One of the busiest places of medieval Khiva was the area at the Palvan Darwaza – the eastern gate of the of Khiva’s citadel Ichan Kala. Here, in the XVII century the baths of Anushakhan and one-story building of madrassah of Hodzhamberdy-biy were built. The ensemble of buildings at Palvan Darwaza also includes madrassah of Alla Kuli Khan, tim (trading dome), a caravanserai, and on the other side of the square – madrassah of Qutlugh Murad inak and the palace Tash-Hawley.
The complex of buildings arose due to appearing vital necessity. Saturation of buildings was so great that some of them protruded outside the walls of Ichan-Kala.
Actually Palvan Darwaza gate itself with loopholes and the side towers was located at the intersection of the city walls. The facade of the gate is decorated in the form of the arch portal, behind which “dash kucha” (stone street) stretches towards the city – the corridor covered by a chain of six domes. Over the entrance arch there is a many-domed open-type shopping mall – “tim”, on both sides of which there are stalls of merchants and small bath rooms.
At the entrance of the gate marble slab with a historical inscription “Shahri Khiva” (Khiva city) and the date of construction – 1221 Hijrah (the Muslim chronology), it means 1806 were preserved. This is the oldest part of the building, which is connected to the bath of Anushkhan. The construction of the gate was completed by Alla Kuli Khan in 1835. Right from the gate at the exit of Ichan-Kala until 1873 there was a slave market, and in the niches of the gate escape slaves and rebels were waiting for their fate. Khan’s orders were also announced here and punishments of criminals were executed.
The gate is named after the poet and undefeated fighter Palvan (or Pakhlavan) Mahmud, who eventually became a revered pir, that is the patron saint of the city. “Palvan” means “strongman”. On the site of his grave behind the Juma Mosque the most magnificent mausoleum in the city was built. In addition to the goal, in honour of Mahmud Palvan the main “ditch” (channel) of the city that feeds Khiva with water was named “Palvan-yab”.