Ambar-bibi Mausoleum

The history origin of the Amabr-bibi Mausoleum which is a part of the Zangi-Ata memorial complex located in the south west of Tashkent, inextricably connected with three great names of: Sufi of Zangi-Ata, famous Muslim saint Akhmad Yassavi and commander Amir Timur.
Sheikh Ali Khoja (Zangi-Ata), born in the second half of the XII century was a disciple of dervish order Khodjagon founded by Akhmad Yassavi. Later on he himself became one of those who headed the order, and received his nickname – Zangi-Ata (Dark Father) under which he earned fame and went down in history. Zangi-Ata got married to Ambar-bibi (or Kambar-ana), the sheikh Suleyman Khakim-ota Bakyrgani’s widow. Ambar-bibi like her husband was considered a saint. She was also respected as a patroness of women, maternity and fertility. Quite a long time had passed after Zangi-Ata and Ambar-bibi’s death when the 90-s of the XVI century saw the construction of a mausoleum for the couples to start. This decision was made by the great commander Tamerlane upon a number of ineffectual attempts to erect the Akhmad Yassavi Mausoleum in Turkmenistan, each attempts ended with collapsing of the wall erected, preventing the construction to be proceeded. As the legend implies, Amir Timur saw Yassavi himself who appeared before him in the dream and prompt a solution: first build a mausoleum for Zangi-Ata and his wife.
The Ambar-bibi Mausoleum is located in a graveyard, not far from her husband’s mausoleum. It is a one-chambered and portal-domed building with a summerhouse. Inside the mausoleum there are two grave-stones: one of them belongs to Amabr-bibi herself and the second is connected with the name of Ulugpasha. The step-type gravestone of Ambar-bibi was encrusted with pieces of majolica from the Zangi-Ata Mausoleum’s dome. Time did not spare the Ambar-bibi Mausoleum and it was renovated many times. From its initial decoration only a mosaic pattern on the dome drum managed to survive. Today as many years ago, women pilgrim to the Ambar-bibi Mausoleum, praying the saint to grant them children and well-being to their families. To have their request complied, the women follow the instruction of the old popular belief: to circumambulate the mausoleum clockwise three times without taking their palms from its walls. Another folk rite connected with the Ambar-bibi Mausoleum is cleaning up their houses from evil spirit, breaking a hex spell and charms - for this purpose, women and girls sweep the path around the mausoleum building.
Along with the Ambar-bibi Mausoleum, the Zangi-Ata Memorial Complex includes the mausoleum of Zangi-Ata himself, a courtyard with residential cells; the Namazgokh Mosque built in 1870, the 24m-high minaret erected in 1914-1915 and also a cemetery with a garden and large pond.

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