Tashkent Kulkedash Medressa


Visit Guide to Tashkent Kulkedash Medressa

The Kukeldash madrasah is the largest of the 23 madrasahs of old Tashkent, built in 1570 by Governor Dervish Khan, known as Kukeldash, which means “milk brother”. The madrasah is built of yellow brick, and has a traditional square shape with a big portal and an inner yard. The walls around the inner yard contain cells inhabited by the students. The portal is 20 metres (66 ft) high and contains two towers at its sides. From the towers (guldasta) at the corners of the main portal muezzins, or azanchi call the believers to worship.

Getting There

The Madrasah is located in Tashkent, on Beruniy Avenue.

One can get here by metro to Chorsu station or by buses No. 11, 27, 32, 35, 44, 46, 47, 53, 73, 84, 89, 91, 100, 115, and 132 to Chorsu Shopping center stop. From there, just a few steps – and you are in front of the Kukeldash walls. Taxi is another good option to get to the sight since the prices are quite reasonable.

What to Expect

Built in 1570 by Governor Dervish Khan, it is as originally a Muslim school. In the 18th century the madrasah was arranged as a caravanserai for merchants. In the 19th century, madrasah served as a fortress of Kokand khans. Until 1865 madrasah Kukeldash served as a place of public execution.

Kukeldash Madrasah have repeatedly fallen into ruins. Tumbled by an earthquake in 1866 and 1886, the portal was then restored. Madrasah was renovated in 1950-1960-1977 years. Nowadays, classes are being held in Kukeldash again – the Islamic seminary accepts students and conducts training in theology and basic sciences, and the muezzins continue to call worshippers to pray. Well, tourists have the opportunity to see the life of the madrasah personally.


Despite the lack of accurate data on the Kukeldash madrasah construction start, it is known that it ended in 1569. By this time, technologies had already been developed that made it possible to complete the construction of buildings of similar size in 4–5 years. As a result, it can be assumed that the order to lay the foundation of the building was given by the vizier of Dervish Khan (the then ruler) no later than 1564. Even though, the vizier himself was his “milk” brother, nevertheless, even the vizier patronage could not protect the madrasah from desolation and decline. Already in the 18th century, when Tashkent was going through hard times, a caravanserai for merchants with temporary warehouses and an inn was arranged in Kukeldash. The state of the architectural complex was so deplorable that it led to the destruction of the decorative towers on its domes.

Facilities Available

Pay attention to the rules for visiting the part of the building where the mosque is located. Clothing should cover the shoulders and legs; when entering the mosque, you need to take off your shoes. Tourists will be offered special slippers. In addition, the madrasah is closed during the prayers – this must also be taken into account when planning a visit to the sight. After walking around the complex and discovering the Islamic architecture, we recommend visiting the nearby famous Chorsu market – another must-visit attraction that pull in thousands of tourists from all over the world to Registan.