UnrestoredUnrestoredHistorical viewHistorical viewKalta Minor todayKalta Minor today
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One of the most distinctive landmarks of Khiva, the squat unfinished Kalta Minor was planned to be the tallest minaret in the Muslim East. Construction began in 1851 by Mohammed Amin Khan who wanted to have an impressive minaret as the finishing touch for his lavish new madrassah. Unfortunately it was never completed but the sheer girth of its base suggests that it would have boasted truly mammoth proportions. Today it stands at a mere 26 metres although for almost a century it measured only 23 metres in height until restoration in the 1970's uncovered a further 3 metres buried in accumulated sand and dirt. Also discovered were the row of cells (now used as shop stalls) leading to the Ota Darvasa.
Despite its unfinished state, the Kaltor Minor is still a beautiful spectacle with lush green and blue tiled bricks and an inscription from a Persian poet encircling its upper dimensions. Access to the top of the minaret is through the madrassah although it's currently off-limits to tourists. Its name aptly means 'Short Minaret' although it originally was known as the 'Kok Minor' or 'Blue Minaret'.