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Mausoleum at Mazor-i Sharif

After 30km from the turning to Madm there is a left turn at Kolkhozchiyon to the shrine at Mazor-i Sharif. This is a jewel. From the turn off, it is 10km on a good road to the shrine of Khoja Muhammad Majorah. He was a missionary, born in Basra in 743. The mausoleum has a fine dome, with exquisite blue tiling and woodwork on the exterior. It was built in the 8th and 9th centuries, with some additions in 1342-43.

Inside is a high ceiling area, with the trunk of a tree used in the original construction as a centrepiece. There is superb woodcarving, including representations of fish. This is unusual, as images of living things are normally forbidden in Islamic art. The mausoleum contains the body of the saint, and his family in separate rooms. I here are Kufic inscriptions on the walls, and a superbly carved mihrab. The guardian will take up the floorboards to show visitors the skulls of other good people buried here. I here is a cell used by those wishing to withdraw from the world for 40 days to fast and pray.

It is a place of pilgrimage, and visitors come for cures of common ailments. It is particularly popular with women unable to conceive. It is customary for the supplicants to sacrifice a goat, which is then cooked and shared with other pilgrims.