Kandahar, the nation's second-largest city, is considered to be the birthplace of modern Afghanistan. Virtually all of this 200-year-old city was destroyed during the battles of the last 20 years. Muhammad's Sacred Mantle (a cloak believed to have been owned by the great prophet of Islam) escaped damage and is enshrined in the main mosque. The orchards of the nearby Arghandab Valley yield large, succulent pomegranates. 290 mi/465 km southwest of Kabul.

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