Welcome to the land of tranquility and peace, Uzbekistan. Located in Central Asia, Uzbekistan has the most amazing desert oasis.
Not to mention, its cultural and architectural heritage is also amazing and well preserved. This country is perfect for those of you who crave to experience a journey of the Islamic faith. You can explore its historic mosques, where you can view its beautiful design elements, embrace its heritage and pray in a peaceful serene ambiance.
So now, let's take a sneak peek into 6 of the most beautiful mosques in Uzbekistan that you should visit and perform your prayers at:
Image by: dsch1978 on Flickr
Registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Baland Mosque is a historic mosque located in the city of Bukhara. Bukhara city is a jewel of Uzbekistan where hundreds of historical sites and buildings are protected by UNESCO.
Baland Mosque was built in the 16th century and still stands sturdily today. When you arrive at the mosque, you will be greeted with an aesthetic gate. Going further inside the mosque, you will see beautifully decorated mihrabs, interior mosaics, and frescoes. What is nice about this mosque is the fact that it is equipped with two praying rooms adjusted for two seasons; winter and summer. Iman prayers would have the most serene ambiance for their dua and salah in Baland Mosque.
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Located in Samarkand, Bibi-Khanym Mosque remains as one of the biggest heritage mosques in Central Asia. This enormous mosque was built by a Turco-Mongol Persian conqueror named Timur during his invasion in 1399 to show his love to his wife. Timur then named the mosque after his wife’s name: Bibi-Khanym.
In the sahn (courtyard) of the mosque, there are carved verses of the Al-Qur'an on a stone pedestal crafted from ornate marble blocks. There are two tall cylindrical towers (minarets) in the right and left of the main building. The main dome that has a rhombic geometric pattern is dominant with the blue color resembling the surface of a seashell. Adorned with beautiful blue calligraphy streaks on the walls the buildings, Bibi-Khanym Mosque represents the cultural identity of Turkish-Mongol Islam.
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Also known as the Niyaz-Kul Khalif Madrasa, Chor Minor is a historical mosque located in the ancient city of Bukhara. This mosque has a unique bizarre architecture design. It was built by a Turkmenistan merchant called Khalif Niyaz-Kul in the 19th century, during the Janid Dynasty.
The name of Chor Minor itself comes from the Persian language and it translates to “Four Minarets”, referring to its four unusual blue dome minarets. The elements of its design, architecture and four minarets are believed to be philosophically representative of four religions.
The main room of Chor Minor has acoustic properties and the cupola above it makes it perfect for dhikr. It is believed that this mosque is a place where the Sufi perform their ritualized dhikr, singing and recitation, all accompanied by soothing, instrumental music.
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The Kalyan Mosque is located inside Po-i-Kalyan complex in Bukhara. Po-i-Kalyan which means “The Foot of the Great” is a complex that was built in the 15th century. Heading back to long before it was built, right during the pre-Islamic era, the complex was a fire worshiper’s central cathedral. Later on in 1514, the governor of Bukhara at that time built this majestic mosque there to compete Bibi-Khanym Mosque.
The mosque and the courtyard are separated by a grand rectangular hall called iwan that is beautifully decorated with blue tiles. Kalyan mosque is famous for its peaceful ambiance and size. The whole building itself has 208 pillars and 288 domes, much proof of its grandeur. The most eye-catching part of the complex is its brick minaret, Minâra-i Kalân, also known as the tower of death. This is a place where centuries ago, the criminals were thrown out from the top.
Credit: Daniel Mennerich on Flickr
Built in 1712 by Abu'l Fayud Khan, Bolo Haouz Mosque is perched on the opposite side of the citadel of Ark, Registan district, Bukhara. The entrance and ceiling of Bolo Haouz are painted and carved with geometric motifs. What makes this historic mosque unique is that it has beautifully carved 40-thin wood pillars.
Also, their pillars are 12-meters tall! The pillars hold the summer prayers’ room firmly and it is where tourists usually spend their time praying and take refuge from the heat. Not only does it have a summer praying room, there is also winter praying room in this mosque. There is a pool located just in front of Bolo Haouz which gives it a unique touch. The pool is actually where the name of the mosque was originally derived from because Bolo Haouz which means children’s pool.
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Though this last mosque is widely known as Juma Mosque, its actual name is Khoja Ahror Valiy. This beautiful ancient mosque is located in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was established in 819 at the highest point of the Shakhristan Center. The mosque was built by Sheikh Ubaydullo Khoja Akhror and it was named after him.
Despite having to go through many huge restorations in the past, this mosque still stands as the third biggest mosque in Uzbekistan, after Bibi-Khanym and Po-i-Kalyan. Three huge domes are painted in soft blue color and are located above the building. If you stand on Juma Mosque’s land, you can view city skyscrapers!
So there you have it! Those are 6 of the most beautiful mosques in Uzbekistan that you should visit and perform your prayers at. Start planning your trip now and visit Uzbekistan, a country of Islamic heritage.