Lataband Pass

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Lataband Pass
Lataband Road 1.jpg
Lataband Road
Elevation 2,499 m (8,199 ft)[2]
Location Afghanistan
Range Hindu Kush
Coordinates 34°20′21″N 69°36′43″E / 34.33917°N 69.61194°E / 34.33917; 69.61194

The Lataband Pass or Kotal-e Lataband, (elevation: 2,499 m or 8,199 ft) is a mountain pass connecting Afghanistan and Jalalabad on the way to Pakistan in the Karkacha hills between Seh Baba and Butkhak in the Hindukush Range. The name, Lataband, means 'Mountain of Rags' as there was an old belief that people who hung bits of clothing on the bushes along the way, had their wishes granted.[1]


The Lataband Pass is a difficult and dangerous pass which was on the only road suitable for carriages or motor vehicles between Kabul and Jalalabad until the longer, but less precipitous route via the Khord Kabul was used by the Moghuls in the 16th century. An integral part of the ancient Silk Road, it was still in use until 1960, when the route via Tangi Gharu route was finally completed and paved.[2] This new road reduced travel time between Kabul and the Pakistan border from two days to only a few hours.[3] It was for many centuries an important link on the trade route between Central Asia and South Asia, and a strategic military location.

The village of Ak Bolak is located at the east end of the pass.[4]


"A military post was established at this point by the British during the Second Afghan War (1878-80), which was held by Colonel Hudson while Afghan forces held the nearby post of Sherpur. Hudson’s forces were surrounded but could communicate by heliograph in clear weather (an apparatus which used a movable mirror to reflect sunlight to signal to distant points). Colonel Hudson’s force at Lataband, together with troops stationed at the garrison at Jagdalak near the pass, fought against the Tezin Ghilzais who occupied the surrounding hills and eventually drove them off." [5]


  1. ^ Dupree (1977), p. 160,
  2. ^ Dupree (1977), p. 160.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Adamec, Ludwig W., ed. (1972). Historical and Political Gazetteer of Afghanistan. 1. Graz, Austria: Akadamische Druck-u. Verlangsanstalt. p. 17. 
  5. ^ "Lataband Pass the Valley of Death" British Museum


  • Blood (2001). Afghanistan: A Country Study. Peter R. Blood, ed. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. See: [3]
  • Dupree (1977). An Historical Guide to Afghanistan. Nancy Hatch Dupree. First Edition 1970. Revised edition, 1977. Afghan Air Authority; Afghan Tourist Organization, Kabul.

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