Legend of Kalyan minaret
The unique “window” into the Past, opened to us in Bukhara, gives a rare chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of modernity. To stop in order to see the frozen "music" embodied in Bukhara mosaic and ganch patterns. ceiling paintings and stalactite decorations. To scoop up water from holy sources. To hear the “silence of heaven” in Sufi khanaka. To touch the stones of the mausoleums of the sacred persons. To be surprised by the blue sky, "pierced" by Kalyan minaret.
This article will focus on Kalyan minaret, and more specifically on the legends associated with Kalyan minaret.
Minaret Kalyan ("The Great") has become the main symbol of sacred Bukhara. For a thousand years, this sacred tower has dominated Bukhara, declaring the greatness of the Islamic faith.
Many legends are associated with the highest minaret in Central Asia. But it has one more name - the Tower of Death, since earlier people condemned by the rulers were dumped from it.
One of the legends about Minaret Kalyan says that in ancient times the shah lived. He was cruel, wayward, a bad ruler and spent all his time in pleasures. The shah had a wife who tried to help people and correct the situation in the state. But, fearing her husband, she did it in secret.
Once the secret was revealed, and an angry husband ordered his wife to be thrown from the Death Tower. The woman was smart. On the eve of the execution, she asked her husband to fulfill one of her wishes. He agreed. The day she was supposed to be executed, she put on all her dresses and skirts.
All people came to say goodbye to their patroness and stood around the minaret. The Shah’s wife climbed a tall minaret and took a bold step forward. But what was the surprise of the people and the Shah himself, when she did not break, but landed smoothly. Surprised by the courage and cunning of his wife, the shah had mercy on her.
Another legend of Kalyan minaret tells about the master-architect Bako, who, having laid the foundation of a minaret made from a mixture of alabaster and camel milk, disappeared for two whole years and returned only when the foundation became strong enough to begin brickwork. The master was afraid that the khan would rush the construction and this would lead to the collapse of the minaret, as this had happened in 1121.
According to another legend about Kalyan Minaret in Bukhara, Genghis Khan himself was forced to bow to Kalyan minaret. After the conquest of Bukhara by Genghis Khan, most of the structures of the old city were destroyed by his order. Kalyan minaret was also to suffer the same fate, but when Genghis Khan threw back his head to look at the top of the tower, a helmet fell off his head. To lift it off the ground, the great warrior had to bend down. He put his helmet on his head and said: "I never bowed to anyone, but this building is so grand that it deserves a bow." Kalyan minaret was not destroyed by the conquerors; it also resisted strong earthquakes, which more than once tested its strength.
There is another historical fact that the “minaret” in Arabic is a lighthouse. And that in pre-Islamic times they really served as lighthouses in the desert. Bonfires were burned on their peaks at night, by the light of which night caravans were oriented. And the caravans went only at night, because during the day it was a little hot. Here is a legend, but it’s quite possible.
Today, Kalyan minaret is one of the most outstanding buildings of the Muslim East, a business card and one of the main attractions of Bukhara.
Kalyan minaret is built of burnt bricks. It has the shape of a round tower with a height of 45.5 m, its diameter at the base is of 9 m and 6 m at the top. The surface of the minaret is decorated with 12 belts of geometric ornament, some of which include Kufic writing. The minaret indicates the year of construction – 1127, and the name of the architect - Bako is mentioned.
Inside the tower there is a spiral staircase with 104 steps. At the top there is a lantern with 16 arches, decorated with stalactites. Earlier, the upper link of the minaret was located above the lantern, after the loss of which a modern superstructure appeared here. The upper part of the Kalyan minaret was damaged during shelling and aerial bombardment of Bukhara by the Red Army in 1920 and as a result was restored.