AFGHAN FLOODS PUT FAMOUS MINARET AT RISK OF COLLAPSE
26, May 2019
Prelims level : International Mains level : GS-III Technology, Economic Development and Environment
Why in News:
- Deadly floods sweeping Afghanistan have put the celebrated minaret of Jam — one of the country’s most revered cultural, architectural and historical treasures.
- Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam:
- At 1,900 m above sea level and far from any town, the Minaret of Jam rises within a rugged valley along the Hari-rud River at its junction with the river Jam around 215km-east of Herat.
- Rising to 65m from a 9m diameter octagonal base, its four superimposed, tapering cylindrical shafts are constructed from fired bricks.
- The Minaret is completely covered with geometric decoration in relief enhanced with a Kufic inscription in turquoise tiles. Built in 1194 by the great Ghurid Sultan Ghiyas-od-din (1153-1203), its emplacement probably marks the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh, believed to have been the summer capital of the Ghurid dynasty.
- Surrounding remains include a group of stones with Hebrew inscriptions from the 11th to 12th centuries on the Kushkak hill, and vestiges of castles and towers of the Ghurid settlements on the banks of the Hari River as well as to the east of the Minaret.
- The Minaret of Jam is one of the few well-preserved monuments representing the exceptional artistic creativity and mastery of structural engineering of the time.