The Minaret of Djam: An Excursion in Afghanistan
Freya Stark traveled the difficult and often dangerous journey from Kabul to Kandahar and Herat in search of one of Afghanistan’s most celebrated treasures, the Minaret of Djam. This magnificent symbol of the powerful Ghorid Empire that once stretched from Iran to India lies in the heart of central Afghanistan’s wild Ghor Province. Surrounded by over 6,000 foot high mountains and by the remains of what many believe to have been the lost city of Turquoise Mountain—one of the greatest cities of the Middle Ages—Djam is, even today, one of the most inaccessible and remote places in Afghanistan. When Freya Stark traveled there, few people in the world had ever laid eyes on it or managed to reach the desolate valley in which it lies.
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acantholimon Afghan Afghanistan armies asphalt Balkh Bamian bazaar beautiful beside boulders Buddha camels camp caravan Central Asia Chahcheran Charikar Chingiz Chingiz Khan Claire cliffs climbed corner crossed dark defile dust earth east eyes flowers Francis Freya Stark garden gate Gauhar Shad Ghazni Ghurids gorges Hari Rud Helmand Herat hills Hindu Kush horse houses human Ishlan journey Kabul Kandahar Kuh-i-Baba Land-Rover landscape light looked lorry Mahmud of Ghazni minaret of Djam Mongol morning Mosque of Balkh mountain never night nomad Oxus pass pastures Persian poplars Psychologist reached ridges river road rock round seemed shadow Shahrak side sight sleep slopes snow squat steep stone stood stream stretch summer tents track tradition travellers trees tributary turned Unai Unai pass valley village vurts walk walls wander watershed willows wind women yellow young Zalmia