Kandahar, or Qandahar, Afghanistan, the capital of Kandahar province and the second largest city in the nation. It lies in a semiarid region of southern Afghanistan, about 280 miles (450 km) southwest of Kabul, the national capital.
Kandahar is primarily a market center for the surrounding agricultural area, where sheep are raised and grain, fruit, and cotton are produced. Food processing and textile making are the city's chief industries. Kandahar is served by an international airport and paved roads to Kabul and Herat. In the center of the city is the domed mausoleum of Ahmad Shah, the founder of independent Afghanistan.
Kandahar is an old city, dating back perhaps to the 4th century B.C. It has been ruled by many conquerors and has frequently been sacked. The present city was begun by Ahmad Shah, and it served as his capital from 1747 until 1773. The British occupied the city twice (1839-42 and 1879-81) during the Anglo-Afghan wars.