Ibn Battuta gives a rare (and incomplete) glimpse of his personal life here - en route to Samarkand, one of his slave girls gave birth to a girl although he was told it was a boy, and he did not learn the truth until the following week when according to tradition, the child is named. But he believed the child was blessed and brought him luck, although she did not survive for long. He does not say the child was his.
....... I journeyed to the city of Samarqand, which is one of the greatest and finest of cities and most perfect of them in beauty........There were formerly great palaces on its bank and constructions which bear witness to the lofty aspirations of the townsfolk, but most of this is obliterated and most of the city itself has fallen into ruin. It has no city wall, and no gates and there are gardens inside it.”
One of the domes of the Bibi Khanum Mosque built by Tamerlane as the city's Friday mosque. The ailing emir wanted it completed in a great hurry - too great perhaps as bits of masonry began crumbling shortly after its completion. The mosque itself is still closed.