Bagram: The Lost City of Kapisa
In 1833, Charles Masson arrived at what the Macedonians and Greeks once called ‘the edge of the known world’. A deserter from the British Indian Army, Masson had spent a few years hiding out and exploring North-West India, Afghanistan and Iran. Now here he was, gazing at the Topdara Stupa, just north of Kabul in Afghanistan.
Rising from the rugged landscape and built on a mountainous plateau, the stupa must have been an arresting sight. Masson described it as perhaps “the most complete and beautiful monument of the kind in this region”. He then proceeded to bore into it and left it partially gutted, till it was restored by an Afghan cultural heritage organisation in 2016.