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Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Necropolis in Bukhara photo

Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Necropolis was one of the main centers of Muslim pilgrimage in Central Asia for several centuries. It is at the small village Kasri-Orifon to the east of Bukhara.

Every tourist could hear the guide to tell that 3 hadjes to the Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Necropolis are equal to one hadj to Mecca. Maybe, it is an exaggeration but the fact is that the Naqshbandi Sufi order founded in Bukhara is one of the most influential ones in the Islam.

Spiritual genealogy of Bokharan Sufi sheikhs goes back to Abu Bakr, the first caliph, the follower of the Prophet Muhammad. According to the teaching of the Naqshbandi, there are several makamas – states of the Sufi path, where a man at first just read a prayer, then begin to control his breathe, manners, learn to reasonably distribute his time. The highest state is to open one`s heart to the Lord. In the course of time, Bukhara Sufi school became one of the most famous and honorable education centers adhering to the Sunnism. The members of the Naqshbandi Sufi order took an active public position and denied asceticism.

Baha-ud-Din Naqshband was born in the small village to the east of Bukhara in 1318. He died at the same village in 1389. His father was a stamper, «naqshbandi», and the nickname stuck to his son Baha-ud-Din. Later, the village where Baha-ud-Din was born and died was called Kasri-Orifon, which means the «castle of those who knew the divine truth». For 5 centuries at his burial place there was formed the architectural complex named after Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. Also, four Abu-Bakrs (Chor-Bakr - descendants of the Prophet Muhammad), who belonged to the Naqshbandi Sufi order, were buried at the Chor-Bakr Necropolis, another suburb of Bukhara.

The center of the Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Necropolis is the rectangular court where the burial place of the sheikh is located. In 19th century around it were built the mortuary mosques, and the court itself was surrounded by the wooden iwan with characteristic wooden columns. There survived several columns of nineteenth century, but most of them were erected in 1993 during the first major restoration.

The largest building of the Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Necropolis is the Abdul-Aziz Khan хоnаqоhi built in 1544. Besides, there you can see the Kushbegi male mosque and the Muzaffar-Khan mosque, as well as one female mosque.

All along the perimeter you can see a huge necropolis of the Shaybanid rulers. The most famous of them are Iskander Khan (1583) and his son Abdulla Khan (1598).

A special sight of the complex is the trunk of mulberry tree on the bank of a pond. It is believed to be the staff of Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, which was stuck by him in the ground. Later, it turned into a tree of which now remained but this huge trunk. All pilgrims who ask something from Baha-ud-Din must crawl under it. Generally, women ask a child from Baha-ud-Din.

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Iwan with wooden columns in the inner court of Al-Muzaffar and Hakim Kushbegi mosques and Abdulaziz Khan Khanaka (dervish lodge) at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Minaret in front of the Kushbegi mosque at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Some wooden columns of the iwan surrounding the inner court of the mosques are already several centuries old
Dakhma in the carved marble enclosure over the vast necropolis of Bukhara rulers at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Passages between the tombs at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Minaret and the entrance of the Kushbegi mosque – the main mosque of the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Elements of wooden décor of the Al-Muzaffar mosque at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Hakim Kushbegi mosque at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Mausoleum above the grave of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
A pool in the inner court of the madrasah and the mosques of Kushbegi and Al-Muzaffar at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Main entrance of the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Colored majolica tiles on the walls of the main entrance to the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Arched sakkahana above the spring in the inner court of the mosques at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Ancient door of the Kushbegi mosque at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Interior of the Kushbegi mosque at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Vaults of the Kushbegi mosque at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Dakhma in the carved marble enclosure - the necropolis of Bukhara rulers at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
All rulers of Bukhara built their own necropolises at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Necropolises of Bukhara emirs at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Alley of the main entrance at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara
Alley of the main entrance at the memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi in Bukhara