селение Газган, Нуратинский район
Республика Узбекистан, Навоийская область
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The architectural complex Shakhimardan (Shokh-i-mardon) is a unique historical monument of the beginning of the XX century, located in a small settlement of Gazgan, Nurata district, Navoi region. The name Shakhimardan in Uzbek means «Leader of the Knights». According to the belief, this architectural complex was erected near the mythical burial of Imam Hazrat Ali, who was the receiver of the Great Prophet Muhammad. The present appearance of Shakhimardan was built on the site of earlier buildings in 1908-1913.
This amazing architectural ensemble includes the Shakhimardan mosque-honaku, the Darvozahon (entrance complex), the hujra (a small room for ministers of khanaka and pilgrims), special rooms where ritual food was prepared, the unique beauty of aivan (a room enclosed by walls on three sides, and on the fourth side — openly), as well as huge marble bowls designed for water.
The Shokhimardan Mosque is located in the north-west of the complex and is here the largest building. From an architectural point of view, this mosque is truly magnificent: walls, columns, floors — everything is done with great skill. And if you also take into account that all this is made of cut out blocks of marble, and the deep niche of the mihrab (a deepening in the wall intended for the prayers of the imam of the mosque) is lined with the purest marble of black color, adorned with a small carved ornament in the form of various plants, this mosque is unique! Remarkable is the fact that the plan and design of the Shahimardan mosque are very similar to the Diggaron Mosque, located near the village of Khazara, whose age is 900 years longer! Although both mosques are fundamentally different material from which they were built.
It should be noted that near the settlement of Gazgan, deposits of marble were found several centuries ago, where today there is a large quarry. For this reason, the main building material for the construction of the Shahimardan ansabel was marble, from which almost all the buildings here were built from this material.
Inside the mosque itself there are 4 tall columns, which are placed on pedestals of a rectangular shape. Archs supporting 9 domes are thrown between columns and walls of the mosque. In addition, here, above the central dome, there is a huge lantern with eight faces, each of which has light apertures covered with grilles.
On the territory of the ensemble, from several sides of the Darwozahona, there are special rooms intended for pilgrims to cook and sleep. In addition, especially for them, there were installed large marble bowls, which were regularly filled with clean drinking water.
The architectural complex of Shakhimardan has a number of undoubted advantages, it is unique in all respects. Therefore, it can without doubt be placed in line with the best rural monuments of sunny Uzbekistan architecture of the early 20th century.