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of the modern houses being built on the ruined sites of the old city, the
brickwork foundations of which extend to a great depth. The busiest
portion of the town is the Bard Bazar, or High Street, a long, widish,
winding road paved with brick. It is entered at its eastern end through
an old gateway, which once formed the west portal of a sardi built in

1 the reign of Shah Jahan, but of which a few chambers only remain.

I Another important business centre is a wide and shady grain market,
known as the Turab All Bazar. The population of the town, which

I in 1871 was 17,093, had slightly decreased by 1881 to 16,646, males

I numbering 8302, and females 8344. Classified according to religion,
there were, in 1881 — Hindus, 10,057 ; Muhammadans, 6123 ; and Jains,
466. Markets are held four days in the week, for the ordinary sales of
grain, vegetables, and cloth. The manufactures of Kanauj comprise
the weaving of various descriptions of cloth, the distillation of rose-

! water, paper-making, lac bracelets, confectionery, etc. For police and
conservancy purposes, a house-tax is levied under the provisions of the
Chaukiddri Act.
Kan-aung {Ka?iau?ig). — Township with 4 revenue circles, in Henzada



388 J^AN-A UNG— KANDAHAR.

District, Trawadi Division, British Burma. It extends westwards from
the Irawadi to the Arakan Yomas. The tract near the river is low, but
now protected from inundations by extensive embankments ; towards
the hills the country is mountainous, clothed with valuable forests,
containing teak, tauk-kya?t, pyiii-gado^ and in {eng). In the low lands
between the Irawadi and the hills are several lakes, the chief being
the Tu, fed during the rains by the Mamya, a mountain stream. The
principal town is Kan-aung. Population (1876) 36,336; (1881)
27,857; number of villages, 140; land revenue, ^2863; revenue
from capitation-tax, ;£"2 504 ; from fisheries, ^1160; from net-tax,
^5 ; from local cesses, ^418. Area under cultivation (1881-82),
16,291 acres, of which 13,886 were under rice, 488 under sesamum,
and (iT^ under tobacco. The agricultural stock in 1881 comprised
3803 buffaloes, 9215 cows, bulls, and bullocks, 485 pigs, 2446 carts,
and 1573 ploughs; sledges, 1212; boats, 129.

Kan-aung. — Town in Henzada District, Irawadi Division, British
Burma; situated on the right bank of the Irawadi. Lat. 18° 11' 50" n.,
long. 95° 29' E. Population (1881) 3218, chiefly merchants and petty
traders; number of houses, 655; revenue, ;£"232. Kan-aung was
founded in 1754 a.d. by King Alompra ; the name is Talaing, and
means ' whirlpool.' The place is so called because at the time the
name was given there was a whirlpool opposite the spot on which the
town was built. In the neighbourhood are the remains of an old fort.
The town contains a police station. Public Works Department inspec-
tion bungalow, and several public rest-houses. The extra-Assistant
Commissioner resides and holds his court at Kan-aung.

Kanchanjanga {Kinchinjunga). — An immense mountain peak in
the Eastern Himalayas, on the boundary between Sikkim and Nepal.
Lat. 27° 42' 5" N., long. 88° 11' 26" e. The second loftiest measured
mountain in the world ; elevation, 28,176 feet. This peak is 130 miles
east of Gosainthan, and forms the extreme eastern horn of the Nepal
Himalayas.

Kanchanjhau. — A lofty spur of the Himalayas, forming the northern
boundary line of Sikkim.

Kancharapara. — Village and station on the Eastern Bengal Railway,
on the northern boundary of the District of the Twenty-four Parganas,
Bengal; 28 miles from Calcutta.

Kanchiang. — River in the Khasi Hills, Assam, which flows south
into Sylhet District, and ultimately joins the main stream of the Surma
or Barak under the name of the Jadukata.

Kanchivaram {Kdnchipur). — Town in Chengalpat District, Madras
Presidency. — See Conjeveram.

Kandahar. — Province in Afghanistan. The Province of Kandahar
extends on the Kabul side to Pul-i-Sang, about 10 miles south of



KANDAHAR CITY. 389

Khelat-i-Ghilzai ; on the west to the Helmand ; on the south to the
frontier of Baluchistan ; and on the north to the Hazara country.
Kandahar became a separate government twenty years ago (about
i860). The chief rivers in the Province are the Hehnand, the
Tarnak, the Argandab, the Don', the Arghastan, and Kadanai. The
principal mountain range is the Shah Maksud, which divides the
Khakrez valley from that of Ghorak. The highest point of the range
is 8840 feet. Other ranges in the Province are the Gul Koh, forming
the right-hand boundary of the Tarnak valley, the Khakrez range,
dividing the Khakrez valley from the valley of the Argandab, and the
Gante mountains, on the left bank of the Arghastan river. The
Durani tribe forms the largest part of the population. Farziwans
(Persians) and Ghilzais are also found in considerable numbers.
The most important towns in the Province are Kandahar, Farah,
Khelat-i-Ghilzai, and Mariif. An approximate estimate by one of Sher
All Khan's ministers gives the following details of population : — Men,
400,000; women, 600,000; children, 6oo,oco ; total, 1,600,000. The
same authority estimates the revenue of the Province at about Rs.
3,700,000, or ^370,000.

Kandahar (Canda/mr). — Chief city of the Province of Kandahar,
Afghanistan ; situated in lat. 31° 37' N., and long. 65° 30' e., between
the Argandab and Tarnak rivers, 89 miles south-west of Khelat-i-
Ghilzai, 233 miles south-west of Ghazni, 318 south-west of Kabul, and
380 south-east of Herat.

The modern city of Kandahar is situated in a plain on the left bank
of the Argandab, but separated from that river by a range of mountains.
A break in the continuity of the latter affords easy communication
between the plain of Kandahar and the valley of the Argandab. Old
Kandahar was built at the base of the Chehlzinak rock, four miles west
of the modern city, enclosing with three main fronts a considerable
portion of plain, whilst the fourth front was formed by the mountain.
This rock, from its singular form and precipitous sides, was considered
inaccessible and a more secure barrier than the artificial works at its
base. Nadir Shah, who, after a long siege, captured old Kandahar,
showed the weakness of the site ; and this probably led to a city being
built two miles south-east, in the plains and clear of all hills, named
Nadirabad, which in its turn was destroyed by Ahmad Shah Abdali,
who in 1747 founded the present city. The remains of old Kandahar
are on a much larger scale and have a more formidable appearance than
any of the later military strongholds of Afghanistan. The following
account of the city is condensed from General Sir Charles Macgregor's
Gazetteer ; but no responsibility rests with the Government of India for
any facts or opinions here offered.

The population of the city of Kandahar has been very variously^



390 KANDAHAR CITY.

estimated : Elphinstone gives 100,000, Hough 80,000, Masson 25,000
to 30,000, Ferrier 30,000, Court 25,000, and Bellew 15,500. But
these great discrepancies may be reconciled by supposing that the
population increases and diminishes according as the Government is
protective or oppressive. Kandahar is probably capable of -holding
from 50,000 to 80,000 inhabitants. Ferrier states that one-fourth of
the population are Barakzais, one-eighth Ghilzais, one-eighth various
Durini tribes, and one-half Parsiwans and Hindus ; and that there are
no Jews or Armenians in the city. The city is situated on a level
plain covered with cultivation. On the south and east are detached
hills, on the north and west a low ridge. Its shape is an irregular
oblong, the greatest length being from north to south, with a circuit of
3 miles 1006 yards. It is surrounded by a ditch 24 feet wide and 10
feet deep, and by a wall which is 20 J feet thick at the bottom, 14 J feet
thick at the top, and 27 feet in height. This wall is made of mud
hardened by exposure to the sun, without revetment of stone or brick.
The length of the west face is 1967 yards, of the east 18 10, of the ,
south 1345, and of the north 1164. There are six gates, viz. the
Bardiirani and Kabul on the east face, the Shikarpur on the south, the
Herat and Topkhana on the west, and the Tdgah on the north. The
gateways are defended by six double bastions, and the angles are pro-
tected by four large circular towers. The curtains between the bastions
have 54 small bastions distributed along the faces. From the Herat
gate a street runs through the city to the Kabul gate; and another
commencing from the Shikarpur gate leads to the citadel, crossing it
at right angles near the centre. At the point of their intersection is a
large dome 50 yards in diameter, called the Charsii. These four principal
streets are about 40 yards wide, and are lined with shops and houses.
They are named after the gates to which they respectively lead from '
the Charsii, except in the case of the street leading to the citadel,
which is named the Shahi bazar. This street is very narrow both at its
south and north entrances, and leads first into an open space in front
of the citadel, having the Nikara Khana on its west. There are
smaller and narrower streets, which run from the principal ones
towards the city walls (all crossing each other at right angles), between
which and the houses there is a road about 25 yards wide ail round
the city. The houses generally are built of sun-dried bricks and are
flat-roofed ; some have upper storeys. The houses of the rich are
enclosed by high walls, and contain three or four courts with gardens
and fountains. Each court contains a building with several small
apartments, and three or four halls reaching to the roof, supported by
wooden pillars, carved and painted. The apartments open on the
halls, and are filled up with paintings on the walls, and looking-glasses
let into the recesses. There are some buildinsfs with roofs formed



KANDAHAR CITY. 391

with flat-arched domes, made of sun-burnt bricks, with a hole at the
top in the centre to admit the Hght. These houses are to be seen
chiefly in the suburbs outside the city, in ranges, containing several
together ; they have on one side doors, but no windows or regular
fire-places. The citadel is situated at the north of the city. South of
it is an open space called the Topkhana, which affords a place of arms ;
west of it is an open face, in which is situated the tomb of Ahmad
Shah Durani, an octagonal structure overlaid outside with coloured
porcelain bricks, and surmounted by a gilded dome surrounded by small
minarets. It overtops all the surrounding buildings, and its dome
attracts the attention of the traveller approaching the city. The
pavement within is covered with a carpet, and a shawl is thrown
over the sarcophagus of the monarch. The sepulchre itself is com-
posed of a fine stone found in the mountains near Kandahar, inlaid
with wreaths of flowers of coloured marble. Twelve lesser tombs,
of the children of the Abdali, are ranged near. The interior walls
are painted in devices, similar to those which adorn the exterior,
but the execution is more regular, and the colours, having been less
exposed, are fresher and more brilliant. The lofty dome above the
centre imparts an air of grandeur to the little building, and its
window of trellis-work in stone admit a solemn and pleasing light.

The trade between Kandahar and Herat and Mashad is carried on
principally by Persians, who bring down silk (raw and manufactured),
copper utensils, guns, daggers, swords, precious stones (turquoise),
brocade, gold and silver braiding, ducats, horses, kurks, carpets, etc.,
and take back wool, felts, postins, and skins of the fox, wolf, etc.
Till 1830 the trade was considerable, and also during the British
occupation; but after the return of Kohan Dil Khan in 1843, his
tyranny drove away the principal merchants. The principal manu-
factures of Kandahar are silks, felts for coats, and rosaries of a soft
crystallized silicate of magnesia, found near the city. The vine is
very extensively cultivated in the suburban gardens of Kandahar, which
produce no less than 19 different kinds of grapes. The bazars are
well supplied with good and cheap provisions, and excellent fruit is
abundant, — apricots, pomegranates, quinces, figs, plums, peaches,
cherries, apples, mulberries, etc. Dried fruit forms the great staple of
the place.

History. — From the remotest times, Kandahar must have been a
town of much importance in Asia, as its geographical position suffi-
ciently indicates, it being the central point at which the roads from
Herat, Seistan, Ghor, India, and Kabul unite, and the commercial
mart of these localities. Kandahar is supposed to have been one of
the seven cities built in the interior of Asia by Alexander the Great,
on the ground that Kandar or Kandahar is an abbreviation of the name



392



KANDAHAR CITY. |



Iskandar (Sikandar or Alexander). From the hands of Alexander,
Kandahar is supposed to have passed into the power of the Seleukides,
whose history is involved in obscurity. It is scarcely possible to
determine what its condition was under the dominion of the Parthians
and Sassanides, for the history of Kandahar at that time is enveloped
in darkness, which lasted nearly to the period when the successors of
Muhammad invaded Persia; but it appears certain that the Arabs
penetrated into it in the first age of the Hijira. In a.d. 865, Yakub-ben
Leis, founder of the dynasty of the Soffarides, possessed himself of
Kandahar ; the Sassanides drove out his successors, and it was taken
from them by the famous Mahmud Ghaznavi, whose dynasty was over-
thrown by that of the Ghorides. Under these last, Kandahar fell by
turns into the hands of petty ambitious chiefs, who all succumbed to the
'Seljukides.' These possessed it till Sanjar, a prince of that dynasty, was
overthrown by the Turkomans, who were established in the town in 1153.
A few years after, it fell under the power of Ghias-ud-din Muhammad,
a Ghoride prince. Ala-ud-din Muhammad, Sultan of Khaurism, took
it in 1 2 10; and his son was dispossessed by the famous Jahangir
Khan in 1222. The descendants of that conqueror allowed it to be
wrenched from them by the prince of the dynasty of Malek-kurt,
who were succeeded by local chieftains till the period at which
Timiirlane invaded and took possession of it (1389); at his death it
became part of the dominions of his son, Shah-Rokh. The Timurides
retained it till 1468, at which epoch the death of the Sultan Abii
Sayyid caused the dismemberment of the Empire. After this time,
Kandahar and some surrounding Districts formed an independent
State. In 15 12 it was in the power of a chief called Shah Beg, who
was dispossessed by the famous Babar, founder of the dynasty of the
Mughals in India, to whose dominions it was annexed. Not long
afterwards, Kandahar was taken by the Persians ; and, after falling into
the hands of the Mughals (from whom the Persians regained it in
1620), it was seized by the Uzbeks, who were not driven out till 1634.
It again changed hands from time to time, and during the last 150
years has figured conspicuously in history. In 1737, Nadir Shah, with
an army of 100,000 men, blockaded the place for 18 months. It was
then stormed, and after a gallant resistance the commandant sur-
rendered. In 1834, Shah Shuja marched against Kandahar with
22,000 men, but was compelled, after a desperate series of struggles
lasting 54 days, to retire. This was the last unaided attempt of the
Sadozais to re-take Kandahar ; the next time Shah Shuja appeared on
the field, it was with the support of the British Government.

The army of the Indus took possession of Kandahar on the 20th
April 1839, without any resistance; and Shah Shuja was crowned in
the mosque of Ahmad Shah on the 8th May. On the march of the



KANDAHAR CITY. 393

army to Ghazni and Kabul, to restore Shah Shiija to the throne of
Afghanistan, a force of three batteries of artillery, and two regiments
of infantry and a regiment of cavalry was left behind. This was
afterwards increased, and General Nott arrived to take command
in November 1839. Throughout 1840 and most of 1841, affairs re-
mained quiet at Kandahar, thanks to the good management of
Rawlinson and Nott. But in September of the latter year, the first
signs of the coming storm were visible in the stoppage of communica-
tion between Kandahar and Ghazni. No attempt, however, was
made to lay siege to Kandahar by the rebel Duranis. An army of
them under Safdar Jang, Sadozai, hovered about in the vicinity,
plundering the villages, and by every possible means urging the
inhabitants to join in an attack on the British troops. In the
beginning of March 1842, he commenced to approach closer to
the city itself; and General Nott moved out to meet him, leaving
2600 men in the city. He signally defeated Safdar Jang; but in
his absence an attempt was made to carry the place by a night
assault. During the forenoon of the loth March 1842, bodies of the
enemy, horse and foot, were observed assembling from all quarters,
taking up a position near old Kandahar and the adjoining villages ;
and in the course of the day their number rapidly increased, parties
from the main body moving round and establishing themselves in front
of the Shikarpur gate. As their object was evidently to attack the
garrison, the Political Agent directed the inhabitants to shut their
shops and remain within their houses, and precautions were taken to
secure the gates by piling bags of grain inside. About 8 o'clock p.m.,
a desperate attack was made upon the Herat gate, and, owing to the
darkness of the night, some combustibles were placed near it and
ignited unperceived, and in a few minutes the gate was in flames. A
party of 100 rank and file from the 2nd Regiment, and a company from
the Shah's ist Infantry, were immediately ordered to support the guard
at the gate, and two guns were also placed in position commanding the
entrance. Dense masses of the enemy now collected at this point,
keeping up an incessant and heavy fire, which was returned with great
effect from the ramparts ; but so reckless and daring were the assailants,
that notwithstanding the fearful havoc among them, eight or ten men
actually forced their way by tearing down the burning fragments of the
gate, and scrambling over the bags of grain. These were instantly
shot, and their fate, together with the galling fire from the walls, dis-
mayed the attacking party, who retired about midnight after four hours'
resolute fighting. Another attack took place at the Shikarpur gate
about 9 P.M., and a similar attempt was made to fire it, which, how-
ever, failed, and the assailants were driven back. A small party also
approached the Kabul gate, but the garrison being everywhere on the



394 KANDAHAR CITY.

alert, the enemy were compelled to retire about i a.m. of the nth, and
when the day broke not a soul was visible. After this, a force was
moved under Colonel Wymer to the relief of the brave garrison of
Khelat-i-Ghilzai, on which, thinking that the diminution thus caused
gave them another opportunity of attacking Kandahar, the Durani
rebels, 6000 strong, under Safdar Jang and Akbar Khan, moved down
close to Kandahar, and took possession of some steep, rocky hills
within a mile of the city walls. Their position was good, and some of
their points strong, but they had no reserve, and were somewhat
scattered. General Nott sent the 42nd and 43rd Regiments Native
Infantry with 4 guns, under Colonel Stacey, to reconnoitre, followed by
Her Majesty's 41st, with artillery. At one o'clock the force was in action.
The Duranis crowned the rocks above the city, and on them our force
marched, the light companies as a storming party, supported by the
43rd and the artillery, who kept up a continual fire. From the position
of the enemy, and the character of the ground, some loss followed,—
about 30 killed and wounded, including 7 or 8 Europeans. After
this, the hills on the opposite side were covered by large masses of the
Duranis, who, however, soon gave way, and in great disorder all fled,
striving to gain the Baba Wali Pass. A horrible scene ensued here.
Thinking to entrap the British troops, the Ghazis had barricaded the
pass, and the Duranis, horse and foot, unable to make way, rushed
round the base of the hills. Chase was given by Lieutenant Chamber-
lain with the cavalry and artillery. The Duranis were driven com-
pletely from their position, and fled to their camp beyond the Argandab.
No other attempt was made against Kandahar during General Nott's
time ; and on the 8th August 1843, he evacuated the city on his march
to Kabul, taking with him Timiir Mirza, who had been appointed by
his father, Shah Shuja, Governor of Kandahar, and whom he had in
vain endeavoured to induce to remain.

Safdar Jang then took possession, but in four months he was driven
out by Kohan Dil Khan, who returned from Persia. This chief
commenced a reign of gross tyranny, which reduced the inhabitants
of Kandahar to the last ebb of despair — from which they were only
relieved by his death in 1855. His son, Muhammad Sadik, then
coming to Kandahar, seized the property and valuables of his deceased
father, which proceeding giving great offence to his uncle Rahim Dil
Khan, that chief invited the interference of Dost Muhammad, who
accordingly arrived and took possession of the city in November 1855,
apparently without opposition, and appointed his son, Ghulam Haidar
Khan, governor. This chief was still governor when Lumsden's mission
arrived in 1857, but he died soon after its withdrawal. Sher All Khan
appears to have succeeded Ghulam Haidar Khan as governor of
^Kandahar, and on his becoming Amir, his full brother, Muhammad






KANDAHAR CITY. 395

Amin Khdn, was appointed in his stead. This cliief, however, joined
the rebellion against Sher Ali, and was killed in the battle of Kajbaz
on the 6th June 1865, where he had advanced to meet him. His
brother, Muhammad Sharif, fled to Kandahar, and after a vain attempt
to raise partisans, surrendered to the Amir Sher All Khan, who con-
sequently, on the 14th June 1865, took possession of Kandahar. Upon
the defeat of Sher All Khan at Khelat-i-Ghilzai on the 17th of January
1867, Kandahar passed from his grasp to that of Azim Khan, his half-
brother and rival. But after the battle on the Helmand on the ist
April 1868, Kandahar again fell into the power of Sher Ali through
his son, Yakub Khan.

On the outbreak of hostilities between England and Afghanistan in
November 1878, a column advanced upon Kandahar from Quetta
under General Sir Donald Stewart. A body of the enemy was
encountered and completely routed at Saif-ud-din in the Takht-i-Pul
district, and Kandahar was occupied on the 8th January 1879 without
further opposition.

After the death of the Amir Sher Ali and the arrival of his successor
Yakub Khan in the British camp at Gandamak had brought the war to
an end, the British troops were withdraw^n from most of the stations
beyond the boundary which was fixed by the Gandamak treaty of May
1879; but for sanitary reasons the evacuation of Kandahar was post-
poned until the autumn. The Kandahar force had only begun to
move, in accordance with this agreement, to the Pishin district, when it
was ordered back on receipt of the news of the massacre of Sir Pouis
Cavagnari and his escort at Kabul on the 3rd September 1879.
Kandahar was then re-occupied, and demonstrations were made from
it towards Ghazni and Khelat-i-Ghilzai, the latter place being occupied,
and a garrison left in it in the following month.

Later, when in March 1880 Sir D. Stewart marched from Kandahar
to return to India by way of Ghazni and Kabul with the troops under
his command which had been originally drawn from Bengal, fresh
troops were moved up from Bombay to replace the Bengal division ;
and Major-General Primrose, who arrived on the nth of April, took
command.

Sardar Sher All Khan, Governor of Kandahar, was formally installed
as Wali of the Province on the nth of May. Shortly after this, news
was received that Sardar Muhammad Ayiib Khan was about to advance
on Kandahar, whereupon the Wali marched in June with his own
troops towards the Helmand to keep the country quiet, and early
in July a brigade of British troops under Brigadier-General Burrows
was sent in support to the left bank of the river. The Wall's infantry and
artillery mutinied on the 15th July, and moved off towards Zamindawar.
After the mutineers had been pursued and their guns had been taken



396 KANDAHAR CITY.

from them, General Burrows retired upon Khiishk-i-Nakhud, a point



Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 47 of 57)