Maranjan hill

11 May 2007 | 21 Saur 1386

On this Friday I went to Maranjan Hill with Samiullah.

Maranjan Hill and city center

View of the old city from Tapa-e Maranjan. The straight avenue that heads towards the pass is Maiwand Avenue. It was cut through the Old City in 1949 by the mayor, as part of the work to modernize Kabul.

Tomb of Nader Shah

This is the mausoleum of Nadir Shah, who ruled from 1930 until his assassination in 1933. His son, Zahir Shah, succeeded him and remained king from 1933 to 1973. At that point he was deposed by his cousin Daoud Khan. Daoud ruled as President from 1973 to 1978, at which point the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) executed him and his entire family, and established the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Their revolutionary program was so aggressive that they immediately provoked a rural insurgency. By September, 1979, it looked like the PDPA regime was going to collapse. Soviets sought to stabilize the communist regime, but in December they decided that only direct occupation would prevent a civil war on their border.

Meanwhile, Zahir Shah lived in exile in Italy from 1973 to 2001. He returned to Afghanistan, and has played some role in the establishment of the Islamic Republic, but did not push for reestablishment of the monarchy. His son has worked on environmental protection of a poor neighborhood just north of this hill, and his grandson is a member of the new United Front movement in Parliament.

hill and city center
This is a view of Kuh-e Asmayi from the east. Compare with the May 8 panorama.

Maranj tower
I have used this tower to frame previous shots with a foreground element. But the tower itself is pretty interesting as a ruin.


In the old Macrorayan the pipes for the district heating are being replaced. A Ukrainian firm, familiar with this type of Soviet housing block, is carrying out the contract.

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