History of Ghazni

Mughal king Babur in 1505 writes , “Ghazni is a poor and insignificant place, and I have always wondered how its kings, who possessed also Hindustan and Khorasan, could have chosen such a wretched place for the seat of their government, in preference to Khorasan”.

Babur was not aware of the fact that Ghazni was in its glory before Alauddin Hussain of Ghor ruined and destroyed it. Ghazni was sacked and destroyed by Alauddin Husain Suri of Ghor (nicknamed Jahansoz — ‘the world burner’) in 1152 AD, from which it never recovered. Ghurid army put to sword 60,000 inhabitants of Ghazni , and they destroyed all the tombs and mausoleums of Ghaznavid royal family other than of Mahmud, Masud and Ibrahim. Great buildings of Ghazni were destroyed and the royal library was partially burned while the library of Ibn-i-Sina was burned down fully. It is certain that Ghazni never recovered the splendour that perished then. [See Tabaqat-i-Nasiri for details]. Ghazni, which had not recovered from Ghurid devastation, was again destroyed by Mongols, the ancestors of Babur, in 13th century. Uktai Khan, son of Chingiz Khan, sacked and destroyed Ghazni and the country round and massacred its inhabitants.


View of the city wall and citadel of Ghazni seen from the east, c.1916 . From Werner Otto von Hentig collection

Ghazni : Walls of the Old City – By A. Robillard, undated


Ghazni, 1939. Two men laying haystacks, in the background the city wall of Ghazni. Photo by Annemarie Schwarzenbach


City gate of Ghazni, 1937.


Ghazni city , 1915. Photo by Oskar von Niedermayer.

Ghazni, 1939 ; A bridge over a river, men with sheep in the foreground


Ghazni, 1939. Two men with sheep,  river and the city gate of Ghazni in the background


“The Walls of Ghazni: Mahmoud’s Capital”. 1932’s color halftone print.



Fortress of Ghazni, 1839. Lithograph made by Sir Keith Alexander Jackson



“Ghazni from the south west”, 1857. By Peter Stark Lumsden.



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