HISTORY OF CHOR-BAKR
The history of the complex, however, is linked to the Sheikhs (spiritual leader) of Juybari, who trace their lineage back to Abu Bakr Said and Ahmad. They derived their name from the name of the village of Juybari in Bukhara, where they were from.
Several Sufi brotherhoods were founded in Central Asia in the 12th and 13th centuries. One of the most influential was the Khodjagon brotherhood, which later became the basis for the Naqshbandiya brotherhood.
The sheikhs of the Naqshbandiya brotherhood, which appeared in Bukhara in the 14th century, became more and more influential over time. Very often they became advisers to the rulers, and sometimes even had more power than the kings themselves.
The first prominent representative of the Juybari family was Muhammad Islam (1493-1563), better known as Khodja Juybari. He was the head of the Naqshbandi Sufi brotherhood and adviser to Abdullah Khan II, the ruler of the Sheybani state.
CONSTRUCTION OF NECROPOLIS
The main part of the complex was built exactly in the 16th century by the order of Abdullah Khan II. The centre of the complex is an ensemble of five different parts. The first has been constructed khanaka which has been finished in 1571. It is a “dormitory” for the pilgrims who stayed here to visit the tombs. A small madrasah and a mosque with a unique domed structure were added to the khanaka at the end of the 16th century. There is a small minaret In the middle of a courtyard. A pond (khauz) completes the ensemble look.
The rest of the complex – about three hectares in the area – is mainly occupied by tombs. The style of architecture with graves is unusual here: they are called “khazira”. “Khazira” is an area enclosed by walls and an entrance portal, inside of which are located graves. Sometimes the portal was decorated with majolica or mosaics. Some “khaziras” also have ritual rooms, such as prayer rooms. The difference between a “khazira” and an ordinary mausoleum is that the “khazira” doesn’t have a roof.
THE OLDEST PART OF CHOR-BAKR
Abu Bakr Said’s tomb is located to the north of the centre and can be reached through a brick passageway about 50 metres long. After Khoja Juybari’s death, he is buried next to his ancestors, and his son Khodja Kalon becomes the next sheikh of the Naqshbandiya brotherhood, to whom father’s power was passed.
THE NAME ORIGIN
Since this moment, Chor-Bakr becomes the family shrine of Juybari sheikhs. The name Chor-Bakr itself, translated as “four Bakr”, came about a hundred years after the death of the Khodja Juybari. It may be a distorted version of the term “chor bagh”, which translates from Persian as “four gardens” or a garden consisting of four parts.