You may have heard the name Timbuktu in many songs or a mention of it in comics or funny stories .
There is actually a place called Timbuktu and it has a very interesting history.
Timbuktu is a city in the West African country Mali . It was a post on the trans-saharan trade route . It lies on the southern edge of the Sahara desert just 8 miles from the Niger river .
It was founded in 1100 AD as a seasonal camp by the Tureg Nomads .
It was incorporated in the Mali Empire in the 13th century by the Mali Sultan Mansa . He built his royal residence and a great mosque there .
In the 14th century Timbuktu became a centre of trade and learning .
Salt from the north was exchanged with gold from the south here . Many
Muslim scholars settled here to spread the teachings of islam .
In 1591 it was captured by Morocco . Most of the city’s scholars
were either killed or arrested . Timbuktu continued to be disturbed by
attacks from various tribes until 1893 when it was captured by the French .
It bacame a part of various tales of adventures of Europeans trying
to explore the Sahara . It bacame famous in stories and songs as a desert
city .. inaccessible and full of mystery .
In 1960 it became a part of the republic of Morocco .
It is now easily accessible by camel or road and is an important
administrative town of Morocco .