5 kilometers away to the South from border of modern city of Tashkent, you can get to one of the most ancient remained memorial complexes of the capital. It was formed in XIV-XIX centuries as a result of gradual extensions around the basic building – themausoleum of Zangi-ata, an important role in erection of which played Amir Temur himself.
Zangi-ata («the dark father») is a nickname which Ay-Khoja Sheikh received among the people because of the dark color of his skin. This great Sufi which had big popularity in Tashkent during his life (the end of XII – I half of XIII centuries) and has been esteemed among the people here through many centuries after the death, was the expatriate of one notable Arabian family. Zangi-ata was the fifth murid (student) of Ahmad Jassavi – the recognized spiritual leader of all Turkic tribes of the Central Asia, and preached in the Tashkent area till his very death in 1258.
Possibly, just because of his great teacher, the name of Ay-Khodja Sheikh did not get to oblivion, and the road to his grave did not get covered with grass. According to the legend, Amir Temur at the end of XIV century ordered to build themausoleum of Ahmad Jassavi, however, the walls of the mausoleum under construction got spilled with obscure reason. While regent was sleeping, Ahmad Jassavi himself came in his dream and told that first should be built the mausoleum over the grave of Saint Zangi-Ata, the construction of which was going on up to XX century, and the mausoleum of Ahmad Jassavi was erected later, without any obstacles.
It was in 1914-1915 when the ensemble got supplemented with unusual minaret, which grew up in front of the mosque. Minaret is finished in the style of a tower with two observation grounds on different levels, designed to announce the beginning of gathering of religious people for praying. Its singularity is in its shape, which is not common for the minarets on the territory of Uzbekistan.
There is asphalted pass, which leads from the South entrance of Zangi-Atamausoleum to the mausoleum of his wife – Saint Ambar Bibi. This mausoleum, which is located in 150 meters from the first mausoleum and situated on mazar (graveyard), was built at the end of XIV – beginning of XV centuries, and represents relatively minor unicameral building made of baked bricks 9 meters long, 6,5 meters width, and 13,5 meters high.
Ambar-Bibi is considered to be the patroness of women and mothers. Many women are requesting the Saint to grant them children as well as prosperity and peace in the families. As people believe, to make this requests come true, one should go clockwise around the mausoleum of Ambar-Bibi three times without separating the palms from its walls. Frequently you can mention young ladies sweeping the pass around the mausoleum. People believe that this ritual helps to clean out the house of the evil spirits and to remove the incantations and wasting diseases.
The building of mausoleums was always connected with tradition of worship of forefathers. National festivals and celebrations are being held on the territory of this historical and cultural memorial from the earliest times. And even now, this special sight has much of respect: annually thousands of people visit Zangi-Ata complex. Places of rest, chayhana, parking area were made to facilitate the pilgrims and tourist. It’s better to come here for the whole day, to leisurely see all the sights, to touch the sacred place and to learn more about great men, which are still being proud of among the people of Uzbekistan.