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Pir-Siddik Architectural Complex

Ferghana Valley

In Marghilan, whose age exceeds 2000 years, there are almost no medieval monuments – as in the whole Ferghana Valley – because of frequent earthquakes that take place in the region. One of the oldest and most unusual cult structures in this ancient town is Pir-Siddik Architectural Complex, which developed here in the mid-18th century. The complex consists of a mosque, a minaret, Pir-Siddik’s mausoleum with a yard, and – what is the most unusual of the structures of this type – a pigeon-house. Thus, not without reason, people nicknamed the complex Kaptarlik ‘pigeon complex’.

Marghilan residents have an ancient legend about a miraculous salvation of the saint Pir-Siddik. The legend says that once, long-long ago, when Turkic pagan tribes attacked Ferghana Valley, Pir-Siddik hid in a cave, escaping from the pursuit, and pigeons closed the entrance into it with their nests they built on the spot. When the chasers ran up to the cave they saw the pigeons calmly sitting in the nests and concluded that a man could not be hiding behind them because otherwise the pigeons would be nervous. Since then pigeons have been very much revered in Marghilan, and the complex was built next to the saint’s mausoleum in the memory of that event.

The mausoleum itself was built over the earlier grave in 1155 of Hegira (1742), according to the inscription made in the rectangular oriel above the entrance into the mausoleum. Initially there was built a dome over the tomb but later it was replaced with a flat roof supported by four pillars. The trunk of one of the pillars, its base and cap are covered with splendid engravings. The entrance lancet arch of the mausoleum is decorated with Ferghana Valley traditional portal. Each side of the portal has a tower with a tall domical lantern-like top; the bases and trunks of the towers are decorated with geometrical patterns made in gunch stucco carving.

The mosque and the minaret stand in the eastern part of the complex. The yard around the mausoleum is enclosed with a fence having a monumental domical entrance portal – darvozakhona. Next to it there stands an ayvan with a four-floor pigeon-house above it. Its winged inhabitants are believed to be Pir-Siddik’s holy birds.

Sightseeing Places in Ferghana Valley

Kokand: Marghilan:
Khudayar-Khan Palace Chakar Mosque
Dakhma-i-shakhan Royal Cemetery Seieed Ahmad Hajji Madrassah
Jami Mosque 'Yodgorlik' Silk-weaving Mil
Narbuta-bey Madrassah Pir-Siddik Architectural Complex
Modari-khan Mausoleum  
Rishtan: Kuva:
Rishtan Ceramics Center Buddhist Complex of Kuba Site
Andijan: Chust:
Jami Madrassah Chust Knives Manufacturing Workshop
Jami Mosque Namangan:
Zakhiriddin Babur architectural Complex Ancient Settlement of Aksikent