Thursday, March 3, 2011

Balkh in the Past

Balkh, today only a small town, is very famous for its glorious past.
Zoroaster preached here sometime between 1000 and 600. Rites
Celebrated at the shrine to Anathia. Godess of the Oxus, attracted thousand during the 5th century
And Alexander the great chose it for his base in 4th century B.C. Under the Kushans, when Buddhism was practiced through our 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

Major Places of Interest:
1: the Madressa (College) of Sayid Subhan Quli Khan.
2: The ruins of the ancient city including the old city walls
3: The shrine and mosque of Khwaja Abu Nasr Parsa
4: The tomb of Rabia Balkhi.
5: The Masjide No Gumbad (Mosque of the on nine Domes). This exquisitely ornamented mosque, also referred to Haji Piyada, is the earliest Islamic monument yet identified in Afghanistan.

Balkhi is the home of Rabia Balkhi, the first woman poet of Islamic period and of Mauwlana Jalaluddin Balkhi (Rumi), perhaps the most distinguished Sufi poet. His Masnawi is considered as the greatest poem ever written in Persian language. 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 Gawhar Shad, of Heart      

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