This tragic love story has reached our days from the depths of the centuries and seemed frozen in three remarkable medieval mausoleums, which are shrines in the Muslim world and a kind of tourist visiting card of the city of Taraz.
There is no sadder story in the world ...
Young Aisha-bibi, batyr Karakhan and Babanya-khatun babysitter, who are dedicated to these buildings, live in the hearts of people to this day.
There are 28 legends overall we are aware of, but the most popular among the local people is the one that goes back to 12th century. It is about the young ruler of Taraz - Karakhan, who at first sight fell in love with Zengi-Baba's 16-year-old daughter. The young man asked Aisha's dad to let him marry to her, but was not approved.
After a time when the young man returned home, the girl missed her beloved. Deciding that they were destined to be together, she asked for blessings from her parents, but she too was refused, because according to the canons of Islam and the traditions of the Turkic peoples, such an act was considered an unheard-of insolence. Then one day, under the protection of the night, in defiance of father and mother, the girl left her home for the sake of reunification with Karakhan. Together with Aysha, her nanny, Babadja-hatun, went to Taraz.
Learning about the escape of his daughter, an angry father exclaimed after her: "You will cross the six rivers, and the seventh you can not cross." Aisha crossed six rivers, and before the seventh, Asoy, stopped for a rest. Leaving the horse, she wanted to wash. Leaving Saukele on the shore, she did not notice how the poisonous snake climbed into the headdress. Her bite made the girl close her eyes forever. The lovers were never to meet.
Lamenting his beloved, Karahan buried her on a hill near the place where the tragedy happened. According to legend, he summoned the most skillful oriental masters of the time and ordered to build a temple of unprecedented beauty over the grave. So there was a mazar, magnificent and unique in its way, now known to the whole world.
Other versions of the legend was given in his article about the Aisha-Bibi mazar by Orientalist and archaeologist Vasily Kallaur, who collected information from local residents. He wrote: "One of the Samarkand khans was married to a Christian woman, a Chinese princess, identifying her with the name of Khanym-bibi, whose sister Aisha-bibi came to visit her in Samarkand. On the way back, Aisha bibi died near the Asa River, where a real monument was erected.
One of the books wrote the following story: "Aisha-bibi was the daughter of Ismail-ata. Aulieata saint chose her as his bride and said about his desire Ismail-ata. The latter reluctantly agreed, sent his daughter to Aulie-ata, but at the same time said that the bridegroom would not see his bride. So it happened: Aisha-bibi died on the road, not far from the city, where she was buried. Some say that she was the sister of Amir-Timur's wife and the daughter of Khan Chinmachin. She went to see the work of her sister Khanum in Bukhara "madrasa-i-hanym" and took the gold on several mules, but on the way she fell ill and died. Then Amir-Timur gathered all the masters of his wife and built a mazar over the grave of his sister-in-law."
The pearl of Taraz
Aisha-bibi mausoleum, dated to the 11th-12th centuries and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is located 20 km from Taraz on the outskirts of Aisha-bibi village of Zhambyl district. Of all historical monuments on the territory of the region, perhaps, it is considered the most famous and interesting in its construction. Contemporaries call it "the pearl of Taraz". According to its spiritual purpose, the Mazar is akin to the famous Indian mosque of Mumtaz Mahal, better known as the Taj Mahal, to the Portuguese monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobas, to the Japanese temple of Himegais. All of them are erected in honor of great love.
The architectural design of the burial vault of Aisha really deserves special attention, as it has no analogues in the whole world. I'm sure, the sophisticated old-timer will appreciate this unusual creation of medieval architects. The mausoleum is covered with unique terracotta tiles, on which ornaments of geometric, plant and animal motifs are carved. In total there are more than 60 different species. According to legend, they were made by the same number of masters, which is why they do not resemble each other. Their individual samples are kept in the regional museum of local lore.
With other terracottas there are other historical monuments. But the main feature of the Aisha-Bibi mausoleum is that the patterned tiles are not glued, as in most mausoleums of Samarkand, and they were used not simply as decorative material for facing the building, but also as fixing elements of the walls. Such things have not been seen anywhere else. Until now, the technology of building the mausoleum has not been fully studied, "said Taken Moldakynov, director of the State Historical and Cultural Reserve Museum" Monuments of Ancient Taraz ", who believes that this tomb is not only a unique creation of Kazakh steppe masters, but also a treasure of world architectural thought.
Until now, the monument has reached dilapidated, preserving more than a third of the entire structure. Untouched by time, the front wall with a lancet arch entrance and two columns on the edges allowed to recreate the original appearance of the medieval structure. The mausoleum was reconstructed several times. But the program "Cultural Heritage", initiated by the Head of State, gave him a truly second life. The final form, which can contemplate today, a historical monument found for the celebration of the 2000th anniversary of Taraz Kazakhstan due to the talent of the architect and restorer Abena Itenova Nishan Rametova.
The monument is a classic example of a strictly centric tomb. Square mausoleum volume with sides about 7.7 m contains a room of similar shape with a much smaller size of the parties -. 4.63 m outer corners are decorated with columns pushed forward. Four axial inputs of the same size and configuration form the centers of four identical facades, the structure of which resembles the mausoleum of the Samanids.
The most difficult for restorers was to cast tiles. They were made from a similar composition as close as possible to medieval technology. But still the true recipe for the preparation of patterned details, like the method of masonry itself, modern masters could not solve.
As for the wreath of the Mazar, since there were no images and descriptions of its original appearance, it was pretty much a fantasy. As a result, it is built in a conical shape resembling a national hat - saukele. The dome is removable, on a metal frame, which is made with the expectation that if necessary, it can be easily replaced.
Aisha's burial place is still shrouded in mystery. And for hundreds of years the tomb did not reveal its secrets, but allowed only to touch them. For example, they say that sometimes in windy weather the mausoleum sounds like an organ. And if you knock on ancient bricks with a metal object, they will respond with a quiet melodic ring. For a long time, many thought that gold sounds like that. But research has shown that this is fiction, and in the clay blocks of precious metal is not found.
Mausoleum of Aisha-bibi is not just an architectural monument of medieval architecture, but also a place of pilgrimage. They come here from all parts of the country. Often there are foreign guests. They confess, think about life, plan for the future, ask for help and blessings. The latter, as a rule, come to the newlyweds. It has already become a long tradition during the wedding to visit the temple of the "eternal bride". According to legend, those who visit here on the day of marriage, will live happily ever after. It is noteworthy that the custom is so established in the life of the Zhambyl people that couples of not only indigenous nationality, but also many other ethnic groups go there.
"Autumn ... Clouds ... The Earth is beautiful ..." - this poetic inscription by an unknown author, embossed in the Kufic script of the Arabic alphabet, was preserved on one of the four columns of the mausoleum. What these lines really were about is no longer to be recognized. But we can assume that they are devoted to unhappy love, the revival of life and eternity. Going into their meaning, you involuntarily start thinking about the endless cycle of the seasons, the transience of human life and the frailty of being.
Many locals say that it is always pleasant to be near the mausoleum. Indeed, in any season here it is good, and the sun seems to shine brighter, and people become sincere and kinder. After all, the ringing silence, the gentle breeze, the fragrance of roses and the rustle of poplar leaves can enrage anyone. Some associate this with the pure soul of Aisha, who, according to local residents, comes here sometimes as a swan.
Who was really a young beauty, whose image is revered on a par with the saints? Today, and this can not be reliably said. People believe that the steppe beauty patronizes in family affairs to girls and married women. For example, the popular rumor says that if a woman suffering from infertility goes around the mausoleum three times, she will know the joy of motherhood after a fixed period.
Speaking about Aysha, we can not say a few words about her nurse. Always inseparable with her pupil, who faithfully served the young lady even after her death, was ranked among the saints and buried 20 meters from the grave of the one she cared about all her life. A mausoleum was erected above her grave. In appearance it seems simple in its construction, but it is far from being so.
As Taken Moldakynov said, the Babaji-khatun mazar, dating back to the 11th-12th centuries, is made up of bricks and is not saturated with decor. First of all, it is distinguished by the simplicity of the details and the umbrella dome, which is absolutely not characteristic for the local architecture. He has 16 ribs with double curvature. The inner arch begins with a height of 3.8 m. The ribbed covering has no analogues in its modern Central Asian architecture. And the epigraphic frieze on the portal of the mausoleum brought to us the name of the woman buried in it. The planes of the facade walls, with the exception of the rear, are decorated with arched niches and rosettes. The details are underlined by the foundation and the U-shaped frame. Despite its simplicity, the building gives the impression of strict beauty and monumentality.
As for the ruler of Taraz, then, in order to meet his lover in the next life for sure, Karakhan bequeathed after his death to bury himself in the place from where the mausoleum of Aisha is seen. Over his grave in the XI century, people erected a more restrained in the structure of the mazar. At one time archaeologist V. Pankov wrote that "it faces the street with its back side, which is very fuzzy and decaying from time to time. Only two of its minarets, decorated with colored glaze, are well preserved on it, which only catch sight at the entrance to the city. On the obverse side, this antiquity has an impressive appearance and now, although time has taken away from her many pretty elegant, apparently, ornaments. But what is especially worthy of attention is the correctness and symmetry of the building, made of fine Chinese brick. Both minarets, standing on the corners of the front side of the monument, are poured into one form. " Unfortunately, in 1906 the mausoleum was rebuilt, so it has not reached its present state in pristine condition.
The names of the authors of the Karakhan mausoleum, like the mazar Babaja-khatun, were lost in the thick of centuries. But their creations continue to live. The burial vault of the Taraz ruler consists of a central hall and three small angular buildings. The fourth corner is occupied by a ladder leading to the roof of the structure. In its construction, up to 30 (!) Various figured blocks are applied. Outside, the monument is made of modern brick, and inside the dome and arched niches are made of bricks of the Karakhanid era.
The most interesting is a figured masonry of walls as one of the types of geometric ornament. Here there are patterns in the form of rhombuses, squares, cells and fir-trees. Facing the facade of the mausoleum facing south, along the edges framed by minarets. The inscription in Arabic repeats the first line of the Holy Qur'an: "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet."
From the place where the mausoleum was built, in that distant era, as the ruler of Taraz desired, the mazar of his lover was seen. But for hundreds of years the landscape has changed, and today numerous modern buildings interfere with the survey and do not allow to see another, being near to one structure. However, people remember and know what connects these two unique monuments of history - eternal and inexhaustible love, which, like a star, still shines to many living people.