Kalyan Square in Bukhara or Poi Kalyan ( meaning “the foot of the Great”) is one of the most well-known sights of Bukhara.

Kalyan minaret is also known as the Tower of Death since Genghis Khan inaugurated the gruesome practice of throwing people from its top.
As recently as the 19th century, convicted men were tossed to their deaths from its tower on market days.

On market days, condemned criminals would be led up its 105 steps, displayed to the mass below while their crimes were listed for everyone to hear, then stitched into bags and thrown off the 155 feet.

You can see Kalyan minaret in all its grandeur wherever you are in Bukhara.
It was built in 1127 by a khan who wished to be called for prayer from the world’s highest and most impressive minaret.

Kalyan Square sights

Kalyan means the great, and it lives up to its name – 155 feet tall and measuring 30 feet in diameter, it covers the whole city with their adhan,
It consists of several parts:
the large cathedral mosque Kalyan, founded in the 16th century,
the Mir-i Arab madrasah (university)
the 12th-century Kalyan minaret located in the middle dominates the landscape of Bukhara Old Town.

Kalyan Minaret

What makes the Kalyan Minaret so unique is its complex brick decoration.
Such gigantic, colossal minarets are very rare. As cities grew in size and expanding, it became more practical to build small minarets. Kalyan and minarets of its size are the true beacons of Islam.

Legend has it that when Genghis Khan threw back his head to see the minaret’s top, his hat fell off. He had to bend down to pick up the head. Eventually, he decided that it would not be a good idea to destroy the structure in front of which he bowed down with bare head. The great conqueror bent down to pick it up.

The Kalyan Mosque

The Kalyan Mosque, meaning “Great Mosque”. , is the city’s most significant religious sight. It can fit up to 12 thousand people.

The Kalyan Mosque is a place still used for prayer. You are likely to see crowds of locals doing the rituals if you hang out on the square long enough.

Harmony and tranquility cover every corner of the open courtyard square and the chain of minimalistic white arches surrounding the center’s deserted tree.
There is no hustle and bustle, and everyone will find peace of mind here.


For a long time, the educational institution was considered one of Central Asia’s best, many outstanding scientists and thinkers taught here.
Even during the Soviet Union era, when religion was prohibited, madrasah continued to function as a religious school.
Preservation workers have had to poke huge drainage holes that look as if artillery shells made them in the sacred structure’s sides.