The Kaldirgochbiy Mausoleum (or Tölabiy Mausoleum) in Tashkent is one of the most famous sights of Uzbekistan. The mausoleum building is distinguished by its dome, which is cone-shaped, which is not typical of buildings in Uzbekistan.
The construction period of this building dates back to the beginning of the XV century. This historical mausoleum is especially revered by Kazakhs living in the capital of Uzbekistan, its suburbs and on the territory of southern Kazakhstan. According to legend, the building was named after Tölabiy, a Kazakh leader. He ruled over the Elder Horde in the first half of the XVIIIth century. He ruled over the Elder Horde in the first half of the XVIII century and was popularly nicknamed “Kaldirgoch”, which means “Holy Swallow”, hence the second name of this building in Tashkent is “Kaldirgochbiy Mausoleum”. According to a legend, the famous Kazakh tolabiy who lived here refused to go anywhere during the conquest of these territories when all the locals left their homes. When the soldiers asked him the legitimate question why he had not run away with all the others, he replied that a swallow had built a nest under the veranda of his house and he could not leave it to certain death. The invaders were very surprised at his courage and left Tölabiy and his family alive.
In the first half of the 20th century, doubts arose among the people that a man of Muslim faith was buried in Tölyabiy’s mausoleum without violating the traditional rituals and that, according to many, he was not a true follower of Islam. To verify these rumours, the governor of the city of Kokand entered the mausoleum at night, in consultation with the guard of the Eshon Kuli-Datha Medrese (which was located in the Sheikhantahur cemetery). Thus, by the light of flickering candles held by a 12-year-old boy, they managed to open one of the saganas. Then a dagger decorated with semi-precious stones was discovered under the pillow. This is unacceptable according to Muslim tradition. It was decided to leave the found object where it was found and all involved were strictly forbidden to talk about what had happened.
Some decades later, during repair work, a boy who was present when the sagana was opened, who had already become an old man, wanted to find the dagger with the gems, but did not find it in its former place. Shortly before his death, he told his son about this fact. Thus the secret was declassified.
Today, it is not known exactly who is buried in the mausoleum. But the building has been recognised as a historical monument of architecture and carefully protected by the city.
The building of the Kaldirgochbiy Mausoleum in Tashkent has a regular rectangular shape with an unusual and striking pyramid-like dome. Researchers say that such a shape of domes is typical for constructions of local steppe nomads, as it reminds them of their native mountain peaks of the Tien Shan and Alatau Mountains. During the mausoleum’s existence, its dome was badly damaged. It was restored only in the seventies of the XX century.
The hall of the mausoleum has a cruciform shape and consists of four niches, at the corners of which there is an ancient circular staircase made of bricks and hujshras (special rooms for students). The crypt itself, which has a square shape, is located above the main hall.
The foundation of the basic structure is laid at a depth of about one and a half metres and consists of special wooden fortifications, thanks to which the walls of the mausoleum have remained safe to this day. The facade of the structure is practically uncovered, only near the base of the dome the ganchy stalactites from the XV century have been preserved. The decoration of the structure, the decorative design of the territory and the adjacent courtyard could not be preserved.