Saturday, February 20, 2016

Chilzina, or the Forty Steps (1878-1880)




This photograph of the Chilzina and the "Forty Steps" is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Chilzina is a chamber carved from the mountain rock that was part of the old citadel of Kandahar, built by the first Mughal emperor, Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur (1483–1530), in the early 16th century. Inside the chamber near the summit, reached by forty steps, are Persian inscriptions detailing Bābur's conquests in India and elsewhere in Asia. A battle between Amir Abd al-Raḥmān Khān and his cousin Ayūb Khān took place near the base of the steps in 1881. The ruins of the old citadel, which was destroyed in 1738, are visible in the center of the photograph, above the dried-fruit seller sitting with two other people.

Source: Library of Congress