Khodjeyli

Khodjeyli or Xo‘jayli is located in Karakalpakstan, the autonomous republic in Uzbekistan. It is a small town with 100.000 population, the history of Khodjeyli is still a mystery. For centuries it was the centre of many historical, social, political and cultural activities on the left bank of the river Amu Darya, one the largest bazaars of Karakalpakstan, Turkmenistan, Khorezm, and Uzbekistan.

Modern Khodjeyli is a beautiful city with gardens and parks. One of the legends about the city tells that the first Adam, the first man on earth is buried on the territory of Khodjeyli. According to another legend here lived and died Aminuddin Khoja. Today there is a mausoleum on the territory of the city that is a saint place for the locals.

By the end of the XIX century, the city had several schools, madrasah, five mosques, caravanserai for travellers and bazaars. The main product for trade was fish. Today the city is popular among tourists with the historical monuments located not far from Khodjeyli. Mizdakhan necropolis and the ruins of Gyar-Kala fortress are the most valuable architectural and historical monuments of Karakalpakstan. The territory was inhabited by Zoroastrians in IV century BC and during the Arab conquest it was named “the fortress of disbelievers”. The ruins of the walls and ten-meter high thick fortress wall show the level of development of the architecture of that time.

Mizdakhan necropolis is located opposite the fortress. It used to be a Zoroastrian cemetery. Traditionally, Zoroastrians left the dead body on the flat roof of the tower “dakhma”; for days birds chewed the flash and only after that the bones were buried in a special vessel. According to the legend, Adam is buried in this cemetery. The place is called “Apocalypse Clocks”. Every year a block falls from the wall of the building and it is believed that when the last brick falls it will be the end of the world.

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