Kandahar is a city in Afghanistan, located in the south of the country on the Arghandab River, at an elevation of 1,010 m. It is Afghanistan's second largest city after Kabul, with a population of about 614,118. It is the capital of Kandahar Province as well as the de facto capital of the Taliban, formally known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. It also happens to be the centre of the larger cultural region called Loy Kandahar. In 1709, Mirwais Hotak made the region an independent kingdom and turned Kandahar into the capital of the Hotak dynasty. In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the Durrani dynasty, made Kandahar the capital of the Afghan Empire.
Kandahar is one of the most culturally significant cities of the Pashtuns and has been their traditional seat of power for more than 300 years. It is a major trading centre 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 and hashish.
The region around Kandahar is one of the oldest known human settlements.