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KANDAHAR

To Baba Wali Shrine (12.5km); Arghandab Valley (15.5km)

i

Shah-e Nau

Sar a k

Kiptan Madad Chowk-e

27 10

19 11

Chowk-e

8

Dand

7

To Forty

Steps (1km); Herat (566km)

Red Cross

Chowk-e 25

Shah-e Nau

Mosque Red

30 29 1

United Nations

Chowk-e Hindu

Kandahar Stadium

INFORMATION

Pakistani Consulate.................... D4 Moneychangers......................... D3 Mirwais Hospital........................ A1 Kandahar Internet Café.............. D1 Kabul Bank.................................. D3 Iranian Consulate......................... A2 Indian Consulate.......................... A2 Fire Brigade................................... E1 Da Afghanistan Bank................... D3 Azizi Bank.................................... D3 Ariana Afghan Airlines.................. E1 Al Hadi Farad Private Hospital..... D3 Afghanistan International Bank.... C2

13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Wardad Internet Café...................... C3 Samad Internet Café........................ D2 Post Office........................................ E1 Police Headquarters......................... D2 PCO................................................. D3

18 17 16 15 14

SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES

Mosque of the Sacred Cloak............. E1 Mosque of the Hair of the Prophet... F2 Ahmed Shah Durrani Mausoleum..... E1

21 20 19

SLEEPING

Continental Guesthouse...................22 D2

Yasin International Guesthouse.... D3 Noor Jahan Hotel......................... D3

24 23

EATING

Yasin BBQ Restaurant.................. D3 The Coffee Shop.......................... D1 Mirwais Shandiaz......................... C3 Madina Restaurant....................... B2

28 27 26 25

SHOPPING

Shaheedan Chowk....................... D3 Kabul Darwaza............................. F2 Charso Chowk.............................. E2

31 30 29

13

Shakpur Darwaza Chowk-e

Fun Park

26 18 22 28 24 2

Kariz Bazaar

9 23 5 12 4 31

Shaheedan Chowk-e

14

Charso Chowk-e

Old City

2

Kabul Darwaza

15 17

SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN

0

KANDAHAR &

500 m 0

To Eid Gah Mosque (2.5km)

3 16

Eid Gau Darwaza

6 21

Governor's Palace

To Kandahar Airport (35km); Spin Boldak/Pakistan Border (136km); Kabul (482km)

Chowk-e

Hazratgi Baba

0.3 miles

192 KANDAHAR

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Post & Telephone

Public Call Offices (PCOs) are scattered throughout the city.

Post Office (Chowk-e Kiptan Madad) Located within the Government Communications Centre (Mukhabarat).

DANGERS & ANNOYANCES

Security remains a primary concern of all internationals in Kandahar city and be- fore you travel, be sure to read the Safety in Afghanistan chapter ( p68 ), particularly the sections on moving around ( p73 ) and emergencies ( p74 ). Kandahar and its Pashtuns are the most Islamically strict in Afghanistan, if not the world; here, adherence to cultural and Islamic customs is paramount. Visitors need to re- spect local traditions, both men and women dressing conservatively at the very least.

SIGHTS

Eid Gah Mosque

One of the largest mosques in Afghani-

stan, Kandahar’s Eid Gah Mosque (hclosed to

non-Muslims during Friday & Eid prayers) stands 25m

adjacent to the dilapidated Kandahar Uni- versity. The mosque and the surrounding grounds can accommodate thousands of worshippers, with its construction having taken years at a cost of millions – all funded by Mullah Omar. Apart from Eid times, local youths use the mosque’s grounds as cricket pitches, as many of them learned the game whilst growing up in refugee camps in Pakistan. The mullah will show you around and, as a courtesy, a small dona- tion is customary.

Mosque of the Sacred Cloak

A cloak worn by the Prophet Mohammed

is housed in the Mosque of the Sacred Cloak (Da

Kherqa Sharif Ziarat; h8am-5pm), by far the city’s

most valued treasure. The mosque is situ- ated opposite the governor’s palace. Ahmed Shah Durrani acquired the cloak along with a hair of the beard of the Prophet from the Amir of Bukhara in 1768. When the Tali- ban took Kandahar in 1994, Mullah Omar wrapped himself in the cloak in front of thousands of loyal Talibs, giving himself god-like status as Amir Al-Momineen (Commander of the Faithful). As a visitor you will be unable to see the cloak but the building is impressive in itself – ornately decorated with green Helmandi marble,

Kandahar

KANDAHAR •• Dangers & Annoyances 193

mirrored tile work and gilded archways. Like the Eid Gah Mosque, a small donation is always appreciated.

Ahmed Shah Durrani Mausoleum

The mausoleum (Da Kherqa Sharif Ziarat; h8am-5pm)

of the founder of modern-day Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Durrani, is at the rear of the Mosque of the Sacred Cloak. The octagon al shaped, richly decorated mausoleum is some what overshadowed by the mosque.

Mosque of the Hair of the Prophet

Although a little harder to find than the cloak, make sure you make the trip to Mosque

of the Hair of the Prophet (Jame Mui Mobarak;h8am-

5pm) near Chowk-e Charso in the Old City to see where this unique Islamic relic lies. The hair from the Prophet’s beard is encased by a golden sheath in a casket. Like the cloak you will be unable to see the hair; however the Mosque itself is a peaceful haven from the chaos of the Old City bazaars.

Baba Wali Shrine

Sitting on the banks of the Arghandab River

is the Baba Wali Shrine (Arghandab District Pass), also

known as Baba Sahib by Kandaharis. Gul Agha Sherzai, the twice-former Governor of Kandahar, fierce warlord and former muja- hideen commander constructed the shrine at a cost of millions of dollars to honour one of his revered tribesmen. It provides a great view to the verdant Arghandab Valley, which is in stark contrast to the rest of the dusty province. The multi-level shrine, marble and mirror-clad, set into a hillside is a popular picnic place for the Kandaharis, with kebabs, hand-made ice cream and local fruit juices available from cart vendors.

Forty Steps

One kilometre west of Chowk-e Dand nes- tled in a rocky outcrop above the city are the Forty Steps (Chihil Zina), which are visible from most of Shah-e-Nau. The steps will take you to a small enclave in the mountain guarded by two stone lions. The statues were carved by Babur, founder of the Mughal empire of India, who took Kandahar in the 16th cen- tury. Inside the enclave there is a Persian inscription paying tribute to the conquests of Babur. It’s a great place to take the ubiq- uitous Afghan thermos and drink a cup of green chai while watching the sunrise, but

SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN KANDAHAR &

Chon

Spin Boldak Sarak

Herat Sarak

Stadium Sarak

Loya Wala Sarak

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