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Sights

Afghanistan

MAZAR-I-SHARIF

  • The center of the province of Balkh with the famed Blue Mosque and the shrines of Saint Ali, son-in-law and cousin of the Prophet Mohammed, Mazar-i-Sharif is one of the busiest markets of Krakul and carpets in northern Afghanistan.



  • BALKH - (ancient Bactria) Called the "Mother of Cities," Balkh is about 22 kms. (13 mi.) west of Mazar-e-Sharif. Today nothing remains of its ancient glory except a series of ruins such as the famous Arch Of Nawbahar and the remains of a Buddhist Stupa. The remains of some Islamic architecture belonging to the Timurid era (16th Century) can be seen in the mosque Khaja Mohammed Parsa. The blue vault and enameled blue tiles are still there to be admired. The Balkh region is the birthplace of Sufi mystic and poet Rumi (Moulana) and supposedly the birthplace of Zoroaster (Zarathushtra), the founder of Zoroasterism.

  • PUL-I-KHUMRI - A small town and center of the textile industry. The road to Balkh and Kunduz branches here.

  • SORKH KOTAL - 15 kms. from Pul-i-Khumri of the ruins of a great Kushani temple of the 1st century AD Grand stairs carved in the side of the hill leads to the top where a fire temple built by Kanishka, the great Kushan Emperor was excavated in the 1960s by the French Archeological Mission.


Balkh: Kaja Mohammad Parsa Mosque