FARAH, a town of Afghanistan. It is situated on the river that bears its name on the main road between Herat and Kandahar, 160 m. S. of Herat and 225 m. W. of Kandahar. It is a place of some strategical importance, as it commands the approaches to India and Seistan from Herat. The town (2460 ft. above sea-level) is a square walled enclosure standing in the middle of the plain, surrounded with a walled rampart. Owing to its unhealthiness it is now almost deserted, being only occupied by the Afghan regiment quartered there. It is a place of great antiquity, being probably the Phra mentioned by Isidore of Charax in the 1st century A.D. It was sacked by the armies of Jenghiz Khan, and the survivors transported to a position farther north, where there are still great ruins. The population returned to the original site after the destruction of the medieval city by Shah Abbas, and the city prospered again until its bloody siege by Nadir Shah. Subsequently under constant attacks it declined, and in 1837 the population amounting to 6000 was carried off to Kandahar. The sole industry of the town at present is the manufacture of gunpowder. In the districts east of Farah are to be found the most fanatical of the Durani Afghan tribes.
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