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Пещера Хазрата Дауда

Hazrati Dovud, also known as Hazrat Dovud or Hazrat Daud (it is translated into Russian as Saint David) — the cave, the holy site attracting annually large number of visitors and pilgrims. It is near the kishlaks Aksay and Mekhnatkash located in Nurabadsk district of the Samarkand region of Uzbekistan, in 30 kilometers to the southeast from the city of Nurabad and in 70 kilometers to the southwest from the city of Samarkand.

The cave is at the height about 1250 meters, at the bottom of the western spur of the Turkestan and Zarafshansk ridges, a rocky wedge pressing in the Qarshi steppe. The cave and its vicinities are shrouded a set of legends which are from generation to generation retold by locals to the pilgrims and travelers coming to look at a cave and trying to recover from diseases or to grant desires from the prophet's traces. Pilgrims with families after visit of a cave go down to the foot of the mountain, organize picnics and have a rest.

On one of legends, the Judaic tsar and the prophet — David (among Muslims Dawood, Dovud or Daud) disappearing from enemies, reached these places. Surrounded from all directions, he decided to pray and kneelt. The prayer was heard by Allah, and David was allocated with supernatural force. It moved apart hands the rock and disappeared in the formed cave. This cave which became a pilgrimage object attracts believers the last several centuries.

At an entrance to a cave traces of huge knees, and on its walls prints of huge fingers are visible. The cave is at the height about 1250 meters and to rise to a cave, it is necessary to pass 1303 steps laid uphill mountains. Having gone to small mosque at top and having prayed there, it is necessary to pass on an opposite slope and to go down on 200 steps where there is an entrance to a cave. Elderly people and ailing which cannot independently rise to the mountain rise on a donkey or a horse. The cave from 0,5 to 4 meters wide, about 15 meters high and about 60 meters long represents the dark tunnel lit with several lamps at the end of which prints of palms and David's foot are visible. Pilgrims make wishes, having touched these prints, and believe in its miracle abilities. Throughout all rise along a ladder trade stalls where pilgrims buy water, officinal mountain herbs, skins and teeth of wild animals and different souvenirs last.

On the Arab legend, the prophet Daud was sent by Allah to the East to preach monotheism. Hazrat Daud the sermons angered the Zoroastrians living here who began to pursue him. Daud, having begged to Allah, could move apart hands stones and take refuge in the formed mountain cave.

On other legend, David looked for the place to have a rest before fight with Goliath. Genies transferred David to the mountain area near Samarkand, but ifrita found it and brought it on the backs Goliath's giant for fight. Then David prayed to God with a request to hide him because it was not ready to fight yet. He ran from them until its ways were followed by big rocks. Having believed that Allah will protect it, David began to dig in the boulder which became in a strange way in his hands as wax. It passed deep into rocks, having left Goliath striking with the cudgel and legs the rock. On beliefs, traces of huge knees and fingerprints at an entrance on a cave belong to Goliath pursuing David.

According to legends, remained in the kishlak Aksay, in the neighborhood of a cave "Hazrati Dovud" there were mythical girls of Pari. According to a legend, once at sunset the shepherd in search of the best pastures for the sheep left to the lonely gorge at the foot of the mountain and fell asleep under a bush on the bank of a small stream. In the middle of the night, when there came the full moon, it was suddenly woken by sounds of the laughing girls. Having imperceptibly made the way to a stream, he saw several naked girls of Pari bathing and combing hair there. The shepherd did not try to steal their clothes, being afraid of a belief among the people of that time. On local beliefs if Pari notices that the person watches her nakedness, then it will forever deprive of him mind, can jinx also other misfortunes all his house, a sort or even the settlement. The shepherd escaped, without looking back, and forbade the sons and grandsons even to approach the gorge where bets live in "city" from a distance. Among the local people there is a belief that because of it the neighborhood of the kishlak remained untouched and deserted up to today's time. People lodged in these regions only about 200 years ago, and some of them still avoid to visit these solitudes, especially at night as at the falls which are falling down from the mountain on full moon nights as if the strange sounds similar to laughter are heard and illusive silhouettes of girls flash among rocks