KALAT, the capital of Baluchistan, situated in 29° 2′ N. and 66° 35′ E., about 6780 ft. above sea-level, 88 m. from Quetta. The town gives its name also to a native state with an area, including Makran and Kharan, of 71,593 m. and a population (1901) of 470,336. The word Kalat is derived from kala—a fortress; and Kalat is the most picturesque fortress in the Baluch highlands. It crowns a low hill, round the base of which clusters the closely built mass of flat-roofed mud houses which form the insignificant town. A miri or citadel, having an imposing appearance, dominates the town, and contains within its walls the palace of the khan. It was in an upper room of this residence that Mehrab Khan, ruler of Baluchistan, was killed during the storming of the town and citadel by the British troops at the close of the first Afghan War in 1839. In 1901 it had a population of only 2000. The valleys immediately surrounding the fortress are well cultivated and thickly inhabited, in spite of their elevation and the extremes of temperature to which they are exposed. Recent surveys of Baluchistan have determined the position of Hozdar or Khozdar (27° 48′ N., 66° 38′ E.) to be about 50 m. S. of Kalat. Khozdar was the former capital of Baluchistan, and is as directly connected with the southern branches of the Mulla Pass as Kalat is with the northern, the Mulla being the ancient trade route to Gandava (Kandabe) and Sind. In spite of the rugged and barren nature of the mountain districts of the Kalat highlands, the main routes through them (concentrating on Khozdar rather than on Kalat) are comparatively easy. The old “Pathan vat,” the trade highway between Kalat and Karachi by the Hab valley, passes through Khozdar. From Khozdar another route strikes a little west of south to Wad, and then passes easily into Las Bela. This is the “Kohan vat.” A third route runs to Nal, and leads to the head of the Kolwa valley (meeting with no great physical obstruction), and then strikes into the open high road to Persia. Some of the valleys about Kalat (Mastang, for instance) are wide and fertile, full of thriving villages and strikingly picturesque; and in spite of the great preponderance of mountain wilderness (a wilderness which is, however, in many parts well adapted for the pasturage of sheep) existing in the Sarawan lowlands almost equally with the Jalawan highlands, it is not difficult to understand the importance which the province of Kalat, anciently called Turan (or Tubaran), maintained in the eyes of medieval Arab geographers (see Baluchistan). New light has been thrown on the history of Kalat by the translation of an unpublished manuscript obtained at Tatta by Mr Tate, of the Indian Survey Department, who has added thereto notes from the Tufhat-ul-Kiram, for the use of which he was indebted to Khan Sahib Rasul Baksh, mukhtiardar of Tatta. According to these authorities, the family of the khans of Kalat is of Arabic origin, and not, as is usually stated, of Brahuic extraction. They belong to the Ahmadzai branch of the Mirwari clan, which originally emigrated from Oman to the Kolwa valley of Mekran. The khan of Kalat, Mir Mahmud Khan, who succeeded his father in 1893, is the leading chieftain in the Baluch Confederacy. The revenue of the khan is estimated at nearly £60,000, including subsidies from the British government; and an accrued surplus of £240,000 has been invested in Indian securities.
See G. P. Tate, Kalat (Calcutta, 1896); Baluchistan District Gazetteer, vol. vi. (Bombay, 1907). (T. H. H.*)