ANDḴŪY, a commercial town in northwestern Afghanistan (35°56’ north latitude and 65°08’ east longitude). It lies 330 m above sea level on the Andḵūy river, at the southern edge of the Qara Qūm desert and 30 km from the Āmū Daryā (Oxus), which forms the frontier between Afghanistan and the USSR. A population of 30,000 includes Turkmans, Paṧtūns, Tāǰīks, Hazārs, Uzbeks, and others. Referred to as Antḵoḏ (Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, p. 98, tr. Minorsky, pp. 107, 336) Anḵoḏ (Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 270-71; cf. al-Noḵḏ in Ṭabarī, II, p. 1566), and Andaḵūḏ (Moqaddasī, p. 347; Yāqūt, I, p. 372), Andḵūy was long an assembly point for caravans beading north to B u khara. According to Eṣṭaḵrī medieval Andḵūy was a district with Oštorǰ as its town. The modern town, near the extensive ruins of its predecessor, is a market center, especially for Turkman (so-called B u khara) rugs, Karakul skins, wool, and hides, and a minor silk weaving center. Located on an unpaved section of the major highway circling the country, the town may be bypassed by a new and shorter route. A diesel plant supplies limited electrical power, and a plant for fleshing, drying and bailing Karakul skins operates from mid-March until mid-June. Agriculture is limited by the scarcity of water, and the principal local activity is the raising of sheep and cattle. The town lacks architectural monuments surviving from earlier periods of its history; contemporary houses are crowned by mud-brick domes.


See also Ebn Ḥawqal, pp. 429, 443; tr. Kramers, pp. 415, 428-29.

The Bābur-nāma in English, tr.

A. S. Beveridge, London, l922, pp. 266-67.

Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 80-81, 298, 336.

N. H. Dupree, An Historical Guide to Afghanistan, Kabul, 1971, p. 322.

L. W. Adamec, ed., Historical and Political Gazetteer of Afghanistan IV, pp. 63-71 (with details of its economy, etc. in early 20th century).

J. Humlum, La géographie de l’Afghanistan, Copenhagen, 1959, pp. 149-51.

Le Strange, Lands, p. 426.

H. H. Smith et al., Area Handbook for Afghanistan, 3rd ed., Washington, D. C., 1973, pp. 289, 292, 296, 299, 326.

EI 2 I, p. 506.

(D. N. Wilber)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 3, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 1, p. 26

Cite this entry:

D. N. Wilber, “ANDḴŪY,” Encyclopædia Iranica, II/1, p. 26, available online at (accessed on 30 December 2012).