We received an overwhelming response on this challenging visual quiz question. More than 180 of our readers responded, locating this image to several known and similar-looking castles and forts of the world. However, majority of the participants thought that this is the birthplace of the 48th Ismaili Imam Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III, in Karachi (also known as “Honeymoon Lodge”, or “Tekri”), which is incorrect. The correct answer is: the Castle of Khawabi in Syria.
From the library of Institute of Ismaili Studies:
Castle of Khawabi
The castle of Khawabi is about 20 kilometres from Tartus in Syria. It is 350 metres long and 200 metres wide. The fortress of Khawabi was acquired by d’ai Rashid al-Din Sinan around 1140.
- Around 535/1140-1, the Ismailis captured several fortresses in the Jabal Bahra’ including Khawabi, Rusafa, Maniqa and Qulay‘a, which became collectively designated as the qila‘ al-da‘wa.
- Sometime after 555/1160, the Syrian Ismaili leader, Rashid al-Din Sinan (d. 589/1193) rebuilt Khawabi as well as the fortress of Rusafa.
- By Dhu’l-Qada 671/ May 1273, Khawabi, Qulay‘a and Maniqa had surrendered to Baybars (d. 675/1277) and the Mamluk armies.
Related at Ismailimail: Ismaili Castles of Syria
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