Once there were 23 madrassas in Tashkent among which Kukeldash is the most impressive and large. It is one of the most famous historical places in town. Its building site was chosen randomly – at the turn of 10th century there were one of main gates leading to the town named “Kesh Gates” on this place. The madrassa was built as a part of town’s Registan complex in 16th century by Barak-Khan and his Dervish, a vasir (“adviser”) of Sheiban dynasty called “Kukeldash” (“foster-brother”). His nickname is of reasoned origin – khan’s Dervish was a foster brother to the khan.
The madrassa has no easy fate – In 18th century the madrassa was turned into caravan-saray for traders which led to destruction of its towers of “guldasta”. In 19th century the building got another purpose – it served as a fortress of Kokand khans as well as place for public executions for edification of moral principles.
Height of the main portal was 20 meters and was severely damaged during earthquakes of 1868 and 1888. Previously shining blue domes and second floor were demolished completely into bricks for other buildings. The madrassa was waiting for reconstruction for almost 100 years which happened only in 1960th yet there are still remains of ancient majolica on its portals. “Pandjara”, special sun protecting bars, last out. Names of holy Allah and Muhammad the Prophet are intertwined with patterns of the bars. In general, its architecture is traditional – there is inner yard surrounded by “khudjr” (cells), a dormitory for students built from burnt brick.
Today the madrassa carries out its initial purpose – students who chose spiritual sciences as their Major are being taught once more on this ancient site. The mosque gathers believers for obligatory Friday prayer.
Being located close to oriental market of Chorsu, the madrassa welcomes hundreds of tourists daily making it possible to emerge into atmosphere of “Eski Shakhar” (“Old town”) and feel breathing of traditions and history.