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Priscilla P. Soucek

[Harat; Harāt]

City in western Afghanistan that served as capital of the Timurid dynasty from 1405 to 1507.

Located on the trade routes from the Levant to India and China and commanding a rich hinterland, Herat has a long history as a trading centre. Several ancient cities were located at or near this site, including one built by Alexander the Great. In ad 660 Herat was captured by Arab forces and an Arab governor appointed. The 10th-century geographers mention its four gates, strong inner citadel and extensive suburbs. The city prospered under the Ghurid dynasty (reg c. 1000–1215). The congregational mosque, which had been founded in the late 11th century and destroyed several times, was rebuilt on the same site by the Ghurid ruler Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad ibn Sam (reg 1163–1203) at the beginning of the 13th century. Constructed of baked brick, it had four iwans disposed around a court, a domed sanctuary and a tomb for the founder (destr. 1940s). Remains such as the portal on the south-east and plaster decoration near the qibla iwan suggest that the dimensions and general configuration of the Ghurid mosque have been preserved. Some of the city walls may also date from the Ghurid period....



Nora Taylor and John Villiers

City in central Vietnam on the Perfume River (Huong Giang), 100 km south of the 17th parallel and 12 km from the coast. Between the 10th and 14th centuries, Hue was part of the kingdom of Champa. In 1306, through a dynastic marriage between King Jaya Sinhavarman III (reg c. 1285–c. 1307) and the sister of Tran Anh Tong (reg 1293–1314), it became part of Vietnam. Under Emperor Gia Long (reg 1802–20) Hue became the imperial capital of Vietnam. In 1805 construction began of the Citadel to a design by the French architect Olivier de Puymanel (1767–1800), who also designed Phien An in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). Inside the Citadel the Imperial City (Hoang Thanh) was built, at the centre of which is the Purple Forbidden City (Tu Cam Thanh), where the emperor and his family lived. Both the Citadel and the Imperial City suffered serious damage during the Tet Offensive in ...


George Michell


City in western Andhra Pradesh, India; established in 1591, it flourished especially after 1724. The original seat of the Qutb Shahi dynasty was Golconda, but in 1591 Muhammad Quli (reg 1580–1612) shifted the capital c. 8 km east to the south bank of the River Musi. The new city was surrounded by bastioned walls, which have not survived. It was connected with the northern suburbs by four bridges, the first erected in 1593. Muhammad Quli was responsible for the royal and ceremonial structures that formed the original nucleus of Hyderabad. The Char Minar (‘four minarets’, 1591), which stands at the intersection of two streets leading to the four quarters of the original city, has four lofty arched portals supporting an elevated mosque. Additional arched portals, fountains and squares defined the formal north–south axis of the city. Near the centre, the Jami‛ Masjid (Friday Mosque; 1598) has a prayer chamber opening off a spacious paved court entered to one side. The mosque is notable for the fine stuccowork on the seven cusped arches of the façade and the accompanying inscriptions. Most of the palaces and buildings of this era have disappeared. An exception in the northern part of the old city is the Ashur Khana, still used for ceremonies during Muharram (the Shia commemoration of the martyrdom of Husain). Muhammad Quli’s successor, ...


Kamil Khan Mumtaz

Capital city of Pakistan. For 10 years after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, Karachi functioned as the temporary national capital, but in 1958 Field Marshal Ayub Khan decided to build a permanent seat of government. In February 1959 an eight-member commission recommended a site on the Pothwar plateau, near the cantonment town of Rawalpindi, which was to act as a ‘mother city’ to the new capital during the development process. In September 1959 the Federal Capital Commission was constituted to prepare a master-plan for the project. By January 1960 preliminary reports were completed, and in February the new capital was named Islamabad. In May of the same year, a preliminary master- plan designed by Doxiadis Associates was approved, and in June the Capital Development Authority was established to execute the task. Work began in 1961, and in 1963 the new city received its first residents.

The city of Islamabad occupies an area of 220.15 sq km. It was laid out on a grid plan based on ...



Asok Kumar Das

[Sawāi Jaipur; Jai Nagar]

Capital city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh (reg 1700–43) as a new capital to succeed Amer. Jai Singh’s main adviser in building the city was his courtier Vidyadhar Chakravarty. The city was designed on a grid pattern consisting of rectangular blocks (Hindi cokri) enclosed within a strong crenellated wall. Its most remarkable feature is the planned distribution of space (see Indian subcontinent, fig.). At the heart of the city is the sprawling palace complex (popularly known as ‘City Palace’) with its adjacent astronomical observatory, reflecting Jai Singh’s interest in the study of the stars and planets. Temples, shops, large family houses (hāvelīs) and gardens are neatly arranged along wide roads and lanes intersecting at right angles. The shops lining the principal roads were designed to be of uniform size with similar façades.

The most important structures dating from the reign of Jai Singh are the Chandra Mahal in the City Palace complex, the observatory, the temple dedicated to Govindadeva (an aspect of Krishna) within the palace complex and a number of large ...


Walter Smith

City in the Thar Desert of western Rajasthan, India. Founded in ad 1156 by Maharawal Jaisal (reg second half of 12th century), it prospered owing to its strategic position on caravan routes linking India with Sind and west Asia. Wealthy Jaina merchants added to the city’s affluence. They imported large numbers of manuscripts and paintings, the earliest dating to c. 1200, which are now stored in the Shri Jinabhadra Suri Gyan Grantha Bhandar, a library located in the Shri Sambhavanathji Temple (1431). Other Jaina temples also date to the 15th century. Buildings such as the Jina Chandraprabha Temple (1453) demonstrate a revival of the Maru–Gurjara style that flourished in Rajasthan and Gujarat in the 11th and 12th centuries. Of several Brahmanical temples, the most important are the Surya (1437), Lakshmi Narayana (1437) and Ratneshvara Mahadeva (1441). The first two were built by Maharawal ...



John Villiers

[formerly Batavia; Djakarta; Jayakarta; Sunda Kelapa]

Port city on the north coast of West Java at the estuary of the Cwilung River, capital of the Republic of Indonesia. The oldest part of the city stands on the site of Sunda Kelapa, which from at least the 12th century was an important emporium for the export of merchandise produced in the hinterland of West Java. In 1527 the Muslim Sundanese prince Fatahillah founded a Muslim principality based on Sunda Kelapa, which he renamed Jayakarta (‘City of Victory’) and which during the next 100 years became an important international trading centre, frequented by Portuguese, Dutch and Asian merchants. In 1617 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was given permission to establish a trading post at Jayakarta, and only two years later a Dutch force under Jan Pieterszoon Coen captured the city, renaming it Batavia and making it the headquarters of the VOC in Asia.

The site was ideally placed for trading purposes on the Bay of Jakarta, commanding the Sunda Straits between Sumatra and Java. The Dutch first built a fortress (Kasteel) on the east bank of the Ciwilung River near the estuary, surrounded by a wall and moats. By the end of the 17th century the Dutch settlement had already outgrown the fortress area and had begun to spread to the higher land to the south, and it was here on the west bank of the Ciwilung River that a new city grew up in the area known as Kota. The Batavia of the 17th and 18th centuries was built in direct imitation of such Dutch cities as Amsterdam. Little attempt was made to adapt the plan of the city or the design of individual buildings to the exigencies of the hot and humid climate. Long straight streets were constructed, interspersed with waterways, and the earliest houses were narrow and tall, with a small inner courtyard, a steep staircase leading to the upper floors, small windows, high roofs and gables....



Natalie H. Shokoohy

Town c. 58 km north-west of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. Founded by Firuz Shah Tughluq (reg ad 1351–88) in 1359 and completed by his half-brother Malik Ibrahim, it was built on the bank of the Gumti River and became a stronghold of the Delhi Sultanate against the Sultans of Bengal. It was constructed on an Islamic plan, with a fort set at one side of a walled town. Much of the old street layout of Jaunpur has been preserved, although the town walls have been demolished. The ramparts and parts of the fort date from the time of Firuz Shah; the walls were restored during the Mughal period (1526–1858). Inside the fort, the Qal‛a Masjid (1376) consists of a prayer-hall with three domed bays, the façade having a central arch flanked by flat-roofed colonnades. The columns of the outer row are in pairs, a characteristic both of the Tughluq period (...



Walter Smith

City on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha (reg 1458–89), a Rajput prince of the Rathor clan who transferred his capital there from Mandor, it was strategically located along the former trade route between Gujarat and Delhi. Rao Jodha built his fort, known as Meherangarh Fort, in an easily defensible location on a steep hill 122 m high in the middle of a vast plain. The fort is approached by seven gates built along its steep southern approach and contains palaces dating from the late 17th century to the early 18th; elements of decoration, including wall paintings, were added as late as the end of the 19th century (see Indian subcontinent §III 7., (ii), (b)). The palace façades, carved from local red sandstone, feature projecting balcony forms (jharokhās) and recessed walls punctuated with pierced interlace screens (...


Gregory L. Possehl

City and mountain site in Gujarat, India. The city of Junagadh has numerous monuments of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Their architecture exhibits a rich mixture of European and Indian forms. However, the oldest and most significant monuments are those of the Uparkot, or Upper Fort, which dates from the Maurya and Gupta periods (4th century bc–7th century ad). The earliest of these monuments is a Jaina cave site known as the Bawa Pyara Math and datable to the 2nd century ad. Cut from the rock on the south side of the citadel hill, its cells form a horseshoe shape around a large apsidal hall in the centre. The Kapra Kodia caves (3rd–4th century ad) to the north of the Uparkot are best known for their cisterns and descending staircases. Near the highest point of the citadel is a Buddhist monastery of the same period. The square-cut cells of this complex are arranged on two levels linked by a winding staircase; a central court is open to the sky. Approximately 100 m north of the Buddhist caves is a large and splendid 15th-century ...




Capital of Afghanistan. With its excellent location on the Kabul River in a fertile plain surrounded by mountains and hills, Kabul is a natural strategic site and has a history of settlement dating back 3000 years. In pre-Islamic times Buddhism flourished in the region. Despite earlier Muslim raids, Islam began to be established only in the 9th century ad under the Saffarids of Sistan (reg 867–c. 1495). Under the Ghaznavids (reg 977–1186) Kabul served as a military depot for the army and had a strong citadel and prosperous commercial quarter. The city gradually developed as Ghazna declined, and from 1504 with the arrival of the Timurid prince Babur it flourished. Babur created numerous gardens, such as the quartered Bagh-i Vafa (‘Garden of Fidelity’) to the south of the city overlooking the river. He also used Kabul as a staging point for his campaigns into India, where he became the first Mughal emperor. On his death in ...



Walter Smith

Town and temple site in West Bengal, India, about 80 km north of Calcutta. Located on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, it was once an important port and commercial centre, but by the late 19th century its importance had declined owing to the silting up of the river and the opening of the East Indian Railway. It is now best known for several temples built during the 18th and 19th centuries by wealthy landowners, merchants and officers of local governors. Many are dated by inscription. Built of brick, they are decorated with dense arrangements of terracotta reliefs depicting scenes from the Rāmāya ṇa, the Krishna legend and scenes of everyday life, including figures in European dress. A variety of temple types are seen; the most common have squat, curvilinear superstructures, sometimes double-storey, or upper levels consisting of several towers (see Indian subcontinent §III 7., (ii), (d)). The Lalji Temple (...


Michael D. Rabe

[Kāñcīpuram, ‘the (golden-)belt city’; Kanchi; Conjeevaram]

Sacred city 75 km inland and slightly south of Madras in Tamil Nadu, south India. The city is an important centre of pilgrimage, and it is noted for its silk-weaving industry.

Kanchipuram served for at least two millennia as a cosmopolitan bridgehead between Aryan north India and the Dravidian south. It also played a vital role in the dissemination of art and ideas by sea to South-east Asia and China via Mamallapuram, the ancient port with which it is linked by the Vegavathi River.

Political power was concentrated at Kanchipuram by the Pallava dynasty and by individual sovereigns of subsequent dynasties, but the city always enjoyed greater distinction as a centre of learning and religious authority. With an ecumenism rarely equalled, it provided sanctuary to followers of both the major heterodoxies of India, namely Buddhism and Jainism, as well as to adherents of Shaiva, Vaishnava and Shakta Hinduism. Royalty and scholars from neighbouring kingdoms and abroad came for instruction and to debate in its famed ...



P. L. Prematilleke

[formerly Senkadagala]

City in the central hill region of Sri Lanka on the Mahaveli River, which served as capital from the 15th century ad to 1815. Both the hills and the river provided natural protection against enemy intrusions.

Early settlement in the region is indicated by Brahmi inscriptions of the 2nd century bc to 2nd century ad in caves, once occupied by forest monks, along the river banks and by a 7th-century Buddhist monastery at Hindagala about 5 km west of Kandy. The founding of Kandy, known originally as Senkadagala, is traceable to the 14th century, when the ruling power was installed at Gampola (anc. Gangasiripura). Senasammata Vikramabahu (reg 1473–1511) was the first ruler to ascend the throne in the new city. Turbulent times resulted from the foundation of another seat of government in the low country at Sitavaka (close to the modern capital Colombo) and the arrival of the Portuguese later in the 16th century. With increasing colonial intrusions along the coasts, Kandy became the inland stronghold of the Sinhalese. From the reign of Vimaladharmasuriya I (...



R. N. Misra

[Kanauj, Kanoj; anc. Kānyakubja, Mahodayapura, Gādhinagara, Kuśika]

Capital of the premier ruling dynasties of north India from the 6th century ad to the early 11th, in Farrukhabad District, Uttar Pradesh, India. Excavation revealed four periods of cultures dating from c. 1000 bc to ‘medieval’, the early phases being marked by small finds and terracotta figures. Barring these and some early stone images, the bulk of available remains, consisting of loose sculpture and architectural fragments, relates mainly to the 9th and 10th centuries, when the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty was at the height of its power. Among the leading 9th-century works are a liṅga—phallic emblem of Shiva—carved with four faces (Kannauj, priv. col.), a Durga image (Lucknow, State Mus.), and a panel depicting Shiva’s marriage with Parvati (Kannauj, priv. col.). Also of note are depictions of Vishnu in his Vishvarupa or universal form; two such images are in worship as Rama and Lakshmana in a modern shrine in Kutlupur, a locality in the suburb of Makarandanagar. Other distinctive sculptures represent Bhairava and Mahishasuramardini (both Kannauj, Puratattva Sangrahalaya), and the anointment of Skanda (New Delhi, N. Mus.). A particularly remarkable work is a panel depicting the divine mothers (Skt ...



J. B. Harrison

[Kānpur; Cawnpore]

Industrial city 79 km south-west of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. Located on the River Ganga, Kanpur was a river port and grain market that came under British control from 1801. Trade in grain grew, especially after the opening of the Ganga canal (1854). Monuments of the first half of the 19th century include the Gothic-style Christ Church (1836–40) and Kacheri Cemetery; the noteworthy tomb of General Sir John Horsford (d 1817) consists of a pedestalled funerary urn in a circular pavilion with Roman Doric pillars. Also notable is the mausoleum of Agha Mir, a prime minister of the Avadh nawabs, who fled to Kanpur from the court in Lucknow.

On one occasion during the mutiny against British rule in 1857, many British inhabitants of Kanpur were killed and thrown into a well. A memorial garden at the site featured an octagonal stone screen round the well by Sir ...



Kamil Khan Mumtaz

Seaport and former national capital of Pakistan. Karachi has been identified with Krokala, visited by Alexander the Great’s fleet under the command of Nearchus in 326 bc, and in the Mohi’t, a collection of sailing directions compiled in 1558 by the Turkish captain Sidi ‛Ali, ‘Kaurashi’ appears to be well known as a port and harbour of refuge (Baillie, p. 20). However, it remained small until the British conquest of Sind in 1843.

Lt John Porter, visiting ‘Crochey Town’ in 1774–5, found it fortified by a slight mud wall and flanked with round towers. He says that ‘it formerly belonged to the Bloachees, but the Prince of Scindy, finding it better situated than any part of his sea coast for the caravans from the Inland Countries, made an exchange with some other place for it’ (Baillie, p. 21).

The first modest port, named Kharak Bundar, was established by the Kalhoras near Karachi in the mid-18th century, and by the British conquest of ...


Gautam Vajracharya

[anc. Yāpriṅ]

Capital of Nepal, situated on the Bagmati River. According to legends recorded in Hindu and Buddhist texts, in ancient times the entire Kathmandu Valley was a lake—a story given credibility by the type of alluvial soil found in the valley. The city of Kathmandu appears to have developed out of two small towns that grew partly because of the fertility of the soil and partly because a principal trans-Himalayan trade route passed through them. The limits of the two towns are still vaguely remembered in the designated routes and areas for such traditional cultural activities as chariot festivals and processions of an image of a local divinity.

In the Lichchhavi period (c. ad 300–800) the two sections of this city were known as Koligrama and Dakshina (‘southern’) Koligrama. A massive inscribed stone threshold has helped to identify the location of a no longer extant Lichchhavi palace known as Dakshina-rajakula (‘Southern palace’), situated in the southern section on part of the site where the Hanuman Dhoka palace now stands. An older palace was located at Hadigaon, about 6 km north-east of the Southern Palace. Little survives of Kathmandu’s Lichchhavi-period monuments, though art historians have identified a range of works from this period in the city and its environs....


J. Marr

[anc. Poompukar; Puhar; Pukar]

Ancient port city, now a village, at the mouth of the Kaveri River in eastern Tamil Nadu, India. Excavations around an 8 km radius of Kaveripattinam (including several surrounding villages) revealed remains dating from the early centuries bc to c. 10th century ad. Fragments of Red-and-black ware are datable to the 3rd–1st century bc. At Kilaiyur village, a large platform of fired brick (18.28×7.62 m) contained remains of wooden corner posts that are datable by radiocarbon analysis to c. 316–103 bc. Located near the sea, this platform may have been an ancient wharf. Foundations of water tanks and large buildings, possibly warehouses, again of fired brick, were also found in the area. The remains of a Buddhist monastery (Skt vihāra) at Pallavanisvaram village show general affinity with the architecture of Nagarjunakonda (fl 3rd–4th century ad), although evidence of continual repairs suggests occupation at least until the 7th century. Buddhist sculptures include a ...


R. N. Mehta

[Cambay; Khambhayat]

City at the mouth of the Mali River, c. 84 km south of Ahmadabad in Gujarat, India. Although it was a flourishing commercial centre from the 8th to the 18th century ad, Khambhat’s many Hindu and Jaina temples were destroyed by ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (reg 1296–1316) in 1299, and it suffered further invasions between the 14th and 17th centuries, including a Portuguese raid in 1538. Several European factories were built during the 17th century. However, the final decline of the city was caused by the depredations of the Marathas in the late 18th century and the silting up of the harbour, which diverted trade to nearby Surat.

The remarkable congregational mosque (Jami‛ Masjid), dated by inscription to 1325, consists of an inner courtyard surrounded by a colonnade constructed of pillars from local temples and a prayer-hall with bays marked by low domes; each dome, apart from those above the three prayer niches, or mihrabs, has a corresponding window perforated with lattice patterns in the traditional Gujarati style. Attached to the south side of the mosque is a square, pillared chamber with a ruined circular inner court, housing the intricately carved tomb of the wealthy merchant ...