Herat blossomed under Timurid rule, when Timur’s youngest son and heir Shahrukh Mirza shifted the Timurid capital to Herat (1405–1507). Shahrukh and wife Gawharshad led a cultural renaissance by their lavish patronage of the arts. Ali-Shir Nava’I was born in Herat during this period, whom became chief minister under the rule of Sultan Husayn Bayqara. Ali-Shir Nava’i was a great builder and patron of the arts. And he was the greatest representative of Chagatai literature.
Herat today is a conservative city, with many women fully covered in Burka. Ruins of the Minarets dots the skyline, but looking more like chimney. The Herat citadel dates back to Alexander the Great, but was clinically rebuilt, and out of bounds during my visit due to peace delegate meeting that closes many of the roads. Perhaps the most memorial of all was the road to Mashad in Iran; the road was good and its effectively a time machine; Mashad is a modern city with the big pilgrimage business for the Harem, tomb of Imam Reza Ali.
GAWHARSHAD MUSALLA COMPLEX
Gawhar Shad was the wife of Shah Rukh who was the son of Timerlane. She was the defacto ruler when Shah Rukh passed away. Most of the buildings were purposely demolished in 1885, the compound was dynamited by officers of the British Indian Army, to prevent its use as a fortress if a Russian army tried to invade India. The Russians never came! Only the minarets and the Mausoleum of Gawhar Shad were allowed to remain. The carnage in 1885 left only nine minarets standing in the entire complex, three of which were felled by earthquakes in 1931 and 1951. Those which remain are in precarious despite recent restoration.
GREAT MOSQUE OF HERAT
Built by Ghurids, who laid its foundation in 1200 AD, it was supported by subsequent rulers from the Timurids, to the Safavids, to the Mughals and the Uzbeks,
ON THE STREET OF HERAT
One of the main thorough fare of Herat with road repair. Folks continues wiht their everyday life.