Shahrukh’s son Ulugbek ordered the building of a new cathedral mosque Kok-Gumbaz (“the Blue dome”) in 1434-1435. The mosque got that name for a huge dome, which exceeded the size of the dome of Bibi-Khanym. It was built on the site of an old Qarakhanid cathedral mosque. The Temurids esteemed Shakhrisabz mosque due to the fact that some sacred family mausoleums were there – the remains of Sufi Sheikh Shams ad-Din Kulyal Keshi, the father of Amir Temur, Muhammad Taragay and his sons Djehangir and Umar Sheikh.

In order to increase the number of prayers, on both sides of the mosque arched galleries with 40 domes were constructed. With the efforts of Ulugbek, who often came to visit Kesh, around a new city mosque arose a great religious center, known as Dor at-Tilyavat (“the House of funeral rites” or “the Receptacle for Koran readers”). Alongside with the mosque and the Temurid mausoleum of the 14th century, identified with Kulyal, it contains Dor at-Tilavat madrasah and the Temurid tomb “Makbarat of Ulugbek” (Gumbazi Seidon). The whole complex was united by a yard with hudjras and darskhana of madrasah. In the 19th century a small minaret was built in the yard and hudjras were erected again on the basis of the 15th century. By that time the domes of the mosque and mausoleums had completely fallen down. Domes Kok-Gumbaz and Gumbazi Seidon were restored in the second half of the 20th century, and the dome of Kulyal mausoleum in about 2000.

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© Marakanda Expedition, 2017 .