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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Bampur (Hindi: बमपुर), Persian: بمپور‎, also Romanized as Bampūr and Bampoor) is a city in and capital of Bampur County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran. Its ancient name was Pura and it was capital of the Gedrosia.


It is located 530 km south-east of Kerman at an elevation of 520 mt. It is situated on the banks of the Bampur river which flows from east to west and empties itself about 110 km west into a hamun, or depression, 80 km in length, and called Jaz Murian.[1]


Bampur is a site of some of the burial urns with human facial features called 'Visage Urns'. They are reported from either few Palestinian caves of the 4th millenium B.C. or from Khurab, Bampur and Katukan in Persian Makran of 2nd-1st millenium B.C.[2]

The old citadel of Bampur, on a hill about 100 feet (30 m) high 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the river, fell into ruins. A new fort called Kalah Nasseri, was built at Pahrah, which is known as Iranshahr, 24 km further east, in the 1880s.[3]

Fahraj, which in 1911 had a population of about 2,500, has become more important than Bampur. Fahraj, which is also known as Pahura (or Paharu or Puhra), is by some identified as the Poura where Alexander the Great halted on his march from the Indus region of Pakistan.[4]

H. W. Bellew[5] writes that ...Gurtius, in his account of this same march, says that Alexander built a city at this place, and peopled it with Arakhotoi. Beyond the Oritai, continues Arrian, Alexander, keeping near the coast, entered through a narrow pass into the territories of the Gedrosoi, the onward march through which lay at a distance from the sea, by a very dangerous road, destitute of all the necessaries of life, till he reached Pura (Bampur), the capital of the Gedrosoi, on the sixtieth day after leaving the territory of the Oritai. After a rest at Pura he marched into Karmania....The only people mentioned by Arrian as inhabiting this part of Ariana are the Oritai and Gedrosi. Pura (Bampur) was, according to Arrian, the capital of the Gedrosoi, after whom the whole of this region was named Gedrosia. They were probably at that time the dominant and most numerous tribe ; their name still survives in that of their modern representatives, the Gadar of Las Bela, where they are chiefly employed in mercantile pursuits.

Ch.24: March through Gadrosia.

Arrian[6] writes ... HE then advanced towards the capital of the Gadrosians, which was named Pura1 ; and he arrived there in sixty days after starting from Ora. Most of the historians of Alexander’s reign assert that all the hardships which his army suffered in Asia were not worthy of comparison with the labours undergone here. They say that Alexander pursued this route, not from ignorance of the difficulty of the journey (Nearchus, indeed, alone says that he was ignorant of it), but because he heard that no one had ever hitherto passed that way with an army and emerged in safety, except Semiramis, when she fled from India. The natives said that even she emerged with only twenty men of her army; and that Cyrus,. son of Cambyses, escaped with only seven of his men2. For they say that Cyrus also marched into this region for the purpose of invading India, but that he did not effect his retreat before losing the greater part of his army, from the desert and the other difficulties of this route. When Alexander received this information he is said to have been seized with a desire of excelling Cyrus and Semiramis. Nearchus says that he turned his march this way, both for this reason and at the same time for the purpose of conveying provisions near the fleet. The scorching heat and lack of water destroyed a great part of the army, and especially the beasts of burden; most of which perished from thirst and some of them even from the depth and heat of the sand, because it had been thoroughly scorched by the sun. For they met with lofty ridges of deep sand, not closely pressed and hardened, but such as received those who stepped upon it just as if they were stepping into mud, or rather into untrodden snow. At the same time too the horses and mules suffered still more, both in going up and coming down the hills, from the unevenness of the road as well as from its instability. The length of the marches between the stages also exceedingly distressed the army; for the lack of water often compelled them to make the marches of unusual length.3 When they travelled by night on a journey which it was necessary to complete, and at daybreak came to water, they suffered no hardship at all; but if, while still on the march, on account of the length of the way, they were caught by the heat, the day advancing, then they did indeed suffer hardships from the blazing sun, being at the same time oppressed by unassuageable thirst.4

1. Pura was near the borders of Carmania, probably at Bampur. The name means town.

2. Cf. Strabo, xv. 2; Diodorus, ii. 19, 20. According to Megasthenes, Semiramis died before she could carry out her intended invasion of India. See Arrian (Indica, 5). Neither Herodotus nor Ctesias mentions an invasion of India by Cyrus; and according to Arrian (Indica, 9), the Indians expressly denied that Cyrus attacked them.

3. Strabo says that some of these marolies extended 200, 400, and even 600 stades; most of the marching being done in the night. Kruger substitutes ξυμμέτρους for ξύμμερτος ουσα.

4. Cf. Thucydides, ii. 49, 3.



In 1911 its population was about 2,000 and Bampur was the capital of the province.


The majority of the population are ethnic Baloch, who speak the Balochi language. Pashtun tribes are also present in the city, including the influential Barakzai who have adopted Balochi language.

External links


  1. "Bampūr". Encyclopædia Britannica 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India,p.68
  3. "Bampūr". Encyclopædia Britannica 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  4. Others are more in favour of another Fahraj near Bam, or even of Bampūr itself as the halting place of Alexander the Great (Chisholm 1911).
  5. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan,p.176-177
  6. The Anabasis of Alexander/6b, Ch.24

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