What Is The Capital Of Afghanistan?

Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. Editorial credit: Jono Photography / Shutterstock.com.

Kabul is the capital city of Afghanistan and the largest urban center. It is situated in the eastern part of the country. It has a population of approximately 4.6 million people comprised of various ethnic groups. The city was damaged by fighting that took place between 1979 and 2001, but rapid growth has put the city at the 64th largest worldwide. Presently, the city is undergoing a period of restoration and development that has led to a handful of shopping malls and modern towers.

Kabul's History

The inception of the city can be traced back to 1500 BCE. It was a worshiping center for Zoroastrianism. It is believed that the astronomer Alexandrian knew about it as early as second century CE. The city had steady growth due to its strategic location at the center of the Hindu Kush mountains and the Ghazni towns. The growth made it the regional seat of the government in the eighth century for the first time. During the thirteen century, Kabul was extensively damaged by the Mongol aggressor, Genghis Khan. Despite the constant destruction, Kabul remained the capital city of the Mughal dynasty from 1504 until 1738.

Kabul became the capital city of Afghanistan in 1776 during First Anglo-Afghan War. In 1842, the British defence forces were murdered there and the city remained at the center of conflicts even before the eruption of the Afghan War in 1978. In 1979, the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan in a failed attempt to spread the Marxism ideology. The Soviet’s transported a large number of troops to the city and established a command center. However, the Soviet Union withdrew in 1989 following the Geneva Accords. The withdrawl of the Soviet Union left a vacuum that different groups fought to occupy. In 1996, the Taliban had taken over the control of Kabul but made no attempt to rebuild the city.

The coalition of Afghans and US led troops forced the Taliban out of Kabul in 2001, a move that led to the formation of an interim government with Kabul remaining the capital city. The dislodgment of the Taliban gave the international community room to help in rebuilding the city. However, Kabul had experienced many deadly bombings since the year 2002.

Modern-Day Growth

Kabul is currently undergoing a period of reconstruction that has seen new buildings emerging in various parts of the city. The city has historical monuments such as the rulers’ tombs and a large number of gardens including Babur’s Garden. The government offices and the parliament are planned to be housed at the Darul Aman Palace. Also, the University of Kabul is situated within the city together with other learning institutions. However, a number of these institutions suffered extensive destruction during the fights.

What is the Function of Kabul?

Kabul acts as an administrative center, hosting government offices such as the office of the current governor (Hamid Akram) for Kabul Province. The city is also an education center with various universities and other learning institutions built in the city. The country's largest university, Kabul University, is located in the city. Moreover, Kabul is also a center of sport with annual football tournaments from different parts of Afghanistan and even from neighboring countries held in the city stadiums.

Climate of Kabul

The climate is majorly determined by Kabul's location within a valley. The summers are usually hot and dry while the autumn is moderate. The winters are freezing, and the snowfall from ice formation often blocks many roads during this period.


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