West of Herat, it forms a valley of great fertility, densely populated and highly cultivated; practically all its waters being drawn off for purposes of irrigation.
It is the contrast between the cultivated aspect of the valley of Herat and the surrounding desert that has given Herat its great reputation for fertility.
Three miles to the south of Herat the Kandahar road crosses the river by a masonry bridge of 26 arches now in ruins.
A few miles below Herat the river begins to turn north-west, and after passing through a rich country to Kuhsan, it turns due north and breaks through the Paropamisan hills.
After a long and severe struggle, he regained Meshed, defeated them in a great battle near Herat in 1597, and drove them out of his dominions.
MESHED (properly Mash-had, " the place of martyrdom"), capital of the province of Khorasan in Persia, situated in a plain watered by the Kashaf-rud (Tortoise river), a tributary of the Hari-rud (river from Herat, which after its junction with the Kashaf is called Tejen), 460 m.
Of Herat, in 36° ?7' N., 59° 36' E., at an elevation of 3800 ft.
In the following year he united with Hussain Mirza of Herat against Shaibani.
The death of Hussain put a stop to this expedition, but Baber spent a year at Herat, enjoying the pleasures of that capital.
To Mery (560 m.), with a branch line (194 m.) to Kushk, near Herat, then N.E.
The forward movement of Russia was thus stopped in the direction of Herat, but it continued with great activity farther east in the region of the Pamirs, until another Anglo-Russian convention was signed in 1895.
In Herat, where he spent the greater part of his life, he gained the favour of that famous patron of letters, Mir `Alishir (1440-1501), who served his old schoolfellow, the reigning sultan Husain (who as the last of the Timurides in Persia ascended the throne of Herat in 1468), first as keeper of the seal, afterwards as governor of Jurjan.
At the request of Mir `Alishirr, himself a distinguished statesman and writer, Mirkhond began about 1474, in the quiet convent of Khilasiyah, which his patron had founded in Herat as a house of retreat for literary men of merit, his great work on universal history, Rauzat-ussafa fi sirat-ulanbia walmuluk walkhulafa or Garden of Purity on the Biography of Prophets, Kings and Caliphs.
In western Asia we have learned the exact value of the mountain barrier which lies between Mery and Herat, and have mapped Indian its connexion with the Elburz of Persia.
We can now Indianrs - fully appreciate the factor in practical politics which Afghan- that definite but somewhat irregular mountain system, represents which connects the water-divide north of istan Herat with the southern abutment of the Hindu Kush, near Bamian.
Every pass of importance is known and recorded; every route of significance has been explored and mapped; Afghanistan has assumed a new political entity by the demarcation of a boundary; the value of Herat and of the Pamirs as bases of aggression has been assessed, and the whole intervening space of mountain and plain thoroughly examined.
Between the Hari Rud (the river of Herat) and the Oxus, in which is almost entirely artificial in its construction.
Of the Caspian Sea, which extends from the Elburz chain eastwards towards Herat, and is bounded on the N.
It rises in the southern slopes of Siah-Koh, which forms the southern wall of the valley of Herat, and after a south-westerly course of about 200 m.
From Herat, and 280 S.S.E.
Lansdell, The Russians at Mery and Herat (London, 1883).
They showed a zeal for evangelization which resulted in the establishment of their influence throughout Asia, as is seen from the bishoprics founded not only in Syria, Armenia, Arabia and Persia, but at Halavan in Media, Mer y in Khorasan, Herat, Tashkent, Samarkand, Baluk, Kashgar, and even at Kambaluk (Pekin) and Singan fu Hsi`en fu in China, and Kaljana and Kranganore in India.
He then reluctantly turned back by way of Herat, where he took leave of the dervishes, and returned with a caravan to Teheran, and subsequently, in March 1864, through Trebizond and Erzerum to Constantinople.
HERAT, a city and province of Afghanistan.
The city of Herat lies in 34° 20' 30" N., and 62° 11' o" E., at an altitude of 2500 ft.
That which distinguishes Herat from all other Oriental cities, and at the same time constitutes its main defence, is the stupendous character of the earthwork upon which the city wall is built.
When the royal engineers of the Russo-Afghan Boundary Commission entered Herat in 1885 they found its defences in various stages of disrepair.
To the north of the walls the site of old Herat was indicated by a vast mass of debris - mounds of bricks and pottery intersected by a network of shallow trenches, where the only semblance of a protective wall was the irregular line of the Tal-i-Bangi.
Whether or no the strength of this bulwark of North-Western Afghanistan should ever be practically tested, the general result of the most recent in vestigations into the value of Herat as a strategic centre has been largely to modify the once widely-accepted view that the key to India lies within it.
Abdur Rahman and his successor Habibullah steadfastly refused the offer of British engineers to strengthen its defences; and though the Afghans themselves have occasionally undertaken repairs, it is doubtful whether the old walls of Herat are maintained in a state of efficiency.
The exact position of Herat, with reference to the Russian station of Kushk (now the terminus of a branch railway from Merv), is as follows: From Herat, a gentle ascent northwards for 3 m.
To the south the road from Herat to India through Kandahar lies across an open plain, which presents no great engineering difficulties, but is of a somewhat waterless and barren character.
The only other public building of any consequence in Herat is the great mosque or Mesjid-i-Juma, which comprises an area of Boo yds.
Now, however, it is falling rapidly into ruin, the ever-changing provincial governors who administer Herat having neither the means nor the inclination to undertake the necessary repairs.
At the present day, with the exception of the Chahar-sick, where there is always a certain amount of traffic, and where the great diversity of race and costume imparts much liveliness to the scene, Herat presents a very melancholy and desolate appearance.
The population of Herat and the neighbourhood is of a very mixed character.
Under the government of Herat, however, there are a very large number of tribes, ruled over by separate and semi-independent chiefs, and belonging probably to different nationalities.
From its source; and it is this tributary (separated from the Hari Rud by the narrow ridges of the Koh-i-Safed and Band-iBaian) that offers the high road from Herat to Kabul, and not the Hari Rud itself.
There are no glaciers near its sources, although they must have existed there in geologically recent times, but masses of melting snow annually give rise to floods, which rush through the midst of the valley in a turbid red stream, frequently rendering the river impassable and cutting off the crazy brick bridges at Herat and Tirpul.
The intense cold which usually accompanies these sudden northern blizzards of Herat and Turkestan is a further source of danger.
East of Herat, the cultivated portion of the valley commences, and it extends, with a width which varies from 8 to 16 m., to Kuhsan, 60 m.
But the great stretch of highly irrigated and valuable fruit-growing land, which appears to spread from the walls of Herat east and west as far as the eye can reach, and to sweep to the foot of the hills north and south with an endless array of vineyards and melon-beds, orchards and villages, varied with a brilliant patchwork of poppy growth brightening the width of green wheat-fields with splashes of scarlet and purple - all this is really comprised within a narrow area which does not extend beyond a ten-miles' radius from the city.
The valley about Herat includes a flat alluvial plain which might, for some miles on any side except the north, be speedily reduced to an impassable swamp by means of flood-water from the surrounding canals.
Through this stretch of dasht the drainage from the main water-divide breaks downwards to the plains of Herat, where it is arrested and utilized for irrigation purposes.
The direct passes across it from Herat (the Baba and the Ardewan) wind amongst masses of disintegrating sandstone for some miles on each side of the dividing watershed, but farther west the rounded knolls of the rain-washed downs may be crossed almost at any point without difficulty.
The origin of Herat is lost in antiquity.
Of the foundation of Herat (or Heri, as it is still often called) nothing is known.
To trace in any detail the fortunes of Herat would be to write the modern history of the East, for there has hardly been a dynastic revolution, or a foreign invasion, or a great civil war in Central Asia since the time of the prophet, in which Herat has not played a conspicuous part and suffered accordingly.
Herat gradually recovered under the enlightened Ghorid kings, who were indeed natives of the province, though they preferred to hold their court amid their ancestral fortresses in the mountains of Ghor, so that at the time of Jenghiz Khan's invasion it equalled or even exceeded in populousness and wealth its sister capitals of Balkh, Mery and Nishapur, the united strength of the four cities being estimated at three millions of inhabitants.
But this Mogul visitation was most calamitous; forty persons, indeed, are stated to have alone survived the general massacre of 1232, and as a similar catastrophe overtook the city at the hands of Timur in 1398, when the local dynasty of Kurt, which had succeeded the Ghorides in eastern Khorasan, was put an end to, it is astonishing to find that early in the 15th century Herat was again flourishing and populous, and the favoured seat of the art and literature of the East.