Legend of Gur Emir - Turkestan Travel
Gur Emir Mausoleum - Samarkand

Legend of Gur Emir

There is a legend about the jade tombstone of Amir Temur in Gur Emir. The Chinese believe that jade has divine powers, and so a huge slab of jade that once belonged to a Chinese emperor was placed in the imperial palace in a particularly honourable place. In unknown circumstances, two large pieces of jade were given to Ulugbek in 1425 when he defeated the Mongols near the village of Ketmontepe in the valley of the Chu River. The craftsmen of Samarkand put them together and made a tombstone for Amir Temur.

In 1740, after the conquest of the Bukhara Khanate, to which Samarkand then belonged, Nader Shah of Iran dared to order that the stone be removed from the tomb and taken to Mashhad.

The court historian of Nader Shah writes that the stone was to be used to make a floor and wall covering for one of the sacred buildings in the Iranian capital. However, the spiritual teacher of Amir Temur, Mir Sayyid Baraka, came to Nader Shah in a dream and told him that the stone should be returned. In the morning, the frightened Shah ordered “the stone to be taken from Temur to Samarkand and put in its place as it was before”.

On the way to Samarkand, while crossing the river, the jade fell and split into two unequal pieces. Nevertheless, the stones were recovered and the craftsmen skilfully rejoined the two pieces and put them in their former place.

Another legend about Gur Emir:

In 1941, Soviet archaeologists opened the tomb, damaging the stone. The next day, the Great Patriotic War broke out and it was only when Amir Temur was reburied according to all Muslim rules that the war came to a turning point.

Share This Article

You may also like...