On the banks of the river Siab in a small village of Gala Osiyo there is a small flour mill, run by the family of Oblokul Bobo Rakhmatov. It is remarkable that this is the only old mill in Samarkand that has remained in the unsurpassed form. Once an extensive milling craft, which these places were famous for, it was almost completely stopped. Rakhmatov’s mill has become the last echo of those times.
Flour milling production started developing during Tamerlane’s period. It was at that time that certain traditions of grinding were evolved and through the centuries transferred to future generations. Grandfathers kept those holy secrets, passing them to their sons, and then to their grandchildren. The owner of the mill, the aged Oblokul Bobo also conveyed this knowledge to his son Bahadir, with whom he would come every day to the mill, working there until late.
Flour making process is quite simple. Powerful waters of the river crank the water blades thus moving large millstones, under whose weight grain turns into flour. Then there is a thorough process of screening. For each type of flour its own sifter is used. Packaged bags are fastened tightly and left there till the arrival of the customer. Quiet grinding millstones, flour dust, easily visible in the sunlight, a characteristic smell, it all re-creates the very picture of life, when the mill business was well developed and popular among Samarkand population. The Rakhmatovs are very pious, so visitors are advised to be dressed appropriately, especially women. The mill is available for a visit throughout the week, except for Friday’s, when the whole family of mill owners go to the mosque for the prayer.