The Legend of Kalyan Minaret

There are a lot of legends about the ancient minaret of Bukhara. Kalyan minaret, which is a part of a religious complex, is also known as ''the tower of death''. For many centuries criminals were executed thereby being thrown off the top of the minaret.

The first legend is connected with the construction of the minaret. Arslan Khan killed an Imam during a quarrel. The same night the murdered Imam appeared in his dream and asked to bury his head on a spot where nobody could step on it. After that dream, the khan built a minaret over the grave of the Imam.

An old legend says that in ancient times there lived a very cruel khan. He was not a good ruler and only spent his time on his own pleasures. His wife had a kind heart and she was trying to help people and improve the situation of the country. Of course, she was doing it secretly. Nut one day khan found out about it, got angry and ordered her to be executed- throwing her off the minaret.

The wife of khan, however, was a clever woman. So she asked to fulfil her last wish. The khan agreed. The last wish of his wife was to wear all her dresses on the day of execution. So when she jumped from the tower her dresses and skirts puffed up a parachute and helped her to land softly without having any scratch.

It was like a miracle and the khan was impressed by his courageous and witty wife. He forgave her and didn't execute. Some other sources say even that after that khan was so afraid from his wife that he didn't even dare raise his voice to her.

There is one more legend connected with Genghis Khan. After entering and destroying half of the city, he entered the square near the tower and looked up at the tower. While doing so his helmet fell on the ground. He had to bend over and pick it up. Then the powerful commander said. ''I have never bowed in my life, but this construction is so majestic that it is worth a bow''.

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