Historically known as 'Umm al-Bilad', or the Mother of Cities. The capital of the Bactrian Greek Empire, a capital of the Kushans, and later, one of the principal cities of the Muslim world. And of course, the birthplace of Mawlana Jalal ud-din Rumi, or, as the locals insist, Jalal ud-din "Balkhi". Unfortunately, since Mazar-e Sharif took off in the 19th century, Balkh lost it stature and the population dwindled. Whatever you do, however, don't let the travelogues of Moorecroft or Burnes fool you. It's still a pleasure to visit the town, and one can spend days and weeks tracking down the legendary sites and sacred shrines in its vicinity.
Category:Travel and Places
© Mehreen Farooq & Waleed Ziad