Minarets

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Minarets are usually located in the mosques or at the city gates. Their main function at the mosques is to read Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) and call men to mosque for praying. At the city gates, they functioned as watch towers in the past. Now, minarets are one of the major attractions. They resemble the power and architectural skills of the ancient Uzbek craftsmen. Average height of minarets is about 30-40 meters. Diameter will vary from 6 to 15 meters. Every traveller should go up to the top and enjoy the view.


Vabkent Minaret - Bukhara

Vabkent Minaret - Bukhara

This thin, fragile minaret, tapering through ten decorative bands of bricks and be to an impressive 39 meters, is another creation of the Karakhanids, the unsung heroes of Central Asian architecture. Its lower Kufic and upper divine inscriptions declare that it was commissioned by local ruler Bukhari Ad din Ayud in 1196, making it just 70 years younger than Kalon Minaret in nearby Bukhara. The minaret lies just 2 kilometers north of the modern Royal Road, but is visited by many travellers eager to reach the delights of Bukhara.

Kalyan Minaret - Great Minaret - Bukhara

Kalyan Minaret - Great Minaret - Bukhara

Kalyan Minaret is the main symbol of sacred Bukhara. The minaret was used not only to call Muslims to prayer, but symbolized the authority and power of its spiritual leaders. The central ensemble of Bukhara Poi Kalyan (Beneath the Great) grew up around the minaret.

The Kalyan Minaret is a round tower of 9 meters in diameter at its base, tapering to 6 meters at the top. It is possible to ascend the minaret from the roof of the mosque through a passage. There is a spiral staircase having 104 steps inside the tower. Total height of the minaret is 45.6 meters. The inscription on the cornice announces the date of its construction as 1127 and the name of its architect Bako.

Dzharkurgan Minaret - Termez

Dzharkurgan Minaret - Termez

The current height of the Minaret is 21.6 meters, with a diameter at its peak of 4.1 meters and at its base about 5.4 meters. At the time of construction, its height was significantly higher and had a second section, which was clearly once crowned by a lighthouse. An inscription on one of the ribs of the stem announces the name of the builder "Ali, son of Muhammad, from Sarakhs”. The date of completion is believed to be 1108.

Dzharkurgan minaret takes the form of a corrugated cylinder with separate "ridges", upholding a high octagonal cap and connected at the top by a horizontal band. A niche in the southwestern entrance provides access to the minaret's staircase. The richly detailed figurative brickwork of the decorated structures reaches the highest level of Central Asian craftsmanship, while creating a feeling of softness and grace.

Juma Mosque Minaret - Khiva

Juma Mosque Minaret - Khiva

One curious fact stands out particularly, five of Khiva's minarets are located on the same line at a distance of about 200 meters. The minaret of Juma Mosque occupies the central point. Kalta Minor stands to the west of it, and farther, the minaret of Biki Djan bika. The minarets of Seyid biy Mosque and Palvan Kari Minaret are located to the east. The diameter of Juma Mosque's Minaret is 6.2 meters at its base. Its height is 3.2 meters. An eight arch lantern with a hanging cornice and dome decorates the minaret.

Kalta Minor - Khiva

Kalta Minor - Khiva

A short, yet enormous, minaret stands before the facade of the Muhammad Amin khan Madrassah. This is Kalta Minor (Short minaret). The minaret and Muhammad Amin khan Madrassah were intended to finish the plan of the big square near the western gates of Ichan Qala. Kalta Minor should have become the biggest and highest minaret in Central Asia. Its massive base is 14.2 meters in diameter. However, construction was interrupted upon the death of Muhammad Amin khan in 1855 after a battle with the Turkmen, as reported by historian Munis.

Minaret of Islam Khodja - Khiva

Minaret of Islam Khodja - Khiva

In 1908-10 Islam Khodja built this ensemble in the southeastern corner of Ichan Qala. It consisted of the smallest madrassah in Khiva and the highest minaret, imitating the ancient minarets of the 11th and 12th centuries. The top platform, at a height of 45 meters, is the highest observation point in Khiva. Horizontal belts of dark blue, white, blue and green glazed mosaic decorate the minaret. Its skylight has a stalactite cornice and ceramic lattices mesh.

Minaret of Seyid Sheliker Biy - Khiva

Minaret of Seyid Sheliker biy - Khiva

At the time of Allakuli Khan, the rich merchant Seyid Sheliker Biy built a complex of religious structures outside Ichan Qala, beside the gates of Palvan darvaza. This consists of a nine dome mosque, two storied madrasah and a minaret. An open aivan with three carved wooden columns was built from the end of the 18th - beginning of the 19th centuries. It adjoins the main building of the mosque on the northern side. The height of its minaret is more than 30 meters. Hanging eaves and arched lanterns crown the minaret, located in the eastern part of the mosque's courtyard.

Minaret of Palvan Kari - Khiva

Minaret of Palvan Kari - Khiva

The minaret of Palvan Kari is located in the eastern part of Dishan Qala, in a street running from the Palvan darvaza gates by the complex of Seyid biy. This is a rare type of straight cylindrical minaret, differing from traditional Khorezm minarets, whose diameter normally diminishes with height. The minaret of Palvan Kari dates to the late 19th - early 20th centuries. Its trunk is decorated with belts of figured brickwork, with ornamental inserts of green glazed "bows".




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