Afghanistan / अफ़ग़ानिस्तान
- Afghanistan or Afghan is an Islamic republic of Asia. It is situated southern in central Asia and is surrounded by lan don four sides. Usually it is considered to be a part of central Asia but its ongoing conflicts say it to be sometimes in south Asia or in east central Asia.
- It is bordered by Iran in the south and west, Pakistan in the south and east, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far north east.
- Afghanistan means the land of Afghans. Afghan is an alternative name for the Pashtuns who are the founders and the largest ethnic group of the country.
- Afghanistan had been the land of many invasions and great kings. Among them are Alexander, Babar, Mohammad Gauri and Nadir Shah to name a few. Afghanistan is the ancient land of Aryans.
- Aryans came from this land in 1800 B.C. Around 700 B.C. there was Gandhar Mahajanpad here, mentioned in Mahabharata and other ancient scripts. Gandhari, mother of Kauravas, and the infamous uncle, Shakuni, were from Gandhar. The Somras plant, mentioned in Vedas, grew in the hills of Afghanistan. It became part of the Greek empire when Alexander invaded it. Then it was ruled by Shakas.
- Indo-Greek, Indo-European and Indo-Iranian rulers had battles here for their dominancy. Indian Maurya, Kushana and Shunga etc rulers ruled this land. Maurya and Kushanas spread Buddhism here. Kamboj, Pashto and Bactria also ruled it.
- In 230 B.C., whole of Afghanistan was under Maurya rule but Mauryas didn’t last long. Then came the Parthian and Sasani rulers and made it a part of Greek kingdom. Sasani dynasty was the last Iranian dynasty before the onset of Islam. Arabs won Khorasan in the year 707. Samani, of Greek origin but Sunni, lost it to Gaznavi in 987 A.D. and then almost all of Afghanistan came under the rule of Gaznavi.
- Rulers of Gore won over Gazani in 1183 A.D. In the middle time, many Afghan rules either ruled or tried to rule Delhi. Lodhi Dynasty is an important name among them. Many Muslim invaders, with the help of Afghanis, attacked Hindustan; among them were Babar, Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah. Some areas of Afghanistan were under Delhi’s rule.
- Even the British attacked Afghanistan a number of times. Kabul, the capital, and Kandahar are some of its important cities.