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Omdurman is the second largest city in Sudan and Khartoum State, lying on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum. Omdurman has a population of 2,395,159 and is the national centre of commerce. With Khartoum and Khartoum North or Bahri, it forms the cultural and industrial heart of the nation.EtymologyThe name Omdurman literally translates as "Mother of Durmān", but who she was or might have been is not known. There are unattested legends of a woman known as Umm Durmān who lived in an area at the confluence of the White and Blue Niles, but her importance remains obscure.HistoryIn 1884, Muḥammad Aḥmad, "the Mahdi", made his military headquarters in the village of Omdurman. The conflicts that followed over the next fifteen years have become known as the Mahdist War. Following the defeat of the besieged defenders of Khartoum in 1885, the Mahdi's successor, Khalifa ʻAbdullahi ibn Muḥammad, made Omdurman his capital.The city, now the location of the tomb of the Mahdi, grew rapidly. However, in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 (which actually took place in the nearby village of Kerreri), Lord Kitchener decisively defeated the Mahdist forces and killed the Khalifa, ensuring British control over the Sudan.Omdurman is in Khartoum State. Use our Sudan trip planner to plan your trip to Omdurman and other destinations in Sudan.
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