Timur

Shakhrisabz Travel Blog

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Ak-Saray Palace

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)

Having had a pretty good look around Samarkand the previous day, we decided to take a day trip to the town of Shakhrisabz, located 90km to the South. The town holds great historical significance within Central Asia, as this is where Amir Timur was born on 9 April 1336. Timur would follow in the footsteps of Jenghiz Khan, unifying much of the region under his brutal rule.

The taxi journey took around 90 minutes and crossed the scenic Takhtakaracha Pass (1788m), before descending to the town of Kitab. Before setting off we had asked, confirmed and finally reconfirmed that the driver would take us all the way to Shakhrisabz, which was a further 10km down the road and he had promised us that he would.

Amir Timur Statue in front of the Ak-Saray Palace
It was therefore an annoying surprise to have him tell us that he would actually be leaving us here. Some heated words were exchanged, before we handed over 5000 Sum ($3.75) each, which was 500 less than we had initially agreed upon. Cursing the man, we walked up to the marshrutka stop and caught a van into town (500 Sum).

The first place we stopped to look around at was Ak Saray Palace, which acted as Timur's Summer Palace. The grounds used to be massive, but all that is left today is a part of the 40 metre high crumbling gate. On what would have been the entry, there were still colourful mosaic tiles, which were in reasonably good condition. What used to be the centre of the Palace, now contains a huge statue, where wedding parties were gathering for photographs. Seeing the distance between the ruins and the statue and then doubling it to get the size that the Palace would have been, really put the place into perspective.
Sheikh Shamseddin Kulyal Mausoleum and Gumbazi Seyidan


After eating a hot dog and watching the newly weds parade around, we walked South through the town, passing a small mosque and bazaar on the way. Ten minutes later we arrived at the impressive blue domed Kok Gumbaz Mosque, which had some pretty interior decorations. Just across from the Mosque was the Mausoleum of Sheikh Shamseddin Kulyal and Gumbazi Seyidan, another Mausoleum that was built by Ulugbek, Timur's grandson.

Located just a hundred metres to the back of this complex was the Khazrati-Imam Complex, which had been built by Timur in 1392. Taking centre stage of what remains is the Tomb of Jehangir, one of Timur's sons. Next to this is an underground crypt, which had been built to house Timur's remains. The corpse never made it this far though, as when his body was been transported back from the Chinese border, where he died, they encountered bad weather in the mountains where we had crossed earlier in the day and thus they had to lay him to rest in Samarkand.
Tomb of Jehangir


It had made for an interesting day out, but i was pleased that we hadn't budgeted any more time, as we had only needed a couple of hours to have a decent look at the worthwhile attractions. We caught a van back to Kitab and just managed to get in a taxi to Samarkand, as the heavens opened.

In the evening we enjoyed sitting around with a bunch of other travellers at Bahodir, including Andrew from England, Joss from Scotland and Sam from Belgium. We drank some beers and chatted about all kinds of things, including our terrible experiences in the embassies, pursuing our visas for onward travel! The following day we packed up our gear and caught a marshrutka to the train station and from here we moved on to Bukhara.

Deats says:
I compile it from a few sources. I take key dates etc from Local brochures, lonely planet, boards at the sites or wherever i can find it and then piece it all together to fit in with the blog. It takes way too long though! Thus i havent done so many of my blogs as i cant find the time. The problem is i like writing about my experience but i also want the background info for people so its informative and not just reading my diary! Thus the blogs become rather long!
Posted on: Aug 25, 2009
almond72 says:
Out of curiosity, where do you derive the background information on the places e.g. (that the place is Jehangir Timur's resting place & fate of his remains) from ? - not at all implying you made it up. Is this written somewhere near there or do they give out brochures ?
Posted on: Aug 25, 2009
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Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Amir Timur Statue in front of the …
Amir Timur Statue in front of the…
Sheikh Shamseddin Kulyal Mausoleum…
Sheikh Shamseddin Kulyal Mausoleu…
Tomb of Jehangir
Tomb of Jehangir
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Ak-Saray Palace
Amir Timur Statue
Amir Timur Statue
Amir Timur Statue in front of the …
Amir Timur Statue in front of the…
Amir Timur Statue in front of the …
Amir Timur Statue in front of the…
Bazaar
Bazaar
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Sheikh Shamseddin Kulyal Ma…
Inside Sheikh Shamseddin Kulyal M…
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
Inside Gumbazi Seyidan
Inside Gumbazi Seyidan
Inside Gumbazi Seyidan
Inside Gumbazi Seyidan
Gumbazi Seyidan, Sheikh Shamseddin…
Gumbazi Seyidan, Sheikh Shamseddi…
Tomb of Jehangir
Tomb of Jehangir
Tomb of Jehangir
Tomb of Jehangir
Gumbazi Seyidan, Sheikh Shamseddin…
Gumbazi Seyidan, Sheikh Shamseddi…
Shakhrisabz
photo by: Vlindeke