Gardēz[pronunciation?] (Pashto: ګردېز, Persian:
گردیز) is the capital of the
Paktia Province of Afghanistan.
The population of the city was estimated to be ca. 10,000 in the 1979
census and was estimated to be 70,000 in 2008. The population is
overwhelmingly Pashtun. The city of
Gardez is located at the
junction between two important roads that cut through a huge alpine
valley. Surrounded by the mountains and deserts of the Hindu Kush,
which boil up from the valley floor to the north, east and west, it is
the axis of commerce for a huge area of eastern
Afghanistan and has
been a strategic location for armies throughout the country’s long
history of conflict. Observation posts built by Alexander the Great
are still crumbling on the hilltops just outside the city limits.
the city of
Gardez has a population of 70,641 (in 2015). it has 6
districts and a total land area of 6,174 hectares
(23.84 sq mi). The total number of dwellings in this city
2 Location and infrastructure
3 Land Use
Gardez under the Mauryan Empire
5 Economy and administration
6 Security and politics
7 Famous people from Gardez
8 See also
9 References and notes
Part of a series on the
History of Afghanistan
Indus Valley Civilisation
247 BC–224 AD
135 BC – 248 AD
20 BC – 50? AD
Principality of Chaghaniyan
Emirate of Afghanistan
Kingdom of Afghanistan
Republic of Afghanistan
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Islamic State of Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Gardez is an ancient settlement, located in the Highlands of the Hindu
Kush. Unfortunately, its history is only very poorly documented.
Archaeological discoveries, including Greek, Sassanid, Hephthalite,
and Turki-Shāhī coins give a small insight into the rich history of
Location and infrastructure
Gardez is located at 2,300 m above sea level, making it the
third-highest provincial capital in Afghanistan, and is not far from
Tora Bora region of caves and tunnels. The "old town", located at
the foot of the Bālā Hesār fortress. The city is watered by the
upper course of the
Gardez River, which flows into the Ab-i Istada
Gardez is located at a junction between two important roads, one
Ghazni with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the other connecting Kabul
with Khost. The city is 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of
100 kilometres (62 mi) south of Kabul.
Gardez has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification
Dsa/Dsb) with dry summers and cold, snowy winters.
low, and mostly falls in winter and spring.
Climate data for Gardez
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source: NOAA (1970-1983) 
Gardez is located in eastern
Afghanistan close to
Ghazni and Khost.
Gardez is predominately non-built up area with agriculture as the
largest land use at 39%. Residential area accounts for almost half
of built-up area and Districts 1-4 consist of the densest housing.
Gardez under the Mauryan Empire
Main article: Mauryan Empire
Gardez territory fell to the Maurya Empire, which was led by
Chandragupta Maurya. The Mauryas restored
region, and were planning to capture more territory of South Asia
until they faced local Greco-Bactrian forces. Seleucus was defeated
and was constrained to arrive at a peace treaty with Chandragupta
whereby Chandragupta was given control of the territory around the
Hindu Kush including
Bactria to the Mauryas upon
intermarriage and 500 elephants.
Maurya Empire under Ashoka the Great
Alexander took these away from the
Indo-Aryans and established
settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus
(Chandragupta), upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in
exchange 500 elephants.
— Strabo, 64 BCE–24 CE
Some time after, as he was going to war with the generals of
Alexander, a wild elephant of great bulk presented itself before him
of its own accord, and, as if tamed down to gentleness, took him on
its back, and became his guide in the war, and conspicuous in fields
of battle. Sandrocottus, having thus acquired a throne, was in
possession of India, when Seleucus was laying the foundations of his
future greatness; who, after making a league with him, and settling
his affairs in the east, proceeded to join in the war against
Antigonus. As soon as the forces, therefore, of all the confederates
were united, a battle was fought, in which Antigonus was slain, and
his son Demetrius put to flight.
— Junianus Justinus
Newly excavated Buddhist stupa at
Mes Aynak in
Logar Province of
Afghanistan. Similar stupas have been discovered in neighboring Ghazni
Province, including in the northern Samangan Province.
Having consolidated power in the northwest, Chandragupta pushed east
towards the Nanda Empire. Afghanistan's significant ancient tangible
and intangible Buddhist heritage is recorded through wide-ranging
archeological finds, including religious and artistic remnants.
Buddhist doctrines are reported to have reached as far as
during the life of the
Buddha (563 BCE to 483 BCE), as recorded by
In this context a legend recorded by Husang Tsang refers to the first
two lay disciples of Buddha, Trapusa and Bhallika responsible for
Buddhism in that country. Originally these two were
merchants of the kingdom of Balhika, as the name Bhalluka or Bhallika
probably suggests the association of one with that country. They had
gone to India for trade and had happened to be at
Bodhgaya when the
Buddha had just attained enlightenment.
A 5th century marble
Ganesha found in Gardez, Afghanistan, now at
Dargah Pir Rattan Nath, Kabul. The inscription says that this "great
and beautiful image of Mahāvināyaka" was consecrated by the Shahi
According to the medieval Tārīkh-i Sīstān, the city was founded by
the Kharijite warlord Hamza bin Abdullāh Shārī, although scholars
agree that this is probably only a reference to the Islamic conquest
of the city. In any case,
Gardez became a center of Kharijite
belief for more than a century under the local dynasty of the Aflahids
in the distant eastern parts of the Abbasid caliphate.. In 870, the
city was conquered by the Saffarid ruler Yaqub ibn Layth. In 975, the
Ghaznavids took over the city, while the converted Aflahids entered
the Ghaznavid nobility. In 1162, the city fell to the Sultāns of
Renowned for its multi-storied houses—as mentioned by the Central
Asian conqueror Babur—the city was part of the Mughal Empire
in the 16th century. However, nothing is known of the town during the
subsequent centuries and no building remains.
Gardez is the administrative center of a district of the
Paktiā province, which covers 650 km2 and had a total population
of 44,000 inhabitants in 1979, but was almost totally depopulated
during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
In 1960 the German government had their biggest rural development
project with a budget of 2.5 million Deutsch Marks for the development
of Paktiā ("Paktiā Development Authority", see above). The project
was unsuccessful as the communist regime came to power in the 1979.
The communists lost control of most of Paktiā during the 80s as the
country plunged into war with only
Gardez remaining in government
Today Paktiā remains one of the most stable provinces in the
southeast compared to
Khost and Paktikā.
As of 2008, the population of
Gardez was estimated to be around
73,131. Pashtun make up ca. 70% of the population while the
autochthonous Tajik community accounts for ca. 30%. As explained
in the Encyclopaedia Iranica,
Gardez is a city "belonging to a network
of old isolated Tājīk settlements in southern
Afghanistan that are
remnants of a time when Pashto had not yet reached the area." but
now (year 2015) its population is estimated to be 70,641.
Gardez has also a huge Sayed population. However, this population is
not counted by statistics. A lot of Gardezi Sayeds have immigrated to
Pakistan and India (Gardēzī Sadaat).
Economy and administration
Gardez has the first
Provincial reconstruction team
Provincial reconstruction team (PRT)
The city of
Gardez is also a major fuel wood market for Kabul. Many of
its natural forests are being cut down to provide fuel wood especially
Gardez is also the regional center for the southeastern
Afghanistan that includes Paktikā,
Khost and Ghaznī provinces.
During the 1970s,
Gardez experienced an economic boom as a result of
the German-funded "Paktiā Development Authority", established in
1965, and of the asphalting of the road to Kabul. Social services
included three schools for boys, one school for girls, a hospital, one
teacher training institute, the Madrasaye Roshānī, two hotels, and
forty mosques. Most of these buildings were destroyed during the civil
war in the 1980s.
After the fall of the Taliban, the first Provincial Reconstruction
Team (PRT) in
Afghanistan was established in Paktiā near
early March 2003, headed by the US Army along with a U.S. Agency for
International Development representative, Randolph Hampton. There are
now over 30 PRTs in Afghanistan. The continuing challenge to bring
electricity, medical clinics, schools and water to the more remote
villages in Paktia are a result of ongoing security issues.[citation
Security and politics
Gardez was the former home of the 3rd Corps of the Afghan Army. By the
Militia Forces period (c.2002), the corps 'theoretically
incorporated 14th Division, 30th Division, 822nd Brigade, Border
Brigades, and approximately 800... in the Governor's Force in Paktya,
Ghazni, Paktika, and
Khost Provinces. The corps was disbanded
around 2003-2005 and replaced in the new
Afghan National Army
Afghan National Army by the
According to local Police Chief Brigadier General Aziz Ahmad Wardak,
six people were arrested on 19 August 2009 for distributing night
letters threatening people with attacks if they participated in the
Famous people from Gardez
Abu Saʿīd Gardēzī, an 11th-century geographer and historian. He is
the author of the general history book, Zayn al-Akhbār or "Tarikh-i
Gardezi". Gardezi's work is of great importance to the history of
medieval Afghanistan, Persia, and Central Asia.
Shah Gardez, an 11th-century Syed saint from Gardez, established
himself in Multan, Pakistan.
Mohammad Najibullah, the last president of the Soviet-backed
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. After his overthrow, he was killed
Taliban on September 27, 1996. He is buried in Gardez.
Abdullah Mujahid, a militia leader who is held in extrajudicial
detention in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in
Cuba by the U.S
References and notes
^ a b "The State of Afghan Cities report 2015". Archived from the
original on 2015-10-31.
^ a b c Pike, John. "Gardez". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
^ Scar, Ken (February 22, 2012). "AUP takes the reins from US soldiers
in Gardez". U.S. Central Command. Archived from the original on
September 23, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
^ "The State of Afghan Cities report2015". Archived from the original
^ a b c d "The State of Afghan Cities report 2015".
^ "The State of Afghan Cities report2015".
^ "Gardiz Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
^ Nancy Hatch Dupree / Aḥmad ʻAlī Kuhzād (1972). "An Historical
Kabul - The Name". American International School of Kabul.
Archived from the original on 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
^ Historiarum Philippicarum libri XLIV, XV.4.19
^ Puri, Baij Nath (1987).
Buddhism in central Asia. Motilal
Banarsidass Publ. p. 352. ISBN 81-208-0372-8. Retrieved
^ For photograph of statue and details of inscription, see:
Dhavalikar, M. K., "Gaņeśa: Myth and Reality", in: Brown 1991,
^ a b Daniel Balland, "Gardez", in
Encyclopaedia Iranica (in regard of
the population of Gardez: with reference to Wiebe, "Strukturwandlungen
afghanischer Mittelpunktsiedlungen unter dem Einfluss ausländischer
Infrastrukturprojekte", Germany, 1982, p. 76), Online Edition, (LINK
Archived December 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.)
^ "Hodūd al-Ālam", ed. Sotūda, p. 71, tr. Minorsky, p. 91; Bivar
& Bosworth, 1965, pp. 17 ff.
^ "Baburnama", section "qal'a", tr. Beveridge, p. 220
^ "Ā'in-e Akbari", tr. Heinrich Blochmann, II, p. 411
^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on
2012-03-04. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
^ Michael Bhatia, Mark Sedra, Michael Vinay Bhatia, Mark Sedra,
'Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Post-9/11 Security and Insurgency,
Routledge, 2008, ISBN 113405422X, 209.
^ Niazai, Lemar (19 August 2009). "10 detained for distributing night
letters". PAJHWOK ELECTIONS. [dead link]
Farah Stockman (August 12, 2007). "US behind Afghan warlord's rise,
fall: At Guantanamo, unruly chieftains join combatants". The Boston
Globe. Archived from the original on October 24, 2008. Retrieved
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gardez.
S. Radojicic, Report on Hydrogeological Survey of Paktya Province,
Kabul, UNICEF, 1977
C.E. Bosworth, "Notes on the Pre-Ghaznavid History of Eastern
Afghanistan", in The Islamic