Kazakhstan Sights of Kazakhstan The mausoleum of Saint Kanarbay


The mausoleum of Saint Kanarbay

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There are many shrines in Uzbekistan, visited by thousands of pilgrims. Some of the shrines are world famous, such as the complex of Bakhaudin Nakshbandi in Bukhara or the memorial of Al-Bukhari near Samarkand. Others are only known locally, such as the complex of Saint Kanarbay in the Navoi Province.
There is an unusual solitary structure in the steppes around the Central Kyzylkum Desert. The building is a mausoleum that was built on the grave of a man named Kanarbay, whom the local population considered a saint. A mullah tends the grave and conducts rituals there. There is the special room for pilgrims to stay in when they come to worship at the shrine.
Since ancient times Kazakh and Karakalpak people have lived in peace and friendship in the area. Among them was a righteous man named Kanarbay. He made himself famous by good deeds: he shared his shelter and food with the poor, and cured the physically and mentally sick. When he turned 40, he left for the desert to live there as a hermit. But news of him spread to nearby villages, and people began coming to him to ask for advice and healing. Each person who visited him came away enlightened and full of hope.
Kanarbay died in 1899 at the age of 63.The local people still relate stories passed down from generation to generation about him. They say he could evoke rains during severe droughts and cure people with just a touch of his hand. Now there stands a little mazar, or mausoleum, with a turquoise dome over his grave. Pilgrims walk around the mausoleum and touch its walls, each of them asking Kanarbay to fulfill their wishes .In the year of the saint`s 170th birthday they built a house for pilgrims next to the mausoleum .This house everything to make the pilgrims comfortable: kurpacha mattresses, tableware, food.
The mullah can show you the place where the hermit lived, as well as his footprint on a stone, which was the best discovery. Near the mausoleum a well was being dug. It was already 70 meters deep, but still had no water. They went on digging, and we recently learned that they had reached water at a depth of 100 meters, though it turned out to be salty.