The Khyber Pass (Pashto: د خيبر دره, romanized: De Xēber Dara, lit. 'Valley of Khyber' [d̪ə xebər d̪ara]) is a mountain pass in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, on the border with the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. It connects the town of Landi Kotal to the Valley of Peshawar at Jamrud by traversing part of the White Mountains. Since it was part of the ancient Silk Road, it has been a vital trade route between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent and a strategic military choke point for various states that controlled it. The Khyber Pass is considered one of the most famous mountain passes in the world.
د خیبر درہ (Pashto)
درۂ خیبر (Urdu)
تنگه خیبر (Dari)
|Elevation||1,070 m (3,510 ft)|
|Traversed by||N-5 National Highway; Khyber Pass Railway|
|Location||Between Landi Kotal and Jamrud|
|Range||White Mountains (Spīn Ghar, Safēd Kōh)|
|Coordinates||34°04′33″N 71°12′14″E / 34.07570°N 71.20394°E|
The Khyber Pass runs through a range of arid hills forming the last spurs of the Spīn Ghar Range, and is characterized by a winding gorge flanked by shale and limestone cliffs that rise up to 600-1000 feet (180-300 meters) high.
The pass is threaded by a caravan track and a hard-surface road. The highest point in the pass is Landi Kotal, which is an important market center.
During the times of Indus Valley civilisation (3300 BCE – 1700 BCE) the Khyber Pass through Hindu Kush provided a route to other neighbouring empires and was used by merchants on trade excursions. From 1500 BCE, Indo-Iranian peoples started to enter in the region from Central Asia after having passed the Khyber Pass.
Historical invasions of the Indian subcontinent from Central Asia have been predominantly through the Khyber Pass, including those of Scythians, Parthians, Kushans, Huns, Turks, and Mongols.
Prior to the Kushan era, the Khyber Pass was not a widely used trade route. The Khyber Pass became a critical part of the Silk Road, a major trade route from East Asia to Europe. Through the Khyber Pass, Gandhara (in present-day Pakistan) became a regional center of trade connecting Central and South Asia.: 74
The Sikhs under Ranjit Singh captured the Khyber Pass in 1834. The Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa, who manned the Khyber Pass for years, became a household name in Afghanistan.: 186  A common phrase at the time described the length of what was then India as "Khyber to Kanyakumari".
For strategic reasons, after the First World War, the government of British India built a heavily engineered railway through the Pass. The Khyber Pass Railway, from Jamrud, near Peshawar, to the Afghan border near Landi Kotal was opened in 1925.
During World War II, concrete dragon's teeth were erected on the valley floor due to British fears of a German tank invasion of India.
This section needs to be updated.(January 2021)
This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2022)
During the War in Afghanistan, the Khyber Pass was a major route for resupplying military armament and food to NATO forces in the Afghan theater of conflict since the US started the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Almost 80 percent of the NATO and US supplies that were brought in by road were transported through the Khyber Pass. It was also used to transport civilians from the Afghan side to the Pakistani one.
In January 2009, Pakistan sealed off the bridge as part of a military offensive against Taliban guerrillas. This military operation was mainly focused on Jamrud, a district on the Khyber road. The target was to “dynamite or bulldoze homes belonging to men suspected of harboring or supporting Taliban militants or carrying out other illegal activities”.
This increasingly unstable situation in northwest Pakistan made the US and NATO broaden supply routes through Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). Even the option of supplying material through the Iranian far southeastern port of Chabahar was considered.
In 2010, the already complicated relationship with Pakistan (always accused by the US of hosting the Taliban in this border area without reporting it) became tougher after the NATO forces, under the pretext of mitigating the Taliban's power over this area, executed an attack with drones over the Durand line, passing the frontier of Afghanistan and killing three Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan answered by closing the pass on 30 September which caused a convoy of several NATO trucks to queue at the closed border. This convoy was attacked by extremists apparently linked to Al Qaida which caused the destruction of more than 29 oil tankers and trucks and the killing of several soldiers. NATO chief members had to issue a formal apology to the Pakistani government so the supply traffic at this pass could be restored.
In August 2011, the activity at the Khyber pass was again halted by the Khyber Agency administration due to the more possible attacks of the insurgency over the NATO forces, which had suffered a period of large number of assaults over the trucks heading to supply the NATO and ISAF coalitions all over the frontier line. This instability made the Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association demand more protection from the Pakistani and US government threatening not to supply fuel for the Afghan side.
A camp of the British Indian Army near the Khyber Pass (c. 1920)
Afghan chiefs and a British political officer posed at Jamrud Fort at the mouth of the Khyber Pass in 1878
The British Indian Army's elephant battery of heavy artillery along the Khyber Pass at Campbellpur, 1895
This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2017)
A number of locations around the world have been named after the Khyber Pass:
- A steep and twisting minor road in Mugdock Country Park near Glasgow, Scotland. The road is a landmark along the West Highland Way and is popular among local road cyclists.
- A suburb of Civil Lines, Delhi, India.
- Khyber Pass Road, a major road in the suburb of Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand: Google Earth view
- An artificial rockwork feature at East Park, Kingston upon Hull, UK.
- Khyber Road in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland.
- A steep and twisting road up the West Cliff at Whitby, UK.
- A pedestrian alley in Stromness, Orkney, Scotland
- Khyber Pass Pub in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa in Gulmarg Jammu and Kashmir.
- A mountain bike trail connecting the Top of the World trail at Whistler, British Columbia to the Whistler Creekside Village.
- A subway in the King's Cross St Pancras tube station. After the King's Cross fire in November 1987, it was replaced.
Other references include the following:
- The bus journey on this road was belle-lettered very beautifully, and a part of its first act, in the selective memoir Deshe Bideshe (1948) by Syed Mujtaba Ali.
- Before the partition of India, the pass was mentioned as part of common Hindustani phrase used to describe the length of colonial India, "Khyber sé Kanyakumari".
- 'Khyber Pass' is Cockney rhyming slang meaning 'ass'. This use is alluded to in the 1968 film Carry On Up the Khyber.
- In the 1975 movie The Man Who Would Be King, the character Peachy Carnehan tells Rudyard Kipling how he and his comrade-in-arms Danny Dravot had fought under Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts yard by yard through the Khyber Pass during the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-1880
- The podcast Twilight Histories has an episode called "Napoleon in Afghanistan" which partly takes place in the Khyber Pass.
- The Vampire Weekend song "M79" references the Khyber Pass.
- The Tom Cochrane song "Life Is a Highway" (covered by Rascal Flatts and others) references the Khyber Pass.
- The album Rio Grande Blood by Ministry (2006) has a song called "Khyber Pass" which references it as a possible hiding place for then missing and at large Osama bin Laden. This song was also featured at the end of the film The Hurt Locker.
- The song "Red War" by Probot, featuring Max Cavalera on vocals, mentions the pass.
- British rock band Pink Floyd references the Khyber in their song "Up the Khyber", featured on the soundtrack to the film More.
- In an episode of the cartoon series The World of Commander McBragg titled “Khyber Pass”, the eponymous commander has to fend off ten thousand screaming tribesmen in the Khyber Pass.
- Parts of the 1985 Jay McInerney book Ransom take place in or near the Khyber Pass.
- The Khyber pass features in several of Rudyard Kipling's poems: it appears by name in "The Ballad of the King's Jest", as "the Pass" in "Arithmetic on the Frontier", and semi-fictionalized as the Tongue of Jagai in "The Ballad of East and West".
- In the 2023 movie Ghosted the farmer Cole played by Chris Evans is abducted to the Khyber Pass and rescued by CIA operative Sadie played by Ana de Armas as shown by the location card at 35'15", but the film was actually filmed in New Mexico.
- ^ Wright, Colin. "Maliks of Khyber Pass". www.bl.uk. Retrieved 2023-03-07.
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- ^ Alter, Stephen (2001). Amritsar to Lahore: A Journey Across the India-Pakistan Border. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8122-1743-8.
- ^ (Princeton Roadmap to Regents, p. 80) harv error: no target: CITEREFPrinceton_Roadmap_to_Regents (help)
- ^ Mohiuddin, Yasmeen (2007). Pakistan: A Global Studies Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 36. ISBN 9781851098019.
- ^ Cite error: The named reference
humshehri.org2was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- ^ Tarn, William Woodthorpe (2010). The Greeks in Bactria and India. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108009416. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- ^ Insight Guides Silk Road. Apa Publications (UK) Limited. 2017. p. 424. ISBN 9781786716996.
- ^ Arnold, Guy (2014). World Strategic Highways. Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 9781135933739.
- ^ a b The Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion. Union Square Press. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4027-5696-2.
- ^ Nalwa, Vanit (2009). Hari Singh Nalwa, "champion of the Khalsaji" (1791-1837). New Delhi: Manohar. pp. 318–. ISBN 978-81-7304-785-5.
- ^ a b Rajghatta, Chidanand (27 June 2017). "Attock to Cuttack, PM Narendra Modi causes a stir". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- ^ "Introducing The Khyber Pass". Lonelyplanet.com. 2009-03-24. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- ^ Oppel Jr, Richard A. (2 January 2009). "Pakistan Briefly Reopens Key NATO Supply Route". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- ^ "Pakistan and Afghanistan". Institute for the Study of War. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- ^ "Pakistan Reopens Khyber Pass To US/NATO". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- ^ Karin Brulliard (October 9, 2010). "Pakistan reopens border to NATO supply trucks". Washington Post Foreign Service. Archived from the original on 9 February 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- ^ Ahmad Nabi (August 17, 2011). "Nato supplies via Khyber Pass halted due to security". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- ^ "Khyber Pass Trail at Mugdock Park". Trailforks. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
- ^ Khyber Pass Map Archived 2011-10-30 at the Wayback Machine. Mapsofindia.com (2013-03-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- ^ "Khyber Pass Delhi". Google Maps. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- ^ "MGF City , Khyber Pass , North Delhi". Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- ^ "East's Eden". Kingston upon Hull City Council. September 2002. Archived from the original on 2013-05-17.
- ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1001519)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- ^ McNally, Frank (20 February 2013). "An Irishman's Diary". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
- ^ "OpenStreetMap". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
- ^ "New subway to replace Kings Cross "Khyber Pass"". This Is Local London.
- ^ a b National Geographic Society (2011-11-21). "The Khyber Pass". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2019-08-07. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
- ^ "The Ballad of East and West". www.kiplingsociety.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2019-08-22. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
- ^ "Where was 'Ghosted' filmed? All 'Ghosted' filming locations". Retrieved 2023-04-27.
- ^ "Where was Ghosted filmed?". Retrieved 2023-04-27.
- Molesworth, Lt-Gen. G.N. (1962). Afghanistan 1919 : an Account of Operations in the Third Afghan War. Asia Publishing House. OCLC 7233999.