Holy mineral spring Chashma
Chashma Complex in Nurata
Nurata can be considered the most peculiar city in Uzbekistan. This evidence is connected to the fact that in Nurata medieval beauty served the savage appearance and it is not implicated with the modern infrastructure of the city.
One of the most significant devout complexes in Nurata is Chashma Complex.
Sights of Chashma Complex
Such structures as Juma mosque, Nur fortress, Nur-ata cemetery, Pandjvakta mosque, spring, basin and well “Besh pandja” form Chashma Complex in Nurata.
The locals believe that water from Nurata spring cures all illnesses and even mental diseases. No wonder! The chemical composition of water contains 15 elements of Mendeleev periodic table. The temperature in the spring is always +19C. There is much fish called marinka in the spring.
Among numerous legends about Nurata there is one narration about the meteorite, which fell in this place. The meteorite created the spring of healing water.
The spring is located near the ruins of Nur fortress, founded by Alexander the Great in the IV century B.C. The fortress is one of the most ancient fortresses on Uzbek land. The ruins of the fortification work served till our times and are of great interest for archeologists and tourists visiting Chashma Complex. During the excavations it was established that Nur fortress was located on the hill and was encircled with walls.
Nur fortress was the necessary structure of the city. It took the important strategic place between the wild steppe and the areas of cultivated farming. The region of Nuratau mountains at those times was a very disquieted place, where troops gathered to attack bordering territories.
Next to the spring there is a well “Besh pandja”. The walls of the well are bricked with stones. At the bottom of the well you can clear see the contours of man’s palm. “Besh pandja” from the Tajik language is translated as “five fingers”.
Above the spring Juma mosque is located. The inhabitants of Nurata call the mosque “Chilsutun” (forty columns), although there are only 16 columns. The mosque is covered with 25 small domes. The central dome stands on the octagonal tholobate. The light apertures, covered with tracery gunch grids are in the holobate. Besides, the interior of Juma mosque in Nurata is lighted up with small bays in side walls.
Above the main portal of the mosque there is a diminutive minaret of about 6 meters height. Juma mosque in Nurata was built in the XVI century, but only the stony socle served. The general reconstruction was implemented in 1321/1903-1904. The inscription on the portal is the evidence of this.
The acoustics in Juma mosque is very good. The words whispered in mikhrab niche are clear heard in the whole mosque. In four places under the dome of the mosque large khums are inset into the wall. These khums make the resonant effect.
Pandjvakta mosque is the earliest construction of Chashma Complex. It was built in the XVI century, and several times was realigned. This grand building is covered with the dome, leaned on the system of board sails. In two sides there are iwans, attached to the mosque in the middle of the XIX century.
Towards the north of the main architectural ensemble there is a bathhouse, erected in 1922 by the Bukharian masters. Probably it was built on the place of the old bath. The bathhouse of Chashma Complex is generally built from slabs. The layout of the bath is traditional.
The entrance to the bath lies through the high hall with the braced ceiling. The bathhouse has 12 rooms: tambours, bathing huts, reservoirs for cold and hot water. In concrete days the bathhouse served men and women.
In the composition decision a big role belongs to the basin of Chashma Complex. The deep basin of the irregular form was surrounded with the narrow wooden path around the periphery. The slope to the basin was made with the help of stepped landings.
The southern and eastern sides of the basin were built up with narrow iwans and funeral rooms, constructed on different levels. The basin with its cascades, tiny rungs and hanging paths compose the unit with monumental constructions of Chashma Complex.
As the complex is one of the important centers in Nurata and whole Navoi region, annually numerous tourists and thousands of the faithful visit Chashma Complex.