DŌŠĪ, small town and district on the northern slope of the central Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. The town is situated at the junction of the Sorḵāb and Andarāb, the valleys of which are traversed by two old caravan tracks linking Kabul with Qaṭaḡan. The one, along the Sorḵāb via Bāmīān and the Šebar pass, was the usual post road at the end of the 19th century (Peacocke, p. 404); the other, along the Andarāb, passed through the Panjšēr valley and the Ḵāwāk pass. Dōšī was thus a transit point between southeastern and northeastern Afghanistan. In 1343 Š./1964 modernization of the once difficult but more direct road to Kabul through the Sālang pass, which branches off the Andarāb road at Ḵenjān 22 km east of Dōšī, has greatly enhanced the activity of the town, accounting for numerous teahouses and a busy bāzār of 120 shops, to meet travelers’ requirements (Grötzbach, p. 87); modern hotel accommodations and petrol refueling are lacking, however, both having been located in the smaller bāzār at Ḵenjān. Dōšī has some religious significance, as it is the usual residence of the sayyeds (claiming descent from the Prophet Moḥammad) of Kayān, a leading Ismaʿili lineage from Dara-ye Kayān, a left bank tributary of the Sorḵāb.

Dōšī is also the administrative headquarters of a district (woloswālī) of 1,735 km2 belonging to the province of Baḡlān. The population of the district includes Larḵābī Tajik and Pashtun newcomers (mostly from the Sāfī tribe) in its lower northern part, and Ismaʿili Šēḵ-ʿAlī Hazāra in the higher southern part. In 1886 it was estimated at 935 families, of which 49 percent were identified as Hazāra, 34 percent as Pashtun, and 17 percent as seminomadic Tajiks (Maitland, p. 440; reproduced, with errors, in Gazetteer of Afghanistan I, pp. 63-64). In 1922 it was put at 2,399 households, approximately 9,000 inhabitants (Koshkaki, p. 52). In 1979 the first demographic census found 37,600 permanent inhabitants in the district, 22 in-habitants/km2. Although little more than estimates, these figures suggest impressive demographic growth.



(For cited works not found in this bibliography and abbreviations found here, see “Short References.”) E. Grötzbach, Städte und Basare in Afghanistan, TAVO Beihefte B 16, Wiesbaden, 1979.

M. B. K. Koshkaki, Qataghan et Badakhshān, tr. M. Reut, Travaux de l’Institut d’Études Iraniennes 10, Paris, 1979.

P. J. Maitland, Diary, with Notes on the Population and Resources of Districts Visited 1884 to 1887, Afghan Boundary Commission, Records of Intelligence Party 2, Simla, 1888.

W. Peacocke, Diary between September 1884 and October 1886, Afghan Boundary Commission, Records of Intelligence Party 3, Simla, 1887.

(Daniel Balland)

Originally Published: December 15, 1995

Last Updated: November 29, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 5, p. 522