The Kosh complex: Modari-Khan Madras and Abdullah-Khan Madras, Bukhara
Outside the walls, on the edge of Samanids Park, there are two interesting Madras from the 16th century facing each other, called Kosh complex (Kosh means “double”). I recommend the visit by the moment that it is possible to access the upper level up to the ceiling, which in other tourist places is forbidden. Also the fact of being outside the center, allows the visitor to remain inside the Madras in silence and contemplation, without the disturbance of the sellers, numerous in other sites.
Built in honor of the mother of Khan Abdullah II (1557-1597), the Madras was completed in 1567; the name Modari-khan translated from Farsi means in fact “the mother of the Khan”. The peculiarity of this Madras lies in the fact that it is not rectangular but slightly trapezoidal because of its position on the corner of the road. On the ornate façade there are slabs with majolica decorations representing flower buds and geometric mosaics.
Inside the courtyard there is a double row of cells, with the dashkana classes located inside the portals. The style of the Madras is simple and typical of the architectural canons of the time.
Completed between 1588-90, in honor of the Khan Abdyullah II, the Madras presents the architectural characteristics of the others, except for the peculiarity that the main entrance is connected to the side wings of the second floor. Through a staircase you reach the cells of the upper floor and you can climb up to the ceiling, where the small domes of the cells emerge from the gray concrete.
The façade is exquisitely decorated with mosaics and majolica slabs with phytoform and geometric decorations ranging from cobalt blue to turquoise, from green to white. The outer walls, with the double row of cells, end in two cylindrical towers of the same height.
The doors of the Madras, made from fine wood, are meticulously decorated and installed without the use of nails. Abdullah-Khan is the third largest Madras, after Kukeldas and Mir Arab.
Inside a kind Uzbek old man guided us to go up to the higher order and he also tryed to explain some of the symbols present in the decorations; unfortunatly my Russian was not yet good enough to understand the explanations. However, I managed to understand the importance of the domes of the inner gallery, frescoed with mosaics and majolica in cold colors, in the typical Islamic geometric composition in representation of the cosmos.
For more information on what to visit in Bukhara, like Ulugbek Madras, click here.
Photo by Eva Zalesakova
Source: A.V., Bukhara, the city and the legends, Davr Nashriyoti, Tashkent, 2014