The Destruction of Bost


Abdul Hai Habibi


Situated along the banks of the Helmand River Bost was a famous city of the Mahmudian era. The father of Sultan Mahmud, Naseruddin Subuktageen, governed from Bost for a long period of time and during that period Bost was considered the center of Garamser (western Jurum). This city had huge and magnificent palaces where historians and poets of the Al-Mahmud dynasty were raised and nurtured. This city was an important political center of Subuktageen and his son Mahmud and grandson Masud.

The great palaces and buildings of the city did not wane with the passing of time but were destroyed as a result of the ongoing conflict between the Ghaznavid and Ghorid dynasties which prevailed at the time.

Political mistakes and differences result in the destruction of ruling dynasties and in  the annihilation of great cities.

The Mahmudians of Ghazni killed Sultan Suri of Ghor together with his brother. This political error resulted in the downfall of the Al-Mahmud dynasty and two important cities, Ghazni and Bost were destroyed as a result of political intrigue which ensued. Sultan Alauddin Hussain who was one of the most powerful monarchs of the Al-Shansab dynasty of Ghor, left his domain with a large army to revenge his brother’s death, who had been killed by the Al-Mahmud in Ghazni. With great vengeance and force he razed the capital city of Ghazni, which was one of the most beautiful cities of Asia, to dust and for seven consecutive days the citizens of the city were put to death. Beautiful Ghazni was burned to the ground. Because of this vengence he was named as the World Burner.

The flames of destruction of this cruel king did not extinguish with the burning of Ghazni and according to Menhaj Seraj, the Al-Shansab historian of Ghor: “He buried  the coffins of his brothers and left Ghazni for Bost and upon arrival to that city he destroyed all the buildings that had been built by the Mahmud family. These buildings had no match in the area. He also destroyed all the region which was attributed to the Mahmudians and returned to Ghor.”[i]

After this the Al-Mamud family did not see any prosperity, the period of the magnificence of Ghazni came to an end, beautiful Bost was laid to ashes and the glorious period of the Al-Mahmud dynasty ended. What remains of the great buildings of Bost, which according to Menhaj Seraj were matchless, were destroyed by Alauddin Jahansoze (world burner) Ghori.[ii]






[i] Tabaqat-e Nasiri, chapter 17.

[ii] Ariana Journal 1949, Vol. 10, p. 13-14.