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ABC 010 — Caravanserai near Karez

A domed structure made from burned bricks, which was never finished. It consists of a central two-storied building and two single-storied wings. The interpretation is either that it was intended to become a caravan saray or a musalla (religious school). In the foreground a water channel between high dams. On the left side of the building a low enclosure with zickzack bricks defines a platform for prayer.
[List:] 10. Kala-i-Fáth; Sarai near Karez.
  • Owen, Charles (1884-86): Transcript of diary and letters, pp. 98-99: “23 Oct. [1884] We marched at 5 am for Camp Killah Fultah [= Qala-ye Fath], a distance of about 23 miles. […] Killah Fultah or Killaput has a fine residence, the home of Sirdar Sharif Khan, who has settled here for the last 8 years, the land having been given him by the Amir. […] The ruined town was evidently a walled-in city with a large citadel. The latter a handsome commanding structure. On the Rudbar side of the town is a large tomb, a really handsome building only of unburnt brick. […] After mess I went to my tent and with the ruby light I took out some dry plates for photographic work.”
  • Holdich, T.H. (1885): Afghan Boundary Commission; Geographical Notes, p.161: “The fort and citadel of Kala Fateh too is founded on brick, although the entire superstructure is mere mud.”; p. 162: “The citadel still towers high above the crumbling mud walls of the fort, and if the sarai adjoining the fort, with its central domed roof and two enormous wings, is in any proportion whatever to the former traffic of the country, it proves that there must have been a considerable amount of trade passing along this route even in comparatively recent periods, possibly long after it ceased to be the capital of the Kaiani kings. The fort walls are about two miles in circumference.”
  • Yate, A.C. (1887): Travels with the Afghan Boundary Commission, pp. 83-85: the citadel is mentioned.
  • Tate, G.P. (1910): Seistan, a memoir on the history, topography, ruins and people of the country, f.p. 78: photograph of the same building, as seen from the opposite direction: “Ruins of the Government College, Kala Fath; endowed by Malik Hamza (17th century A.D.).”; p. 246: description of the town of Kala-i-Fath; pp. 260-264: history of the city.
  • Adamec, L.W. (1973): Farah and south-western Afghanistan, pp. 137-140: Kala-i-Fath. “The extensive ruins of Kala-i-Fath are situated on the right bank of the Helmand, close to the river, about 23 ½ miles below Chahar Burjak, and are described by Ferrier as the most extensive in Sistan. The object most worthy of notice is a spacious caravan sarai outside the walls, built throughout of large burnt bricks 11 inches square, and displaying a nicety of construction and design foreign to Sistan. The building consists of a large domed central courtyard, with wings on each side containing several rooms, and from the right wing a continuation at right angles for stables. The dome is really fine, but the building has the appearance of never having been finished; the stables for the left wing are altogether wanting, while the top of the dome also is incomplete.”
  • Ball, W (1981): Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan, p. 206: Qal’a-i Fath, “[…] There are also remains of many brick kilns or ice houses up to 13 m diam., and a baked brick caravanserai or madrasa, known as the Gumbaz-i Surkh, outside the walls to the south. […]”
Bild Nr.
ABC 010
Afghan Boundary Commission 1884-86
ABC 1, Photographs 001 to 057
Sepia print, 147/201 mm
good, some mouldy spots, negative damaged on the lower right corner
Ort, Datum
Qala-ye Fath, October 24 to 25, 1884
  • 1.57 Pictures of Landscapes, Cities
  • 2.122 Farah and SW-Afghanistan
  • 4.33 Early Islamic Period (652-1221)
  • 4.365 Abdur Rahman Khan (1880-1901)
  • 4.416 GB Relations with Great Britain
  • Breitengrad / Längengrad30.562283 / 61.846678
    Google Earth30°33ʹ43ʺ N / 61°50ʹ48ʺ E / 500 m
    Survey of India MapSheet 30, Sistan (1918): Kilah-i-Fateh, O 58

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