Zanghi-Ata Ensemble

Zanghi-Ata Ensemble
Zanghi-Ata Ensemble

The ensemble was formed around the tomb of the sufi shaykh Yasaviya Zanghi Ata (14lh century). The oldest part of it consists of the burial chamber of the shaikh and a hall for the pilgrims. In addition, there is the mosque, khujdras (rooms) for pilgrims, a minaret, a pond (khauz) and near-gate construction built in the yard. Tomb and then the ensemble was a place of pilgrimage for Muslims all over the region.


Presumably tombstone over the grave of shaikh was established in the era of Amir Temur (most likely by his command), and the domed building and a hall for the pilgrims were built during the reign of Mirza Ulugh-beg. Then, for several centuries the yard was established. The biggest restoration works were carried out at the beginning of the 19th century and in the late 1990s.

The minaret

The minaret was built by a local (Tashkent) master in Turkish style of this type of buildings. His donator (the customer) deliberately thought to emulate the Turkish minarets, as it is evidenced by the original decor and epigraphy, carved on gypsum (ganch) plate in front of the entrance door to the body of the minaret. In the lower part there is the pattern of the labyrinth in a square shape. Unlike conventional maze, where the center is only one “input” here in the center there are two of the existing conventional “inputs” (below). In the center it is written: Constantinople (Istanbul). The riddle of the labyrinth can be understood if we recall the following facts. Firstly, Muslims of colonial Turkestan perceived the ruler of Turkish Empire as “caliph (spiritual head)” of Muslims all over the world. Secondl, a schematic idea of such a geometric “Rebus” (apparently “designed” in Turkey) was intended to show that all the ways for Muslims precisely the ideological and political center of the Muslims of that time – Constantinople. It is possible that we have in mind the Koranic phrase (30: 1-2), which contains a hint to “Rum” (“second Rome”), i.e. Constantinople.

Higher above the maze there is the following inscription signed by the master and with the date of completion: — “Allah, Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali. The work of the master Rasul-Muhammad Shashi” 1332 (1913).