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Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum 360° Virtual Tour
Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum is the holiest site in Khiva and it belongs to the highlights of any city tour. It is named after Pakhlavan Mahmud (1247-1325), a local craftsman making fur hats who was also a talented poet and a famous wrestler. The local hero was entombed here, at the former place of his workshop but it soon became a pilgrimage site and several khans decided to be buried here as well. They turned the small mausoleum into a spectacular emerald-green domed shrine.
It has all started with Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur (1603-1663, ruling 1643 - 1663) and his son Abu al-Muzaffar Anusha Muhammad Bahadur (ruling 1663-1685) khans who were entombed here. Their tombs are to be seen in the left corner of the main domed hall, opposite the entrance.
In the 1720s, Shir Gazi khan decided to orient his new medressa to face the tomb.
In 1810 Mohammed Rakhim (Muhammad Rahim) Bahadur khan (1776-1826, ruling 1806 – 1825) decided to completely rebuild the shrine. He was an unpopular ruthless ruler and as such he invested a lot to honour the local hero and to establish his own burial place here. It is impossible to miss his tomb in the middle of the main domed hall, just opposite the entrance.
The last but one khan of Khiva, Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur (ruling 1910-1918) was much less successful in his burial plans than his forefathers. He commissioned a two-storey high mausoleum to be built for himself, his sister and his mother to the left of the main building in 1913. However, he died outside the walls of the Itchan Kala and as such, he was not allowed to be buried here.
1. What to see
The mausoleum consists of a courtyard, the main building and a two-storey mausoleum of Isfandiyar khan to the left of it. Inside the main building is a large domed hall with the tombs of Abu al-Ghazi, Anusha and Mohammed Rakhim khans. To the left of the this hall inside the main building is the tomb of Pakhlavan Makhmud.