Kalyan Minaret is an ancient minaret in the city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan. It is the minaret of the Po-i-Kalyan Mosque, and stands as a major landmark of the city.
The Kalyan Minaret was built in 1127 AD by the Qarakhanid ruler, Arslan Khan, to be used for calling Muslims to prayer. It stands at 45.6 meters (149.6 ft) to the top gallery, and 48 meters to the tip. The minaret has a base diameter of 9 meters (29.53 ft) and 6 meters overhead. The minaret tapers as it rises. At the top is a rotunda supported by 16 arched windows. The muedzins summon the believers to prayer from here. The surface of the minaret is embellished with ornamentation and inscriptions.
Genghis Khan is said to have spared the Kalyan Minaret from destruction when he conquered the city. He was so impressed with its design that he ordered it saved.
Until the early part of the 20th century, the Kalyan Minaret held a dubious nickname of Tower of Death. That was because criminals were flung to their death from the top. This gruesome form of execution continued until 1870, but resumed during the turbulent years between 1917 and 1920.
A replica of the Kalyan Minaret can be seen at Taman Tamadun Islam, an Islamic-themed monument park in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
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