(2,048 words)

Balkh (36°45′ N, 66°54′ E, elevation 365 metres) was the major urban centre between the Amu Darya (Amu River) and the Hindu Kush from antiquity until the mid-nineteenth century. It is situated on the alluvial fan of the Balkhāb (Balkh River) and within the irrigation system called the Eighteen Canals (Persian, Hījdah Nahr), which, despite its name, has not always had eighteen branches. In addition to this agricultural basis, it owed its importance to its situation on major trade routes. In parti…

Cite this page
Paul, Jürgen, “Balkh”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 14 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2010
First print edition: 9789004183902, 2010, 2010-1

▲   Back to top   ▲