Sultan’s Qala, Shomali Plain

12 May 2007 / 22 Saur 1386

Hill of roses

I was invited on a picnic to Sultan’s qala just north of Kabul. Here, Sultan is growing roses which he hopes that Kabulis will buy, rather than the plastic flowers which are the current fashion.

Sultan with roses

Sultan, maestro of roses.

qala in distance

Next to Sultan’s land is a qala which was built in 1941. The interior is now in ruins.

Qala entry

One of the brothers who owns the qala let us in to see it.

Qala tower

This method of construction is called pakhsa. Adobe (gil) is laid in courses about 60 cm high, allowed to stabilize, and then additional courses are added. The foundation-stones are dry-laid, to prevent ground-moisture from wicking up into the adobe and rotting it. Flat capstones protect the pakhsa from rain, as does a re-coating every two to ten years.


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