Shahr-e-Gholgola in Bamiyan – Afghanistan

Shahr e Gholgola or the City of Cries, is one of the most famous historical landmarks in Afghanistan. This citadel is best known as the place where Ghorid Bamiyan would make its last stand against the Mongols and Genghis Khan.


The citadel is 20 minutes from Bamiyan. To reach the citadel, go to the Teppe Baba Shah. When you get to the first junction, turn left. The road will skirt the citadel base. A path will take you to a clearing made just for parking. The citadel will be right there.

What to See

The journey to the citadel will take you past some potato and wheat fields. During the summer you will see oxen at work. You will also see a police near the summit. The best thing about the site is the view. The vistas from the valley all the way to the cliff walls are some of the best in the country.

At the south you will see the Kakrak Valley. While strolling through the Shahr e Gholgola, you will see the farmland. The Qala-e Dokhtar remains is between the valley and the citadel.


Set on a high rise, the citadel was the most ably defended of all the citadels of Bamiyan. The ruler at the time was Jalaludin. His army was holding its own against Khan. However, Jalaludin was betrayed by his daughter. She was furious over the fact that her widowed father was going to marry a Ghazni princess.

In a fit of pique, she told the Mongols of the secret entryway to the castle. This betrayal enabled the Mongols to lay siege on the castle. The princess expected to be rewarded but she was killed. Genghis Khan would go on to kill every man, woman, child and animal in the valley.


Plane tickets to Afghanistan should not cost more than a few hundred dollars. The taxi fares in the city should cost about 1 USD every couple of km or so. You can always negotiate with the driver.

Other Info

Another nice thing about the site is that it overlooks the Bamiyan. Aside from the sheer beauty of the site, it also functions as a reminder of the history of Afghanistan. From the citadel, you will see the spot where the Buddhas once stood.

You will also see the communications tower on the airport. It is for this reason that the citadel remains one of the most remarkable sites in the country.