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Hari-Rud

HARI-RUD, a river of Afghanistan. It rises in the northern slopes of the Koh-i-Baba to the west of Kabul, and finally loses itself in the Tejend oasis north of the Trans-Caspian railway and west of Merv. It runs a remarkably straight course westward through a narrow trough from Daolatyar to Obeh, amidst the bleak wind-swept uplands of the highest central elevations in Afghanistan. From Obeh to Kuhsan 50 m. west of Herat, it forms a valley of great fertility, densely populated and highly cultivated; practically all its waters being drawn off for purposes of irrigation. It is the contrast between the cultivated aspect of the valley of Herat and the surrounding desert that has given Herat its great reputation for fertility. Three miles to the south of Herat the Kandahar road crosses the river by a masonry bridge of 26 arches now in ruins. A few miles below Herat the river begins to turn north-west, and after passing through a rich country to Kuhsan, it turns due north and breaks through the Paropamisan hills. Below Kuhsan it receives fresh tributaries from the west. Between Kuhsan and Zulfikar it forms the boundary between Afghanistan and Persia, and from Zulfikar to Sarakhs between Russia and Persia. North of Sarakhs it diminishes rapidly in volume till it is lost in the sands of the Turkman desert. The Hari-Rud marks the only important break existing in the continuity of the great central water-parting of Asia. It is the ancient Arius. (T. H. H.*)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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