Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam, Afghanistan






The Minaret of Jam and its archaeological remains are a World Heritage Site in Shahrak District, Ghur Province, Afghanistan. Inscribed in 2002, it is the first of two World Heritage Sites in that country. The core zone covers an area of 70 hectares while the buffer zone 600 hectares.

What to See at Minaret of Jam

The centrepiece of this World Heritage Site is the beautiful 65-meter tall minaret. It was built of baked bricks in the late 12th century, possibly around 1190's. It is famous for its intricate geometric decoration that covers its entire exterior. The decoration consists of different types of Islamic calligraphy with passages derived from the Quran, particularly surat Maryam, which relates to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Photos of the Minaret of Jam

Minaret of Jam, Afghanistan
Minaret of Jam, Afghanistan
Author: David C. Thomas (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

Inscriptions on the Minaret of Jam
Inscriptions on the Minaret of Jam
Author: David C. Thomas (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)
Interior staircase of the Minaret of Jam
Interior staircase of the Minaret of Jam
Author: David C. Thomas (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

Location

The Minaret of Jam is surrounded by soaring mountains that rise to a height of 2400 meters. It was largely unknown to the outside world until 1886, when it was rediscovered by Sir Thomas Holdich, an English geographer who was president of the Royal Geographical Society. However, it was only in 1957 that the world knows more about this minaret.

Location Map

You can see the shadow of the minaret in this satellite view from Google Map:


View Minaret of Jam in a larger map

History

The Minaret of Jam is believed to have been built in the ancient city of Firuzkuh, which was the summer capital of the Ghurid dynasty. This is the dynasty that ruled this part of Afghanistan, as well as eastern Iran, northern India, and parts of present-day Pakistan, from the 12th to the 13th century.

The inscription on the minaret does not provide a clear idea of its exact construction date. It could have been in 1193-1194, or more likely, 1174-1175. It was possibly constructed to celebrate the vistory of Sultan Ghiyas ud-Din over the Ghaznevids in 1192, or perhaps, the defeat of the Ghuzz Turks at Ghazna, in 1173.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

The Minaret of Jam was inscribed at a World Heritage Site in 2002, during the 26th session of the World Heritage Committee which took place on 24-29 June 2002 at Budapest, Hungary. It was also entered on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Location: N34 23 47.6 E64 30 57.8
Inscription Year: 2002
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, III, IV

Threats & Issues

Erosion, water infiltration and floods are three of the natural elements threatening the Minaret of Jam. Tilting of the minaret was also observed, and work was carried out to stop this tilting. Another concern surrounding the Minaret of Jam is the possibility of earthquakes that often occur in that region.

Getting there

Travel to Afghanistan is still considered inadvisable. Much of the south and east part of the country are still war zones. Most visitors stopover to visit the Minaret of Jam when travelling between the cities of Herat and Kabul. Travelers who are keen to visit the Minaret of Jam should consult a travel agent.

Similar Sites

More Photos


Minaret of Jam
Author: davidadamex
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



Minaret of Jam
Author: davidadamex
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



Minaret of Jam
Author: davidadamex
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



Return to Afghanistan's World Heritage Sites
Return to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

[an error occurred while processing this directive]



[an error occurred while processing this directive]






Point - Click - Discover!

Thanks for visiting this webpage. To continue exploring, choose another destination!


My World Travel Guides - celebrating a beautiful world beautifully.


Travel Business