Surkh Kotal

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Surkh Kotal


a hill in northern Afghanistan with the remains of a temple complex dating from the second and third centuries; situated 15 km south of Pul-i-Khumri. The complex, discovered in 1951, consists of three fire-cult temples at the top of the hill, a sacred well at the foot of the hill, and a monumental stairway leading from the well to the temples. The main temple, enclosed by a wall with towers and a colonnade, was dedicated to the Kushan king Kanishka.

The complex is especially notable because it was used for both the fire cult and the cult of the dynasties of Kushan kings. The finds include fragments of statues, as well as architectural components and a lengthy Bactrian-language inscription written in the Greek alphabet. Architecturally, the temples blend Greek ornamentation with local Kushan construction and layout.


Masson, V. M., and V. A. Romodin. Istoriia Afganistana, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964. Pages 190–96. (Contains bibliography.)
References in periodicals archive ?
A spokesman for the provincial police chief, Zabi Shuja, said the incident took place when dozens of Taliban insurgents attacked a security check post in Surkh Kotal village of Pul-e-Khumri.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Taliban militants captured Surkh Kotal in Afghanistan's Northern Baghlan province following days of heavy clashes, local afghan authorities confirmed.
Heavy clashes in Surkh Kotal erupted late Saturday night as the security officials claimed that at least 28 Taliban insurgents were killed or wounded.
The Afghan Ministry of Defense said 31 militants were killed in the air and ground operations of the Afghan security forces in Surkh Kotal and Baghlan Markzai district.
Most of the affected families belong to Surkh Kotal area on the outskirts of Pul-i-Khumri, the provincial capital.
The explosion took place inside a seminary in the Surkh Kotal area of Dahn-i-Ghori district late on Saturday night, a provincial police spokesman said.