The Dorut-Tilovat ensemble in Shakhrisabz consists of three surviving structures on the former necropolis of the nobility of Barlas: two mausoleums of Hazrati Sheikh (Shamsiddin Kulol) and Gumbazi Sayidon and the Kok Gumbaz Jome Mosque.
They are all the remains of a former ensemble of buildings that were once united in the Madrasah Dorut-Tilovat (House of Reflection). The oldest structure is the mausoleum of Shamsiddin Kulol, the spiritual advisor of Amir Temur and his father Amir Taraghai.
Shamsiddin Kulol (or Amiri Kalon – “Great Emir”) is known in the Muslim world as the teacher of Sheikh Bahauddin Naqshbandi of Bukhara, whom he taught the “Secret Zikr” by teaching: “Good deeds are found only in an assembly of people and a society of people consists in mutual fellowship based on the condition of not doing to each other what is forbidden. And if the society of people walking on our path to God has such unity, that is their welfare and happiness.”
The Sheikh died in 1370 and his tomb was surrounded by great reverence and cult. The Dorut-Tilovat (“Place of Recitation of the Holy Quran” or “House of Reflection”) memorial complex was established in 1370 – 1371 after the death of Shamsiddin Kulol, the eminent religious figure, the founder of Sufism, the spiritual advisor of Emir Taraghai and Amir Temur himself, and the teacher of Bahauddin Naqshbandi.
His tomb immediately became a place of veneration for his many followers. Next to Sheikh Kulol’s grave stood the building of the Dorut Tilovat Madrasah. The mortal remains of Amir Taraghai were placed in one of the rooms of the Madrasah.
During the reign of Amir Temur, the tomb of Shamsiddin Kulol was covered with marble slabs. Later, during the reign of Ulugbek, a mausoleum with a dome was built over the tomb of Shamsiddin Kulol and on the remains of the earlier and more modest building.
Opposite the mausoleum, the mosque Kok-Gumbaz (the Blue Dome) was built in 1435. The inscription on a portal says that the mosque was built by Ulugbek on behalf of his father Shahruch.
It is also known as the Friday Jome Mosque of Shakhrisabz. The Dorut-Tilovat Ensemble is located south of the ruins of Ak-Saray on the north-south axis, near the Charsu Monument and the City Market of Shakhrisabz.
Compared to other parts of the city, it is relatively high. East of this complex at a distance of 200 metres is another complex – Dorus Saodat.
As part of these complexes, these cult buildings of Amir Temur and Temurid eras once formed a single necropolis of the city of Shakhrisabz. Amir Temur ordered that to perpetuate the memory of his father Amir Taraghai (died in the winter of 1360) and his spiritual advisor, Sheikh Amir Shamsiddin Kulol al-Fachuri, and his eldest son Mirza Ghiyasiddin Jahongir (died 1376), a separate mausoleum each be built in the south of Ak-Saray.
A group of mausoleums connected to other structures are known as memorial-architecture complexes – Darus-Saodat and Dorut-Tilovat. Most notably, Amir Temur’s crypt in the Darus-Saodat complex, built specifically for his own burial, is considered the most unique tomb of its kind in the East.
The two complexes were once a single necropolis, including a cemetery around and between them. These complexes are now widely known among the population and are places of ziyarat associated with the cult of the saints.
The medieval necropolis in Shakhrisabz occupies an area of 1 to 2 hectares. As a cemetery, it has not been in use for a long time. It is possible that the cemetery was moved to another part of the city because of the redevelopment of the city in the early days of Soviet power.
The area of the former cemetery is partly used by the population, the space between the two complexes is landscaped and planted with trees.