Laghman (Pashto/Persian: لغمان) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It has a population of about 445,600, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a rural society. The city of Mihtarlam serves as the capital of the province. In some historical texts the name is written as "Lamghan" or as "Lamghanat".
Located currently at the Kabul Museum are Aramaic inscriptions that were found in Laghman which indicated an ancient trade route from India to Palmyra. Aramaic was the bureaucratic script language of the Achaemenids whose influence had extended toward Laghman. During the invasions of Alexander the Great, the area was known as Lampaka.
Inscriptions in Aramaic dating from the Mauryan Dynasty were found in Laghman which discussed the conversion of Ashoka to Buddhism. The inscription mentions that the distance to Palmyra is 300 dhanusha or yojana.
The Mahamayuri Tantra dated to between 1-3rd century mentions a number of popular Yaksha shrines. It mentions Yaksh Kalahapriya being worshipped in Lampaka.
In the seventh century, the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited Laghman, which he called "Lan-p'o" and considered part of India. He indicated the presence of Mahayana Buddhists and numerous Hindus:
- Mahayanists]]. The non-Buddhists had a score or two of temples and they were very numerous."
The Hudud al-'alam which was finished in 982 AD mentioned the presence of some idol worshipping temples in the area.
The Kabul Shahis only retained Lamghan in the Kabul-Gandhara area by the time of Alp-tegin. According to Firishta, Sabuktigin had already begun raiding Lamghan under Alp-tegin. He crossed the Khyber Pass many times and raided the territory of Jayapala. He plundered the forts in the outlying provinces of the Kabul Shahi and captured many cities, acquiring huge booty. He also established Islam at many places. Jaipal in retaliation marched with a large force into the valley of Lamghan (Jalalabad) where he clashed with Sabuktigin and his son. The battle stretched on several days until a snow storm affected Jaipala's strategies, forcing him to sue for peace.
Jayapala then returned to Waihind but broke the treaty and mistreated the amirs sent to collect the tribute. Sabuktigin launched another invasion in retaliation. According to al-Utbi, Sabuktigin attacked Lamghan, conquering it and burning the residences of the "infidels" while also demolishing its idol-temples and establishing Islam. He advanced and butchered the idolaters, destroying the temples and plundering their shrines, even risking frostbite on their hands counting the large booty.