Ruchabad Mausoleum, Samarkand
That's the translation of the local name - Rukhabad - for the mausoleum built by Timur in 1380 for the mystic, Sheikh Burhan al-Din Sagarji. It's said that Timur used to walk around the mausoleum every night before retiring.
Ibn Battuta, the traveller from Tangiers, writes of meeting the sheikh in India and some time after that he became the chief Mufti of Peking, but when he died his son had his body brought to Samarkand in accordance with his wishes. In what would have been a considerable honour and mark of the respect and veneration felt for the sheikh, popular belief tells that 7 hairs from the head of the Prophet were buried with him. Other members of his family, notably his Chinese wife were also buried there.
In considerable contrast to the other monuments surviving from Timurid times, the Rukhabad s notable for its simplicity and lack of ornament - in keeping perhaps with the recorded ascetism of the sheikh it was built for.
The mausoleum forms part of an ensemble that includes the Summer mosque, the 19th century Hodja-Nisbatdor mosque, its free-standing turban-hatted minaret (a feature typical of Samarkand mosques)and several grand old trees. The mosque has a charming wooden -pillared iwan, typical of mosques of the period and a particularly finely decorated ceiling.
… buildings in Samarkand, which survived destruction during all the battles.
Built in 1380 for Sheikh Burkhan al-Din Sagarji, it is a beautiful building, and …. among all the blue and turquoise decorated ones, a little rest for the eye, as it is only plain brickwork. Inside, it is filled with muqarnas (in the cupola) and a little souvenir stand.
There is a legend saying that it holds a hair of Mohammed, but I cannot judge. I only had a quick peek inside, as I was already late for visiting Gur-I-Amir and admission of 2000 som seemed to be a bit much for me.
In the neighbourhood (on the way to Gur-i-Amir) is a little U-shaped building, which might have been a caravanseray one day. It also hosts souvenir stands and workshops, but from what I could see, nice ones.
Lonely Planet reports that the area between both Mausoleums had to make room for huge parking lots to take-in the masses of visitors for Gur-i-Amir. It is sad to think how busy and lively this neighbourhood once must have been before the bulldozers came. I am pretty sure, this would not have happened in Bukhara – but Samarkand seems to have a different status in preserving the peoples’ life.
Only a few steps from the Gur Emir is a smaller and not so spectacular Mausoleum: Ruchabad. It was build in the end of the 14. century. There is not much color used in this building. So it gives an simple and modest impression. It is the tomb of Burhaneddin Sagarschi Scheikh.
A tiny photogenic mausoleum :-). This is possibly the oldest monument in the city, built by the year 1380. It is the mausoleum of sheikh Burhan ad-Din Sgardji (head of the Muslims in Beijing) and some of his relatives (the sons, one of his spouse and other members). It received the name of "Rukhabod" that means "Dwelling place of the spirit". I didn't pay any ticket to go inside but it was not very interesting