Ishkashim, Afghanistan


Location in Afghanistan

Coordinates: 36°42′33″N 71°34′26″E / 36.70917°N 71.57389°E / 36.70917; 71.57389Coordinates: 36°42′33″N 71°34′26″E / 36.70917°N 71.57389°E / 36.70917; 71.57389
Country  Afghanistan
Province Badakhshan Province
District Ishkashim
Elevation[1] 8,500 ft (2,600 m)
Time zone + 4.30

Ishkashim Persian: اشکاشم, or Ashkasham, also transliterated Ishkashem or Eshkashem, is a town in Badakhshan Province in north-eastern Afghanistan,[2] the capital of Ishkashim District. It lies on the Panj River, at a point where its direction turns sharply north. Ishkashim lies opposite a town of the same name in Tajikistan, although the Tajik town is normally transliterated Ishkoshim following Tajik practice. A bridge opened in 2006 links the two towns.[3]

The town of Ishkashim lies in a fertile valley at an elevation of 3037 meters.[4] There are roughly 20 settlements in the valley, but, considering the cultivation in the valley is continuous, it could also be considered one single, larger settlement. The total population of the valley is 12120.[4]

The valley has only one harvest per year. Wheat and barley are cultivated. Poplar and chinar trees goew as well, but there is little firewood.

The climate is generally cold, but much warmer than that of neighboring areas, such as Wakhan.[1]

The people of the town are predominantly Nizārī Ismā'īlī, and are called Ishkashimi. Most of them speak the Ishkashimi language.[1]

The valley lies in an important strategic area, as it commands the only route between Badakhshan, Shighnan, and Wakhan accessible during the winter. There had been a mud fort located in the central village.[1]

Ishkashim was earlier a state of the Emir of Badakhshan on the Upper Oxus River. The lands of the state stretched some 16 miles north of the town of Ishkashim, on both sides of the river, to the border of Gharan. Together with Zebak, Eshkashem was under the direct rule of the naib of Zebak, thus also placing them indirectly under the governor of Badakhshan.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Adamec, Ludwig W., ed. (1972). Historical and Political Gazeteer of Afghanistan. 1. Graz, Austria: Akadamische Druck-u. Verlangsanstalt. p. 85.
  2. "NGA GeoName Database". National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  3. "News: Aga Khan and President Rahmonov inaugurate reconstructed bridge in Ishkashim". Asia-Plus. 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  4. 1 2 Population of Ashkāsham, Afghanistan
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