Exploring Tourism in Uzbekistan
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Dorus Siadad.

Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan


The other Barlas ensemble, Seat of Power and Might, lies a few minutes’ walk east of Dorut Tilovat. Lacking an Ulug Beg connection, restoration is more leisurely on this once imposing dynastic mausoleum. The original complex, stretching 50 by 70 (165-230 feet) metres, was on a par with Tamerlane’s greatest projects. It arose on the death of his eldest and favourite son Jehangir, killed in 1375, aged only 22, falling from his horse. When another son, Umar Sheikh, joined Jehangir in 1394, Tamerlane even built himself a crypt. In 1404 Clavijo observed: “here daily by the special order of Timur the meat of twenty sheep is cooked and distributed in alms, this being done in memory of his father and of his son.” Jehangir’s mausoleum, crumbling yet impressive, is all that remains above ground. A tiled corner tower reveals the mausoleum as left pylon of a grand entrance lacing the street, while the unusual conical dome, 27 metres high on a 16-sided drum, shows the hand of captured Khorezmian craftsmen. (Beware that visitors, like Jehangir’s white tombstone, make ready targets for roosting pigeons.)
Tamerlane’s crypt was rediscovered in 1943 when a child playing football fell through the ground 35 metres behind the mausoleum. Green door leading down to a small room faced in white limestone and sandstone slabs. The marble sunduq (casket) waited in vain for Tamerlane, though the crypt later received two anonymous bodies. Entry to Jehangir’s Mosque is through the adjacent Кhazreti Imam Mosque, marked by a wide silver-coloured dome. It was attached to Dorus Siadad in the 16th century, but drew its name from an eighth century holy man, whose corpse legend says Tamerlane brought back from Baghdad. Such imported sanctity gave local mullahs weight to prevent Abdullah Khan and other purgers of the Timurid legacy Irom destroying the whole complex. Old men in turbans, long maksi boots and flowing ( hupans come through the mosque’s courtyard, shady with chinor trees, to drink at the well before prayer under the high wooden iwan.

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