Zeravshan Okrug. Shrine of Saint Khodzha Chinar in Urgut


This photograph of the grave shrine (mazar) of the holy Khodzha Chinar in the town of Urgut (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871–72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867–82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. Urgut was located in Zeravshan District (okrug), formed as part of the Russian Empire in 1868 when Russian troops occupied the eastern part of the Khanate of Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan). By the end of 1868, the area around the town of Pendzhikent (present-day Panjakent, in northwest Tajikistan) was added to the district. By 1871 the district had absorbed fiefdoms in the upper reaches of the Zeravshan River, a tributary of the Amu Darya. The creation of shrines at the graves of revered religious figures was a widespread practice in Central Asia. In some cases the shrine could be an imposing mausoleum (mazar) or a pilgrimage center (khanaka). This shrine, in a state of disrepair, is constructed simply of adobe brick with little decoration.

Last updated: September 30, 2016