Khiva - Ata Darvaza Gate
The Ata-Darvaza Gate, built in 1842 and 1975 (restoration), is the main gate of Ichan-Qala, located in the western part of the city of Khiva. Inside the old city there was also a room for collecting taxes (Bojkhona) and a room for exchanging money (Sarrafkhana). There were 43 shops and a covered bazaar – Chorsu inside. On the right side of the gate is the Muhammad Aminkhan Madrasah (1855), and on the left side is the Khan’s palace – Kunya Ark.
The Ata-Darwaza gate has a height of 10 metres and a width of 4 metres. The size of the structure and its dimensions, constructions in accordance with architectural possibilities were given in very acceptable standards.
To make the structure very stable, the shapes of the archways were arranged according to the gravity of the load falling on them. Wooden beams were inserted into the rows of stacked bricks and the load falling on the domes was distributed over several arches.
In this method, bricks are laid in the form of “davra” and “balhi” for the construction of small domes. At the same time, the interior of the building is plastered.
The Ata-Darvaza gate had four main rooms, which were destroyed in the twenties of the XXth century and restored to their original form in 1975 by master restorers from Khiva.
The gate leaves are decorated with geometric patterns. The leaves of the two doors in the central part are decorated with equilateral squares of the same size (85cm x 85cm) and with very finely carved plant patterns “islimi” in which circles with the pattern of octagonal stars are inscribed.
Within the circles in the right doorway is a sura from the Quran written in Arabic, while in the left doorway is Kalimai Shahadat with the words “La ilaha illallohu Muhammadur Rasululloh” meaning “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet”.
The wings of this gate were actually attached to the entrance of Muhammad Aminkhan’s country palace built between 1850 and 1851 in Angarik village.
Two photographic documents confirming this fact, i.e. that they used to be mounted in the palace house of Muhammad Aminkhan, are kept in the holdings of the museum in Ichan-Kala in Khiva.
The first Uzbek cameraman and photographer from Khoresm, Khudaibergen Divanov, documented the view of the gate that stood in the village of Angarik even before the destruction of the palace house.
Divanov specifically photographed this gate up close and left his inscription at the bottom of the photo: “The Hauli of Muhammad Aminkhan in Angarik.As mentioned above, this gate is currently the main entrance gate to the city”.
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