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Bukhara, a fifth largest city in Uzbekistan, is about 40 km away from G'ijduvon and has been populated for at least five millennium; and G'ijduvon is thought to fall in the same areas as long as its age is concerned. Gijduvon itself is known from the 10th century, but until the 15th century it was in the shadow of neighboring Tavavis, whose name could be translated from Arabic as Peacockgrad - supposedly, the city that was called in Sogdian as Arkud impressed the soldiers of the Caliphate with the abundance of these birds that were kept in the houses of rich merchants. But the oasis shrunk since then, the steppe engulfed and emptied Tavavis, and Gijduvon took the role of the north-eastern gate of the oasis. The highest point of its history was the Gijduvan Battle of 1512, in which the Uzbek Sunni Shaibanids defeated the Persian Shiites of the Safavids, and that started the process of gradual decay of Central Asia’s millennial ties with Iran and its "turn to the North". Gijduvon was always remaining in the shadow of Bukhara, and received its ‘town’ status only in 1972. Now it is the second largest in the Bukhara region.
G'ijduvon is famous for its local cuisine and is considered to have the best fish frying and shashlik making techniques. Shashlik is beef or lamb marinated overnight and grilled on skewers. Many other restaurants in the country, including those in the capital Tashkent copy G'ijduvon's fish frying technique. The main difference is that in G'ijduvon cooks de-bone the fish before frying while in the rest of the country fish is not de-bone.
Historically, G'ijduvon is used to be an educational, religious, and cultural center for G'ijduvon and the region. However, starting from the 1930s the population became increasingly secular and today the religion plays a very minor role in everyday life. Modern G'ijduvon is a commercial center for not only G'ijduvon district but also for neighboring areas.
G'ijduvon craftsmen play important role in the local economy and their work is a major attraction for tourists. The town has a distinct style of the pottery which is defined by applying a unique turquoise-bluish color to the pottery. Some notables including Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Hillary Clinton have been to G'ijduvon to see the work of local craftsmen.
Hazrat Khwaja Abdul Khaliq Ghujdawani (rahmatullah alaih) was the first one in this Naqshbandi Sufi Order to use the Silent Zikr and he was considered the master of that form of Zikr. He was direct descendant of Hazrat Syeddna Imam Malik (rahmatullah alaih) and mureed and khalifa of Hazrat Khwaja Abu Yaqub Yusuf Hamadani (rahmatullah alaih) and was also spiritually benefited from Hazrat Khizr (alaih salaam). His mazar is located in Ghujdawan, Uzbekistan.
Abdul Khaliq Ghijduvani was one of a group of Central Asian Sufi teachers known simply as Khwajagan (the Masters) of the Naqshbandi order.
Abdul Khaliq was born in the small town of Ghijduvan, near Bukhara. His father had migrated to Central Asia from Malatya, in eastern Anatolia where he had been a prominent faqih. While Abdul Khaliq was studying tafsir in Bukhara he first had an awakening of interest in the path. He received further training at the hands of Yusuf Hamdani, and was the next link in the Naqshbandi silsila following him.
Abdul Khaliq bequeathed to subsequent generations of the Naqshbandi silsila a series of principles governing their Sufi practice, concisely formulated in Persian and known collectively as "the Sacred Words" (kalimat-i qudsiya), or the "Rules" or "Secrets" of the Naqshbandi Order.
He passed away on 12 Rabi’ al-Awwal 575 AH in his hometown Ghujdawan, near Bukhara (Uzbekistan), where his tomb is a place which attracts many from around the world.
The first place that you will see upon arriving to Gijduvon would most likely be its bazaar, which also always serves as the main bus terminal in more remote places of Uzbekistan. The bazaar is quite large, very picturesque and with a wide assortment of various goods. You can even find here … a whole mountain of second-hand sewing machines and tables made of lacquered chipboard.
Gijduvon’s city center is rather bleak with some rare examples of interesting Soviet architecture:
Palace of Culture and mosaic opposite. And traditional chimes like the ones in Tashkent’s Amir Temur square:
From here you can already see the historical center of Gijduvan around the big hauz (pool). Actually, these are only two buildings - the local Madrassah of Ulugbek and the memorial of Abdulkhalik Gijduvani, a Sufi theologian of the 12th century, who created his Tariqah Khwajagan based on the ancient Persian Tariqat (Order) Bistamiya, among whose adherents were Samusi Romitani, Amir Kulal and Bahauddin Naqshbandi himself, who in turn created on the basis of Khwajagan one of the largest Sufi orders - Naqshbandi. In general, under a wooden pergola with a blue dome rests a very honored local saint, forerunner of another even much more honored saint from the same region. The large building on the right also is part of the memorial of Abdulkhalik:
Madrassah of Ulugbek (1417-33) in Gijduvon is the smallest of the three, but the other two the famed khan-scientists built in Bukhara and Samarkand, so the very fact of its presence here indicates that Gijduvon was a very important city. Typical Samarkand geometric ornaments on the walls are very good, and the minaret (like most minarets of the Bukhara oasis imitating Kalyan) was built along with the madrasah:
A tiny medrese courtyard with a second aivan. "Sparkling" majolica here is typically Bukharian and look like more of the 16th-17th centuries, maybe it is even modern replicas:
The corner of the madrasah and the fountain for ablutions. There are a lot of pilgrims near the grave of Abdulkhalik: