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First steps into Central Asia
February 2010

tajikistan Flag Tajikistan: Mausoleum of Mir Said Ali Hamadoni Flag tajikistan

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Mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Kulyab, Tajikistan

The real attraction of Kulob is the mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, a scientist and poet born in Hamedan, Iran in the 14th Century.

The building is quite small, but has a richly decorated gate.

Paintings on wood, on the houses facing Mir Sayyid Ali Hamedoni Mausoleum in Kulob, Tajikistan

There are also two richly decorated wooden structures, one on each side of the mausoleum.

They have some of the finest wood carvings I've ever seen, as well as some nice paintings and decorations.

Gate of Mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Kulyab, Tajikistan

Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani is popularly known as Sa'daat or Shāh Hamadhān in Kashmir, a region disputed and partly administrated by India, Pakistan and China.

There is a shrine in Srinagar (present day India) dedicated to him.

He is the man who brought islam to Kashmir, when he visited with some 500 to 700 of his companions.

Gate of the Mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Kulob, Tajikistan

Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani was born in a wealthy and educated family.

He became known as a wise and spititual man, and he wrote some books on science and religion.

Wooden house and Mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Kulob, Tajikistan

He was also an avid traveller: Mir Sayyid Ali Hamaani went a couple of times to Mecca and travel for some 20 years!

He moved to Kashmir while escaping from Tamerlane, and was received by King Shabab-ud-Din, one of the first muslim rulers of Kashmir.

There is no happiness in the world greater than friends meeting - There is no sadnedd to our heart greater than the absence of good friends

With his companions, he greatly contributed to several cultural aspects of the region, including calligraphy, carpet-manufacturing, cloth-weavingand Shawl-making... which thanks to the high quality of the Cashmere goats wool, he contributed to what the Kashmir region is more famous for. (Well, not including the present-day conflicts between India and Pakistan for which Great Britain is responsible!).

wood carvings on Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadoni mausoleum

But Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadoni is not only remembered for good things... Although there was freedom of religion in Kashmir, the King of Kashmir Sultan Qutubudin imposed oppresive mesures against the local Hindu population, following Hamadoni's advise.

These included the impossibility to construct new Hindu temples as well as to repair old temples, not dressing like muslims so they can recognized, provide hospitality and respect to muslim travellers, not building houses in muslim neighbourhoods, not wearing jewelry, and so on...

Doesn't it remind you something? Once again a majority opressing the minority... These intolerant practices have been made all over the word and throught the centuries, in the name of different religions.

Wooden carved structure near Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadoni mausoleum

He became ill and died during one his travels.

Mit Sayyid Ali Hamadoni's Mausoleum in Kulob is today a pilgrimage site for many.

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Central Asia Travel Guide

Central Asia Travel Guide

Borat may not have been the most savoury of ambassadors, but at least he shone a light on Central Asia. With a history starring Alexander the Great, a landscape featuring snowcapped mountains in Tajikistan, and semi-nomadic Kyrgyz herders to hang out with, why wouldn't you go?

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