Rabati Malik Complex
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Caravanserai Rabati Malik is located in the Navoi region along the road Bukhara-Samarkand (Highway M37). In the Middle Ages this area was the piece of the Great Silk Road, leading from Samarkand to Bukhara, which has contributed to the construction of a fortified caravanserai, called Rabati Malik. Today, not far from ruins of Rabati Malik we can see sardoba (water storage), a water source for travelers in past. In 1078-1079 Karakhanids Shams Al Mulk ordered the construction of the complex, which was originally conceived as a fortified inn. The complex is functioned until the early 18th century. But, unfortunately, only part of the southern facade of the tower has survived. Due to the results of the excavations, we have an idea of the layout of the fortress. It was a rectangular structure, space 100×100 meters, where at the corners 15meters towers were placed which survived until the mid 19th century. Outside the fortress walls were decorated with flat half-columns. Entrance to the complex was through the preserved south portal. The portal is rectangular, cut by a lancet arch and decorated with brick ornament. The portal leads to a deep gallery, isolated from the farm buildings (housing for workers, stables, a kitchen with a tandir) in the southern part the complex. The gallery leads to octagonal rotunda, where arches like the whole gallery, were decorated with carved alabaster. From the rotunda, which served as the central hall, there were entrances to the northern part of the residential complex. At the entrance to the northern part there were a small mosque with the mihrab (a niche in the wall of the mosque) on the western wall and the pulpit on the left. Walls and pulpit were decorated with carved alabaster with a blue tint. During excavation the human remains were found, indicating the existence of cemeteries around the complex.
In the medieval towns Sardoba called underground spaces for shelter from the summer heat; snow storage, water tanks buried in the ground. From the 10th century Sardobas were built on the caravan routes. Sardoba Malik is huge storage of water, built to supply caravanserai Rabati Malik with water. In ancient times, the reservoir was filled with water from the Zarafshan river through the underground channel. Sardoba is a reservoir with a depth of 13 meters. It’s covered by the dome with a diameter of 12 meters, so the cool, clean water was stored all summer. Descent to Sardoba Malik is located at the entrance. Sardoba was like a shelter for tired travelers