The Great Mosque of Kokand is deliberately deceptive. From afar, the visitor sees only an empty courtyard, flanked with rows of dark columns. As one approaches, however, first the elaborately crafted, vast columns reveal themselves, 98 in total; followed by the ceiling - which, as is evident in the photographs, is one of the most experimental architectural canvases of early modern Central Asia. Commissioned in the early 19th century by the enlightened Omar Khan, this mosque represents Kokand’s coming of age as a formidable (albeit short-lived) imperial power linking China to Inner Asia.
Category:Travel and Places
© Mehreen Farooq & Waleed Ziad