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(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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


Bombaci, A. “Ghazni.” East and West, Rome, 1957, vol. 8, pp. 247-59.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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GHAZNI,AFGHANISTAN:Thirty-one militants, many of them believed to have been Al-Qaeda fighters, have been killed in airstrikes in south-eastern Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.
KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani congratulated Afghanistan's armed forces in Ghazni on Friday for their victory over Taliban insurgents in the strategically important city after clashes that killed at least 150 soldiers and 95 civilians.
The Taliban's five-day siege of Ghazni eased on Wednesday after Afghanofficials declared that they had regained complete control of the city by killing hundreds of Taliban fighters.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Local official in Ghazni said clashes are ongoing between government forces and Taliban militants in Qarabagh district in the province.
According to media reports, more than 200 Afghan security personnel have been killed over the past four days in fighting with the Taliban in three different provinces - Ghazni, Faryab and Baghlan.
The Taliban Movement seized control over an Afghan military base in a northern province just after days of its former attempt to seize control of the city of Ghazni in south of Kabul the capital of Afghanistan.
1 / 4 Afghan men stand near a damaged house following a Taliban attack in Ghazni, Afghanistan.
KABUL -- Both Taliban and government forces claimed they were in control of the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni Saturday, after insurgents stormed the provincial capital, triggering fierce fighting.
Meanwhile, both Taliban and government forces claimed they were in control of the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni on Saturday, after insurgents stormed the provincial capital, triggering fierce fighting.
DPA Kabul AT least 12 local policemen were killed after Taliban militants attacked their facility in the south-east province of Ghazni, officials said Saturday.