The Sublime Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum

The Sublime Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum
Nov 18, 2014
By Greg Stephenson

Easily one of the most beautiful buildings in Kunye Urgench, the Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum stands out for it conical turquoise dome. Travelers along the Great Silk Road could spot this architectural icon from a distance and know, with relief that their journey was coming to an end. You won’t find yourself as exhausted as those travelers were when you arrive, but you will be overwhelmed with the splendor of this brilliant building whether you are touring Turkmenistan or if you’ve wisely included it as a part of your Uzbekistan tours.

Sultan Tekesh was the ruler of Khwarezm from 1172 A.D. until his death in 1200 A.D. His empire stretched from northern Iran to Afghanistan and his time in power was truly Machiavellian in nature to the extreme extent of ordering the assassination of his own mother to maintain his power. It’s unfitting that a guy who’d kill his mother would deserve such a monument, but he wisely had it built before his death to assure his place in history. Additionally, he ordered the construction of a madrassa and library, but they didn’t survive the test of time. The Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum is one of the few surviving testaments to pre-Mongolian architecture you can find in Central Asia. Nearby is a group of graves where Kunya Urgench’s defenders made their final, but hopeless, stand against Genghis Khan.

Researchers continue to debate if this is, in fact, the burial location of the Sultan. Some think that the mausoleum may have served a different purpose such as a government/administrative building, a palace for the Khwarezm shah, or as a Zoroastrian temple.

No matter what it was used for everyone who travels to Turkmenistan or as a part of their Uzbekistan tours makes it a point to visit this mausoleum within Kunye Urgench. The 30 meter (98 feet) high icon will capture your imagination as well as your eye!

Greg Stephenson

Greg has lived and worked in Central Asia since 1997. His hands-on understanding of the people, culture, and tourist destinations provides our clients the opportunity to feel comfortable knowing that they are in good hands. His travels throughout Central Asia have given him the opportunity to interact with many professionals in the tourism industry that enables him to providing the highest quality of services anywhere in the world.

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