Arslan Jadhib Mausoleum and Minaret

a rainy sky made us push on

On the 8th of May 1934, on his way to Kariz, wanted to stop at Sang Bast, to visit a monument there: a mausoleum and its minaret. From his travelogue, we know that he did not manage:

“We meant to stop at Sengbest to examine an eleventh-century mausoleum and minaret which are visible a mile off the road. But a rainy sky made us push on to Turbat-i-Sheikh Jam.”

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Exterior view of the mausoleum and minaret. Photo by Josephine Powell (archnet).

These two monuments of Sang Bast, then, should not be included in the list of the monuments Byron visited during his journey. Nonetheless, it makes sense, since he mentions them, to spend a few words.

The mausoleum and minaret Byron mentions are the burial site of Arslan Jadhib, an official under the Ghaznavid ruler Sultan Mahmud. Originally, it was not a self-standing monument, on the contrary, it was part of a bigger complex. The minaret, for instance, is now free-standing, but most probably it was originally attached to a building, probably to an entrance portal, considering the remains of a wall that are still attached to the minaret. Also, the mausoleum should have looked different when it was built. Today it looks very irregular and asymmetrical. Scholars have suggested that there must have been a gallery, no longer existing, attached to the structure.

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Dome, with the inscription running around the base. Photo by Josephine Powell (archnet).

The decoration is quite simple: the structure is made of brick. On the outside the lack of ornamentation is striking. On the inside, around the zone of transition of the dome, runs a Kufic inscription.

Sources and further reading

Eric Schroeder, “The Seljuk Period”, in Arthur Upham Pope and Phyllis Ackerman (eds.), A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, Vol. 3 Architecture, Its Ornament, City Plans, Gardens, 3rd ed., Soroush Press, Tehran 1977, pp.  986-988.

Arthur Upham Pope, “Architectural Ornament.”Arthur Upham Pope and Phyllis Ackerman (eds.), A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, Vol. 3 Architecture, Its Ornament, City Plans, Gardens, 3rd ed., Soroush Press, Tehran 1977, pp. 1275-1277.

Archnet of course, for further info and photos.

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