Who knows Khoja Aghacha?

Who St Agacha was I don’t know.

After paying a visit to the Shrine of Khoja Abu Nasr Parsa, on the 30th of May 1934, Byron continues his visit of Balkh and goes to a small shrine, the Shrine of Khoja Aghacha, that dates back to late 15th century.

Byron is not impressed, not at all: not only the monument is not quite significant, but also the person that is buried there, is unknown:

“There is another shrine outside the east gate known as that of Khoja Agacha. Who St Agacha was I don’t know. Hussein Baikara had three grasping mistresses of the name, and Babur a wife. They came of an Uzbeg family.

It is not an interesting building. The dome has disappeared. Round the drum runs a glazed Kufic inscription.”

We are not any luckier than Byron: the information over the shrine is scarce and difficult to find. Archnet only lists three photos, all of them by Robert Byron, who, once again, seems to be the only one that visited the monument.

Exterior of the shrine, general view. Photo by Robert Byron (archnet).

The website of the Society for the Preservation of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage (SPACH, last accessed 21st May 2018) does not provide much information but does inform that in 2003 the iwan of the monument collapsed.


Then, we remain pretty much with the same doubts Byron had: who was Khoja Aghacha?


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