SHAHI ZINDA MAUSOLEUM COMPLEX

Necropolis, named in honor of the "Alive King"

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:

one of them, a cousin of the prophet Muhammad – Kusam Ibn Abbas, came to Samarkand  preaching of Islam,  where he was killed by Zoroastrians in during his prayer;
according to another version, Kusam Ibn Abbas lived in Samarkand 13 years preaching Islam. During one of the prayers priests, among whom was Kusam Ibn Abbas, was attacked by infidels. They killed all and the floor under Kusam Ibn Abbas split, so he fell into that chasm and then he went to paradise immediately , where he still lives;
in another version, the attack of Zoroastrians described a little bit differently. They killed all servants, just Kusam Ibn Abbas could manage to escape from them, but they overtook him at a well, where they he cut off his head. Having been still alive Kusam Ibn Abbas, took his head and went down into the well from where Hazrat Khizr took him to Paradise.
Мавзолейный комплекс Шахи Зинда
Мавзолейный комплекс Шахи Зинда
Мавзолейный комплекс Шахи Зинда
Мавзолейный комплекс Шахи Зинда

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.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS OF THE CITY