Wakhan Corridor

Sourced from Wikivoyage. Text is available under the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.
Derivative work by john2690. Other authors listed on source image page.
The Wakhan Corridor (وخان in Persian) is the panhandle of Badakhshan Province in the far northeast of Afghanistan, a long (220 km) narrow (16-64 km) area wedged between Tajikistan to the north and Pakistan to the south. It runs across the southern part of the Pamirs range. Its eastern tip is the only place where Afghanistan and China have a border. The area is mostly very rugged mountain country, though there is some relatively flat land in the river valleys; most of the routes through it follow those valleys.
The corridor is the most direct route between Afghanistan and China, and a minor trade route. However, it has never become a major route because the terrain is quite difficult and at times the hill tribes can be as well. The main routes from Afghanistan to China start by going either north over the Salang Pass to Bactria or east through the Khyber Pass into central Pakistan.
The corridor is an artifact created by the Great Game, the intense competition between the British and Russian empires for influence in the region during the latter part of the 19th century. Its northern border was originally between Afghanistan and the Russian Empire (now between Afghanistan and Tajikistan) and was defined in an Anglo-Russian treaty. The southern border was established between Afghanistan and the Raj (now between Afghanistan and Pakistan), and defined in an Anglo-Afghan treaty. The main reason for creating the corridor was that the British wanted to avoid having a direct border between the two empires.



Get in

Get around




Stay safe