In the northern part of Samarkand city, where Afrasiab stands, on its edge there is a funerary complex Shahi Zinda, which has translation from Persian as “the living king”. One of the most famous mausoleums of this ancient complex is the mausoleum of Kusam-Ibn-Abbas who was a cousin of the prophet Muhammad. The name of the funerary complex was given due to the legend. There are several variants of this legend:
SHAHI ZINDA MAUSOLEUM COMPLEX
Necropolis, named in honor of the "Alive King"
There are many variants of this wonderful legend, but in the result the mausoleum complex got its name Shahi Zinda.
Since the 12th century near the tomb of Kusam-Ibn-Abbas arranged the burial of people who had been held in respect.
Up to now only complex has survived that comprising of eleven mausoleums, which were built up successively in the period from 14 to 15 century. However, during the archaeological excavations, which took place in the Eastern part of Afrasiab settlement, the archaeologists found the remains of mausoleums from the 12th to 13th centuries.
The mausoleum of Kusam Ibn Abbas has long been a place of pilgrimage for Muslims. A large number of tourists intend to the grave of Kusam Ibn Abbas – “the Living king” to absorb the spiritual peace, which has this sacred place. According to the legend, objects which were left in tomb have healing power.
Shahi Zinda is an incredibly majestic and beautiful architectural complex, surrounded by many legends, mysteries, secrets and predictions. One of these mysteries is the mystery of 40 steps. Tourists that come there, are said that in order to check the purity of their soul they need to count the number of steps on the staircase that leads to the complex. Ideally, the number of stages must be the same while ascending and descending. And people try to focus on counting all the stairs, stopping on each of them.
The mausoleum complex is of great historical value, and therefore, in 2001, it was included in list of UNESCO world heritage along with other historical monuments of Samarkand.