Ensemble Katta-Lyangar, unusual for mountain areas of Uzbekistan, is situated 60 km to the south from Shakhrisabz. It was built in the middle of a narrow gorge, Kok-Su, in Lyangar cai valley and consists of a mosque and Lyangar-ata mausoleum. In the mausoleum there were buried sheikhs from a very influential 15th-16th century Sufi community, “Ishkiya” (from “ishq” – “all-encompassing love to God, which leads a Sufi along his mystical path”). In the second half of the 15th century at the Temurids’ courts the dominant influence was occupied by the brotherhood “Naqshbandiyya”, with whom the “Ishkiya” Sufis were rivals. Then, pressed by the authorities, the “Ishkiya” community moved out of Samarkand to a remote mountain area. At the beginning of the 16th century, when Sheybanids took Temurid’s power, they, by contrast, harassed “Naqshbandiyya ” and supported “Ishkiya.” At that time the head of “Ishkiya” was sheikh Muhammad Sodik (died in 1545), who was called Lyangar-ata.
Langar means “anchor”, “stop”’, the name which is often used to refer to a Central Asian holy person’s burial place (“last stop”). During the life of sheikh Muhammad Sodik in a mountain village there was built a large mosque and a mausoleum on the opposite hill. Sodik’s father found his last repose there as well as former community leader, Sheikh Abu-l-Hasan Kalan. Later sheikh Muhammad and his son were buried there. Standing on a high hill, Lyangar-ata mausoleum is visible from everywhere and looks like an unearthly “space” object. Katta-Lyangar mosque faces the western wall of the mausoleum. Lyangar’s community of “Ishkiya” kept a unique manuscript of the Koran (8th century) and the legendary Khirka (raincoat) of the Prophet Muhammad. The khirka was taken away when Afghans invaded the city in the middle of the 18th century and was kept in mausoleum of Ahmad-shah Durrani in Kandagar.