The city of Kulob was born 2,700 years ago and for many centuries was an important political, commercial and economic and cultural center of the vast Khatlon area. The city stood on one of the Great Silk way branches and had close trade and economic and cultural links with many Oriental and Western countries.
Kulob (which means swampy place or rushes) is a city in the eastern Kulob district, Khatlon Province. Part of the Khanate of Bukhara since the 16th century (the Emirate of Bukhara since the 18th century), the city has changed its name from Khatlon to Kulob in 1750. In 1921 after the fall of the Emirate, Soviet rule was established in Kulob and the city became an industrial centre during the Soviet era.
This place is worth to visit. Two main points of interest certifying the ancient roots of this city are Hulbuk (ancient city/ excavation site) and mausoleum of Khoja Mir Sayid Ali Hamadoni.
As part of the 2700th anniversary of the supposed founding of Kulob, a full-scale reconstruction of the citadel of the ancient city of Hulbuk is being built. From the 9th to 11th centuries it was the fourth largest city in Central Asia. It flourished under the Samanids dynasty, because of its strategic position, the fertile land surrounding it, and the deposits of gold, copper and salt.
In 2006 Kulob celebrated its 2700th anniversary.
During the Middle Ages the city of Kulob was an important political, economic and cultural center. A plenty of maktabs (schools) and medressas (higher educational institutions) worked there. Various crafts and trades were developed there; literary and scientific clubs were very popular. In the 17th -19th centuries 40 poets lived and created their works. The most known of them were Nasekh (Abdurakhmon Khoja), Khoja Khusaini Kangurti, Bismil, Shokhin, etc. The remains of structures and mausoleums testify about the highly developed culture of architecture and construction.
In the beginning of the 20th century Kulob was the largest city of Eastern Bukhara and had 20 blocks. Various kinds of crafts, including weaving (high-quality silk fabrics: brocade, alochi, kurtachi, suzane), jeweler business, pottery and tanning production, joinery and production of knives, horse harnesses, armor and other metal products were highly developed. City had flourishing commerce, marketplaces. Kulob was famous for its embroideries (gulduzi and chakkan) which are distinguished by unique forms and colorings. For the first time the name of Kulob was mentioned in the 13th century. One of the most important sights of Kulob is Mirsaid Ali Hamadoni complex:
Mir Sayid Ali Hamadoni (the 14th-17ht centuries)
Right in the center of Kulob in the park zone with centuries-old plane trees stands the memorial complex of Mir Sayid Ali Hamadoni - the poet, philosopher and thinker of the 14th century. His son Muhammad, numerous relatives as well as Shaikh Shokhi Tolikoni from Afghan city Tolukan, the former inspector of the mausoleum and the mosque are also buried there.
The building of the mausoleum is a traditional medieval structure. Originally it had three portal entrances with a domed hall decorated with carved decor. This structure is dated late 14th century. Later the mosque and the tomb were added to it. In the 1970s the mausoleum was restored. During the restoration works the masters tried to preserve the mausoleum in the shape it had existed for the previous five centuries. They finally managed to do it. Near the mausoleum there is one more marble gravestone with inscriptions in Arabian and Persian languages and decorated with a geometrical ornament. It is written on the western side of the gravestone that there the son of Khatlon ruler, Amir Muhammad bin Shajh Abdulla, was buried. The rectangular tombstone weighs about a ton. The legend says that it was delivered to Kulob from India on elephants. Today the mausoleum is a place of pilgrimage of local population and numerous visitors.