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Minaret of Jam

Minaret of Jam, one of the World Heritage Sites in Afghanistan, talks with the sky in a remote valley encircled by barren mountains. Constructed in the 12th century, it is only undamaged monument from the Ghorid period. Soaring to the height of 65 metres, it is the second tallest minaret in the world. Setting of the Minaret enhances its impact.

The minaret presents extraordinary craftsmanship and superb artistic detail. It is considered one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the region.

Coming Into Being
Minaret of Jam harks back to the Ghorid Sultanate (AD 1146-1215). Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad (AD 1163-1203) decided to build the minaret around 1194 on the bank of Harirud River.

Minaret of Jam Minaret of Jam is made of baked bricks with a blue tile inscription at the top. Intricate brickwork arranged in geometric and floral designs. Both the architecture and bedeckment of the structure is noteworthy. The Minaret is accessible through a set of double spiral stairs that run from the octagonal base to the circular top. It is accented with turquoise ceremics. Kufic callicgraphy etched in stucco makes the tower more impressive. At the top of the minaret is big lantern. Several balconies have bben made along the shaft.

Purpose of Construction
Objective behind the construction of the tower is not yet clear. Some regard it as Victory Tower, while some think that it would have been part of any other grand design. Archaeological remains of a fortress, palace, wall and market have been found near the market. Archaeologists are trying to find out if the tower has any relation to these discoveries.

Threats Looming
Indifferent attitude of the locals is perhaps the biggest threat for the Minaret. Mostly illiterate Afghans haven't learned to consider the historical structures as prized national assets. Its location on the bank of a river also makes it victim of water damage. Over the years the tower has suffered from illegal excavations and looting.

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