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Khiva Things to Do: 116 reviews and 392 photos

  Kalta Minor, Khiva
by toonsarah
  • Kalta Minor, Khiva - Khiva
      Kalta Minor, Khiva
    by toonsarah
  • Kalta Minor, Khiva - Khiva
      Kalta Minor, Khiva
    by toonsarah

If you enter the old city through the western gate, as most people do, you will be struck instantly by one of the most beautiful sights of Khiva, the Kalta Minor or ?short minaret?. This was not intended to be a short minaret at all, quite the opposite ? it is said that it was commissioned by the khan in 1852 to be the tallest in the Islamic world, but that when he found out that the architect had secretly agreed to build an even taller one for the emir of Bukhara the khan had him killed by being thrown off the minaret and it was never finished.

Whatever the truth of this legend, the reality is that this is 26 metres of stunning architecture. Its walls are totally covered with amazing tile-work in a shade of rich jade typical of Khivan style but seen much less elsewhere in the country, and with bands of other shades that serve merely to make the jade look even more vibrant. As the sun moves around during the day you will find that the colours shift, so it?s worth visiting this spot more than once to see the minaret in its various hues, including at night when it is wonderfully illuminated.

Directions: On the right just inside the western gate, attached to the Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 4, 2007
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