HULBUK

by usto

Tajikistan is a country of enlightened and hospitable people, with its juicy fruits, healing waters, weather, beautiful nature, towering mountains and traditions, it is the best and unique place for foreign tourists. It should be noted that Tajikistan, with all its historical sights, such as the Gissar fortress, Hulbuk fortress, Chiluchorchashma, Garmchashma, Childukhtaron, Khojaobigarm, Khojamumin, Zumrad, Romit, Sari Khosor and others, has become a tourist area.

Each nation of the world has its own sights and historical places, which in a certain historical period reflect the image of this nation and are a witness to its contribution to the foundation of human civilization. Ancient cities and towns, mines and palaces, estates and mausoleums or written monuments were inherited from these shrines to the present day. For prominent people of Khatlon, the ruins of its ancient capital, the city of Hulbuk, are some of these sacred places. A thousand years ago, Hulbuk was a thriving city and center of Khatlon.

Hulbuk is an archaeological complex in the Mehrobod village, Vose district, Khatlon region, Tajikistan. It is a medieval fortress, a palace of the ruler and fragments of an ancient fortification. In 1999, he was included in the list of candidates for UNESCO World Heritage Sites under No. 1383. Hulbuk fortress has a long history and is a symbol of the history of the civilization of the Tajik nation and occupies a worthy place among other places. Opposite the castle is its historical museum. Today, this museum has become a tourist destination, where all historical monuments and valuable relics have been preserved.

The Hulbuk Museum houses all unique exhibits, including household utensils, glass and ceramic dishes, women’s jewelry, ceramic and bronze pots, jewelry, coins, historical books and other stone tools. Every corner of this castle was built with a unique style and high architectural skill, which indicates the high taste of the masters of that time. The name of the city of Hulbuk is mentioned in many works: “Hulbuk is the center of Khatlon and the residence of the king. It is a city with high mountains and many villages. ” (Khudud-ul-Alam, 10th century). “One of the largest cities in southern Tajikistan was the capital of Khatlon Hulbuk. Only the central part occupied an area of ​​70 hectares. There was a castle, during the excavations of which the remains of the beautiful Khatlon Palace were found ”(B.Gafurov,“Tajiks”).

Archaeological work on the ruins of this ancient city dates back to the 1950s, and archaeologists believe that Hulbuk Castle dates from the 9-12th centuries. The palace of the rulers of Hulbuk is located 7 km north-west of the center of Vosey district (Kurbonshahid village). The palace of the rulers of Hulbuk is part of the historical and cultural reserve Hulbuk, located in Vose district.

 From an etymological point of view, Hulbuk is probably formed from the ancient Iranian fragments * hwar- + baga-, meaning “God-Sun, Khur” or Hur / Sun of God (that is, Lord of the Sun), a product of the Indo-European root * sͦer- and ancient Iranian a bug.

The hulbook probably comes from the Greek word ὓλη / ὓλα (pronounced hula- / hula), and its unknown component is the tank / -book. Although Buka is an unknown component and requires further study, it should be borne in mind that with the Buka component around other Hulbuk there are other toponyms: Shabika, Osmonbika and others. The palace of the rulers of Hulbuk dates from the IX-XI centuries.  Hulbuk has a triangular shape and previously occupied an area of ​​70 hectares. Now the area of ​​Hulbuk is only 16 hectares. The earliest information about Hulbuk is also found in ancient literature. Among the geographical names given by the Greek historian Ptolemy, is the name of the city of Hulbiss. Corresponding member Belenitsky and other scholars rightly consider it the capital of Huttal, the city of Hulbuk, because in medieval Muslim sources, along with the term Hulbuk, the name Hulbik is also used, which is close to the same Greek Hulbiss.

In 1953, Soviet scientists E.A. Davidovich and B.A. Litvinsky clarified the position of Hulbuk and put an end to centuries-old disputes about the situation of the city. Over more than 35 years of excavation, many aspects of primordial crafts have been discovered here, which, like the national traditions of Tajiks, have a much more ancient history and are immersed in past civilizations.       Studies have shown that the Palace of Khatlon rulers on an area of ​​50-150 meters consists of two parts: southern and northern. The southern part was relatively high, with the main hall with the royal throne, offices of officials, a palace mosque and other service houses. The northern part was decorated with a harem, rooms for servants, a stage for musicians, a palace pool and farm buildings. Building materials are mostly straw, but the floor of houses and halls, the entrance to the palace, the square and the pool are made of fired brick. Inside the palace was a wide network of plumbing and underfloor heating. Special toilets kept the yard clean. Outside, the castle was surrounded by two layers of strong defensive walls, the walls and round and square towers of which were partially made of burnt bricks and partially covered with such bricks. To date, the outer wall is negligible, but the inner wall is mostly preserved from a height of 1-3.5 meters. The entrance to the palace was on the sunny side, and the facade was decorated with large letters from clay inscriptions. The construction style and location of the buildings led archaeologists to conclude that the Khatlon masters mainly used pre-Islamic architectural traditions.

Another hereditary tradition embodied in the royal palace is its plaster. This is evidenced by hundreds of small and large pieces of carved gypsum found during excavations. Once they decorated the walls of houses, columns, porches and halls of the royal palace. Depth of image cutting is from 2 to 20 centimeters and is highlighted in blue, yellow and pink. The buildings are designed in such a way that no composition is repeated a second time. Images of creatures and especially lions, which are mainly found on the pillars of the porch, have their own character. Erkinoy  Gulomova believes that the image of a lion was seen in the worldview of the Khatlon people as the guardian of the family from natural disasters. The outstanding Tajik archaeologist Yusufshoh Yakubov sees in these images the image of the sun god of the Iranian people Mitra (Mehra), who remained in the material and spiritual culture of Khatlon until the Middle Ages. Here it is appropriate to quote Khudud-ul-Alam about the people of Khatlon: “And the people of this region are warlike people.” The ninth-century Arab traveler, Ibn Havkal, in his work “Mamoliku Masolik” claims that before the conquest of Islam, the kings of Khatlon were also called the Khatlon lions. It is possible that the image of a lion is the emblem of the kings of this land.

The writing of the verses of the Qur’an in Hulbuk’s cast is excellent. They are carved so skillfully with cuneiform patterns and in so many different sizes that it is difficult to distinguish even individual letters from flowers. Depending on the size of the walls and rooms, verses are used in whole or in part.

One of the most popular traditions of our ancestors, reflected in the royal palace, is art, which is still a monument of this period, so we are aware of this aspect of the spiritual existence of our people. This is why Hulbuk’s images are unique. Over the centuries, most of the images have been destroyed. One of the main means of preserving the heritage of the past is the creation of historical and cultural reserves. The historical and cultural reserve “Hulbuk” was created by a decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on July 4, 2002 on the basis of Hulbuk – the medieval capital of Khatlon.

This was an important achievement in the conservation and use of the cultural heritage of our ancestors. From the first day of the discovery of Khulbuk, in 1953 (B.A. Litvinsky, E.A. Davidovich), until 1991, under the guidance of the famous archaeologist Erkinoy Gulomova, research work continued, with the participation of which many Tajik archaeologists received their first professional the lessons. Along with this, dozens of halls and rooms of the Khatlon Palace of Kings of the IX-XI centuries were opened and thousands of discoveries were made, which are direct evidence of the high art of the Khatlon masters. The people of Hulbuk and its provinces were engaged in the production of unique handicrafts, such as enameled and unglazed ceramics, glass, crystal, metal products, handicrafts, jewelry, stone carving, bone cutting, painting and others, were made on high professional and technical level. The Hulbuk style of murals shows that our ancestors directly preserved the traditions of their past fine art, sharing the traditions of the past. All paintings are natural and, in addition to the talent of Khatlon artists, embody unique elegance and beauty.

Given the importance and status of the Hulbuk city in the history of urban planning and urban planning of our people, the revival of the Khatlon Rulers Palace and the creation of the Hulbuk Museum were included in the program for celebrating the 2700th anniversary of  Kulob. Thus, it is safe to say that the current territory of Vose district is the center of Khatlon civilization.

By a decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan dated January 20, 2018 on renaming the city of Kurgan-Tyube and several administrative cities and towns of the Khatlon region … the name of the town of Vose Vose district was changed to the city of Hulbuk. The decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan was sent to the Majlisi Milli Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan for consideration. Employees of the “Museum – Historical and Cultural Reserve of Hulbuk” recently discovered rare historical artifacts on the territory of the Hulbuk fortress during an archaeological expedition. According to archaeologists, this historical discovery is called “Obsofkunak” (water purifier) ​​or “Obpolak”, which dates back to the IX-X centuries, i.e. reign of the Samanids. This interesting historical discovery indicates that in the 9th-10th centuries there was a wide water supply network in the Hulbuk Palace, which provided the population of the region with clean drinking water.

At the end of the last century, Hulbuk was nominated by UNESCO as a candidate for the title of World Heritage Site. On May 2, 2019, it was agreed that the World Bank will allocate $ 1 million for the development of the archaeological complex in the form of a grant under the project “Economic Development of Rural Areas”.