Katta Langar Village
Katta Langar (Langar ota sanctuary in Google Maps) village is a long gorge village located high up the Langar Valley at the foot of the Kamashinsky region mountain range and it is located about 70 km south from Shakhrisabz. The village contains numerous old style clay brick houses and a remarkable Friday Mosque and madrassahs. It is a place where Soviet rule never really got a hold and the race of modern life and tourism has managed to pass by this little town.
Katta Langar was formed at the end of the 15th century, when various Sufi groups pushed one weaker party, the Ishqiyas, out of their home and into the isolated bottom of the sack called Katta Langar. They have been there ever since, living a life that has changed little in all those centuries.
The village’s Friday mosque was constructed not long after the Ishqiya arrived in Katta Langar. From the appearance, it may not differ much from the usual mosque, but inner part has an ocean of blue tilework with 10 wooden columns holding up the intricate ceiling, each column with a different carving, lovingly drawn by the sons and grandsons of Timur’s enslaved master-craftsmen from nearby Samarkand.
Sitting on a small mountain spur, overshadowing the town, stretches the high Timurid drum of the Langar Ata Mazaar, the final resting place of 15th- and 16th-century sheiks from the Iskiya order, rivals to the dominant Naqshbandi order, who had them driven out of Samarkand during the Timurid period. The mausoleum marks the beautiful tomb of the most famous local sheik, Mohammed Sadik (d. 1545), his father Abul Hasan, son Hudaykel and an unknown Timurid noble, thought to be the seven-year-old daughter of Tamerlane.
The hilltop mausoleum is visible from all around the village. The mosque by its side once held both an early Qu’ran and a cloak said to belong to the Prophet Muhammad. These artifacts have sadly long-since been removed, although it’s still worth stopping off here for half an hour if only to break the journey between the destinations.
Occasional buses run from the town of Kamashi to Kyzyl Kishlak, from where Katta Langar lies a six-kilometer hitchhike or taxi drive away. Buses return to Kamashi in the afternoon. Shared taxis run from Shakhrisabz to the junction at Kyzyl Tepa, where other cars wait to follow the Langar River east.