"The once magnificent city of Kabul" Top 5 Page for this destination Kabul by husain
Kabul Travel Guide: 139 reviews and 289 photos
The 3,000 year old city and capital of this war ravaged country, Kabul lies in a valley in the Hindukush mountains, at an elevation of 1,800 meters.
Located on the ancient silk route, the city has been built- ravaged- rebuilt and destroyed again over the years. Infact, in the early 16th century, it became the capital of the Mughal empire under Babur.
From the time of `the great game' in the 19th century, where the British empire and imperial Russia fought to control it, to the cold war, the Taleban and subsequently the US bombings, Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan has been taken to the verge of ruin.
A once proud and prosperous nation is once again trying to emerge from devastation of past conflicts.
I have managed 3 trips to this incredible part of the world. The latest being April 2006, when i was shooting a film for the World Bank. The changes have been heartening, yet the challenges seem as immense as ever...
(PS- there is some related content and pictures on my Afghanistan page too)
One year after my first trip, many changes to the look of the city.
Dozens of cybercafes and mobile phones, shops, some movie theaters that screened bollywood films from India, and various restaurants- chinese, thai, indian, croatian... The traffic looks smoother, and new buildings are coming up in some places. So yes, it was a different looking kabul that i returned to this year, on another television shoot. How much of this has trickled down to help the average afghan is open to debate though.
The resaurants were not the cheapest places to eat, and almost entirely catered to the sizable NGO presence and other foreigners... The huge amounts that the foreign agencies dish out as rent etc, has meant a great spiral in property prices... so much, that afghans are finding it tough to afford a decent house to live in sometimes.
many fresh pictures to add and many tales of course... one cant return from afghanistan without a load of those...
I had seen pictures of this building (Darulaman palace) hanging in the guest house we were staying at... and it looked beautiful. I often wondered where it was, since we hadnt seen it around town inspite of shooting in the city all day long for over a week.
Just two days before we were to pack our bags and catch our flight back to Delhi, Mahajir our interpreter, told us that we could get some good shots at the palace... my eyes lit up. All this while i had been imagining that the palace was someplace out of town and had probably remained largely intact like it looked in the pictures...
This is the sight that i came upon when we finally got there. My heart sank.
The structure is the Darulaman palace, built by King Amannullah in the 1920s. I am told that the road that leads up to it, was once lined with poplar trees. Now, theres a whole lot of buildings along the way, most of them reduced to rubble...
- Pros:the people, the stories, the experience
- Cons:the security situation...
- In a nutshell:i am glad i visited
On my last trip, in April 2006, we were shooting a film for the world bank, and therefore, we were put up in their... more travel advice
One of the most amusing sights around Kabul are the colourful german busses being used for public transport. You will... more travel advice
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husain's Related Pages
Kabul Travel Guide
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- "The once magnificent city of Kabul"
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