Sheikhantaur Memorial Complex

Sheikhantaur Memorial Complex

Buried on the grounds of Tashkent’s current Islamic University, in the north part of Navoi museum and street, are 3 mausoleums dating back to the 15th century. Only 3 from the 16 monuments of the Shaihantaur have survived  – the others were destroyed by earthquakes and Soviet planning.  The three remaining are the only heirs of a Muslim complex of mosques and madrassas founded in the 14th century with the burial of the local saint Sheikh Khavandi Tahur, known as Sheikhantaur (or Shayhantaur). 

 

Sheikhantaur Mausoleum

The first mausoleum belongs to Sheikhantaur himself, he was a local Sufi saint born in the late 13th century and considered a descendant of the Rashidun Caliph Umar. He was admitted into the order of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and grew to be a famous local holy man. He died in Tashkent around 1360. His tomb, though heavily restored, dates from around that time. The construction of mausoleum was ordered by Amir Timur himself, who also ordered the construction of the Yasawi mausoleum in Turkistan. The Sheikhantaur mausoleum was restored in the 19th century after it had suffered a lot from precipitations. It is is a small, brick-built structure with dark blue majolica tiles.

Kaldirgach Bey Mausoleum

The following mausoleum belongs to Kaldirgach Bey originally built for a ruler of Moghulistan early in the 15th century. The tomb is unique due to its turquoise roof which is dodecahedral 12-sided on the outside but domed on the inside. The burial room has impressive carved wooden doors and deep alcoves decorated with stalactite-like carvings. The mausoleum is of special significance for Kazakhs, as it is also the last resting place of Tole Bi, a revered wise judge and a defender of the Kazakh lands against foreign invasion. He ruled Tashkent in his final years and was buried here in the late 18th century. He was known as a Kaldirgach Bey, Karlygash Bi in the Kazakh language, the swallow judge. Karlygash is a popular girl’s name in Kazakhstan today.

Yunus Khan

The largest mausoleum in the area is dedicated to Yunus Khan. He was a descendent of Genghis Khan, grandfather of Babur and once the ruler of Tashkent and khan of Western Mogulistan. In 1485 he resolved a Timurid squabble by taking Tashkent for himself. After his death in 1487, his son built this two-story dome and portal memorial. The mausoleum was built on top of a Zoroastrian temple. Although you predominantly cannot go inside (it’s almost always locked), you can try to negotiate with guards to gain access. The Yunus Khan Mausoleum is best approached from the university’s north gate on Abdulla Kodiry Street. 

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