Balkh, Afghanistan

🇦🇫 Balkh ( بلخ) is a town in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, about 20 km (12 mi) north-west of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some 74 km (46 mi) south of the Amu Darya river and the Uzbekistan border.

Balkh was historically an ancient place of religions, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, and one of the wealthiest and largest cities of Khorasan, since the latter's earliest history. The city was known to Persians as Zariaspa and to the Ancient Greeks as Bactra, giving its name to Bactria (Greeks called the city also Zariaspa). It was mostly known as the centre and capital of Bactria or Tokharistan. Marco Polo described Balkh as a "noble and great city". Balkh is now for the most part a mass of ruins, situated some 12 km (7.5 mi) from the right bank of the seasonally flowing Balkh River, at an elevation of about 365 m (1,198 ft).

French Buddhist Alexandra David-Néel associated Shambhala with Balkh, also offering the Persian Sham-i-Bala ("elevated candle") as an etymology of its name. In a similar vein, the Gurdjieffian J. G. Bennett published speculation that Shambalha was Shams-i-Balkh, a Bactrian sun temple.

Kabul Time 
Kabul Time
Image: Adobe Stock Torsten Pursche #94423523

Balkh has a population of over 138,594 people. Balkh also forms one of the centres of the wider Balkh province which has a population of over 1,543,464 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Balkh see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns - Sister Cities Balkh has links with:

🇺🇿 Samarkand, Uzbekistan
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