In Balkh Province, midway between
Mazar-i-Sharif and Balkh.
"This was once an
elite suburb of Balkh built by Amir Afzal Khan in 1855 wile
he governed Afghan Turkestan for his father, Amir Dost Mohammad.
Escaping from the pestilential climate of Balkh, the court
built spaciously two-storey houses in Takht-i Pul surrounded
by flowering gardens and orchards. "
From the upper stories they enjoyed a view of the mountains
and the fresh breezes which blew from them. Amir Abdur Rahman
(1880-1901), Afzal Khan's son, maintained the capital at Mazar
and Takht-e Pul became a strong, fortified cantonment enthusiastically
described by the Amir's British physician, Dr. Grey, when
he inspected the hospital here in 1889. A jumble of ruined
houses behind a protective wall on the north, massive walls
cut by the modern road, and the dome of a mosque are all that
survive today. The interior of the mosque is richly
decorated with floral panels painted in bright reds and blues,
with touches of green. Stalactite niches and plaster panels
sculptured with arabesques, foliated scrolls and rosettes
add to the complexity of its decor. The plain mud-plastered
dome rises from plwed fields today, giving no hint of its
Dupree, N.H. An Historical Guide to Afghanistan, Kabul,
Stucco decoration rapidly deteriorating