Madrasah of Barak-Khan

In the early 16th century the Temurids conceded their authority to the Uzbek dynasty of Sheybanids. The founder of the dynasty Sheybany-khan appointed his uncle Suyunich-khan governor of Tashkent. Suyunich-khan was the son of Mirzo Ulugbek’s daughter Rabiya Sultan-beghim. Later, one of Suyunich’s sons, Navruz Ahmad became the ruler of Tashkent, known under the name Barak-khan. At the end of his life in 1551–1555/56 he became King of the Sheybanid Power. Suyunich-khan was buried in Tashkent near Kaffal-Shashi mausoleum. In the 1550s the domed mausoleum with khanaka was built above his grave, and one more mausoleum (which we do not have information about) was erected next to it. In the 1550s Barak-khan built there a madrasah, so the two mausoleums became a part of its building. It was a proper monument built by a son for his father. As the dome of Suyunich mausoleum was covered with blue glazed tiles they called it Kuk-Gumbaz (“blue dome”).

A powerful earthquake in Tashkent destroyed the “blue dome” in 1868. In the Soviet period the madrasah was closed and in 1943 it was given to the Central Asian Religious Department of Muslims. The madrasah was restored between 1955 and 1963 with the participation of academician Usto Shirin Muradov. It was restored again during 2006-2007 as a part of general reconstruction of the Hast Imam ensemble. In the course of the restoration the glazed tiles from the 16th century were preserved. Some of the tiles of the past had verses by the first rector (mudarris) of the Barak-khan madrasah, an outstanding poet Zayn ad-Din Vasifi (1485-1556), dedicated to Tashkent: “Oh, what a kingdom! None of the lawns of paradise can be compared with ancient Shash. And the one who settled here for good will forever forget about paradise groves. Perhaps, to die in Tashkent is better than to live a dragging life in another place”.

Phone: +998 (71) 200-17-00,
100105, 1/1, Talimarjan Str, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

© Marakanda Expedition, 2017 .