Kutlug Murad Inak Madrasah

Kutlug Murad Inak Madrasah — photo 1

Kutlug Murad Inak Madrasah is located next to Palvan-Darwaza Gate. This attraction was built in 1809 during the reign of Muhammad Rahimhan under the leadership of his younger brother Kutlug Murad Inak.

The beginning of Khiva’s improvement, laid by Allakulikhan, had a significant impact on urban planning in the following years. The Eastern world saw a madrasah that differed constructively from the usual buildings of this type. The craftsmen of Khiva had not built two-storied madrasahs before, so they took the construction of Bukhara Abdulazizkhan Madrasah as a basis. However, the sight only partly resembles the Bukhara prototype. The craftsmen have improved some structure and made changes in the design.

By partially simplifying the structure, the architects saved money. Madrasah doesn’t have the usual iwan in the yard and the premises above the portal. On the other hand, the portals themselves are decorated with Khiva patterns, which has never been seen before in such architecture. On the eastern side there was a mosque, and above it, a balkhona (veranda) on the level with the second hujra floor.

The northern and southern superstructures above portals are wider than others. Thus, the masters managed to create an alternation of architectural elements and revive the usual strict geometry. Richly decorated facade with glossy maiolica on it and the corner towers, as well as carved gypsum finishing, gives an even more solemn appearance to the madrasah.

Kutlug Murad Inak Madrasah — photo 2

The inner part of the madrasah is decorated strictly and without excesses. The mosque and the study room have no bright elements, but their wooden doors are a real work of art. The same can be said about the doors of the main entrance. Hujras, located on two floors, have a similarity to the second tier inside, are a kind of shelves for storing food, dishes, textbooks, and any necessary household items.

There is a legend that Kutlug Murad asked to be buried at the entrance to the madrasah. The cemetery was located outside the fortress, and traditionally people were not buried within the city limits. However, in tribute to the memory of the respected man, the clergy and the elders found a way to fulfill the dying wish and observe the traditions of burying outside the city.

Part of the fortress wall, which was located close to the madrasah, was destroyed. Thanks to this, the yard of the madrasah turned out to be outside the city and became part of the Dishan-Kala wall. From there, the deceased ruler’s body was brought in and buried at the entrance to the madrasah. A little later, the wall was restored.

According to a document from 1858, 95 students studied in the madrasah under the proper guidance of two teachers. There was a barber, a janitor, a muezzin, an imam and the head of a madrasah – a mutevelli. As a result of training, students took the exam in front of a special commission, sometimes headed by the Khan himself. Studying in this place was considered prestigious, and the level of education in the madrasah was very high. Today, visitors can find craft workshops and various exhibitions there.

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