The Helmand Sistan Project
Key Sites


Gazetteer ID: 792
Latitude: 30.59957809   Longitude: 61.89526699
Enlarged satellite view

Map Number: 16  Go to the MAP

A large post-Timurid estate with highly decorated walls and a windmill still stands prominently at the edge of the modern village of Hauz. The names of the estate and the village are often conflated. Its excellent preservation and high degree of decoration led previous researchers to study the building, notably G.P. Tate and Klaus Fischer, who suggested it was built in the 17th century. Numerous Timurid estates within neighboring Hauz may suggest an earlier date for the establishment of this building. A leopard design in brick on one exterior wall gives the building its name. The western half of the building, the domestic area, is cruciform in plan with elaborate honeycombed brickwork on the interior. The eastern half holds a large windmill that presumably served as the power source for processing grains.

The elaborate post-Timurid estate of Palangi is approximately 35 x 35 m in size and is located at the edge of the modern village of Hauz along the Helmand River. Note the rounded corner towers and entrance on the southern side (right).
The mudbrick design of a leopard, “palangi” in Dari, gives the building its name.
An elaborate honeycomb design of squared crosses decorates the courtyard of the residence part of Palangi.

Hauz Village

The small modern village of Hauz near the fortress of Qala-i Fath is set among much larger and more elaborate ruined buildings from Timurid and post-Timurid times. Hauz has probably been the agricultural community associated with that fortress since Timurid times, possibly earlier based upon ceramic evidence we found there. In addition to the well-known Palangi estate, the village also has a large windmill and a well-preserved cistern, both probably several centuries old. Many of our Baluch excavation team came from Hauz so the village features prominently in our ethnographic study of the Helmand Baluch. We did not have time to document the various structures in the village.

The ornately decorated windmill in the village of Hauz is of post-Timurid date. The modest homes of the modern village are scattered among elaborate Timurid and post-Timurid estates, visible in the distance (left).

Hauz Cistern

A large, standing, domed, baked brick building housing an operational cistern is located at the south edge of the village of Hauz. One previous researcher noted an inscription associating the building with a 17th century CE ruler of Sistan. The walls and ceiling of the cistern are decorated with animals, rosettes, and geometric and plant designs in relief.

Steps leading into the 17th century Hauz cistern, still in use today.
One of the relief decorations on the dome of the Hauz cistern, marked with graffiti.