My Crown Jewel of Samarkand

Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Monday, October 20, 2014.

I walk back down Tashkent Street the way I came, go through a park, and end up near my hotel, where I started. It’s much later in the day, and the bus crowds have subsided at the famed Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum. When I get there, it’s just a few people and a toddler walking the grounds. He soon realizes he’s lost and starts yelling for his mother, who is just out of frame.


Most people consider the Registan as the crown jewel of Samarkand, but I think it’s the Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum, resting place of Amir Temur — plus his two sons and two grandsons — especially when I go inside…

Under the dome of the Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum is a ton of gold-leaf, more intricate than any of the tilework I’d seen at the other sites. Granted this is the tomb of Amir Temur, conqueror, and his ruling descendants.

Temur actually didn’t order all this bling; he had a simple crypt built for himself farther out in Shakhrisabz, but had ordered this for his grandson, Mohammed Sultan who died at a young age. When Temur passed in the winter of 1405, the passage to his proposed simpler resting place was snowed in, and he ended up here instead.

Amidst the tombstones of great Central Asian rulers, this woman asked me if I was Malaysian.


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This dispatch is one of over 70 travel dispatches from the trip grouped and titled, "The Global Trip: 'Stan By Me." It's an archived compilation of Instagram and Facebook posts which chronicled a trip through three countries in Central Asia: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Next entry:
Brooklynites in Samarkand

Previous entry:
Promenade of Mausoleums


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

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The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

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