The Legend of Bibi-Khanum

The great conqueror Tamerlane had many wives and all of them were beautiful, but it is well-known that his favourite wife was Bibi Khanum. There is one famous legend about Bibi Khanum and the majestic mosque named after her.

Tamerlane's beloved wife wanted to make a present for him until he came back from his military campaign to India. For a long time, Khanum was thinking about the gift and at last, she decided to build a Friday mosque in the capital Samarkand.

Architects from all over the world arrived in the city. Queen showed them the area and told them about the plan of a huge mosque. It was going to be the most grandiose creation of Samarkand. And it should have been completed within 5 years before the return of the great commander.

All the architects refused at once, as such a huge mosque would need at least 15 years to be constructed. Only one architect agreed to do the work, who at first sight fell in love with the beautiful queen. He promised to build the mosque only in one condition- if the queen would allow him to kiss her. The Emir was a very jealous man and Bibi Khanum was afraid of him, but she was so eager to have her magnificent gift completed that she consented to the kiss.

The architect and a group of masters without having rest for days and nights erected the majestic mosque. The queen was delighted, which also meant it was the time for her payment. When the architect came to the queen, she ordered one of the servants to bring her 2 eggs painted with different colours. She said to the architect.

''Look at my hands, there are 2 eggs. They are different from the outside, but they are the same inside. The same about women. We are all different in appearance, but inside we are all the same. I can give you any of my slaves instead of just one kiss ''.

The architect decided to give a worthy answer, so he asked to bring 2 glasses, one of them filled with water and the other one with white wine. '' Look at these 2 glasses, my Queen. They look the same. If I drink the first one I will not feel anything, it will just satisfy my thirst. If I drink from the second one, it will not only satisfy my thirst but I will also burn me. The same about love ''.

The queen had to agree, but the kiss was so hot, that there was a trace from the kiss on her tender cheek. Timur returned from the successful campaign and was delighted to see the gift from his wife. But he also noticed the trace of the kiss on her beloved wife... There are different versions of how the legend ends. According to one of them, Tamerlane didn't say anything about what he noticed. He just asked his wife to climb with him to the top of the tower to admire the view. He said many loving words to her and then pushed her from the tower. He grieved many days for his beloved wife and named the mosque Bibi Khanum.

Other Travel Articles

The Legend of Tyurabek-Khanum Mausoleum

The Legend of Yurt

The Legend of Dombra