Aisha Bibi

Айша бибі кесенесі

( Aisha Bibi )

The Aisha-Bibi (Kazakh: Айша бибі) is an 11th or 12th-century mausoleum for a noble woman located in the village of Aisha Bibi, 18 km (11 mi) west of Taraz, Kazakhstan on the Silk Road. It is locally famous as a monument to love and faithfulness.

The Aisha-Bibi (Kazakh: Айша бибі) is an 11th or 12th-century mausoleum for a noble woman located in the village of Aisha Bibi, 18 km (11 mi) west of Taraz, Kazakhstan on the Silk Road. It is locally famous as a monument to love and faithfulness.

 
Mausoleum of Bibi Khanum adjacent to Aisha Bibi

The 16-year-old beauty, Aisha-bibi, was just an hour away from meeting her lover. She was in love with the Emir of Taraz and wanted to marry him, against the wishes of her father, so, she left her home Otrar with her wet nurse. Towards the end of their journey, the two women stopped at the shore of the Assa River to bathe. When she was emerging from the river, she reached for her clothes and was bitten by a snake that had slithered into her clothes, while she was in the water. The bite was fatal and she died soon after. The Emir was returning from a military mission to meet her but was too late. He ordered the construction of the tomb to commemorate her and their love for eternity.

— Oral History, as Recorded from a Kazakh of Taraz
Current use

The site has been venerated since the Middle Ages. Local women from the Taraz Oasis still pray for children and a happy family. It is customary for newlyweds in Taraz to have their union blessed by the dead lovers. Their ritual reenacts the myth. After the ceremony the wedding party retraces Karakhan's journey from Taraz to the site of his fiancée's death. The journey begins at Karakhan Mausoleum in Taraz and ends at the Aisha Bibi, at each location the bride and groom venerate the dead lovers and ask for their blessing.

Russian archeologist V. V. Bartold was the first scientist to record and study the ruins in 1893.[1] The Soviet Union built a protective glass shell to preserve the monument (c 1960) and used it for the education of students in Taraz and tourism. In 2002, the Republic of Kazakhstan paid Nishan Rameto to restore the Aisha Bibi and built the park infrastructure around it.[2] Shoqan Walikhanov painted monument in his work in 1856.

^ keravan, 2005 ^ Cite error: The named reference Lebedev, 2002 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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