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Photographer's Note

The Kalta Minor - the ‘short or squat minaret’ is an iconic symbol of the ancient city of Khiva.

Khiva or Xiva is one of old cities of ancient Khorezm, in present day Uzbekistan and is a pearl of eastern middle age architecture. According to the archeologists Khiva was founded in the 5th or 4th centuries BC. The origin of the name ‘Khiva’ could be from “Khey-vakh” which roughly means “sweet water.” In the early 16th century it became capital of Khiva khanate, one of the Uzbek khanates. The majority of Khiva’s immense architectural projects began and the city established itself as a center of power in the region. The city was divided into two parts in XIX century - Ichan Kala (inner city) with 10 meters high wall and Dishan Kala (outer city).

Construction of the 'Kalta Minor' began in 1851 by Mohammed Amin Khan who wanted to have an impressive minaret as the finishing touch for his lavish new madrassah (The Muhammad Amin-khan madrassah), part of which can be seen in the left. The construction of the minaret remained unfinished ….it was originally intended to become the largest minaret in Central Asia 80 metres high. But in its incompleteness, it stands today 26 meters high on its 14 meters massive base which suggests that it would have boasted truly mammoth proportions if completed. Despite its unfinished state, the Kalta Minor is still a beautiful spectacle wrapped by bands of dazzling blue, green beige, and turquoise tiles fashioned in a variety of intricate geometric designs and an inscription from a Persian poet encircling its upper dimensions.

PS : Couple of comments about the sky made me write this postscript, though I am at a loss to understand why they were made in the first place! The sky (read clouds) here is the original one & the way it was. It has NOT been added by post processing, though I would definitely like to understand why it was so felt by those who commented.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7754 W: 324 N: 15606] (55035)
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