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182. Shah-i Mashhad Madrasa

Variant Names: Shah-i Meshed Madrasa, Madrasa at Gargistan (Garjistan, Gharjistan)

Badghis Province. In the Jawand area on the left bank of the Murghab River, approximately two kilometers downstream from the junction of the Murghab and Kucha Rivers.

Date: Ghurid period, 1175/76 (inscription)

The near-total wipeout of religious buildings and infrastructure in Afghanistan by Genghis Kahn's Mongol army during 1221 and 1222 left only a handful of Ghurid period structures built during the late 12th and early 13th centuries. To the ruins that survive at Bust (the Arch, Octagonal Tomb, Lashkar Bazaar), at Chisht (a 12th century mausoleum ) and Jam (the famous Minaret at Jam), we can now add the recently discovered Madrasa at Shah-i Mashad, an elaborately decorated baked brick structure, only parts of which (the northern and eastern sides) remain standing, the rest awaiting further excavation. The best preserved section is the eastern part of the facade. which includes an entrance iwan, two originally domed rooms and fifteen bands of Kufic and Naskhi inscription. Scattered sgraffiato pot sherds were found on the ground surface in all directions upon last inspection. All reasonable means should be taken to preserve this site.

The Shah-i Mashad Madrasa is discussed in context with other surviving Ghurid structures in Herat province and eastern Iran by Sheila Blair, "The Madrasa at Zuzan: Islamic Architecture in Eatern Iran on the Eve of the Mongol Invasions," available here.


Source: Warwick Ball, Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan, 1982, n. 123

See also: Casimir, Michael J. and Bernt Glazer. 1971. "Sah-i Mashad: A Recently Discovered Madrasah of the Ghurid Region in Gargistan (Afghanistan)." East and West (London) 21, 53-68.



  35° 02' N
  35.033333° N
  63° 59' E

63.983333° E


Shah-i Mashhad is found at
the above coordinates along
the border of JOG map
 and JOG map1501CNI4107_geo.pdf