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The Minaret of Jam

Getting there & away

No public transport goes to Jam. The best option is to take transport between Chaghcheran and Herat and get off at Garmao, where several locals act as motorbike taxis to the minaret (500Afg, two hours). The road is little more than a track, and is the roughest on the central route. Onward transport options from Garmao can be tricky, as vehicles are usually full when they drive through the village, but HiAces usually pass through en route to Chaghcheran (400Afg, five hours) around dawn, or to Herat (500Afg, one day, staying overnight at Darya Takht) in the afternoon. The road west, with its villages and orchards, is very picturesque.

With your own vehicle, Jam can be reached from Chaghcheran in seven hours, or from Herat in about 15 hours. There are two equally dramatic routes from Chaghcheran – the southerly main road via Garmao, or the northern road via Ghar-e Payon. The latter brings you to the minaret from the opposite bank of the Jam Rud. There is no bridge and the river can only be forded by vehicles in the late summer. When the spring melt is in full spate, it can only be crossed by means of a zip wire – not for the faint-hearted!

The Minaret of Jam