World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Siege of Kandahar

Article Id: WHEBN0029340464
Reproduction Date:

Title: Siege of Kandahar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ahmad Shah Durrani, Bakhtiari people, 101st Grenadiers, The Grenadiers, Ghilzai, Hotaki Empire, Durrani dynasty, Nader Shah
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Siege of Kandahar

For the siege from 1605 to 1606, see Siege of Kandahar (1605–06).
Siege of Kandahar
Date April 1737 – March 24, 1738
Location Old Kandahar, Afghanistan
Result Afsharid victory
Afsharid dynasty Hotaki dynasty
Commanders and leaders
Nader Shah
Reza Qoli Afshar
Mullah Adineh Mostafi
Tahmasp Qoli Khan Jalayer
Hussain Hotaki (POW)
Mohammad Seidal Khan
80,000–100,000 [1] 30,000 [2]
Casualties and losses
Unknown All killed or captured [3]

The April 1737 siege of Kandahar began when Nader Shah's Afsharid army invaded southern Afghanistan to topple the last Hotaki stronghold, which was held by Hussain Hotaki. It took place in the Old Kandahar area of the modern city of Kandahar in Afghanistan and lasted until March 24, 1738, when the smaller size Hotaki Afghans were defeated by the larger Persian army.

The Siege

Much of the duration of the siege saw little fighting as Nader's forces' lack of heavy artillery forced them to settle into a blockade of the fortified town.[4] As the Persians became more impatient, they made several attempts to take the city by storm but the Afghans defiantly repulsed these attempts.[4]

Bakhtiari assault

In anticipation of the siege, the Afghans had stockpiled large amounts of provisions in the fortified town and although starvation had begun to take hold by the end of 1737, Nader realized that it would take a long time for the Afghans to exhaust the last of their provisions. He was unsure of his position in Persia; although he had deposed Tahmasp II, the deposed ex-king was still alive and Nader did not want to remain bogged down in the siege.[5] On March 23, 1738, Nader selected 3,000 men from among the Bakhtiari contingent of his troops to lead a human wave assault on Kandahar.[3] A Bakhtiari named Mullah Adineh Mostafi was selected to lead the assault party. Nader initially tried to dissuade the mullah from taking part in the attack given the threat he faced but Adineh insisted on taking part.[3] The night before the attack, Nader personally addressed the Bakhtiaris and told them that they would each be given 1,000 rupees and a share of the spoils of the city if the assault succeeded.[3] On March 24, the assault commenced and the Bakhtiaris surged forth from their concealed positions on the cliffs of Chehel Zina and charged towards the city. The Afghan gunners in the fortified city guard towers managed to kill some of the attackers but many of the Bakhtiaris reached the city walls and used their ladders to scale it. Mullah Adineh was the first to make it to the top and a fierce struggle took place atop the Kandahar city walls.[3] Gradually, the Bakhtiaris managed to take control of the walls and proceeded to take the inner fortifications of the city. The attackers then raised guns atop the walls and used them to bombard the city. The Afghans made several attempts to retake the city's fortifications but they were beaten back by heavy fire from the Bakhtiari Jazayerchis. Realizing the hopelessness of the struggle, Hussain Hotaki and a few Afghans retreated into the Kandahar citadel, leaving the rest of the inhabitants of the city to be killed or captured.[3] The Persians then proceeded to commandeer the cannons installed on the city's walls and used these cannons to bombard the citadel. Finally, the next day, on March 25, 1738, Hussain Hotaki and the rest of his retinue which had taken shelter in the citadel, surrendered.[3]


Nader Shah generously rewarded the Bakhtiaris and personally rewarded Adineh Mostafi with a bag full of gold.[6] Hussain Hotaki was treated leniently and was exiled to Mazandaran along with the rest of the Hotaki royal family; it is presumed that he and his family were later killed during the Zand massacres of Afghans in what is now northern Iran.[7] On the other hand, Nader was suspicious of Hussain's main military commander, Mohammad Seidal Khan, and suspected him of being a troublemaker; Nader therefore ordered that he be blinded.[4] The city of Kandahar was systematically destroyed by artillery fire and the surviving inhabitants were transferred to a new city that the Afsharid forces had prepared and planned to build about 6 miles south-east of the ancient city.[4] Nader named the city "Naderabad", after himself. The old city was not reoccupied but the ruins of the old Kandahar Citadel remain visible to this day. The capture of Kandahar is a resonant event in Bakhtiari Oral history and in Lur culture in general; it is an event which has become a cultural touchstone.[8]

See also



Coordinates: 31°37′N 65°43′E / 31.617°N 65.717°E / 31.617; 65.717

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.