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Jalalabad, Afghanistan


Jalalabad, Afghanistan

For other uses, see Jalalabad (disambiguation).
جلال آباد
Location in Afghanistan

Coordinates: 34°26′03″N 70°26′52″E / 34.43417°N 70.44778°E / 34.43417; 70.44778Coordinates: 34°26′03″N 70°26′52″E / 34.43417°N 70.44778°E / 34.43417; 70.44778

Country Afghanistan
Province Nangarhar Province
Elevation 1,886 ft (575 m)
Population (2007)
 • Total 205,423
Time zone UTC+4:30

Jalalabad (Pashto/Persian: جلال آباد Jalālābād), formerly called Adina Pur (Pushto:آدينه پور) as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately 95 miles (153 km) of highway with Kabul to the west. Jalalabad is the second-largest city in eastern Afghanistan as well as the centre of its social and business activity. Major industries include papermaking, as well as agricultural products including oranges, rice and sugarcane. Jalalabad is one of the leading trading centres with neighbouring Pakistan.[2]


Faxian visited and worshiped the sacred Buddhist sites such as of The Shadow of the Buddha in Nagarhara (modern Jalalabad).[3] In 630 AD Xuan Zang, the famous Chinese Buddhist monk, visited Jalalabad and a number of other locations nearby. The city was a major center of Gandhara's Greco-Buddhist culture in the past until it was conquered by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century. However, not everyone converted to Islam at that period as some still refused to accept it. In Hudud-al-Alam, written in 982 CE, there is reference to a village near Jalalabad where the local king used to have many Hindu, Muslim and Afghan wives.[4]

The region became part of the Afghan Ghaznavid Empire in the 10th century, during the Indian invasions by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. Later, it was controlled by the successor Ghurids until the Mongols invaded the area. It then became part of the Timurids.

The modern city gained prominence during the reign of Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire. Babur had chosen the site for this city and was built by his grandson Jalal-uddin Mohammad Akbar in 1570.

The original name of Jalalabad was Adinapur.[5] It was renamed as Jalalabad in the last decade of the sixteenth century, in honour of the son of Pir Roshan, Jalala, who was fighting the Mughals in the Waziristan area. It remained part of the Mughal Empire until around 1738 when Persian king, Nader Shah and his Afsharid forces from Khorasan came to take over control. Nader Shah was accompanied by the young Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the modern state of Afghanistan, who would re-conquer the area in 1747 after becoming the new ruler of the Afghans. He used the city while going back and forth during his nine military campaigns into India.

The city was invaded by Ranjit Singh and his Sikh army in the early 19th century but was quickly chased out a few days later by Afghan forces of the Durrani Empire. The British forces invaded Jalalabad in 1838, during the First Anglo-Afghan War. In the 1842 Battle of Jellalabad, Akbar Khan besieged the British troops on their way to Jalalabad. In 1878, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, the British again invaded and set up camps in Jalalabad but withdrew two years later.

Jalalabad is considered one of the most important cities of the Pashtun culture. Seraj-ul-Emarat, the residence of Amir Habibullah and King Amanullah was destroyed in 1929 when Habibullah Kalakani rose to power; the other sanctuaries however, retain vestiges of the past. The mausoleum of both rulers is enclosed by a garden facing Seraj-ul-Emart.

From 1978 to early 1990s, the city served as a strategic location for the pro-Soviet Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. It fell to the Mujahideen in 1992 when they were on their way to capture Kabul. It was conquered by the Taliban and became part of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. During Operation Enduring Freedom after the September 11 attacks in the United States, the city was invaded and fell to US-backed Afghan forces.

Since late 2001, the military of Afghanistan and the United States armed forces have established a number of bases, with the one at Jalalabad Airport being the largest. The Afghan National Police is in control of security while the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also has a heavy presence in and around the city. In early 2011, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul announced that it plans to establish a consulate in Jalalabad.[6] As is the case with other Afghan cities, occasional suicide attacks by militants have taken place in recent years.


The population of the city is mostly Pashtun people, at 90%. Pashais are 7%. The remaining 3% are Tajiks, Punjabi Gujjars, Jats & (Sikhs/Hindus).[1]

Pashto is the main language of the city and is also used throughout the province. Many people in the city are also fluent in Dari. Although English is very little in use, it is now being taught in most schools.

Nearly everyone in Jalalabad are Muslim, followers of Sunni Islam. The city is home to one of Afghanistan's few Hindu temples, the Dargha Hindu Temple on Chowk Omomi Street.


Jalalabad has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with very hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is very low, and mostly falls in spring.

Climate data for Jalalabad
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25.0
Average high °C (°F) 15.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.5
Average low °C (°F) 2.9
Record low °C (°F) −4.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 18.1
Avg. rainy days 4 5 8 8 4 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 39
 % humidity 61 60 62 59 47 40 52 58 56 55 58 63 55.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 180.9 182.7 207.1 227.8 304.8 339.6 325.9 299.7 293.6 277.6 231.0 185.6 3,056.3
Source: NOAA (1964-1983) [7]


The Jalalabad Airport was built for dual-use, civilian and military. It is designed to serve the population of Nangarhar Province and neighboring province for domestic flights. The airport is currently used by NATO-led forces, including the Afghan Air Force, and houses large number of ISAF forces. The airport is also used as one of the launching and monitoring spots of drone attacks in Pakistan.

There are proposals for the establishment of Afghanistan's rail network linking Jalalabad with Pakistan Railways, allowing for increased trade of goods, people and commerce between the two countries.[8]

Jalalabad is connected by main roads with the Afghan capital of Kabul, the city of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, and several nearby Afghan cities and towns. All the trade between the Afghanistan and Pakistan pass through this city. The highway between Jalalabad and Kabul has been re-surfaced in recent years, reducing the transit time between these two important cities. Because of the many traffic accidents, the highway between Jalalabad and Kabul is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world.[9] An improvement in the road networks between Jalalabad and Peshawar has also been proposed, with the intention of widening the existing road and improving security to attract more tourism and allow for safer passage of goods between to the two countries. Nangarhar Province is also called big Nangarhar (لوي ننګرهار)because once upon a time Kunar and Laghman Provinces were the part of Mentioned Province then according to some tribal conflicts they were separated. During the period of one decade young generation of mentioned province has increased their capacity in education therefore the mentioned province is known as the educated province among Afghanistan. Nangarhar province has very educated people who are serving whole pashtoons in different ways such as poetry and writing of pashto beneficial books, in course of reflecting the attention of people to the beauty of Jalalabad. It is also Known as Hamisha Bahar همیشه بهار(Always Spring).

Places of interest

Jalalabad is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Afghanistan. It has plenty of greenery and water. About 15 Kilometers from Jalalabad a new city called Ghazi Amanullah Khan City is under development. Named after King Amanullah Khan, it is said to be the first, the biggest and the most modern city in the history of Afghanistan.[10]

Jalalabad is considered the capital of Afghan cricket, with many of the national players coming from the surrounding areas. Construction has begun near the city on one of Afghanistan's cricket stadium. It is hoped that this ground will serve the domestic competition and attract international teams.

  • Stadiums
    • Sherzai Cricket Stadium (under construction)
    • National Football Stadium
  • Mosques
  • Hospitals

The nearest village within walking distance of Jalalabad is Ghouchak.

Sister cities

See also


Further reading

Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century
Published in the 21st century

External links

  • Ghazi Amanullah Khan City on YouTube
  • The Silk Road Journey With Xuanzang By Sally Hovey Wriggins
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