Herat, hě-rät', Afghanistan, the capital of Herat province. It lies near the Hari River, in the heart of a rich irrigated valley, about 400 miles (640 km) west of Kabul, the national capital. Chief products are silk and woolen garments, camel's-hair goods, carpets, rugs, and textiles. Herat has numerous ruins, including a citadel and its earthworks, both of which date from the fourth century B.C. Herat is of ancient origin. Situated on the Central Asian caravan route, it has long been considered the gateway to India. Herat was a flourishing medieval center of Muslim culture, despite being destroyed by Mongols in 1221 and 1383. The city has been ruled by numerous peoples, including Greeks, Turks, Mongols, Uzbeks, and Persians. Herat became a part of Afghanistan in 1881.