The Murad Khani Bazaar

An historic marketplace in Kabul's Old City

Aerial view of Murad Khani and the Kabul River (2006) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

In 2004 Murad Khani was one of the poorest neighourhoods in Kabul, abandoned following decades of conflict and neglect. Today it has become once again a hectic, bustling and noisy place, hosting an important bazaar. The Abu'l Fazl shrine draws many Shia pilgrims to this quarter, who make up some of the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the market each year.

The Murad Khani Market (2007)Turquoise Mountain

The market is also extremely compact. From the shrine, a narrow alley leads down to the Kabul river waterfront, where rows of stalls are found. These stalls predominantly sell fresh fruit and vegetables, brought into the city at dawn each morning.

The Murad Khani bazaar (2017) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

The market is a place of many sights, sounds and smells, from the clinking of the blacksmiths to the pungent aroma of lamb brain and shin, 'kala pacha', a well-known delicacy of the area - alongside bakers, barbers, fortune tellers, tyre recyclers, carpenters, shoe-shiners, jewellers, and many others.

Store vendor selling meat sandwiches (2007) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

Tea serving for the different people working at the bazaar (2017) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

Shoe polisher and barber front background (2017) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

A vendor catering for the Shrine visitors' needs (2017) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

It is not just Shi'a pilgrims who visit these shops. Most of those found sipping tea and chatting with the shop-owners are Murad Khani’s inhabitants, some of whom trace their lineage back to the quarter’s earliest inhabitants in the 18th century.

People of Murad Khani (2017) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

Murad Khani buildings and market (2017) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

There are many gathering spots around the neighbourhood: tea-houses, family-run shrines, squares, wells, and gardens. An important part of family life, these locations are often hidden from the main streets.

The Murad Khani bazaar (2017) by Turquoise MountainTurquoise Mountain

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
The Charities of The Prince of Wales
Explore stories from King Charles III's life and his work supporting heritage and the arts.
View theme
Google apps