Shirgazi Khan Madrasah is one of the oldest in Khiva. It was constructed in 1726 in honor of victory of Khiva khan over Khorasan. Khan also enjoyed raiding the Turkmens and wore high titles "The sun of the world" and "The Lion of God."
One-storey madrasah with two-storey entrance was built by 5,000 slaves from Iran. Among them were great architects and masters of finishing works. They used all their skills during construction as Shirgazi-khan promised to free them.
However, sly ruler deliberately delayed completion of construction of the madrasah. He constantly had new ideas, which started to escalate the situation. Once when he visited construction site, the slaves captured him and beheaded him.
Shirgazi-khan madrasah trained educated people and they became popular poets and scholars. For example, among them are the Uzbek poet Pahlavanquli Ravnaq and classic Turkmen poet Mahtumquli. Famous Kazakh sufi Saint Beket-Ata also graduated Shirgazi-khan madrasah. Over the time, people started to call it as Maskan-i fazilan, which means “Adobe of educated”.
The main faсade of the madrasah looks to Pakhlavan Mahmud ensemble. Near the educational establishment, there is small Shirgazi-khan mausoleum.
In the result of soil convergence, the entrance of the madrasah occurred two meters below the road. That’s why now people use steps to reach madrasah.
The madrasah includes four-aivan courtyard, lobby rooms and darshana, where lessons were conducted. According to eastern tradition, the entrance to the madrasah has portal shape. The square yard is surrounded by one-storey buildings. There were 55 hudjras (living rooms) for students and teachers.
The building lost his original appearance, and the remaining part of the building was deformed strongly. Soviet restorers were able to give it the second life. However, the erstwhile splendor and wealth were lost.