Ghazni


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Ghazni

(gŭz`nē), city (1981 est. pop. 31,200), capital of Ghazni prov., E central Afghanistan, on the Ghazni River. Located on the Kabul-Kandahar trade route, Ghazni is a market for sheep, wool, camel hair cloth, corn, and fruit. The famed Afghan sheepskin coats are made in the city. Most of the inhabitants are Tajiks. The city, named Ghazna in ancient times, was flourishing by the 7th cent. but reached its peak (962–c.1155) under the Turkish Ghaznavid dynasty. Mahmud of GhaznaMahmud of Ghazna
, 971?–1030, Afghan emperor and conqueror. He defeated (c.999) his elder brother to gain control of Khorasan (in Iran) and of Afghanistan. In his raids against the states of N India, Mahmud, a staunch Muslim, destroyed Hindu temples, forced conversions to
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 built a magnificent mosque, the Celestial Bride, there. The kings of Ghor sacked Ghazni in 1149 but later (1173) made it their secondary capital. Ogotai, a son of Jenghiz Khan, completed its downfall in 1221; Mahmud's tomb and two high columns outside the city escaped destruction. In 1747 the city became part of the new kingdom of Afghanistan. Ghazni's strong fortress was taken by the British in 1839 and 1842 during the Afghan Wars. The main city on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, it became a strategic military target during the Afghanistan WarAfghanistan War,
1978–92, conflict between anti-Communist Muslim Afghan guerrillas (mujahidin) and Afghan government and Soviet forces. The conflict had its origins in the 1978 coup that overthrew Afghan president Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan, who had come to power by ousting
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. The walled, old city of Ghazni, with its numerous bazaars, contains the ruins of ancient Ghazna.

Ghazni

 

(Ghazna), a city in southeastern Afghanistan, in the valley of the Ghazni River (the Helmand basin) on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. Administrative center of the province of Ghazni. Population, 41,000 (1966). There is some cottage industry producing carpets, shoes, cotton textiles, household metal articles, and leather goods, and there is trade in wool, furs, and dried fruits. The Sarde dam was constructed in 1967 on the Jilga River 40 km southwest of Ghazni with the help of the USSR. Kaolin is mined near Ghazni.

Ghazni was first mentioned in the seventh century. It began to grow in the tenth and 11th centuries, when it be-came the capital of the Gaznavid State and a commercial and cultural center of the Middle East. In the mid-12th century Ghazni was ruined by the Hurrids. The Khwarizmi shahs held the city from 1215 to 1221, when the Mongols captured it. Ghazni subsequently fell into the hands of the Kurts, the Timurids, and in the early 16th century, the Great Moguls. In 1738 it was conquered by Nadir Shah. Since 1747, Ghazni has been part of the Afghan kingdom.

Set high on a hill, the citadel rises above the old city with its flat-roofed mud and adobe houses. Outside Ghazni there are two memorial towers, which were erected in the 12th century. They are star-shaped and decorated with figured brick work and carved terra-cotta. Ghazni is an ancient center of artistic metalwork.

REFERENCE

Bombaci, A. “Ghazni.” East and West, Rome, 1957, vol. 8, pp. 247-59.
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