Kandahar or Qandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 491,500 as of 2012. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at an altitude of 1,010 m above sea level. The Arghandab River runs along the west of the city.
Kandahar is Southern Afghanistan’s chief commercial centre and is situated at the junction of highways from Kabul, Herat, and Quetta (Pakistan). The strategic and commercial importance of the site, on main routes via Herat to Central Asia, to Kabul, and to India, explains its long history of conquests and frequent refoundings. It is a major trading center for sheep, wool, cotton, silk, felt, food grains, fresh and dried fruit, and tobacco. The region produces fine fruits, especially pomegranates and grapes, and the city has plants for canning, drying, and packing fruit, and is a major source of marijuana. The area is believed to be the birthplace of cannabis indica.
Kandahar has an international airport and extensive road links with Lashkar Gah and Herat to the west, Ghazni and Kabul to the northeast, Tarinkot to the north, and Quetta in neighboring Balochistanto the south.