Trans Eurasia travel

Your virtual guide to Eurasia! Let's travel together!

Khodja Akrar Complex

Four kilometres south of the Registan stands the ensemble built around the grave of Sheikh Khodja Akrar (1404-1490), leader of the Nakhshbandi dervish order and dominant political figure in Transoxiana following Ulug Begs death. Acclaimed by the people as a religious ascetic and miracle-worker, he yielded great wealth and influence over Tamerlane's great-grandson Abu Said and his sons.

Between 1630 and 1635 Bukharan vizier Nadir Divanbegi incorporated the funerary mosque built by Akrar's sons into a large madrassah. The mosaic tiling has been fully restored so the portal shines again with heretical art-the Persian heraldic emblem of lion-tigers chasing does, similar to those on the Shir-Dor madrassah. Around the courtyard, faced with solar and floral motifs similar to Tillya Kari, runs a gallery of student cells, lecture halls and a domed mosque, all functioning again in the wake of independence. South of the madrassah is the ornate Khodja Akrar mosque (17th-20th centuries), a row of summer and winter premises featuring tiled and doubled mihrab, wooden iwan embedded with star shapes and columns finishing in muqama stalactite capitals. The Sheikh's burial platform lies to the south of the chinor- shaded octagonal hauz. Reach the complex by bus No. 9 or marshrutka taxi No. 31 from the bazaar and Hotel Samarkand.