Ghor Province

Coordinates: 34°N 65°E / 34°N 65°E / 34; 65
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From the top, Minaret of Jam, Chaghar Sadeh District, Ghor Valley
Map of Afghanistan with Ghor highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Ghor highlighted
Coordinates (Capital): 34°N 65°E / 34°N 65°E / 34; 65
Country Afghanistan
 • GovernorAhmad Shah Din Dost[1]
 • Deputy GovernorMaulvi Shams Ullah Tariqat[2]
 • Police ChiefHanif Abada[3]
 • Total36,657.42 km2 (14,153.51 sq mi)
 • Total777,882
 • Density21/km2 (55/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+4:30
ISO 3166 codeAF-GHO
Main languagesDari / Pashto

Ghōr (Pashto/Dari: غور), also spelled Ghowr or Ghur, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in the western Hindu Kush in central Afghanistan, towards the northwest. The province contains eleven districts, encompassing hundreds of villages, and approximately 764,472 settled people.[5] Firuzkoh (known as “Chaghcharan” until 2014) is the capital of the province.


The ancient Indo-European, Sogdian gor-/gur- ("mountain"-) is well preserved in all Slavic gor-/gór- (goor-/gur-), e.g.: Gorals, Goran, Goranci, Góra, Gora..., in Iranian languages, e.g.: Gorani language, Guran (Kurdish tribe). The Polish notation using gór- ("ó" stands for a sound between English "oo" and "u") instead of the popular gur- or ghur- preserves the ancient orthography.[clarification needed]


Mandesh is the historical name by which the mountain region of Ghor was called.[6]

The inhabitants of Ghor were completely Islamized during the Ghurids era. Before the 12th century, the area was home to Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and a small number of Jews. Remains of the oldest settlements discovered by Lithuanian archaeologists in 2007 and 2008 in Ghor date back to 5000 BC.[7] Ruins of a few castles and other defense fortifications were also discovered in the environs of Chaghcharan. A Buddhist monastery hand-carved on the bluff of the river Harirud existed in the first centuries during the prevalence of Buddhism. The artificial caves revealed testimony of the daily life of the Buddhist monks.[8]

The rise to power of the Ghurids at Ghur, a small isolated area located in the mountain vastness between the Ghaznavid Empire and the Seljukids, was an unusual and unexpected development. The area was so remote that until the 11th century, it had remained a pagan enclave surrounded by Muslim principalities. It was converted to Islam in the early part of the 12th century after Mahmud raided it, and left teachers to instruct the Ghurids in the precepts of Islam. Even then it is believed that paganism, i.e. a variety of Mahayana Buddhism persisted in the area till the end of the century.[9]

Various scholars and historians such as John McLeod attribute the conversion of the Ghauri's to Islam to Mahmud Ghazni after his conquest of Ghor.[10]

Traditional Muslim historians such as Estakhri and Ibn Haukal attest to the existence of the non-Islamic enclave of Ghor before the time of Ghazni, which is attributed to converting its population to Islam.

Ghor: Also called Ghoristan. The mountainous country between Hirat and Ghazni. According to Istakhri and Ibn Haukal, it was a rugged mountainous country, bounded by the districts of Hirat, Farrah, Dawar, Rabat, Kirwan, and Gharjistan back to Hirat, which were all Muslim countries. Ghor itself was a country of infidels, containing only a few Musulmans, and the inhabitants spoke a language different from that of Khurasan.[11]

Minhaju-S-Siraj recorded strife between the non-Muslim and Muslim populations:

It is said that Amir Suri was a great king and most of the territories of Ghor were in his possession. But as most of the inhabitants of Ghor of High and low degrees had not yet embraced Islam, there was constant strife among them. The Saffarians came from Nimroz to Bust and Dawar, Yakub Lais overpowered Lak-Lak, who was the chief of Takinabad, in the country of Rukhaj. The Georgians sought the safety in Sara-sang and dwelt there in security but even among them hostilities constantly prevailed between the Muslim and the Non-Muslims. One castle was at war with another castle, and their feuds were unceasing; but owing to the inaccessibility of the mountains of Rasiat, which are in Ghor no foreigner was able to overcome them, and Shansbani Amir Suri was the head of all the Madness.[12]

According to Minhahu-S Siraj, Amir Suri was captured by Mahmud of Ghazni, made prisoner along with his son, and taken to Ghazni, where Amir Suri died.[13]

The region had previously been conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni, and the population converted to Islam.[14]

It was also the last stronghold of an ancient religion professed by the inhabitants when all their neighbors had become Muslim. In the 11th century AD Mahmud of Ghazni defeated the prince of Ghor Ibn–I-Suri, and made him prisoner in a severely contested engagement in the valley of Ahingaran. Ibn-I-Suri is identified a Buddhist by the author, who has recorded his overthrow.[15]

The Minaret of Jam built by the Ghurid dynasty

In 1011, 1015 and 1020, both Mahmud and Mas'ud I led expeditions into Ghur and established Islam in place of indigenous paganism. After this, Ghur was considered a vassal state of the Ghaznavid empire.[16] During the reign of 'Abd ar Rashi and the usurper Toghrul, Ghur and Gharchistan gained autonomy.[17]

Ghor was also the center of the Ghurid dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries. The remains of their capital Firozkoh, which was sacked and destroyed by the Mongols in 1222, includes the Minaret of Jam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Karzai and Ghani administrations[edit]

In June 2004, hundreds of troops of Abdul Salaam Khan, who had rejected the Afghan government's plan to disarm regional militias, attacked Chaghcharan and took over the city in an afternoon-long siege. Eighteen people were killed or wounded in the fighting, at which point Governor Mohammed Ibrahim fled. Three days later the Afghan government announced that it would not retake Chaghcharan. Khan and Ibrahim began negotiations soon after but reached no agreement. Khan's troops left Chaghcharan on June 23, a day ahead of when an Afghan National Army battalion, led by Lieutenant-General Aminullah Paktiyanai, arrived with the support of about twenty U.S. soldiers.

Taliban administration (2021-present)[edit]

In 2021, the Taliban regained control of Ghor after the 2021 Taliban offensive.


As of September 2014, Chaghcharan Airport, located at the provincial capital of Chaghcharan, had regularly scheduled flights to Kabul and Herat.

Ghor province has a significant number of female drivers compared to the other provinces.

As of 2013, roads in the province remained largely undeveloped, unpaved and often lacked bridges over rivers.[18]


Agriculture and animal husbandry are the primary economic activities in Ghor Province. According to the United Nations, many young men were forced to leave the province to find work in Herat or Iran and a small percentage of the population were teachers, government officials, carpet weavers, carpenters and tailors. Over half of the population could not cover their basic needs with their level of income.[19] Opium production had returned to the region following the Taliban's departure as locals attempted to increase their incomes by farming a more economically lucrative crop.[19]


The percentage of households with clean drinking water fell from 14% in 2005 to 9% in 2011.[20] The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant fell from 9% in 2005 to 3% in 2011.[20]


The overall literacy rate (6+ years of age) increased from 19% in 2005 to 25% in 2011.[20] The overall net enrolment rate (6–13 years of age) increased from 28% in 2005 to 47% in 2011.[20]

Ghor University that first established as Ghor Higher Education Institute and then promoted to Ghor University has around 500 students with a significant number of girls. There are also some Teacher Training Institutes in the Firuzkoh, Taywara and Lal districts. The number of high schools increased in last the 10 years and attendance in university entrance exams (Kankor) jumped from hundreds to thousands of students. Several agriculture and mechanical schools were also established. There is only one nursing school that trains young female high school graduates for midwifery and nursing that is part of the Ministry of Public Health and run by an NGO in association with Ghor provincial hospital.


As of 2020, the total population of Ghor province is about 764,472.[5][21][22]


Ghor province under a deep winter in 2012.

Ghor occupies the end of the Hindu Kush mountains. Ghor is 2,500 meters above sea level and heavy snowfalls often block many of its rugged passes from November to April. It is also a drought-prone area in the summer.


Districts of Ghor province in 2021 .
Districts of Ghor Province[23]
District Capital Population Area Notes
Firozkooh 131,800 11,764 Hazaras
Marghab 40,000 Hazaras
Charsada 26,600 Hazaras
Dawlat Yar 31,800 Hazaras
Du Layna 35,100 Hazaras
Lal wa Sarjangal 250,000 Hazaras , Pashtuns
Pasaband 92,200 Hazaras, Pashtuns
Saghar 33,700 Hazaras
Shahrak 58,200 Hazaras
Taywara Qala-e-ghore 88,900 Hazaras , Pashtuns
Tulak 50,000 Hazaras


Football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, taekwondo and karate are all official sports of the province. In July 2010, the Ghor Province cricket team was founded and will represent the province in future domestic tournaments.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "مولوی احمدشاه دین دوست، والی جدید غور تعیین شد | خبرگزاری وطن 24".
  2. ^ "Afghan Teen, Sole Breadwinner for Family of 30, Waits Desperately to See if Taliban Will Help". Radiofreeeurope/Radioliberty.
  3. ^ Mujahid, Zabihullah [@Zabehulah_M33] (29 January 2023). د عالیقدر امیرالمؤمنین حفظه الله د حکم په اساس لاندې ټاکنې وشوې [On the basis of the order of His Highness Amirul Momineen Hufzallah, the following appointments were made] (Tweet) (in Pashto). Retrieved 1 October 2023 – via Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2021-22" (PDF). National Statistic and Information Authority (NSIA). April 2021. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Estimated Population of Afghanistan 2020-21" (PDF). Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, National Statistics and Information Authority. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  6. ^ E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, Volume 7 By Martijn Theodoor Houtsma Page 161
  7. ^ Province hides monuments some of which date back to 5000 BC[permanent dead link],, 22 May 2008
  8. ^ Lithuanian archeologists make discovery in Afghanistan, The Baltic Times, May 22, 2008; Archaeologists make new discoveries about ancient Afghan cultures, Top News, May 23, 2008.
  9. ^ Medieval India Part 1 Satish Chandra Page 22
  10. ^ The history of India By John McLeod Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 Page 34
  11. ^ The History of India, as Told by Its Historians by Eliot and Dowson, Volume 2, page 576
  12. ^ The History of India as Told by Its Historians by Eliot and Dowson, Volume 2, page 284
  13. ^ The History of India as Told by Its Own Historians by Eliot and Dowson, Volume 2, page 286
  14. ^ S.A.A. Rizvi, The Wonder that was India, Vol. II, (Picador India), page 16.
  15. ^ The Kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch By George Passman Tate Edition: illustrated Published by Asian Educational Services, 2001 Page 12 ISBN 81-206-1586-7, ISBN 978-81-206-1586-1
  16. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, (Columbia University Press, 1977), 68.
  17. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, 69.
  18. ^ NATO Channel, Discover Afghanistan - The Minaret of Jam, August 2013,
  19. ^ a b "District Profile, UNHCR" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-10-27.
  20. ^ a b c d Archive, Civil Military Fusion Centre, Archived 2014-05-31 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Welcome - Naval Postgraduate School". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Welcome - Naval Postgraduate School" (PDF). Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  23. ^ . 4 October 2001 Archived from the original on 4 October 2001. Retrieved 1 December 2017. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "Ghor cricket team founded". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Places in Between by Rory Stewart, 2005, Picador Publishers, ISBN 0330486349

External links[edit]