Hazarajat

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The Hazarajat (Persian: هزاره‌جات‎) or Hazaristan (Persian: هزارستان‎) [2] is a regional name for the territory inhabited by the Hazara people, which lies in the central and southern highlands of Afghanistan, among the Koh-i-Baba mountains and the western extremities of the Hindu Kush. Its physical boundaries are roughly marked by Bamyan to the north, the headwaters of the Helmand River to the south, Firuzkuh in Ghor to the west, and the Unai Pass in Maidan Wardak to the east. "Hazārajāt denotes an ethnic and religious zone rather than a geographical one—that of Afghanistan's Turko-Mongol Shiʿites."[3]

Hazarajat is primarily made up of Bamyan, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Daykundi, Ghor, Urozgan, Parwan, Samangan, Baghlan, Balkh, Badghis, logar, Sar-e Pol and Herat, provinces. The region has also been known as Paropamizan. The name Hazarajat first appears in the 16th century Baburnama, written by Mughal Emperor Babur. When the famous geographer Ibn Battuta arrived to Afghanistan in 1333, he travelled across the country but did not record any place by the name of Hazarajat or Hazara people.[4] It was also not mentioned by previous geographers, historians, adventurers or invaders.

The name Hazarajat is used by the Hazara people,[5] and surrounding peoples to identify the historic Hazara lands. The term might be linguistically compounded Hazara and the suffix jat; jat is a suffix that otherwise is used to make root words associated with land like Shumali Alaqa (JAT) Northern Areas in Pakistan, Dera (JAT) Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan and other areas in South, central and west Asia.[6]

Maqdesi, an Arab geographer, named Hazarajat as Gharj Al-Shar-Gharj meaning "mountain" area ruled by chiefs. The region was known as Gharjistan in the late Middle Ages, though the exact locations of main cities still remain unidentified.[7][8] The name Hazarajat first appears in the 16th century Baburnama, written by Mughal Emperor Babur.

The Hazarajat lies in the central highlands of Afghanistan, among the Koh-i Baba mountains and the western extremities of the Hindu Kush. "Its boundaries have historically been inexact and shifting, and in some respects Hazārajāt denotes an ethnic and religious zone rather than a geographical one–that of Afghanistan’s Turko-Mongol Shiʿites. Its physical boundaries, however, are roughly marked by the Bā-miān Basin (see BĀMIĀN ii.) to the north, the headwaters of the Helmand River (q.v.) to the south, Firuzkuh to the west, and the Salang Pass to the east. The regional terrain is very mountainous and extends to the Safid Kuh and the Siāh Kuh mountains, where the highest peaks are between 15,000 to 17,000 feet. Both sides of the Kuh-e Bābā range contain a succession of valleys. The north face of the range descends steeply, merging into low foothills and short semi-arid plains, while the south face stretches towards the Helmand Valley and the mountainous district of Besud."[3][9]

Northwestern Hazarajat encompasses the district of Ghor, long known for its mountain fortresses. The 10th century geographer Estakhri wrote that mountainous Ghor was "the only region surrounded on all sides by Islamic territories and yet inhabited by infidels."[10] The long resistance of the inhabitants of Ghor to the adoption of Islam provides an indication of the region's inaccessibility; according to some travelers, the entire region is comparable to a fortress raised in the upper Central Asian highlands: from every approach, tall and steep mountains have to be traversed to reach there. The language of the inhabitants of Ghor differed so much from that of the people of the plains, that communication between the two required interpreters.[11]

This page was last edited on 19 July 2018, at 01:34 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazarajat under CC BY-SA license.

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