This is Emir of Bukhara, Said Mir Mukhammad Alim-Khan, last amir and last ruler from Mangyds Dynasty. Pay attention to the decorations on his chest – Decoration of Aleksandr Nevskiy and Svyatoy Vladimir – which were honored to the amir for the contribution of three million in gold to Russian treasury. It is not such a large amount for the title of benefactor.


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By 1920 Amir of Bukhara had treasures equal to almost 150 million rubles that are about 15 million pound sterling. During 150 years of rule, Mangyds were robbing their people by establishing various new taxes for dekhkans (farmers) and merchants. There were left hardly anything which was not taxable: land, property, death and birth, war, trade – all were taxed…  It is not a wonder that at the moment when amir understood that it was time to escape he had collected huge amount of gold to be carried by a whole caravan of hundred horses.

First, Said Alim-Khan addressed British Council to save his treasures in Kashgar. But the British Government and British Council decided not to conflict with the new republic and that it was unreasonable to risk for money. Provident Council Esserton understood that he had zero chances to keep this gold and he did not want to be responsible for it.

Amir got a negative reply from former friends several days before the escape. But he did not want to leave without his gold. This is a characteristic feature of all greedy people – wealth is valued over life. And then amir created a horrible multistep plan.

He charged his most trusted servant's bodyguard Kalapushu and dervish Davron to hide the caravan in mountains of Karshi. Amir hoped that the new regime was not for a long time and he would be back as soon as everything was as before and would get his gold back.

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In the dark of the night, the caravan left the gates of Bukhara and headed into Karshi direction. It was protected by a massive detachment of Kalapush and several dervishes led by Davron. They were moving only at night time so that not to attract attention. They passed Yakkabag, Guzar, Langars into deserted mountains.

They separated in mountains – Davron with dervishes went to hide the gold in one of the gorges, while Kalapush left to wait. Today we cannot tell for sure what happened in the mountains then. Davron came back wounded only with a couple of associates and told that a riot took place in the detachment and he had to fight for the gold of his master. Kalapush asked all the details of the place where Davron had hidden the gold. At night Kapalush strangled all three dervishes as Said Alim-Khan had ordered.

Kalapush came back to Karaul Bazaar and was met by amir’s topchibashi Nizamuddin. At night Nizameddin killed all Kalapush’s warriors because Said Alim-Khan told him that Kalapush had been leading a plot against amir. Topchibashi was a blind weapon of the amir. In the morning Kalapush did not even ask where all his warriors were, he knew that it was amir’s order. We can hardly guess what he was hoping for. Maybe that he had served and been loyal to amir all his life and reckoned on indulgence.

But he was wrong. Gold was valued by amir over his own life not mentioning some bodyguard. He asked all the details of the expeditions and then ordered Nizameddin to strangle Kalapush at night. Sometime later, Nizamuddin was shot into the chest.

Thus, amir hid all routes leading to gold.

Several hours later, having endorsed three horses with gold – expenses for the start – amir escaped to Afghanistan via Boysun. Till his death in 1943 amir continued to moan for his gold. He even got blind from grief. There were several attempts made to find a way to the territory of Uzbekistan so that to bring out a caravan or at least some gold. But all of them failed. The border was guarded well. Yet if separate spies managed to get a foot on the territory of Uzbekistan, there was nothing found by the coordinated told to amir. Amir has lost his gold forever.

The gold is still somewhere there in the mountains, safely hidden by mountains movements and fake coordinates. It is quite possible that Davron the dervish lied about the location of the treasures and decided to play a risky game – “take gold from amir”. Yet he lost. As well as Said Amir-Khan.

Golden caravan disappeared just as the gold of Kolchak, treasures of Nibelungs or Aztecs.

It still heats the imagination of treasures hunters.