Balkh | +- Balkh today only a small town in the Mazar-e-Sharif province, | is very famous for its glorius past. | +- Zoroaster preached here sometime between 1000 and 600 B.C. | +- Rites celebratd at the shrine to Anahita, Godess of the Oxus, | attracted thousands during the 5th Century B.C. | +- Alexander the Great chose it for his base in the 4th Century B.C. | +- Under the Kushans, when Buddhism was practiced throughout | Afghanistan, many holy temples flourished in Balkh. | +- The Arabs called Balkh the mother of cities. By the 9th Century, | during the rule of the Samanid Dynasty, about 40 Friday Mosques | stood within the city. | +- Balkh is the home of Rabia Balkhi, the first woman poet of | Islamic period and of Mawlana jalaluddin Balkhi (Romi), perhaps | the most distinguished Sufi poet. | +- Balkh's glorious history closed in 1220 when the mounted men of | Genghis Khan rode through and left it utterly devastated. | +- The city, nevertheless, lying on an important trade route recovered under the enlightened rule of Shah Rukh and his Queen Gawahar Shad of Herat.
Bot-e-Bamyan | +- An example of Budhist art of central Afghanistan. | +- At the both eastern and western approaches to Bamyan | a huge statue of Buddah was cut into the face of the rock. | +- The smaller statue measures 120 feet (about 40 meters) and | and dates after 4th century AD. | +- The larger statue measures 170 feet (about 50 meters) and dates from the 5th century AD.
Ghazni | +- Ghazni, an important market town, particularly famous for | embroidered sheepskin coats, was the dazzling capital of Ghaznawi | Empire from 994-1160 A.D. encompassing much of northern India, | Persia and Central Asia. | +- Many campaigns into India were launched from here resulting in the | spread of Islam to the East. | +- This glorious city was rased to the ground by Arab invaders in 869, | by the Ghorid Sultan Alauddin in 1151 and by Genghis Khan in 1221. | +- Major points of interest: | +- The Palace of Sultan Masoud III | +- The Minarets: The two remaining Minarets, built by Sultan | Masoud III (1099-1114) and Bahram Shah (1118-1152), now only a | fraction of their original height, served as models for the | spectacular tower of Jam which in turn inspired the Qutob Minar | at Delhi. The intricate decoration is in raised brick, without | color and includes epigraphic friezes in square Kufi and Noshki | script, and addition to panels of floral and geometric designs. | That of Sultan Masoud is more elaborate. | +- Mosoleum of Sultan Mahmoud | +- Museum of Islamic Art | +- Tapa Sardar Stupa | +- The Tomb of Fateh Khan Barakzai
Jalalabad Museum (Haddah) | +- Request For Information.
Kabul Museum | +- Please see the section on looting of Kabul Museum and those who are allegedly responsible for it at The Looting of Kabul Museum .
Munar-e-Jaam (Fairooz Koh) | +- 200km East of Herat | +- Eight centuries old | +- 65 meters high | +- 2nd after Qutub Munar-e-Dehli | +- Possibly Build by Sultan Gheyasuddin | His name is mentioned 3 times on the writings on the Munar | (588 Hejri == 1192 Christian Calendar) | +- On its side there was a great Mosque to which this Munaret | belonged. | +- This Mosque and Minaret was build in a city which was spread | on both banks of Road-e-Hariroad. This city was called Fairooz | Koh | +- Today this Minaret (800 years old) has a small inclination and is in need of support and reinforcement.
Qala-e-Bost | +- The ancient Qalai-i-Bost lies south of the city of Lashkargah, | the capital of the Helmand Province. | +- Bost has been recognized in the Zoroastian hymns of the Avesta, | in Achaemenid town lists and in 1st Century accounts. | +- The city was taken by Muslim conquerors around 661 A.D. | +- From the 11th until the middle of the 12th Century Bost prospered | as the winter capital of the Ghaznawids. | +- The city was burned and looted in 1151 by the Ghorids and then | completely demolished by Genghis Khan in 1220. | +- Today the remains of the great palace of Masoud still give the | visitor an idea of the splendor of the court of what was then | the greatest Empire of the East. | +- The most remarkable monument is the magnificently decorated arch which has a span of 80 feet.