Image No.
RE 103
Collection
Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive
1878-1880
Series
RE 1879-80, Part 3: 100-115, Confidential Photographs/Plans
Format
Two albumen paper with gold toning, 205/280 mm, on brittle, brown paper with printed captions
Quality
Fore- and background faded, two black areas in the right part
Place, date
Kabul, Koh-e Sher Darwaza, winter 1879/80
A general view of the so-called Bala Borj (upper tower) from SW. This fortification was constructed on top of the remains of a Buddhist stupa on the crest of the mountain Koh-e Sher Darwaza, marked with A on the General Plan. Another building stands on the right side of the towerlike fortification.
© Copyright image: Royal Engineers Institution, Chatham
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Image No.:
RE 103
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Bala Borj

A general view of the so-called Bala Borj (upper tower) from SW. This fortification was constructed on top of the remains of a Buddhist stupa on the crest of the mountain Koh-e Sher Darwaza, marked with A on the General Plan. Another building stands on the right side of the towerlike fortification.

[Album:] Photo. No. 13. / Bala Boorj. Looking down the hill towards the Bala Hissar.

[S&M List:] 2-57 Bala Borge. [only left part mentioned]

  • 0101. Kabul City
  • 2.126 Kabul and SE-Afghanistan
  • 4.364 Second A.-A. War (1878-1880)
  • 4.83 Military Installations, Buildings
  • Original:
    Chatham: Cabul Defences, Photo No. 13, “Green Album”, No. J1 6/256
  • Collection Cabul Defences, Plans No. 6A and 7
  • Not in the albums of the usual RE Collections.
  • Hensman, H. (1882): The Afghan War of 1879-80, p. 296: “December 11th to 23rd. General Charles Gough’s brigade in the Bala Hissar is busy at work, cutting a broad road from the Shah Shehr Gate (that facing Siah Sung) to the gate overlooking the city near Chandaul. […] The Sherderwaza Heights immediately above the Bala Hissar are also to be held in future by one battalion (say 500 or 600 men), stationed in three strong towers, now in course of construction. The first and strongest of these is on the spur above the arsenal; a steep point completely commanding the Upper Bala Hissar already being crowned with strong walls, the basement of the tower.”
  • Woodburn, C.W. (2009): The Bala Hissar of Kabul. Revealing a fortress-palace in Afghanistan, p. 40, Figure 50: “Panoramic view of the Bala Burj, from the west in 1880. The tower is being rebuilt.”
  • The Second Afghan War 1878-80: Abridged Official Account (1908), p. 395: “Three hundred feet above the Bala Hissar stands the Bala Burj, which has been repaired, and which is now capable of accommodating twenty rifles; it is practically inaccessible, has a most extensive command of fire, and is an excellent link between the upper Bala Hissar and the Sher Darwaza and the Deh Mazang gorge, and to communicate with the work on Asmai.”
Google earth
34°30'13" N / 69°11'01" E / 1905 m
Latitude
/
Longitude
34.503551 / 69.183559
Survey of India Map
Sheet 38 (1917), Kabul: Kabul, 2B 26
© Copyright text:
Stiftung Bibliotheca Afghanica, CH-4416 Bubendorf
 
Authors:
Paul Bucherer, Bill Woodburn
 
Left part of panorama RE 103.
Left part of panorama RE 103.
Left part of panorama RE 103.
Left part of panorama RE 103.
Plan No. 7
Plan No. 7
Plan No. 6 A (South is at the top).  Comparison with a photograph of the fortification up to Bala Borj.
Plan No. 6 A (South is at the top). Comparison with a photograph of the fortification up to Bala Borj.
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