The country between Badakhshān and the desert of Khwārizm, on the east and west, and the Hindu-kūsh hills and the Amu, on the south and north, which, following Mr. Elphinstone, I include under the general name of Balkh,* comprehends a variety of districts that, at the present day, are under several different governments. They are chiefly valleys formed by rivers that descend from the Hindū-kūsh hills, and which, after forming glens and dales, frequently of considerable extent and fertility, discharge themselves into the Amu. The principal districts mentioned by Bābur are Anderāb, Tālikān, Kundūz, and Khulm, to the east; Balkh, in the centre, in a plain below the Dareh Gez, or Valley of Gez, and Shiberghān, Andek­hūd, and Meimana, to the west. The eastern districts are generally level and fertile towards the mouth of their different rivers; but the valleys become narrower, and contract into glens as they are followed towards the sources of their parent streams on the Hindū-kūsh. The country round Balkh is level and rather sandy. The Dehās, or Balkhāb, as it approaches that city, after leaving the Dareh Gez, diminishes in size till it nearly disappears in the barren plain; and the western districts are ill watered, and indicate, by their sandy soil, the approach to the desert.