Trans Eurasia travel

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The bazaar

The bazaar spills out from the Palvan Gates and Allah Kuli Khan Tim into the surrounding square, as it has done for centuries.
Next to the Palvan Gate and modern carpet market, the nine-domed Sayid Niaz Sheliker Bai Mosque (1842) today acts as a surrogate Friday Mosque and its regular call to prayer performs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the old town, providing a lone cry in a skyline of silent minarets. The name Sheliker ('Rice Grower') refers to the mosque's patron, a wealthy local bazaari (merchant).

The next door Palvan Kari Minaret stands unique like a cylindrical, Central Asian Rapunzel's tower, while further on the Abd al Bobo Mausoleum holds the grave of the 12th century Khorezmshah Atsiza of Gurganj and marks the site of Khiva's old slave market, where seminomadic slave raiders would turn over their half-starved merchandise and briefly atone for their sins in the nearby mosque. The Naspurush madrassah next to the melon bazaar now holds the bazaar committee.

North of the bazaar on Budennaga St lies the exhausted Tort Shalbaz Ensemble (1885) with mosque, minaret, khanagha and sardoba. The hostel here is where Vambery stayed in 1863 while visiting the city disguised as a wandering dervish.