poi kalonFrom the Registan, stroll five minutes east through the ghosts of Bukhara’s old eastern bazaar (now semi-resurrected into carpet and furniture outlets lining Khodja Nurobod Street), into the religious heart of Holy Bukhara, the Poi Kalon Complex or Pedestal of the Great.

Today the Poi Kalon Ensemble in Bukhara that separates the Mir-i-Arab Madrassah from the Kalon Juma Mosque echoes only to the muffled footprints of madrassah students and the fleeting bustle of foreign tour groups, but only a generation ago Poi Kalon Complex provided a chaotic home to the city’s bustling cotton bazaar, where huge bundles of cloth listed dangerously atop swaying camels and where a man had to keep his wits about him:

When a large caravan oj camels or creaking arias sets out like a detachment of cavalry or artillery, everybody runs away in all directions to save life and limbs to which not much regard is paid and nor is much claimed either.