The drinker knows the flavour of the wine; how should the sober know it?
Kābul is not fertile in grain; a return of four or five to one is reckoned favourable. The melons too are not good, but those raised from seed brought from Khorasān are tolerable. The climate is extremely delightful, and in this respect there is no such place in the known world. In the nights of summer you cannot sleep without a postīn (or lambskin cloak). Though the snow falls very deep in the winter, yet the cold is never excessively intense. Samarkand and Tabrīz are celebrated for their fine climate, but the cold there is extreme beyond measure.The au-
In the neighbourhood of Kābul there are four fine aulengs or meadows. On the north-east is the auleng of Sung-Kurghān, at the distance of about two kos. It is a fine plain, and the grass agrees well with horses; there are few mosquitoes in it. To the north-west lies the auleng of Chālāk, about one kos from Kābul. It is extensive; but in the summer the mosquitoes greatly annoy the horses. On the west is the auleng of Deveren,* which consists properly of two plains, the one the auleng of Tībah, the other that of Kūsh-nāder, which would make the aulengs of Kābul five in number. Each of these two aulengs lies about a farsang from Kābul. Though but of small extent, they afford excellent pasture for horses, and are not pestered with gnats. There is not in all Kābul any auleng equal to these. The auleng of Siāh-Sang lies on the east of Kābul. Between this last auleng and the Currier’s-gate stands the tomb of Kūtluk kadem. This auleng being much infested with mosquitoes in the hot weather, is not in such high estimation as the others. Adjoining to this last valley is that of Kamri. By this computation it appears that there are six aulengs about Kābul, but we hear only of the four aulengs.Passes over
The country of Kābul is very strong, and of difficult access, whether to foreigners or enemies. Between Balkh, Kunduz, and Badakhshān on the one side, and Kābul on the other, is interposed the mountain of Hindū-kūsh, the passes over which are seven in number. Three of these are by Penjhīr;* the uppermost* of which is Khawāk;* lower down is that of Tūl;* and still lower that of Bazārak. Of these three passes, the best is that of Tūl, but the way is somewhat longer, whence it probably got its name of Tūl (or the long). The most direct pass is that of Bazārak. Both of these passes lead over to Sirāb.* As the pass of Bazārak terminates at a village named Parendi, the people of Sarāb call it the pass of Parendi. Another route is that of Parwān. Between Parwān and the high mountain* there are seven minor passes, which they call Haft-bacheh (the Seven Younglings). As you come from the Anderāb side, two roads unite below the main pass, and lead down on Parwān by way of the Seven Younglings. This is a very difficult road. There are besides three roads in* Ghūrbend. That which is nearest to Parwān is the pass of Yangi-yuli (the new road), which descends by Waliān and Khinjān. Another route is that of Kipchāk, which leads by the junction of the rivers of Surkhāb and Anderāb. This is a good pass. Another route is by the pass of Shibertu. During the summer, when the waters are up, you can go by this pass only by taking the route of Bāmiān and Sikān;* but in the winter season, they travel by way of Ābdareh. In winter, all the roads are shut up for four or five months, except this alone;* such as then proceed to Shibertu through this pass, travel by way of Ābdareh. In the season of spring,* when the waters are in flood, it is as difficult to pass these roads as in winter; for it is impossible to cross the water-courses, on account of the flooding of the torrents, so that the road by the water-courses is not passable; and as for passing along the mountains, the mountain track is so difficult, that it is only for three or four months in autumn, when the snow and the waters decrease, that it is practicable. The Kafir robbers also issue from the mountains and narrow paths, and infest this passage.
The road from Khorasān leads by way of Kandahār. It is a straight level road, and does not go through any hill-passes.The Passes
From Hindustān there are four roads which lead up to Kābul. One of these is by way of the Lamghānāt,* and comes by the hill of Kheiber, in which there is one short hill-pass. Another road leads by Bangash; a third by Naghz,* and the fourth by Fermūl.* In all of these roads there are passes of more or less difficulty.* Those who come by them cross the river Sind at three different places.* Those who go by the Nilāb passage,* take the road of Lamghānāt. In the winter season, however, they cross the river Sind, the river of Sawād, and the river of Kābul, above the conflux of this last river with the Sind. In most of the expeditions which I made into Hindustān, I forded [A.D. 1525.] these rivers in this way; but the last time, when I invaded that country, defeated Sultan Ibrahīm and conquered Hindustān, I crossed at the Nilāb passage in boats. Except at the place that has been mentioned, the river Sind can nowhere be passed unless in boats. Those again who cross at Dīnkōt* take the Bangash road; while those who cross at Choupāreh* take the road of Fermūl, if proceeding to Ghazni, and the road of the dasht or plains if they are going to Kandahār.
In the country of Kābul there are many and various tribes. Its valleys and plains are inhabited by Tūrks, Aimāks, and Arabs. In the city and the greater part of the villages, the population consists of Tājiks.* Many other of the villages and districts are occupied by Pashāis, Parāchis, Tājiks, Berekis, and Afghans. In the hill-country to the west, reside the Hazāras and Nukderis. Among the Hazāra and Nukderi tribes, there are some who speak the Moghul language. In the hill-country to the north-east lies Kaferistān, such as Kattor* and Gebrek. To the south is Afghanistān. There are eleven or twelve different languages spoken in Kābul: Arabic, Persian, Tūrki, Moghuli, Hindi, Afghani, Pashāi, Parāchi, Geberi, Bereki, and Lamghāni.* Pashai and Laghmāni are Pisāchah languages, in fact Laghmāni is Pashai, the difference, if any, being one of dialect. Prāchi is the general name given to the languages of East India by those living in the west. As a specific language it often denotes the tongue of Oudh (Purbi), and might have got to Kābul through the Purbyas, who were and are great travellers. Geberi or Gabri is the language of the Parsees of Yezd and Kirmān. It is a very interesting dialect of Persian (see Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, vol. i (2, p. 381). Bereki or Baraki is the language generally known as Urmuri, though by its speakers it is called Bragistah. It is spoken by a tribe living mainly at Kāniguram in Waziristan, and gets its name of Baraki from Barak in the Logar Valley, where some of them lived. Urmuri is a curious linguistic island, and presents an interesting ethnological problem, as it is an Eranian language having no connexion whatever with Pushtu or Baluchi, being most nearly allied to Kurdish.]
It is dubious whether so many distinct races, and different languages, could be found in any other country.Divisions
The country of Kābul is divided into fourteen Tumāns. In Samarkand, Bokhāra, and those quarters, the smaller districts into which a country is divided are called Tumān: in Andejān, Kāshghar, and the neighbouring countries they get the name of Urchīn, and in Hindustān they call them Perganah. Although Bajour, Sawād, Pershāwer, and Hashnaghar* originally belonged to Kābul; yet at the present date some of these districts have been desolated, and others of them entirely occupied by the tribes of Afghans, so that they can no longer be properly regarded as provinces.*Lamghā-