Ghuzni, Ghiznee, Or Ghazna, a fortified city of Afghanistan, on the river Ghuzni, 80 m. S. S. "W. of Cabool; pop. estimated at from 3,000 to 10,000. It is a commercial entrepot between the Punjaub and Cabool. It lies on the W. extremity of a range of low hills, which rises above the plain; and as the plain itself is high, the site is 7,726 ft. above the sea. The fortress is an irregular square, with a circuit of about a mile and a quarter. The wall, which is flanked by numerous towers, has a wet ditch supplied with water from the river Ghuzni, which flows around the W. angle. In the N. part of the enclosed town is the citadel. In former times Ghuzni was a magnificent city, filled with palaces, mosques, fountains, reservoirs, and baths. Two lofty minarets, the smaller of which is more than 100 ft. high, several tombs, and a quantity of ruins scattered over a wide area 3 m. N. E. of the modern town, are the only relics of its former grandeur. - About 970 Alp-Teghin, governor of Khorasan under the king of Bokhara, revolted against his sultan and established at Ghuzni the seat of an independent empire, including Cabool and Candahar. Under Mahmoud, the third prince of this new dynasty, Ghuzni acquired historical importance as the centre of the first permanent Mussulman conquests in India. Mahmoud extended his victories from the Tigris to the Ganges, from the Indian ocean to the Oxus. He made twelve great military expeditions, breaking idols, plundering temples, and rendering his capital one of the richest cities of Asia. He built a mosque of granite and marble, and lavished upon it ornaments of such magnificence that throughout the East it was known as the "celestial bride." He founded and endowed a university, patronized literature, and filled his court with poets and philosophers.
After his death (about 1030) Ghuzni declined. In 1152 it was taken by the princes of Ghore. In 1839 it was stormed by the British under Sir J. Keane. In 1842 it surrendered to the Afghans, but was retaken by Gen. Sir William Nott, who brought back to India the famous gates of Somnauth, which Mahmoud had carried off from Guzerat.