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ABC 110 — Camp Chaharshamba

General view of the ABC camping ground at Chaharshamba. Several army tents are mingled with kibitkas. Several picketed horses covered with blankets are visible. A thin layer of snow covers the muddy ground. In the foreground a group of people is sitting close together at a camp fire. Behind them, between two kibitkas, a mile-measuring machine is slightly visible. In the background the snow-covered ridge of the Band-e Turkistan.
[List:] 110. Camp at Chahar Shamba with Tirband-i-Turkistàn.
  • Collection Edward L. Durand, sketch ELD 077: same place.
  • Owen, Charles (1884-86): Transcript of diary and letters, p. 374: “8 Jan [1886] […] Sent off our traps about 9 am and marched ourselves about 10.15 for Chahar Shamba and reached that place at 1.45 pm. […] The Swiss Cottage tents were pitched and we were soon in clover. The camp is on cultivated ground but not as wet as we had expected. There is a large Commt. store here now and a tremendous stock of bhoosa (hay) and wood. The camp lines have been well laid down. Chahar Shamba itself is a straggling lot of villages and the people seem poor. The valley is about 1½ miles or more in width. […]”; p. 378: letter to Mrs CW Owen (dated 8 Jan 1886), “[…] I have a big Swiss cottage tent pitched for me here but altho’ it is pleasant to live in, it is precious cold and to keep it warm we would have to put in a stove which I have not. […]”; pp. 385-386: letter to Mrs CW Owen (dated 20 Jan 1886), “[…] I am sitting writing at my table and in front of me are the Bund-i-Turkestan looking as if I was sitting down a few miles from the Alps. They are a perfect sheet of snow but this sun will soon make a difference. […]”
  • [Parliamentary Blue Papers, May 1885]: Central Asia. No. 2 (1885), p. 104: Sir Peter Lumsden to Earl Granville, “I proceed to Penjdeh whilst the camp was moved by Kushk and Bala Murghab to Chakar Shamba, 30 miles from Maimeneh, on Herat road, where I shall establish winter quarters, arrangements having been made with Afghan authorities to at once construct kibitkas for men and horses.”
  • Holdich, T.H. (1885): Afghan Boundary Commission; Geographical Notes, p. 283: “The Tirband-i-Turkistan is a distinct range, although an offshoot from the great system of mountains which culminate about longitude 66°30ʹ. To the south it shelves down to the Murghab basin in cliffs and precipices. To the north it sends out long flattish spurs, up which many a rideable track can be found.”
  • Lansdell, H. (1887): Through Central Asia, Diplomacy and Delimitation of the Russia-Afghan Frontier, p. 627: “On the 25th [December 1885] the English invited the Russians to their Christmas dinner, and on Boxing Day returned the visit to a Russian lunch, soon after which the British started for their winter camp at Chahar-Shambeh.”; p. 629: “Owing to rainy weather the English Commissioner and political officers did not leave Chahar-Shambeh until the 7th of May [1886], two days after which they arrived near Maimana.”
  • Adamec, L.W. (1979): Mazar-i-Sharif and north-central Afghanistan, p. 153: Chaharshamba, “The camp of the British portion of the Afghan Boundary Commission was here during the greater part of the winter 1885-6. The place was found to be much colder than Bala Murghab, where the pervious winter was spent (Maitland).”
Image No.
ABC 110
Afghan Boundary Commission 1884-86
ABC 2, Photographs 058 to 116
Sepia print, 137/127 mm
background faded, darkened, some dark spots
Place, date
Chaharshamba, Winter, 1885-86
  • 1.57 Pictures of Landscapes, Cities
  • 2.124 Mazar-e Sharif and N-Afghanistan
  • 4.365 Abdur Rahman Khan (1880-1901)
  • 4.416 GB Relations with Great Britain
  • Latitude / Longitude35.754393 / 63.985995
    Google Earth35°45ʹ N / 63°59ʹ E
    Survey of India MapSheet 29, Herat (1916): Chahar Shamba, B 11

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