Memorial Complexes of Termez

Memorial Complexes of Termez Mausoleum of Hakim at-Termezi


Mausoleum of Hakim at-Termezi

Cult-memorial complexes have been preserved in Termez, which are considered to be holy graves at present too. The main holy place of Termez is the Mausoleum of Hakim at-Termezi, a well-known theologian of the IX c., considered to be as a sacred protector of the city. He was the author a number of compositions of a mystic-philosophical character and was the founder of the dervishes order. "Hakimi" is considered one of the twelve sects of mysticism.

He was buried near the citadel of medieval Termez, probably near to hanaqoh. Later, a mausoleum of baked brick was built above . It had one chamber with a portal dome. The dome was carried by four strong arches and supported by corbel-cell sails. The entrance was on the south side; the northern archway was open and the remaining ones were blocked off. At the end of the XI c., the interiors of the mausoleum were richly decorated with carved ganch. It bore an inscription of the name of the client and also the governor of Mawarannahr, Abdal-Muzzaphar Ahmad Tij. Bright and attractive vegetable, and epigraphical ornaments were used here. To the north of this mausoleum, in XI-XII c., was built a funeral prayer mosque in the form of a three-domed gallery. The archways opened onto a small courtyard paved with brick.

To the mausoleum it was open by means of an arch from which one can see the gravestone, which was placed one and half meters higher than the level of the floor. In the centre of the western wall of the mosque, which was a continuation of the wall of the mausoleum, was built a mihrab faced with baked brick and decorated with calligraphic writings. The remaining surfaces of the wall, arches and domes of the interior were also decorated with carved ganch. Judging by the character of the carving, which is similar to the decor of the palaces of the governors of Termez, the decor of the mosque was dated from XII c. A new small mausoleum was built in 1389-1390, according to the inscription on the portal. It was situated on the east side and was adjacent to the ancient tomb.

The dome of this square building supported in the corners by three-vane sails. Attached on the Eastern side were a group of storage rooms. At the beginning of XV c., under the rule of Khalil Sultan, a grandson of Amir Temur, (1405-1409) on the east-west axis of the mausoleum there was erected the largest building complex. This was the largest building hanaqoh a house for wanderers, dervishes and faqihs with imposing artwork in the dome and two portals located on the north and south longitudinal axis. Let us note that two-portal hanaqoh was rare in Central Asia. The plan showed that the square-domed hall on two sides joined portals a deep-arched bay. The interior hall with clear constructions and decor made with brick kept the spirit of the earliest structures of Termez. The wall with deep arches on the axes bears the octagonal tiered arched sails on which there was a single dome. In the interior remarkable angled three-quarter columns supporting the heel of the arches. Their unique original bases as a prism with cut angles creat the impression that these ribs have been put diagonally on brick cubes, as it was done in the earliest mausoleum complexes of Sultan- Saodat.

At the same time with the construction of the hanaqoh of the mausoleum of Hakim at Termizi, there was set up a carved marble gravestone (sagana), which was a great work. The main rectangular block was set up on a flat pedestal crowning the little longitudinal block of the arched contour. The gravestone was covered by sKiflul artwork carvings of epigraphic, vegetable ornament and very beautiful stalactite rods. The decoration of the corners of the wall facing the hall of the funeral prayer mosque is of great interest. Cut on it were architectural details the sides of the arched bay wer by stalactite forming a mihrab. There were small places that depicted lanterns on chains. The monumental calligraphy of the main block of the gravestone was.unusually refined. This gravestone was considered to be one of the masterpieces of stonework and design art of the masters of the Temurid epoch.

Sultan Saodat

The cult-memorial complex of Sultan Saodat was developed during the period of XI-XVII c. at the graves of the Termez sayyids. It had a number of cult structures added at different times: mausoleums, mosques and hanagoh, built on the perimeter of an elongated courtyard with a combination of integral and short compositions.The most ancient part was a three-part frontal opening the southwest part of the complex to the courtyard side. Here are located two large one- chambered, square-domed mausoleums. They arc joined with an aperture terrace with a mihrab placed between them, which was used as a funeral prayer niosque. Researchers have dated this ancient group to the XI-XII c.

Due to their clear-cut solutions to the problems of structure, decor and volume, the mausoleums gained strict, highly artistic architectural appearance. The unity of the construction is accented by decorative baked brick, carefully clad on the surface of the wall in the form of plain "ribbon" "fir tree" and "belt" patterns. The wall of the mausoleum had an octahedron tier of arched sails on which was set a large dome.The burial vaults with their eastern facades were contiguous to the courtyard and had the same decoration. Each facade was decorated with three flat arched bays in rectangle frames. The architrave, which was decorated with carved details, strengthened to three-quarter columns. They were set up on highly original bases, where at the expense of cutting angles of the prism of the bases of the facade part there appeared the effect of a cube fixed up on the rib. We should note that this.-unusual type of diamond-shaped base was used at the beginning of the XV c. in the interior of the hanaqoh complex of Hakim at-Termizi. This method, which we observed only in Termez, was one of the peculiarities of its architecture. The upper part of the arched bay to level five was clad in the form of "fir tree". The northern mausoleum with 10m sides in the interior was decorated richer than the southern one. Here, all four walls had the same decoration of arrow shaped bays in a rectangle panel. These arches were set on three-quarter cylindrical columns deco rated with a line of carved rhombus, rings etc. The bosom of the sails are in the form of a spherical half-dome, upper bay rose to the fifth level of arches, and the arched bays located under the dome over angles of octahedral tiers over-clad in the form of a fir tree, which are intensified on the background of wall cladding.

The southern mausoleum with its 9m. side had a stair built in its thick western wall leading to the roof of a terrace joined to it.

Within the period of XIV-XV c. the portal of the terrace was built on the height and faced with multi-colored glazed decoration (which has been lost). There were majolica borders and II-form frames with refined ligature of Arabic epigraphy and jign, and a hexahedron majolica tile "stylised vegetable motive on the bluish back- ground."

In the XV c., to the eastern facade of the mausoleum there was built a one-chambered square room with about 6m. side. Further, the composition of the ensemble was developed along the line of the west-east wall by the erection of new construction on the elongated sides of the courtyard. Almost all of them repeated the idea of the ancient group of the build-versions, that is to say, three-stage with an open terrace in the centre of the opened frontal facade. These were groups of mausoleums built in different sizes and at a different time from the north and south sides of the corner yard in the XVI-XVII c. From the west part of the courtyard there was a portal entrance.

Thus, the magnificent ensemble was distinguished for its ancient group of mausoleums, homogenous in composition and decor though built in different. Meanwhile the axis of the interior door.


The Kokildor-Ota is mentioned by researchers for its architecture and unusual planning, as a hanaqoh mausoleum of the XVI c. worthy of note. It is thought that the name of the saint buried witnesses about his participation in the rite of cutting the tuft of hair of some believers who gave a vow to the tuft of hair till the time when some definites events took place in their life.

This was portal-domed multi-chambered construction frontal composition with a brick wall. The idea of building a three-stage frontal, open facade, which was used in the complex of Sultan- Saodat, was repeated here too. Its plan was symmetrical by composition: There was placed a deep terrace with a main entrance and large domed hall in the central axis. On their sides, almost parallel, were placed two rooms across the corridor in a mirror composition. Thus, the rectangular entrance led to a central hall and lateral entrances to the joined rooms and corridors that were lateral to them. The decorated apertures of ganch moulding built on the complicated grid of multi-angles, thyroid sails and are remarkable.

The monumental portal of the building was more characteristic of the XV c., that is to say, to the Temurid epoch, than to the architecture of Mawarannahr in the XVI c. In the interior hall gravestones; the largest one belonged to Kokildor-Ota. Researchers have suggested that it could have been redecorated in the epoch of Temurids, probably in the period when remodelling was done to the monumental structures in the complex of Hakim at- Termizi and Sultan Saodat. We should note that the building of Kokildor- Ota is one of the few hanaqoh with a frontal composition in Central Asia, and it is also one of the significant monuments in Termez.We must conclude that the architecture of Surkhandarya, and particularly Termez, took the special place in the medieval architecture of Central Asia.

Due to its geographical position and common historical character, the school of architecture of Surkhandarya, including the group monuments in the Termez oasis, should be grouped with the archi- of neighbouring Khorasan. In both regions, to strong expressive forms was expressed in single-relief decor, which was set on the background of usual, or ornamental wall cladding. The earliest construction of the mausoleum complex of Sultan Saodat featured three-part domed frontally open cult constructions. Some groups of the buildings in the XV-XVII c., of the Sultan Saodat complex, Hanaqoh Kokildor Ota of XVI c. and even raw brick dwellings in some villages of Termez region included two-domed rooms, which were joined by a terrace placed between them. Favourite decorative methods in Termez were laying the main facade out and sometimes the interior walls by flat arched bays in the form of II shape. So, the three-arched bays in the XI-XII c. decorative facades are the mausoleums of the complex of Sultan Saodat's and interior of its northern burial vault, the facades of the mausoleum of Zul-Kifl and the main facade of the mausoleum of Uyk Gumbaz: and six arches decorated the facades of the mausoleum of Khwaja Isa and five arches graced the facade of the mosque in the madrasse of the XVIII- XIX .

Another decorative method used both in raw and baked brick constructions was the fir tree motif, set in the interior of semi-spherical bosoms of the sails on the background of double or simple wall cladding (the mausoleum of Sultan Saodat and Ataulla-Eshon).

Finally, the base-supported three-quarter column used in arched bays was original to this region. Cutting of the angles of prismatic base of the facade showed the effect of the cube mounted on the rib. Such a "diamond-shaped" base was implemented in the mausoleums of the complex of Sultan Saodat in the XI c. and also at the beginning of the XV c. in the interior of the hanaqoh in the complex of Hakim at-Termizi.

Remarkable raw brick construction was done at Termez. Kirk-Kiz was one of the best, a veritable encyclopaedia of the arched aperture constructions of Central Asia. Meanwhile, the latest raw brick structures, of the XVII-XIX c., frequently covered by the vault "balkh", naturally continued the compositional, constructive and decorative methods of the earliest classical constructions.

Thus, the distinguished character of the architecture of the Termez oasis witnesses about the appearance of a highly unique local school in the Islamic period, growing from the fertile soil of the effective implementation of various methods of the previous epoch. Preserved in this ancient town masterpieces of architecture the earliest group of mausoleums of the complex of Sultan Saodat, the building of Kirk- Kiz, the carved ganch decoration of the Palace of Termez Shahs and burial vault of Hakim at-Termizi wittiness about the high art of the architects and masters of medieval Termez.