Wakhan Corridor by Ludovico Alcorta

Wakhan Corridor

The Wakhan valley was at the heart of the Great Game, the political and diplomatic confrontation between the Russian and British empires during the 19th century. In 1891, some kilometers further upstream from here, Captain Younghusband had an encounter with Cossack soldiers, who forced him to leave the area. This incident led to a border dispute which eventually culminated in the carving out of a thin strip of land in order to provide a buffer zone between empires. At its narrowest point, the Wakhan corridor is no more than 13km wide - Yamchun fort in the foreground is in Tajikistan (formerly Russian), the first mountains are in Afghanistan, and the snow-capped peaks on the horizon are the border with Pakistan (formerly British).