City of Balkh, Afghanistan A unesco world heritage site

The city of Balkh comprises a large urban site of some 11 square kilometres, lying west of the modern regional capital of northern Afghanistan, Mazar i Sharif, and about 46 miles south of the Amu Darya (Oxus) river whose course ran close to the city in antiquity. The foundation of the city of Paktra, later known as Bactria is ascribed to Kaiomars, and at an early date it was said to have rivaled urban centres such as Babylon. For a long period Bactria was the spiritual centre for the Zoroastrian religion, as well as having a rich temple to the goddess Anahita. Accounts of visitors in the 7th century AD indicate the existence of a significant number of Buddhist monasteries, stupas and other monuments in the city.

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