Mosque of Khwajeh Mohammad Abu-Nasr Parsa on Afghan Banknote

11 Jan 2021  Mon

The shrine of Khwaja Abu Nasr Parsa stands at the centre of the Tepe Zargaran in Balkh, Afghanistan. The design is in the Timurid style, with characteristic features such as the fluted dome, tall entryway, corkscrew pilasters, and glazed tiles decorating the exterior.

Khwaja Abu Nasr Parsa was a spiritual leader of the Naqshbandi order and a theological lecturer in Herat. It was built around 1598 and has an octagonal plan of two stories with axial iwans and corner rooms.

A small wooden door leads from the northeast iwan into the dome chamber, crowned by a tall umbrella vault. The four arched niches that animate the walls of the chamber at the ground level are doubled in number at the gallery level with the addition of corner arches supporting the dome's pendentives. Sixteen windows placed at the rim of the vault illuminate the interior. The dome chamber has a small mihrab niche on the southwest wall, facilitating its use as a prayer hall.

This beautiful mosque printed on a reverse side of banknote issued by Afghanistan in 1961.

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