As a cure for a wild wedding party the night before, we decided to face the heat and go for a walk on our last day in Samarkand. The heat was bearable after all, the sky was actually so dark that we thought that a downpour could start any minute. Uur bodies still had to recover from the aftermath they had suffered. We took a detour to leave the city behind, and found a pleasant enough place to visit in the form of the tomb of the prophet Daniel. A remarkably friendly girl at the ticket counter explained what do see and where to go, and even though the grave was a short climb up from the ticket booth, we started by walking down towards a well giving water that was supposedly holy. In fact, people were coming here with lots of containers in order to collect some of this special water for later use. We also filled up a bottle for on our way back to the city.
Reaching the mausoleum, we left our shoes outside and once inside, were struck by the sheer length of the sarcophagus. 18 metres - and it is said that this will soon not even be enough to contain the ever growing body of prophet Daniel. A dark green cloth lay draped over the grave, covering it on all sides. On it, embroidered calligraphic texts in Arabic gave it a solemn look. The few people visiting, walked around the tomb three times, anti-clockwise, before exiting again. So, this is the place where the remains of prophet Daniel are buried.
Or not, as we found out later. It is claimed that the remains of Daniel were recovered by Timur when he was in Iran - but interestingly enough, there also is a grave of the same prophet Daniel in Susa, Iran. Perhaps one day someone will be able to clarify this. But then again, perhaps it is better if the myth remains as it is. No matter what, the locals were convinced that this is the only real tomb of the prophet, that he is growing, and that his tomb will have to be enlarged in a near future to be able to continue holding his body. No matter what, the holy water and the tomb left us a solemn and religious impression.
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