Kukeldash Madrasah (Bukhara)

Kukeldash Madrasah in Bukhara (do not confuse with Kukeldash Madrasah in Tashkent) is a part of architectural ensemble of Lyabi Hauz. It was constructed in the 16th century in line with the order of the influential cleric Kulbaby Kukeltash.

Kukeldash Madrasah was the first building in Lyabi Hauz square. It was constructed a half century before hauz itself. Abdulla-khan II from Sheibanids dynasty ruled at that time. Madrasah was a kind of symbol of the Khanate’s power. Now the mausoleum hosts the museum dedicate to the prominent Tajik writers Aini, who studied in the madrasah in the late 19th century, and Jalol Ikromi.

It was very profitable to study in madrasahs of Bukhara. The students received habitation – hudjra and stipend. Smart students even managed to rent their room.


Two-storey building of madrasah has high entrance portal, which is elegantly decorated with translucent green onyx. There is a classroom – darshana in one side and inner mosque in another.

Besides, the largest madrasah of Central Asia has 160 hudjras, located on the perimeter of the traditional patio. Teachers also lived in these hudjras. Unlike in other medieval madrasah, these living rooms have no portals to the courtyard. The outer walls of madrasah are pretty simple and modest. Majolica is only present on the arch and aivan.

But the interior of madrasah is richly decorated with mosaics and majolica. Domes of corridors ate special decoration of the madrasah.

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