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This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. A Badakhshan valley left , August in Hindu Kush. Buddhas of Bamiyan , Afghanistan in top and after destruction in by the Taliban Islamists. A geological exploration of the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Tibet. Retrieved 17 October Weather and Climate Extremes.

Dragon God of the Hindu Kush: The Return

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Encyclopedia of World Geography. The Definitive Glossary of British India. Post Soviet Geography and Economics. Some 19th century encyclopaedias and gazetteers state that the term Hindu Kush originally applied only to the peak in the area of the Kushan Pass , which had become a centre of the Kushan Empire by the first century. Some scholars remove the space, and refer to Hindu Kush as "Hindukush". The mountains of the Hindu Kush range diminish in height as they stretch westward. The average altitude of the Hindu Kush is 4, metres 14, feet. The rest of the system consists of numerous smaller mountain ranges.

The basin of these rivers serves the ecology and economy of the region west to Hindu Kush, but the water flow in these rivers fluctuates severely and has been a historical problem for any settlement.

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Extreme and extended droughts have been common. The Hindu Kush are orographically described in several parts. The Hindu Kush, states Yarshater, are a part of the "young Eurasian mountain range consisting of metamorphic rocks such as schist, gneiss and marble, as well as of intrusives such as granite, diorite of different age and size". The northern regions of the Hindu Kush witness Himalayan winter and have glaciers, while its southeastern end witness the fringe of Indian subcontinent summer monsoons. The inner valleys of the Hindu Kush see little rain and have desert vegetation.

Numerous high passes " kotal " transect the mountains, forming a strategically important network for the transit of caravans. The completion of a tunnel within this pass in reduced travel time between Kabul and the north to a few hours. The Salang tunnel is on Afghani Highway 76, northwest of Golbahar town, and has been an active area of armed conflict with various parties trying to control it.

These mountainous areas are mostly barren, or at the most sparsely sprinkled with trees and stunted bushes. Very ancient mines producing lapis lazuli are found in Kowkcheh Valley, while gem-grade emeralds are found north of Kabul in the valley of the Panjsher River and some of its tributaries. According to Walter Schumann, the West Hindu Kush mountains have been the source of finest Lapis lazuli for thousands of years.

Chitral , Pakistan, is considered to be the pinnacle of the Hindu Kush region. The highest peaks, as well as countless passes and massive glaciers, are located in this region. The Chiantar , Kurambar , and Terich glaciers are amongst the most extensive in the Hindu Kush and the meltwater from these glaciers form the Kunar River , which eventually flows south into Afghanistan and joins the Bashgal , Panjshir , and eventually the much smaller Kabul River.

The mountains have historical significance in the Indian subcontinent and China. Buddhism was widespread in the ancient Hindu Kush region. Ancient artwork of Buddhism include the giant rock carved statues called the Bamiyan Buddha, in the southern and western end of the Hindu Kush. According to Alfred Foucher , the Hindu Kush and nearby regions gradually converted to Buddhism by the 1st century CE, and this region was the base from where Buddhism crossed the Hindu Kush expanding into the Oxus valley region of Central Asia.

Richard Bulliet also proposes that the area north of Hindu Kush was centre of a new sect which had spread till Kurdistan , remaining in existence till the Abbasid times. The significance of the Hindu Kush mountains ranges has been recorded since the time of Darius I of Persia. The lands north of the Hindu Kush, in the Hephthalite dominion, Buddhism was the predominant religion by mid 1st millennium CE. The subcontinent side and valleys of the Hindu Kush remained unconquered by the Islamic armies till the 9th century, even though they had conquered the southern regions of Indus River valley such as Sind.

The range came under control of the Hindu Shahi dynasty of Kabul [61] but was conquered by Sabuktigin who took all of Jayapala 's dominion west of Peshawar. From his mountainous Afghani base, he systematically raided and plundered kingdoms in north India from east of the Indus river to west of Yamuna river seventeen times between and In , the Iranian Islamic historian Al-Biruni was deported after a war that Mahmud of Ghazni won, [76] to the northwest Indian subcontinent under Mahmud's rule. Al Biruni stayed in the region for about fifteen years, learnt Sanskrit, and translated many Indian texts, and wrote about Indian society, culture, sciences, and religion in Persian and Arabic.

He stayed for some time in the Hindu Kush region, particularly near Kabul. In , he recorded and described a solar eclipse in what is the modern era Laghman Province of Afghanistan through which Hindu Kush pass. This is the reason, too, why Hindu sciences have retired far from those parts of the country conquered by us, and have fled to places which our hand cannot yet reach, to Kashmir , Benares and other places".

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In late 12th century, the historically influential Ghurid empire led by Mu'izz al-Din ruled the Hindu Kush region. He thus helped bring the Islamic rule to the northern plains of Indian subcontinent. Babur , the founder of Mughal Empire, was a patrilineal descendant of Timur with roots in Central Asia. In , he made his move into north India, won the Battle of Panipat, ending the last Delhi Sultanate dynasty, and starting the era of the Mughals. Slavery, as with all major ancient and medieval societies, has been a part of Central Asia and South Asia history.

The practice of raiding tribes, hunting, and kidnapping people for slave trading continued through the 19th century, at an extensive scale, around the Hindu Kush. According to a British Anti-Slavery Society report of , the governor of Faizabad, Mir Ghulam Bey, kept 8, horses and cavalry men who routinely captured non-Muslim infidels kafir as well as Shia Muslims as slaves.

Others alleged to be involved in slave trade were feudal lords such as Ameer Sheer Ali.

The isolated communities in the Hindu Kush were one of the targets of these slave hunting expeditions.