Chashma complex

Chashma complex — photo 1

Chashma is one of the main complexes of Nurata. Its alternative name is Nur-Bulok, which means “the sacred spring”. There are many legends related to this ancient place. The residents of Nurata are delighted to tell the story about the meteorite that fell here thousands of years ago. At the place of its fall, a cavity appeared which soon was filled with water from the spring that suddenly spouted. Its bright light at the place of the fall impressed people so much that they called the spring Nur-Bulok.

In some time it appeared that the water from this spring had healing properties and heals of many diseases. Later beautiful fish symbolizing the purity of the spring appeared in the water. It was forbidden to eat these fish, because one could get sick due to committing such sin; their body got covered in sores and then the death came.

Then the legends vary. Some believe that the nearest burial site belongs to Caliph Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Mohammed, who followed in the prophet’s footsteps, preaching Islam in Asia. Others believe that Alexander the Great himself was buried here. The opinion of Narshakhi, the historian of the 20th century, is the closest to the truth. According to him, the remains of people who personally saw Prophet Mohammed are buried here. The historians refute most legends, but this does not influence the number of pilgrims who regularly pay visits to this site. Each year their number grows.

Chashma complex — photo 1

The legends contain some truth as well. Alexander the Great visited these places during the periods of conquering. Besides, during that time the fortress at the bottom of which the Nur-Bulok spring is located today. Being at the very border with the sands of Kyzylkum and Nurata mountain range, the fortress was to guard the peace of the residents. Water was very important in Central Asia, because this region is arid. Therefore, by order of Alexander the Great, the water system determined to support water to the army and the residents during the period of fortress siege was established during that period.

Today, apart from the spring and the fortress, the complex includes the Friday Juma mosque, the graveyard, the bath house and the ancient Panjvakta mosque. Both mosques appeared in the 14th century during the period of Arabic conquering. These buildings are decorated with national carving on all the wooden surfaces. This is traditional for this region. The mosques are renovated and stand out in all their beauty within the spacious territory of the complex. The Juma mosque looks less rich, but it is located right next to the spring. The water system consists out of deep channels laid out with stone. The well-designed system built thousands of years ago still works.

Chashma complex — photo 3

The mazar next to the spring is that very grave that is worshipped in the Islamic world. The attraction still attracts the attention of the archeologists, because the roots of its history recede to the past long before the origin of the city of Nurata. The bath house is the newest building. It appeared in the 20th century at the place of the more ancient bath house, which is approved by the research of the scientists.

The miraculous power of the water owes not only to the secure belief in its healing properties, but to its contents as well: it includes many us0eful minerals like bromine, silver, iodine and gold. In total it contains 15 microelements which have a good effect on the health (upon condition of moderate consumption). The fish that inhabit the water are marinkas (Schizothorax), which are known to be poisonous and dangerous to human health if cooked incorrectly. Near the complex, a lot of harmel grass (Peganum harmala) grows, and the miraculous powers are attributed to it as well. The functions of the grass manifest when it is burnt: the space in which the grass was burnt becomes disinfected. They say that harmel smoke can chase evil spirits away. Pilgrims often tie ribbons with the wishes for health to themselves and their nearest ones to the harmel bushes.

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