Aisha Bibi Mausoleum

According to the most popular version, Aisha-Bibi was the daughter of the well-known 11th century scholar and poet Khakim-Ata Suleiman Bakyrgani. After her father's death, Aisha was brought up by Sheikh Aikhodzha (Zangi-Ata). When the governor of Taraz Karakhan Mukhammed (for whom Karakhan Mausoleum in Taraz was built) asked for the young beauty's hand, her stepfather rejected the suitor, because Karakhan was not a descendant of the prophet (sayyid), as Aisha was. She then outwitted her hard-hearted stepfather by pretending to lead an army for jihad against the idolaters (Kara-Khitans). Secretly however, she rode towards Taraz. Unfortunately, Karakhan never met his young bride; she died of snakebite at Assa River. Mourning the death of the girl, Karakhan erected the mausoleum of fairytale beauty at this place. A friend and fellow traveler of Aisha named Babadzhi-Khatun became the custodian of the grave. When she died, she was buried within 20 steps from Aisha, and a mausoleum was erected over her grave as well. All legends follow the same general plot: A girl disobeys her parents out of love for her a noble in Taraz and dies by entering a body of water near the city.[4] The legend emphasizes the belief in Central Asia of obedience to elders as the highest value. 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 the and study the ruins in 1893.[5] 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.[3] It is a national monument and is listed by UNESCO.

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