Kabul river - panoramio.jpg
Zarnegar mausoleum palace postcard - cropped.jpg
Sakhi mosque, Kabul.jpg
Kabul, Afghanistan view.jpg
Clockwise from top left: Kabul River with the Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque on the far left; Tomb of Abdur Rahman Khan at Zarnegar Park; the Bagh-e Bala Palace in the background; skyline of the city in 2020; the Sakhi Shrine
Flag of Kabul
Official seal of Kabul
Paris of Central Asia[1][2]
Kabul is located in Afghanistan
Kabul is located in West and Central Asia
Kabul is located in South Asia
Kabul is located in Asia
Coordinates: 34°31′31″N 69°10′42″E / 34.52528°N 69.17833°E / 34.52528; 69.17833Coordinates: 34°31′31″N 69°10′42″E / 34.52528°N 69.17833°E / 34.52528; 69.17833
Country Afghanistan
No. of districts22
No. of Gozars630
Capital formation1776[4]
 • TypeMunicipality
 • MayorHamdullah Nomani
 • Deputy MayorMaulvi Abdul Rashid[5]
 • Total1,028.24 km2 (397.01 sq mi)
 • Land1,028.24 km2 (397.01 sq mi)
 • Water0 km2 (0 sq mi)
1,791 m (5,876 ft)
 • Total4,601,789[3]
Time zoneUTC+4:30 (Afghanistan Standard Time)
Postal code
100X, 101X, 105X, 106X
Area code(s)(+93) 20

Kabul (/ˈkɑːbʊl, kəˈbʊl/; Pashto: کابل, romanized: Kābəl, IPA: [kɑˈbəl]; Dari: کابل , IPA: [kɒːˈbol]) is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the eastern section of the country. It is also a municipality, forming part of the greater Kabul Province, and it is divided into 22 districts. According to estimates in 2021, the population of Kabul was 4.6 million[3][6][7] and it serves as Afghanistan's political, cultural and economical center.[8] Rapid urbanization has made Kabul the world's 75th largest city.[9]

Kabul is located high up in a narrow valley between the Hindu Kush mountains and bounded by the Kabul River, with an elevation of 1,790 metres (5,873 ft) making it one of the highest capitals in the world. The city is said to be over 3,500 years old, mentioned since at least the time of the Achaemenid Empire. Located at crossroads in Asia – roughly halfway between Istanbul in the west and Hanoi in the east – it is in a strategic location along the trade routes of South and Central Asia, and a key location of the ancient Silk Road.[10] It was so that it was compared to a meeting place between Tartary, India and Persia.[11] The city had also been under the rule of various other dynasties and empires including the Seleucids, Kushans, the Hindu Shahi and Turk Shahis, Samanids, Khwarazmians, Timurids, Mongols and others. In the 16th century, Kabul served as an initial summer capital of the Mughal Empire, during which time it increasingly prospered and was of significance to the empire.[11] It briefly passed to Persian Afsharid control following Nader Shah's invasion of India, until finally becoming part of the Afghan Durrani Empire in 1747.[12] Kabul became the capital of Afghanistan in 1776 during the reign of Timur Shah Durrani, the son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.[4] In the 19th century, the British occupied the city, but after establishing foreign relations, they were compelled to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan.

Kabul is known for its historical gardens, bazaars, and palaces,[13][14][15] well known examples are the Gardens of Babur and Darul Aman Palace. In the latter half of the 20th century, it became a stop on the hippie trail attracting tourists,[16][17][18] while the city also gained the nickname Paris of Central Asia.[1][2][19] This period of tranquility ended as Kabul was occupied by the Soviets in 1979, while a civil war in the 1990s between various rebel groups destroyed much of the city.[20] From 2001, the city was occupied by a coalition of forces including NATO until August 2021 when Kabul was seized by the Taliban's forces.

  1. ^ a b Bumiller, Elisabeth (17 October 2009). "Remembering Afghanistan's Golden Age". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Kabul Residents, Visitors Recall Capital's Golden Era Before Conflict". RFE/RL. Archived from the original on 2021-08-24. Retrieved 2021-08-24.
  3. ^ a b "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2021-22" (PDF). National Statistic and Information Authority. April 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 24, 2021. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Stanford was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ "د اسلامي امارت په تشکیلاتو کې نوي کسان پر دندو وګومارل شول". باختر خبری آژانس. October 4, 2021. Archived from the original on November 16, 2021. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "2003 National Geographic Population Map" (PDF). Thomas Gouttierre, Center For Afghanistan Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Matthew S. Baker, Stratfor. National Geographic Society. November 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
  7. ^ "Population of Cities in Afghanistan (2021)". Archived from the original on 2020-02-08. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  8. ^ Foschini, Fabrizio (April 2017). "Kabul and the challenge of dwindling foreign aid" (PDF). Peaceworks. No. 126. United States Institute of Peace. ISBN 978-1-60127-641-4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-06-09. Retrieved 2021-06-01 – via ETH Zurich.
  9. ^ "Largest cities in the world and their mayors – 1 to 150". City Mayors. 2012-05-17. Archived from the original on 2011-09-02. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  10. ^ "Afghanistan: The Heart of Silk Road in Asia". thediplomat.com. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Samrin, Farah (2005). "The City of Kabul Under the Mughals". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 66: 1307. JSTOR 44145943.
  12. ^ Nancy Hatch Dupree / Aḥmad ʻAlī Kuhzād (1972). "An Historical Guide to Kabul – The Story of Kabul". American International School of Kabul. Archived from the original on 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  13. ^ Gopalakrishnan, Raju (2007-04-16). "Once called paradise, now Kabul struggles to cope". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2021-03-08. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  14. ^ Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi. "Kabul City: Isn't just capital of Afghanistan but of palaces as well - Afghanistan Times". Afghanistan Times. Archived from the original on 2021-05-15. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  15. ^ Sayed A Azimi. "Reversing Kabul's Environmental Setbacks". www.linkedin.com. Archived from the original on 2021-08-08. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference overthrown was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ Dateline Mongolia: An American Journalist in Nomad's Land by Michael Kohn
  18. ^ ""Mein Kabul": ORF-Reporterlegende Fritz Orter präsentiert im "Weltjournal" "seine Stadt" – am 31. August um 22.30 Uhr in ORF 2". OTS.at (in German). Archived from the original on 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  19. ^ "Taliban Peace Talks in Afghanistan". 28 May 2019. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  20. ^ "History of Kabul". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2013-05-27.

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