Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Kapisa Province

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University  Al-Beroni University
Languages spoken  Pashto, Dari, Pashayi
Area  1,842 km2
Capital  Mahmud-i-Raqi
Population  364,900

Kapisa (Pashto/Dari: ??????) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Located in the north-east of the country. Its capital is Mahmud-i-Raqi, and other districts include Kohistan, Nijrab and Tagab. The population of Kapisa is estimated to be 364,900, although there has never been an official estimate. The province covers an area of 1,842 km² making it the smallest province in the country, however it is the most densely populated province apart from Kabul Province.


Map of Kapisa Province


Kapisa Province in the past, History of Kapisa Province

The earliest references to Kapisa appear in the writings of fifth century BCE Indian scholar P??ini. P??ini refers to the city of Kapi?i, a city of the Kapisa kingdom, modern Bagram. P??ini also refers to Kapi?ayana, a famous wine from Kapisa. The city of Kapi?i also appeared as Kavi?iye on Graeco-Indian coins of Apollodotus I and Eucratides.

Kapisa Province in the past, History of Kapisa Province

Archeological discoveries in 1939 confirmed that the city of Kapisa was an emporium for Kapi?ayana wine, bringing to light numerous glass flasks, fish-shaped wine jars, and drinking cups typical of the wine trade of the era. The grapes (Kapi?ayani Draksha) and wine (Kapi?ayani Madhu) of the area are referred to in several works of ancient Indian literature. The epic Mahabharata also mentions the common practice of slavery in the city.

According to the scholar Pliny, the city of Kapi?i (also referred to as Kaphusa by Plinys copyist Solinus and Kapisene by other classical chroniclers) was destroyed in the sixth century BCE by the Achaemenid emperor Cyrus (Kurush) (559–530 BC). Based on the account of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang, who visited in AD 644, it seems that in later times Kapisa was part of a kingdom ruled by a Buddhist kshatriya king holding sway over ten neighboring states, including Lampaka, Nagarahara, Gandhara, and Banu. Hiuen Tsang notes the Shen breed of horses from the area, and also notes the production of many types of cereals and fruits, as well as a scented root called Yu-kin.


Kapisa Province Beautiful Landscapes of Kapisa Province

Kapisa province is located 80 km north east of Kabul a stark mountain moonscape that for centuries was home to gunmen who preyed on travelers and harassed invaders in the narrow mountain passes. As recently ambushes of NATO troops were not uncommon. It is bordered from the north by Panjshir Province, from the east by Laghman Province, from the south by Kabul province and from the south west by Parwan province. The province covers an area of 1,842 km²; that makes it the smallest province in all of Afghanistan. Kapisa Provinces terrain is a mixture of high peaks, mountainous river valleys, and shallow central plains; the highest points of the province are in the east, on the borders with Panjsher and Laghman Provinces. The province is a strategic crescent that was fought over by many invaders since dawn of time and as recently as the British in the 19th century, the Russians in the 20th century and now the NATO coalition.


Agriculture is the largest portion of the economy. One particular crop, saffron, has been introduced as a major trade commodity in the province.


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