WARNING: Kandahar remains extremely dangerous and is emphatically NOT safe for tourists. Those who are going there on business are strongly advised to consult their own government first, and have an armed guard with them.
The main mosque in Kandahar, adjacent to it is the mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Durrani and the site of the Prophet's Cloak.

Kandahar is a major city in the South of Afghanistan.


Kandahār or Qandahār (Pashto: کندهار ) (Persian: قندهار) is one of the largest of Afghanistan's thirty-four provinces and is located in the southern region of the country. Kandahār is a border province connecting the southern region to Pakistan's Balouchistan province through Chaman and used to be the capital of Afghanistan until the late 17th century. It is considered to be an economic and political hub of Afghanistan and has always played a major role in the history of Afghanistan.

Most of its inhabitants are Pashtuns (Pashto: پښتون Paṣ̌tun, Pax̌tun). Many Afghan rulers such as; Ahmad Shah Durrani, Mirwais Khan Hotak, King Amanullah Khan, King Nadar Khan, and King Zahir Shah have originated from Kandahar.

Kandahar is surrounded by mountains. The capital is Kandahār, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m (3,297 feet) above sea level. The Arghandab River runs along the west of the city. The Ring of Rivers lies alongside the city and lush green gardens enhance the natural beauty of the city.

The majority of Kandahār people are engaged in agricultural endeavour. The province has a population of nearly 913,000, with over 800,000 living in its capital city.

Kandahār is a major trading center for sheep, wool, cotton, silk, felt, food grains, dried fruit, fresh fruit including pomegranates and grapes, and tobacco. The city has canning plants and facilities for drying, and packing fruit.

There is an international airport in Kandahār and roads provide links to Tareen Kot in the north, Quetta in Pakistan in the south. Farah and Herat toward the west, and Ghazni and Kabul to the northeast.

Get in

By plane

Kandahar International Airport (IATA: KDH) now has flights on Ariana Afghan Airlines [www.flyariana.com] & Kam Air between Kandahar, Dubai every Wednesday Ariana & Monday Kam Air; as well as three domestic flights per week between Kabul and Kandahar and one Domestic flight from Kandahar-Herat-Kandahar every Tuesday by KamAir. Pamir Airways has daily morning flights from Kabul which is cheaper than Kam Air and Ariana Airlines. Flights are also available by the UN & ICRC but are only open to UN staff and other approved organisations.

By car

A good highway, the A01, links Kandahar to Kabul. However, passing through Zabul province is not safe. The Highway from Kabul to Kandahar is nowadays quite safe apart from regular patrolling of security forces. Total drive is of 6 hours but can take 12 hours if there is patrolling as US Forces do not allow cars to overtake them. The highway from Herat is also being improved, again it is very dangerous where it passes through Helmand and Farah. Highway A75 which runs south towards Spin Boldak and the border with Pakistan, then continuing to Quetta is also very dangerous.


Mausoleum of Baba Wali, located in the Baba Saab neighborhood on the northern edge of the city.



There are plenty of food choices in Kandahar, however most of them only serves Afghan cuisine. The popular items include roasted chicken, lamb, and beef, along with Afghani rice dishes, cooked vegetables, and plenty of fine fresh fruits.


Pizza Hut, Subway and Tim Horton's all have outlets inside the military airbase if you're looking for a taste of America. You need an ISAF access badge to get on the base.





Stay safe

Travel to Kandahar emphatically not advised as of 2011 due to the serious risk of suicide bombings, kidnapping and general lawlessness. Most foreign governments will advise against all travel to Kandahar.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.