Hidden in the grounds of Tashkent's new Islamic University, north of Navoi's museum and street, are three mausoleums dating back to the 15th century.
Of the sixteen monuments of the Shaihantaur burial complex only three remain intact - the others fell prey to earthquakes and short-sighted Soviet planning. They are the only survivors of a Muslim complex of mosques and madrassah founded in the 14th century with the burial of local saint Sheikh Khovandi Tahur (popularly Sheikhantaur). The largest is that of Yunus Khan, descendent of Genghis Khan, grandfather of Babur, one-time ruler of Tashkent and khan of western Mogulistan. In 1485 he resolved a Timurid squabble by taking Tashkent for himself. After his death in 1487, his son built this two-storey dome and portal memorial.
The Yunus Khan Mausoleum is best approached from the university's north gate on Abdulla Kodiry St and you may have to negotiate with guards to gain access. Although you cannot go inside (it's almost always locked), it's still possible to appreciate the fine lancet arch of the portal, the turquoise dome and the Arabic calligraphy that decorates the facades. The tile work was restored in the 1970s.
The Sheikhantaur Mausoleum (Sheikhontur) is located to the east, in a small garden, and best approached from the north-south lane connecting Navoi and Kodiry. Mausoleum is the small, brick-built structure with dark blue majolica tiles and metal dome. Metal sheeting protects the Sheikhantaur's brick dome, restored in the 19th century, from weather and pollution, while an ancient tree trunk seems to sprout from the interior. Sheikhantaur (or, to use his real name, Sheikh Khovandi Tahur) was a local Sufi saint born in the late 13th century believed to be a descendant of the Rashidun Caliph Umar. As a child he was initiated into the Yasaviyya order of Si Khodja Ahmed Yassaui and he was known in Tashkent as a spiritual guide. He died in Tashkent around 1360; his tomb is contemporary, though heavily restored.
Behind it stands the Kaldirgach Bey Mausoleum (Qaldirchochbiy), built for a ruler of Moghulistan early in the fifteenth century, and noted for its 12-sided pyramidal dome, spherical on the inside. His tomb is particularly unusual because its turquoise roof is dodecahedral (12-sided) on the outside but domed on the inside. The gurkhan (burial room) has beautiful carved wooden doors and deep alcoves decorated with stalactite-like carving. It is in mausoleum of Kaldirgach-biy where ashes of the well known judge Tole-biy from Duglat clan which actually ruled Tashkent in first half of XVIII centuries.
The Sharq-Guli embroidery company nearby developed from a collective in the 1930s when Soviet planners brought Uzbek folk art out of the home and into mass production. Almost 3,000 women workers use machines and more traditional methods to decorate wall hangings (suzane), head dresses and skullcaps (tubeiteka) of velvet, satin, silk and cotton, but unannounced visits may prove difficult.
Around of esteemed mazar still in XIV century there was a cemetery where for the next centuries there were buried many outstanding figures of the Central Asian history. It is possible to specify names of the founder of the Tashkent state in XVIII century - Sheihantaur hakim Unus Hodja, Alimkul Parvanchi - Kokand commander protecting Tashkent from armies of General M. G. Chernjaev in 1865, Head of Big Juz Rustam Muhammad Bahadur-khan who died in 1712. In Sheihantaur, there were gravestones of wife of Sheibani-khan by name Jamal Khanum (a plate of 1518) and last governor of Kokand Khanate Nasr ad-din. According to medieval annalists great poet Zain ad-din Vasifi is buried here. Unfortunately, the majority of these monuments were not extant up to now.