Pakhlavan Mahmud mausoleum was originally built mainly in the fourteenth century in the form of a small gurhana (space for burial), where the big ?Pir? (spiritual guide) of his time ? Pakhlavan Mahmud (1247-1326) was buried. Pakhlavan Mahmud was born in 1247 in the city of Khiva, in the family of craftsman furrier, sewing Khorezm coats. Even in his early youth he was engaged in a craft with his father? ? manufacturing coats, later he became literate, and attained a degree of great poet and philosopher.
In addition, he was a strong fighter (wrestler), and for his 79 years of life has never suffered a defeat in the competition of fighters. A large number of legends is preserved about Pahlavan Mahmud. One of them says:? ?In the old days on the site of Khiva there was a waterless steppe (desert). After Kunya Urgench (ancient city of Gurgandzh, the capital of the state of Khorezm, now located on the territory of Turkmenistan) was completely destroyed after the invasion of the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan, its population scattered in various part of the state. The father of Pahlavan Mahmud and his wife, who was pregnant, moved to the city of Khiva. At the end of the road at the entrance to Khiva, where the family of Piryar Vali (father of the future Pahlavan Mahmud) was close to the village Kiyat his wife went into labor, and she gave birth to a boy, whom they gave the name of Mahmud. Reaching 15 years of age the? boy has become a strong fighter, renowned athlete (pahlavan).
By participating in the competitions of fighters in neighbouring countries of Iran, Khorasan, India and other countries, he always won. It is said that one day he was invited to the competition the fighters to India, which was attended by the strongest warriors from all over the East. There defeating all fighters, he also won a victory over a very strong fighter of an Indian king. Indian king, fascinated by the extraordinary power of Khiva hero, said, ?Ask me whatever you want.? Pakhlavan Mahmud said to the king: ? ?Free from the bondage and release? my countrymen, who would fit into the untreated (rawhide) skin of a bull.?
The king agreed, and commanded to bring the skin of a bull. Pakhlavan Mahmud sliced the skin into thin ribbons and joining them together in one long belt, he swept a large area in a paddock, in which he put a large number Khorezmians and went with them to Khiva. He placed the people coming with him around the city, in the village of Shihlyar (Sheikhs). And to date the old-timers of the village confirm this tradition saying that before the arrival of Soviet power the representatives of the village have been in service in the mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud. This tradition shows to what extent Pakhlavan Mahmud was a wise, humane person, caring about people.
He was also called a freethinking scientist-philosopher, possessor of great talent and insight, with respect to the poetic observation he was called ?Khorezm?s Khayyam.? It is certainly no accident. According to scientific researchers, Pakhlavan Mahmud was not only a worthy successor of Omar Khayyam in poetry and philosophy, but also in the literature of the people speaking Farsi and Turki there was no poet, after Omar Khayyam, who could compare with him in writing Rubaiyat (quatrains). Great poets like Abdurrahman Jami, Navoi, Fuzuli, Babur though tried their hand at the genre of Rubai, but this genre had secondary place in their creative work. Pakhlavan Mahmoud in his work developed a philosophical and artistic ideas in the spirit of his time, he raised to khayyam study to the unprecedented heights. His work occupies a special place in the literature of the East. In that period, Pahlavan Mahmud was glorifies with such epithets as ?Khorezm?s Khayyam?, ?Tiger of Mazanderan?. He wrote lyrical poetry (ghazal) under the pseudonym ?Kitoli? ? fighter, in 1303-1304 he created a work called ?Kanz ul-hakoik? (?Treasury of the truth?), but unfortunately, this work did not make it to this day. Notice how he wrote his elegant and pleasant rubai strong with skillful performance in the spirit of ?Hayyamnama? with deep content:
The world is like a gilded pitcher
Its water either is sweet, or it is like a bitter wine.
Hey ignorant, do not count a lot on your life
Death hung over your head like a blade.
The architect of the world erected Palace iwan,
And after building it, it destroys the iwan.
Bringing today its dome to the heavens,
The next day, he levels the iwan with the ground.
The man who has read these heartfelt lines at once will feel the power of the worldview of the poet, his humanistic feelings. In essence, being a follower of Sufism flow Pahlavon Mahmud appreciates the intellectual and creative abilities of a person. Famous writer Tukhtasin Jalalov, who put a lot of work in the restoration of historical biography Pahlavan Mahmud, and prepared his unique rubai for publication, wrote the following lines: ? ?It should be emphasized that the era in which he was born and where the poet lived counted decades after the bloody invasion of Genghis Khan, who brought the most severe disaster in the history of Khorezm, and the delighting fact is that in the homeland, which has experienced such horrific disaster, at a time when its big wounds were not yet healed, the heart of the great poet born in this world flown into a rage as the waves of the sea.?
Under the will of the poet, his body was buried in the premises of his former furrier shop. His many-sided activity of life was so fruitful that in spite of the fact that it was not long after his death, he was introduced to a number of famous saints, and his tomb became a place of pilgrimage. Pahlavan Mahmud?s Mausoleum and the area around was worshiped over time and beautified by many rulers of Khorezm.
Historical sources indicate that the mausoleum had a door from the side of Amir Timur. The tombs of Abulgazikhan, Anushakhan and Arangkhan being inside the mausoleum confirms that the mausoleum and the tomb of the poet were landscaped during their reign. In 1701-1702 the Khiva?s Kahn Shahniyazkhan rebuilt the mausoleum and from this period to our times the central entrance door at the entrance to the mausoleum complex (from the street) survived as remembrance. From the inscriptions printed on the door of the masters of woodcarving, it is known that these inscriptions are verses from the Koran, Hadith and chronograms in verse. The front part of the door is decorated with traditional Khorezm floral patterns turunj, madohil and other types of ornamentation. Here is a fragment of the inscription on the door:
?The receiving pleas of bruised hearts this radiant structure is built by Shahniyazkhan (in 1702), a well is also dug. He is himself in this place and buried. Carver master Nadir Mohammed?.
The construction of today?s mausoleum was started by Mohammed Rahimkhan I (1806 -1825) after a successful campaign in 1810 to the city of Kungrad, and construction was completed during the reign of his son Alla Kuli Khan. The mausoleum consists of 3 parts: kabrhana (burial space), ziyarathana, khanaka, on the right of which there is a corridor leading to the Juma mosque.
In the domed room of gurhana (kabrhana), located in the western part of the mausoleum, there is a burial o Pakhlavan Mahmud. Near the northern wall khanaka in the patterned arched niche there is a tomb of Mohammed Rahimkhan I, and near it, in front of it gravestone plates of Khiva khans Abulgazikhan and Anushakhan are set. The arched niche of the corridor there is a burial of Alla Kuli Khan. The area around the mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud by the end of the XIX century formed into the family tomb of Khiva khans of Kungrad dynasty and their relatives.
Construction of the building was carried out under the guidance of the master of Khazarasp named Adin Muhammad Murad. The Master managed to skillfully combine elements of large and small construction machinery and design art (decorative majolica tiles) into a single architectural whole. Majolica tiles decorated tombstones, external dome and the portal of the mausoleum, at this time the interiors of the room were plastered with ganch. By 1825, according to the commandment of Alla Kuli Khan (1825-1842), kabrhana, ziyarathana and khanaka were decorated with majolica tiles with floral patterns of Khiva. During this period the domes of ziyarathana and kabrhana were covered with blue, emerald green glazed bricks on the outside . Instead of some fallen majolica tiles on the portal of the mausoleum new tiles similar to them were set.
Citing the front part of one room in a broad domed hall (dalan) in an arched niche of pentagonal shape, here was installed the Tomb Alla Kuli Khan. The walls of the mausoleum?s room are lined with majolica tiles with floral patterns and a copper art grill (panjara). In construction works Khiva masters Mullah Nurmuhammed son of master Kalandar, Sufimuhammed Niaz son of master Abdujabbar and master Abdullah ?Gene? were able to show their unique art. At the top of a large khanaka (at a height of 25 meters) in the frame of the Khiva plant patterns the masters placed 22 Rubaiyat (quatrains) of Pahlavan Mahmud, the names of masters, excerpts from the Hadith, chronograms (Tarikh) in Farsi, in which they practiced in versification themselves. At the top of the door in the cartouche at the entrance to kabrhana the following rubai of the poet are written in Farsi:
Three hundred Caucasian mountains to pestle,
Or, for a century to languish under lock and key.
To paint the sky with blood of the heart is easier
Than to spend a moment with a fool.
In 1910 ? 1913 in the western part of the mausoleum of Khan of Khiva Isfandiyarkhan II (1910 ? 1918) erected kabrhana and two-storey building of karihana for his mother, for herself and his son and consisting of four hujras. Construction works were headed by architect master Kurbanniyaz, in front of the karihana an iwan was built with carved columns. In 1960, the top of the large dome khanaka, karihana and iwan of the mausoleum complex of Pahlavan Mahmud were restored with the assistance of the master Ruzmet Masharipov (?Ruzmet Arbab?), after which the mausoleum has acquired its original appearance.
Currently, the complex is located in the premises of ?Fund of Pahlavan Mahmud?, administered by the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Uzbekistan. Due to the fact that some of the buildings were in need of restoration, in 2007, the iwan?s columns, corridors, the area around the well, and a miniature wooden dome over the well, some have fallen majolica tiles of the mausoleum portal were restored again.