Turned into ruins Palace - favourite house of Panahali khan, the place where Gajar spent the night, ruined grave of Khan’s daughter - REPORTAGE - PHOTOS

Turned into ruins Palace -  favourite house of Panahali khan, the place where Gajar spent the night, ruined grave of Khan’s daughter  - REPORTAGE - PHOTOS
  • Clock-gray 13:32
  • calendar-gray 01 March 2021

APA employees toured the territories liberated from the occupation by the Azerbaijani army under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev. Our employees have prepared a series of reports from these territories under the heading "In the wake of victory".

We present another reportage from this series:

Victory of Azerbaijani Army put an end to Armenian savage: What do I see in Aghdam

Panahali Khan's Shahbulag fortress, damaged as a result of Armenian vandalism

Destroyed cemetery of Abdal-Gulabli: Shelled gravestone of a 9-year-old girl

Armenian command point in Fuzuli, mined territory with the length of 2 km, finding monument to Fuzuli

Mosque turned into a warehouse by Armenians, caravanserai used as a stable, enemy soldier's helmet, unknown monument

Footsteps of Armenian vandalism in Jabrayil, “Ohanyan line” myth, destroyed by our Army

Khudaferin - the bridge got rid of the pain of Karabakh: The bridge of longing for both banks

Cradle of Humanity, 135-year-old school, wines that were sent to the Kremlin

Stolen bones, 200 letters in one night, a soldier who liberated his land

On the roads of Kalbajar: from the height of 3395 meters to Khudavang monastery

In a magical world: Amazing Khudaveng monastery, which Armenians wanted to appropriate

End of longing: Returning to Lachin through the same road 28 years later

Every inch of paradise Lachin

Opposite Gafan Airport, 100 meters from Gafan-Gorus highway: Epic written with Khudayar

Dashalti Epic: Victory after 29 years

Released Shusha prison

Masterpiece of Panahali khan: The top of mountains of Shusha without fog

Lachin corridor, Armenian civilians, end of 185 years of longing

Policeman burned by Armenians, resident of Salakatin who found home after 29 years, Armenian bus overturned in a ravine

The property of Malik-Aslanovs given to the kolkhoz, the palace of the Dizag maliks, the Albanian temple of the XII century

Zangilan: Life returns to the lands liberated from Armenian occupation

Meeting with our house after 27 years, drying fount, souvenir lamp 

Witnesses of Khojaly genocide talk: Dream of martyr’s father, Russian officers exchanged with ours, baby nestling his mother lying on snow

We pass a rusty pile of rubble, a pile of stones, a a pile of straw - literally all sorts of rubbish, through the back passage to the balcony, and then into the great hall. The stench, the dirt, the moldy walls, the floor that has disappeared in the dung ...

There is no trace of its elegant architecture and magnificent appearance, it has disappeared in ugliness, rust and filth.

It's as if you've dressed a beautiful lady in rags 

"If Panahali khan knew that Armenians would turn his palace into ruins ..."

Probably it became clear where we are. Yes, in Aghdam, in "Palace".

It is the palace where Panahali khan settled on his way to Garabagh from Khorasan.

It is the palace where Panahali khan started to establish his khanate.

It is the palace, which Panahali khan admired for its beauty, remained his favorite place even after he built a palace for himself in Shusha, he often visited, received guests and solved state affairs here.

It is the palace where Panahali khan was buried after his death

The palace was once a favorite place of the people of Agdam.

Both the palace and the tombs in the cemetery complex are distinguished by their architecture, especially in the summer months, hiding among the trees and shrubs, giving the area a fairy-tale beauty.

In the 50s of the last century, a stadium of the same name was built near the palace (Imarat).

After the occupation of Aghdam in 1993, Armenian vandals destroyed most of the buildingsç however, they did not destroy the holy places of Azerbaijanis, including the Aghdam Juma Mosque, mosques in Giyasli, Gulabli, and dozens of other mosques, but turned them into stables kept cattle, sheep, and pigs inside.

Armenians knew that the palace had a high moral value for Azerbaijanis, as did the mosques, sacred places, and shrines in these lands. Not only because the foundation of the Karabakh khanate was laid here, but also because it started to grow from here. And also because there was an ancient cemetery where great figures of Azerbaijani history were buried. And because one of the great figures of Azerbaijani literature, Khan gizi Khurshudbanu Natavan, who gained eternal respect in the hearts of the people of Karabakh with her good deeds, was also buried here.

That is why the Armenians did not destroy the palace, they turned it into a ruin.

For 30 years, they have tortured us not only materially, but also morally and psychologically.

***

The palace is also known as Panahali khan palace and Panah khan’s palace. As we said it was built as the winter property of Karabakh khan Panahali khan.

Here is considered as one of the first properties of khan's descendants. Probably, in the early days, the complex included more buildings. Head of the "Karabakh" department of the Institute of History named after Abbasgulu Aga Bakikhanov of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), Doctor of Philosophy in History Guntekin Najafli says that the palace of the XVIII century was built in 1738: “The palace is the building built by the founder of the khanate Panahali khan, built before the establishment of the khanate. The authors of "Karabakhname" have contradictory views about Panahali khan's return to Karabakh. Some say that after Nadir Shah was crowned in Mugan in 1736 they were envious of Panahali khan. He was gossiped to Nadir shah and Panahali khan fled. Actually, it is not so. Other sources show that Panahali khan served to Nadir shah until 1741, even some sources say that until 1745. Because in Ottoman-Afshar wars Panahali khan showed bravery. As he had a good salary and reputation with Nadir, he could namely build such palace. It is said that he hid in the mountains of Zangazur and Sheki and smuggled. Fugitive man was not able to build such a palace. It is known that Karabakhnames have been written by Tsarist Russia. They could have distorted the story to make Nadir look bad. Actually, Panahali khan served for a long time during Nadir's rule, gained fame in the army. Therefore, it was built here and a mausoleum had been built nearby.”

As a complex mostly called a palace, it is not such a big building. As for the opinion of G. Najafli, it was constructed as in the style of the property of the rich of the XVIII century: “Therefore it is called a palace. The appearance of the palace does not have the characteristics of a parade, unlike other khan palaces in Azerbaijan. Panahali khan usually stayed there. Because khan’s first residence in Karabakh was there. Usually, this mansion is considered a summer house of Panahali khan. Because Shusha was more suitable as a summer house than Aghdam. This palace was good for living in winter. However, as it was the first house built in Karabakh by him, Panahali khan loved to live in the palace, came very often, received his guests.”

Sabuhi Huseynov, a researcher at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of ANAS, said that it was not a coincidence that Panahali khan chose this place after his return to Karabakh, his father Ibrahimkhalil agha laid garden named Barlibagh here: “According to Rzagulu bey Mirza Jamal oglu's work "The rule of Panah Khan and Ibrahim khan in Karabakh and the events of that time", the Palace was the ancient place of Panah khan and his father Ibrahimkhalil aga. It was also a family cemetery of the Karabakh khan dynasty. Along with the mansion a large covered market was also built in the area. Large gardens were built around the palace and a stone fence was built around it. 

S.Huseynov does not rule out that the first construction in the territory of the palace was carried out by Panahali khan's father: “It seems that first construction works were carried out by Ibrahimkhalil khan itself. Even according to the will of Panahali khan, the lands here could not be rented or sold. Fruits collected from gardens were not sold, given as a gift to the poor and religious figures of Karabakh.”

The palace consists of two corps placed perpendicular to each other. The main building consists of rooms with arches grouped around the central domed hall. A wide and luxurious balcony is located in front of the central hall directed to the South. The balcony of the palace has been solved as a three-span arcade. Arched arches rest on large columns carved from solid white stones. In general, the balcony has a portico character, playing a role as the entrance to the building.

The relatively large main building of the palace has a more complex configuration in the plan and consists of rooms of various sizes. In this one-story house, there is a central hall with a balcony. The area of the central hall, which has many deep niches in the inner walls, about 50 square meters, is covered with an octagonal dome.

Above the dome, built on durable trumpets, there is a light and air chimney in the form of a lantern.  It created to condition the hall constantly lit up, often there was no need to light a lamp.

Central hall functioned as both a balcony and a sofa was used as a barn during occupation years. However, God knows which decisions, having great importance in Azerbaijani history were previously made in this hall, which state secrets were sounded with witnessing of walls of this hall, meeting with how important guests were held, whose death warrants were issued, who were forgiven…

Other rooms of the main building of the palace were usually used for the maintenance of straw.

The second building of the complex was also used by Armenians both as a barn, a stock, and a residential place. Different things were hung from nails on the facade of the building. Untidiness in the room makes a person sick, it is impossible to enter due to smell and stench. 

One of those, who saw the palace, maybe slept there, was Agha Mohammad Shah Qajar. Khaja Shah kept his army in the palace territory during the Tbilisi attack and destroyed both Palace and domes while attacking Tbilisi. S. Huseynov says that both the Palace, its domes, and hence were restored by Ibrahimkhalil Khan’s son Mehdigulu Khan: “Mehdigulu Khan presented a document, given by Shah Abbas on behalf of Ibrahim Sultan Budag Sultan when he has required a document on belonging of these territories to Mehdigulu Khan during Tsar Russia. According to the document, the great grandfather of Mehdigulu Khan was the owner of Javanshir lands and “Otuzikiler” tribal union, including Aghdam property and led cavalry military unit of seven hundred and thirty people”.

There are gravestones, ram, and horse figures made of stone, which were decorated with writing and ornaments in the Arabian in the open area in front of the palace of Panahali Khan. Although their numbers have decreased a lot currently, they were too many earlier. But Armenians either destroyed or stole most of them.

There is a cemetery, where persons belonging to the khan dynasty were buried, in the vicinity of the Palace, rather than behind the second building of the complex. Firstly, Panahali khan was buried in the cemetery. Maybe, someone was buried before him, information, which we have now, says that. It seems that successors decided to bury his body, brought from Shiraz, in the Palace, as they knew the Khan loved these places so much. Or there was another reason. 

A tomb with a structure of a polygonal conical plan was built above the grave. The tomb has an entrance gate with an arched structure. There is not a gravestone inside, and the place is covered with manure like the floor of the palace, it seems that animals were kept here as well. According to G. Najafli, the gravestone of the grave of Panahali Khan was brought to the National History Museum before occupation and is protected there.

The tomb of Ibrahim Khalil Khan is located near the tomb of Panahali Khan. Although both tombs look like each other, the conical roof and most of the walls of the Ibrahim Khalil tomb were destroyed.

It is strange that there are similarities in their fates like their tombs. No one has died with their quietus. The father has been a victim of the Persian ruler Karim Khan Zand, and the son fell victim to the decree of Lisanechiv, an officer of Tsarist Russia, and, indirectly, of Tsar Alexander I.

The third tomb in the cemetery is most probably the tomb of the last ruler of the khanate Mehdigulu khan, son of Ibrahimkhalil khan. Although we could not go to the nearest part for the fear of mina, it can be said that this tomb has not been damaged to the extent of the tomb of Ibrahim Khalil khan.

Between the tomb of Ibrahim Khalil khan and the tomb of Mehdigulu khan Javanshir there is a circular building about one meter high, which we could not determine whether it was incomplete or destroyed.

Generally,  above the Imarat cemetery, there are the graves of Jafargulu khan Nava, Govhar aga, Khurshidbanu Natava, and her daughter Khanbika Khanum alongside the people we mentioned before. But because we are unfamiliar, we could not learn the place of graves of others besides Khurshidbanu Natavan.

The grave of Natavan places near the tomb of Panahali khan and Ibrahimkhalil khan. According to Samir Sadigov, Doctor of Philosophy in Art History, in 1982, a tombstone was erected over the tomb: An author of the monument is People’s artist, sculptor Eljan Shamilov. Monument shaved from marble reminds  Egyptian steles, was of an embossed character.

Unfortunately, the monument has been completely destroyed. The part of the statue that reflects Natavan has been disappeared, other parts have been scattered around. A hole has been dug not on the side of the tombs, but on the opposite side of the concrete cover. The iron board has been put on the hole. We take the board. The hole stretches to the under of concrete, to the grave, as if the concrete fixtures did not allow to dig deeper. It seems that Armenian in hyena trait wanted to dig the grave of Khan’s daughter and remove her bones in order to find any precious things or just for purpose of humiliation. But they were not able to reach completely what they wanted.

These are other proof and samples of Armenian vandalism. Tombstones laid in place of the stall at the bottom of the wall a little bit away prove this once again.

We leave the Palace with the shock inside us caused by the miserable condition of Panahali khan's palace, Ibrahimkhalil khan's tomb, Khurshudbanu Natava's grave.

Pain inside us, anger inside us, hatred inside us.

And also feeling of gratitude that what the happiness that we were able to return these lands.

What happiness that we got rid of this moral agony, condemnation.

However, the thought that occupied my mind when I set foot in the building still did not leave me comfortableCertainly, If Panahali khan knew that Armenians would destroy his Palace, what he would do?..

Photo - Ilkin Nabiyev © APA GROUP

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