ḠOJDOVĀN (also Ḡojdavān, Ḡajdovān), town and district in the oasis of Bukhara. The modern town (Ḡejdovān) is located at 253 m above sea level, 49 km north-northeast of Bukhara, at 40° 6’ N and 64° 41’ E. The district is irrigated by the Pirmast canal that branches westward off the Zarafšān River and corresponds to Ḵarḡānruḏ mentioned by Eṣṭaḵri (p. 310) and Ebn Ḥawqal (p. 486). According to Vasiliĭ Barthold, the present-day Ḡejdovān corresponds to Lower Ḵarḡāna of the early Islamic geographers (Eṣṭaḵri, p. 309; Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 485), while the district of Upper Ḵarḡāna was located near Karḡānkaṯ, opposite Karminiya (Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 98, 114, 120; idem, Sochineniya III, p. 200; cf. Shishkin, 1963, pp. 11, 26).
Maqdesi/Moqaddasi (p. 267, n. c) mentions Ḡojdovār/Ḡojdovān among Bukhara’s large villages that possessed all the characteristics of a town except the presence of a pulpit (menbar). Maqdesi’s note led Richard Frye to the conclusion that Ḡojdovān was a satellite village of the town Rāmitan/Rāmiṯana. Historical data, however, as well as archeological finds place Ḡojdovān well inside the series of the old walls, known as Kampir(ak) dēvāl, that extended around the oasis of Bukhara and that had been rehabilitated before the Samanids (Eṣṭaḵri, p. 294; Moqaddasi, pp. 266-67; Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 473; Ḥodud al-ʿālam, ed. Sotuda, p. 106, tr. Minorsky, p. 112; Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 114, 116-17; Shishkin, 1963, pp. 19-31). According to Samʿāni (ed. Margliouth, fol. 406b), Ḡojdovān, situated at a distance of six farsakhs from Bukhara, was an important commercial center where a weekly regional market was held. Šehāb-al-Din Yāqut (Boldān III, p. 775) mentions the name without providing any information, and Moḥammad b. Jaʿfar Naršaḵi (p. 94, tr. Frye, p. 58) refers to it as the hometown of a commander of the Sapid Jāmagān, i. e., the followers of al-Moqannaʿ, who rebelled in Transoxania during the caliphate of al-Mahdi (158-69/775-85).
Ḡojdovān is mentioned as the home of several men of fame, including the Naqšbandi Sufi Ḵᵛāja ʿAbd-al-Ḵāleq Ḡojdovāni (d. 1220, q.v.), whose tomb in Ḡojdovān attracted pilgrims (Fażl-Allāh Ḵonji, p. 62; Samandar Termeḏi, text, pp. 277 f.; Ṭāleʿ Boḵāri, tr., pp., 117-20). Saʿd-al-Din Masʿud Taftāzāni (14th cent.) held his teaching circles in Ḡojdovān for a while (Gafurov, I, p. 684; cf. Barthold, Sochineniya XIII, p. 435). There remains in Ḡojdovān a partly-extant madrasa with a lofty portal built by Uluḡ Beg (Pugachenkova, photo on p. 243; Shishkin, 1933, pp. 11-18).
In the late 15th century, Ḡojdovān was a city-like (šahr-mānand) large village, near which stood the village Ṭawāyes/Ṭawālis (Wāʿeẓ Kāšefi, pp. 34, 58, 510), the once important town Ṭawāwis/Ṭawāʾis (Eṣṭaḵri, pp. 313-14; Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 489; Moqaddesi, p. 267) that was assumed by Barthold to have disappeared by the 15th century (Turkestan3, pp. 98-99).
Ḡojdovān was the site of a battle in 918/1512, when the Safavid forces were defeated by the Uzbeks, who had already routed Ẓahir-al-Din Moḥammad Bābor and re-conquered Bukhara (Bābor-nāma, tr. Beveridge, pp. 356-62; Jahāngošā-ye Ḵāqān, pp. 432-36; Ḥasan Rumlu, ed. Navāʾi, pp. 168-75; Wāleh Eṣfahāni, pp. 211-21; Ḥabib al-siar IV, pp. 523-29; Semenov, pp. 122-28). From the 16th century, Ḡojdovān appeared as a strong fortress, which, as the key to Bukhara, was the site of many battles (Ṭāleʿ Boḵāri, pp. 76-79; Samandar Termeḏi, text, pp. 130-32, 180, 277, who refers to Ḡojdovān as a town, balada, and always mentions it together with the stream Jelvān, which is considered to be different from the Ḵarḡānrud; Shishkin, 1963, pp. 11 ff.). In 986/1578, during the reign of the Shaibanid ʿAbd-Allāh Khan b. Eskandar (q.v.), a thirteen-span bridge, which functioned also as a dam to divert the water into irrigation canals, was built near Ḡojdovān on the Zarafšān River (Tāriḵ-e Rāqemi, apud Barthold, Sochineniya III, p. 200).
In modern times, the district was called either after the village (Tumān-e Ḡejdovān) or after its canal (Tumān-e Ḵarḡānrud; see Dokumentï k istorii, pp. 56-64, 185; Barthold, Sochinenia III, p. 200, nn. 94, 95; Moḥammad-Yusof Monši, tr., p. 125). In the early 19th century, Ḡojdovān was a tumān of Bukhara (ʿAbd-al-Karim Boḵāri, text, p. 77, tr., p. 171; for tax collection, see Sitnyakovskiĭ, pp. 121-314; Logofet, I, p. 250).
Ṣadr-al-Din ʿAyni (q.v.), who was born in Sāktari, one farsakh east of the town, considered Ḡojdovān as the most fertile and productive district in the whole emirate of Bukhara (p. 149) and elaborated on the ever-lasting battle against the encroaching sand to keep it from cutting down the size of the farm land. The present raion, created in 1926, is the most densely populated (124,000 souls in 1976) among the 13 raions within the oblast of Bukhara in Uzbekistan (Muminov and Muzafarov, pp. 73-76).
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ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Ṭāleʿ Boḵāri, Tāriḵ-e Abu’l-Fayż-ḵāni, tr. Alexandr Alexandrovich Semenov as Istoriya Abulfeiz-khana, Tashkent, 1959.
Vasiliĭ Afanasevich Shishkin, “Medrese Ulugbeka v Gizhduvane” (Uluḡ Beg madrasa in Ḡojdovān), in Materialï Uzkomstarisa II-III, Tashkent, 1933.
Idem, Varakhsha, Moscow, 1963.
Faḵr al-Din ʿAli b. Ḥosayn Wāʿeẓ Kāšefi, Rašaḥāt-e ʿayn al-ḥayāt, ed. ʿA.-A. Moʿiniān, Tehran, 2536 (1356) Š./1977.
Moḥammad-Yusof Wāleh Eṣfahāni, Ḵold-e barin, ed. Mir Hāšem Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1372 Š./1993.
Originally Published: December 15, 2001
Last Updated: December 15, 2001
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Vol. XI, Fasc. 1, pp. 44-45