Rabat-i Malik: from palace residence to caravanserai
Currently, the building called Rabat-i Malik is known in history as a medieval caravanserai, which served as a place of shelter and lodging for wanderers and merchants. In the distant years, caravan trade along the Great Silk Road, going from Samarkand to Bukhara, led to the emergence of this structure. Entrance portal made of bricks is 18 meters high is preserved to our days. Locals nicknamed it "The gates of Bukhara".
But not always Rabat-i Malik was used for this purpose. Before turning into a caravanserai, for 3 centuries the building was a fortification (ribat), which served to protect the borders of the provinces. The fortress, created in 1078 by the order of the ruler of the Karakhanid dynasty - Shams Al Mulk Nasr Ibn Ibrahim, served as the summer residence of the Karakhanid rulers. The included an ornate central hall, kitchens, stables, as well as a small mosque for traditional prayers.
The unique underground water storage "Sardoba Malik"
Not far from the palace, and afterwards the caravanserai, there is an underground structure that is unique to the regions of Central Asia. This is "Sardoba Malik" - an architectural structure designed to store water. Such khauz ponds were built mainly in places where ground was deeper, so that rainwater regularly filled the reservoir. Sardoba was the only source of drinking water for trade caravans, going through a hot, debilitating desert. A deep 13 meter high tank, perfectly preserved to our days, has become a true architectural monument of the Middle Ages.
At present, the ruins of the former palace and caravanserai are 100 km from the city of Bukhara and 23 km from the city of Navoi. Regardless of which of these cities you will be traveling through, be sure to visit this famous ancient complex. Immerse yourself in the old atmosphere of the Great Silk Road and admire the "Bukhara Gate" - the memory of the ancient Khan's residence.