Necropolis of Pahlavan-Mahmud in Khiva

Necropolis of Pahlavan-Mahmud is the cultic center of Ichan-Qala. It formed about the tomb of Khiva's patron Pahlavan-Mahmud (1247-1326). He was a poet and philosopher, wrestler and skinner.  It was esteemed as a patron of wrestlers and poets as well as healer throughout Khiva, Iran and India. Tradition has it that the poet was buried in own workshop. The cemetery had formed about his buriai place in the 14th-17th centuries. When Shirgazi-khan built madrassah atthe beginning of the 18th century, he oriented it to the tomb of Pahlavan-Mahmud.

Early mausoleum of Pahlavan-Mahmud was built in 1810 by Muhammad-Rahim-khan I (1806-1825). The new mausoleum had included the old tomb and khanaka with a high double dome, which silhouette became a symbol of Khiva. A memorial courtyard was set before the entrance. The gates of old cemetery became an entrance portal of Pahlavan-Mahmud Necropolis. In the early 20th century Asfendir-khan (1910-1920) ordered to buiid two-storied korikhona in the western sector of the court yard and summer aivan mosgue in the eastern part. Majolica facing has many cartouches with religious sayings, verses by Pahlavan-Mahmud and names of masters.

 Muhammad-Rahim-khan I reconstructed the mausoleum of Pahl-avan-Mahmud so, that necropolis of Qungrad dynasty arose "at the foot" of Khiva's saint. The tomb of Pahlavan-Mahmud is behind the low fence in the western wing. The tomb of Muhammad-Rahim-khan I was set on the central axis of the mausoleum in pentahedral niche. Later, in 1825, the eastern wing was added where Allakuli-khan (1825-1842) was buried. Gravestones of these three tombs are decorated with refined majolica.

 Marble gravestone of Abulgazi-khan (1603-1664) and probable gravestone of Anush-khan with death date of 1681 were transferred into mausoleum. Portal pylon bears a marble plate with epitaph to a courtier of llbars-khan II (1728-1740). Another Khiva khan Asfendiyar in advance prepared a big family tomb in ko-rikhona of Pahlavan-Mahmud Necropolis. His mother Kutlugbiki-khanum was buried in this dahma. However, Asfendiyar-khan himself was not. He died out of Ichan-Qala, and Khiva mortuary rite determined that the dead body could not cross the city walls.