...more
Good for: Solo
I stayed in Park Palace Guest House in Oct 2010. There is no proper shop near the guest house. The...more