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Bala Hissar, Kabul

Tarikh-i-Pakhtunkhwa

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An Indian surveyor Sayyid Ghulam Muhammad gives the following description of Bala Hisar of Kabul in circa 1780 AD (during reign of Timur Shah Durrani) ;

“ Adjoining the Lahori gateway, on the east side of the city, there is a large fort, which was built by Shah-i-Jahan, Badshah. Its walls are of stone and lime, and within it is a commodious haram-sarae, a large masjid, and an extensive bazar, through which a canal, containing sufficient water to turn two or three water-mills, runs from east to west, and is made available for that purpose.

اړوند پوسټونه

The fort contains three gateways. The east gate, on account of its proximity to the haram-sarae, is closed up. The sardar of the troops and the guards come by the west gate, which opens into the city. The south gate is also closed up. This fort is called the Bala Hisar —upper fortress or citadel — and is the residency of Timur Shah Sadozi. He has laid out a large garden within the walls, with a lofty pavilion and gateway, and its length is half a kuroh, and its width about the same.

To the south of the city is a high mountain range, and on a ridge of it, called Shah Kabul, is a strong fortress built in ancient times, and because Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar Badshah, restored it with stone and lime, some people erroneously attribute its foundation to him. This is also styled the Bala Hisar; and at the present time princes and other state prisoners are confined there. The distance from the Bala Hisar, previously mentioned, to this fortress is more than half a kuroh, south.” [“Notes on Afghanistan and Part of Baluchistan”, H.G.Raverty, p-65]

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