Cities of Uzbekistan
|CITYES OF CENTRAL ASIA (UZBEKISTAN)
Republic of Uzbekistan lies in the heart of Asia, in the territory
known since ancient times as Bactria, Maverannahr, and later on
as Turkestan. The most powerful Kushan Empire and the Kingdom of
Seleucids, the Parthian Kingdom and the Kingdom of Khorazm, the
states of Samanids and Amir Temur (Tamerlane), the Bukhara Emirate
and Qoqan Khanate once flourished in this region. Many centuries
ago, the civilization that existed here gave life to many famous
scientists, philosophers, poets and doctors, many of whose output
is still used by many intellectuals around the world. The cities
of Samarkand and Bukhara served as major centers of trade and enlightenment
on the crossroads of the Great Silk Road linking the civilizations
of the East and the West.
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, has been given
a new, but unofficial name in modern history – the Star of the East.
It has been taken from the song with the same name and bears an
amazing resemblance with the appearance and spirit of the town,
a symbolic depiction of the life of its citizens and its guests
who pass through. Tashkent is home to more than 100 nationalities
amounting to 2, 2 million people.
Places of interest. There is a series of special
sight-seeing tours where guests can see and experience the harmonic
combination of modern architecture with historical monuments.
Kukeldash madrassah built in the 16th century, the Kafalla Shoshiy
mausoleum also from the 16th century, the Muyi Mubarak and Barokkhan
madrassahs, the Tillya-Shah mosque and the Shaikh Zainiddin Bobo
(13th – 14th century). The variety of museums such as the museum
of the history of the Temurides, the museum of applied arts provides
a rich cultural and historic legacy.
Samarkand, since ancient times, was a major centre in Central Asia,
connecting East and West, North and South, Serving as one of the
major centres on the Greate Silk Road. “Everything that I have heard
about the beauty of Samarkand is correct but actually it is even
more beautiful than I imagined”. These words are ascribed to Alexander
the Great who stopped in Samarkand during his Indian march. Amir
Temur, the conqueror of Central Asia, chose Samarkand as the capital
of his huge empire. There he collected fabulous treasures and brought
architects from all the COUNTRIES he conquered. In those times magnificent
palaces, mausoleums, mosques and madrassahs were built. Every stone
in Samarkand seems to breathe legend.
Places of interest Among the buildings of Temur’s
reign is the majestic Gur-Amir mausoleum and Shahi Zinda group of
mausoleums. The centre of Samarkand is an original square – the
Registan (15th century) which means “sandy spot”. It is a large
flagstone square surrounded with minarets and madrassehs. One of
it (minaret of Ulugbek, Amir Temur’s grandson) had stood inclined
like the tower of Pisa for several centuries and could collapse
at any moment. The Ulugbek museum was built near the unique observatory
with gigantic sextant where Ulugbek, famous astronomer and mathematician,
carried out his observations. The mosque of Bibi-Khanym is considered
all but the grandest structure of the times of the Temurides in
Bukhara. Not much time has passed since Bukhara
celebrated its 2500th anniversary. “Blessed”, “Holy”, “Heavenly”–
these are but a few epithets which extolled Bukhara where culture,
science and art have flourished throughout centuries. It is the
only town in Central Asia where the flavor of the East has been
preserved intact; it is a town-museum with about 140 architectural
monuments dating back to the Middle Ages. The most ancient masterpieces
were constructed in the 9th and 10th centuries.
of interest. The mausoleum of Ismail Samani (the Samanid Dynasty’s
founder) is a masterpiece of classical Eastern architecture.
The Poi-Kalan architectural ensemble (12 – 16th centuries) adorns
the centre of the old Bukhara. Its 50 metre-tall minaret, decorated
with unique patterns, towers over the town in all its grandeur and
Light-blue cupolas of the Chor-Minor madrassah and the Ark Citadel
can be seen from afar. The ancient structures preserved in Central
Asia from 15th century to this day are the Ulugbek and Kukeldash
madrassahs, while the crooked streets in the outskirts of the town
have retained the exotic colour of the olden times.
Khiva has preserved much of its old appearance:
narrow streets, mud walls, covered bazzars, ancient graveyards in
the middle of the town. Archeological finds show that Khiva existed
as far back as the 6-8th centuries. It was the capital of the Khiva
Khanate in the 16th century.
Places of interest. The Shirgazikhan madrassah,
dark with time, stands in one of the narrow streets. Adjacent to
it is the Khan’s mausoleum. A marble plate bears the inscription
in Arabic: “Cry at the hand of the slave”. Legend says that the
Khan wanted the madrassah to be built as quickly as possible. He
promised the slaves freedom as soon as it was finished. But when
the madrassah was completed he went back on his word and did not
free a single one of the 1, 500 slaves. The deceived men tore the
Khan to pieces.
Opposite the madrassah there is the mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud.
It is a masterpiece of Khivan architecture.
The 220-foot Kuk-Minor (Green Minaret) is decorated in peculiar,
one of the largest ancient cities in Central Asia is the capital
of Uzbekistan. Tashkent was also known as Chach during the ancient
time. Chach was famous for exporting gold, precious stones, fruits
and beautiful horses to other cities and states. With all the ongoings
Chach was at the crossroads of international trade, center of a
farming oasis and a city of crafts.
Tashkent has a population of more than 2 million. Tashkent in Uzbek
means"the Stone Settlement" and is also known as a city of striking
contrasts. Today Tashkent is one of the largest industrial centres
in Central Asia that manufactures and repairs modrn aircrafts. Besides
being industrialized, Tashkent is also the centre for agriculture
and textile industries. The Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan was
established here. Other such scientific centres introduced at that
time were the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Institute of Electronics,
Mathematics, Astronomy, Mechanics and Seismology. Tashkent has nearly
20 museums and the Uzbek An Museum has one of the largest collection
of sculptures, paintings and handicrafts in Central Asia. Another
Uzbek Museum of Applied Arts displays 30, 000 exhibits of handicrafts,
embroidery, traditional jewellery, etc.
The most interesting part of Tashkent is an old town near Iski-juva
Bazaar, the largest market place which sells from cooked food to
clothing The entrance of the bazaar is the Khast-Imam Complex which
loo! like a scene from the Arabian Nights' Its centerpiece is the
Barakhan Madrasah, a magnificient monument of the 16th century The
Al-Bukhan Islamic Institute which trains Moslem clergy for the former
republics of the Soviet Union is also located in this complex The
influence of the Islam religion is apparent at the People's Friendship
Square Recently, the 100-year old Abdul Kasym Madrasah was restored
and reshaped to commemorate the city's 2, 000th anniversary.
After the devastating earthquake in 1966, the new Tashkent emerged
with beautiful parks, and squares that were decorated with fountains
Even some of the ancient and well-known architecture from the Middle
Ages like the Unus-Khona mausoleum, the Kukeldash madrasah and the
Borakhona madrasah are still standing in Tashkent. Tashkent is now
considered to be one of the most beautiful city with plenty of greenery
and water. There are two underground railways which connect the
eastern, western and south-western part of the city. Tourists are
usually taken to Tashkent Metro and are quick to express their admiration
for the fabulous decorations. Marble, granite, gabbro, labradonite
and ceramic create a unique picture with a touch of elegance. The
Tashkent Metro is truly amazing and is considered to be one of the
most beautiful in the world. Today, modem technology and telecommunication
have turned Tashkent into a busy gate-way to other parts of Uzbekistan
as well as to other parts of the world.
Tashkent is the capital of friendship and many international conferences,
cinema-festivals, symposiums have taken place in this capital city
of Uzbekistan. A charming mixture of old and new, Tashkent comes
highly recommended as a place for relaxation and holiday.
people can't realise that Samarkand is the second largest city of
Uzbekistan and is of the same age as the city of Babylon or Rome.
History of Samarkand is about 2, 500 years old and has witnessed
a lot of upheavels during the times of Great Alexander (Makedonsky),
the Arabic Conquest, Genghis-Khan Conquest and lastly Tamerlane's.
Hence, Samarkand's culture was developed and mixed together with
the Iranian, Indian, Mongolian and a bit of the Western and Eastern
The CENTRAL square of ancient Samarkand-Reghistan, is surrounded
on three sides with the magnificient buildings of Ulugbek, Shir-Dor
and the Tilly-Akhari madrasahs. Reghistan is where all the radial
streets meet and it is here that ruler's decrees were proclaimed,
where justice was done and trading in full swing. It was during
Tamerlane's rule that Samarkand achieved an unprecented growth.
Samarkand is also well-known for some of its brilliant great scientists,
writers and painters like Rudaki, Babur, Jami, Avicenna, Navoi,
Ulugbek, Mukimi, Furkat.
Excavation of the ancient monuments buried under the ground have
helped to revive the ancient township and restore the architectural
monument to its former grandeur with its high quality ceramic arts
and harmony of arches with blue cupolas.
The jade gravestone of the great ruler Tamerlane lies in the Gur-Emir
Mausoleum of the Timunds where its huge tiled cupola can be seen
from all parts of the town.
Samarkand is a city full of legends. Even the streets, ravines,
and water reservoirs have its own tale. The medieval Samarkand is
beautifully surrounded by mountains from all sides and its impressive
perfect forms and harmony of colours.
Visitors also enjoy the world-renown Oriental Bazaars which are
colourful and rich with gifts of all kinds. These exotic bazaars
are the ones that preserve the spirit of the East.
The Samarkand today is more industrial, scientific and cultural
center of Uzbekistan. As the city becomes more picturesque with
the restoration works, all tourists would be able to relieve its
glorious past and fascinating present.
Sanskrit word, Bukhara signifies"monastery" and this city was once
a large commercial centre on the Great Silk Road. Bukhara was already
considered an important cultural and trade centre, which in fact
determined the dramatism of the city's historical fate.
Bukhara with more than 140 architectural monuments is a"town museum"
dating back to the Middle Ages. 2, 300 years later, ensembles like
the Poi-Kalian, Kos Madras, Ismail Samani Mausoleum and the Kalian
Minaret are attracting a lot of attention.
For instance, the Ismail Samani mausoleum is the oldest monument
in Bukhara. It was built by Ismail Samani, one of the ruler of the
Samanid dynasty. The grey building mausoleum is made of bake bricks
ornamentally were laid, so the ornamentation is never the same when
light shines upon it.
Tourists will be delighted to know that the Fortress Ark citadel
used to house the residence of the emir and is now a museum. Opposite
the Ark stands the Bolo-khaus complex of the twentieth century which
has survived to this day.
The history of Bukhara is more astonishing than the rest of the
cities. The Bukhara oasis of Soghdiana was once conquered by the
Great Alexander and Bukhara was also once ruled by the Kushan Empire
and later a part of the Eftalist Rein, too. But when Samanids got
hold of Bukhara, they created a large feudal state and Bukhara was
made the capital.
The 1 Oth century sees Bukhara more of a scientific and cultural
centre Famous poets like Narashashi, Rudaki and Dakiki and scientist
Avicenna were well known in Bukhara as they played important roles
in the development of the country.
The end of the 10th century saw Bukhara under the Karahanids Reign
Monuments like the Magoki-Attani, Namaz-doh mosque and Chashma-Ajub
were witnesses to this particular period From 1318-1389, Bukhara
had a great religious leader by the name of Sheikh Bahautdin Nakshbandi
His kind of faith, Nakshbandism became one of the kind of suphism
Suphism at that time was spreading round the Iran, Afghanistan,
Turkey, India, the Eastern Turkestan and Caucasus area By the 15th
century, Bukhara was part of the Sheibanids State It was becoming
more important and many Moslem monuments like the madrasahs, hanakis
and mosques were created at that time and played significant role
in spreading the Moslem religion The Madrasah Mm-Arab (1536) was
built in this era.
The Sitorai-Machi-Khosa palace was the country residence of the
last emir. The 20th century saw a new modem city built close to
the ancient one. The new city has wide prospects, green parks, fountains,
hotels and colourful Eastern bazaars. There were many bazaars in
ancient Bukhara, and one of them, Lyabi-Khauz bazaar (16-17 century)
has been preserved up to this day. Tourists are often attracted
to the articles made with golden embroidery, silk clothes and chasing
sold at the Bazaar.
Today, Bukhara is a more industrialized city in Uzbekistan. The
Kara-Kul (astrakhan fur) factory is well known internationally and
supplies goods to other countries. Other than furs, Bukhara is also
known for its ancient folk crafts especially embroideries in gold
and silk. A TRIP to Bukhara will leave you feeling immersed and
yet equally amazed with the exotic aura of the city.
The Khoresm Khanate was very famous
in the fourth century, BC. It was a very powerful state. Fairy-tale
like city Khiva has managed to retain its exotic image of an Oriental
town in the older part of the city called Ichan-Kala.
Ichan-Kala is a place where all the monuments of architecture are
located. Among them are the Kunya-Ark citadel and the Tash-Khauli
Palace, residence of the Khan had been preserved intact along with
its ornate gates.
Besides that, Ichan-Kala displays simplicity and monumentality of
medieval architectural forms, the delicate of wood carvings and
skilled interweaving of ornamentation. The silhouettes of its towering
minarets, hemmed in by clay blit houses with their flat roofs and
surrounded by the fortress's powerful clay built walls, give a clear
idea of a typical Central Asian feudal city.
Billed as an"open air museum," H Khiva is about 2, 000 years old.
J Here you'll find the Pakhlavan Makhmud mausoleum (1835), the Mukhammad
Aminkhan madrasah (1855), the Palace Ensamble Kunia-Arki Jash Hauli
(1841), and the Allakulikhana caravanserai
(1855). In fact, Khiva is made up of madrasahs, mosques and minarets
such as the tall and beautiful Islam-Khodja minaret, plus having
the most number of minarets in Asia, the most remarkable being the
Kalta-Minor minaret (1835) and it is still standing. The Djuma Mosque
which has an amazingly 218 ornate carved wooden columns is another
of the main attractions.
Khiva's bazaar offers you the most colourful and vivid place. It
is also here you'll get to taste the local rock melons, figs and
grapes. Weekends see performances held by rope walkers and folk
singers. And for those who loves antiquity, heritage an and splendid
architectures, Khiva is a must.
Ferghana is situated at the southern
part of the fertile Ferghana Valley. The Valley resembles that of
an enormous bowl framed by mountain ridges. Having a milder climate
gave Ferghana the edge to produce some very famous fruits and the
luscious pomegranates that are tempting palates all over the world.
Ferghana was founded slightly over a century ago and is one of the
modem centres in Uzbekistan. Besides the agricultural aspects, Ferghana
is also famous for producing delicate hand painted pottery and glasses
as gifts and souvenirs. It is also widely known for its local man-made
fabric and is surrounded by cities and towns dating back to nearly
one thousand years in history.
Situated 12 km from Ferghana, is Margelan city. This city was very
famous for producing silks and carpets in olden days. The Margelan
caravans would carry the silks and carpets through the Great Silk
Road, Arab COUNTRIES and Europe. Today, Margelan has one of the
country's largest silk mill targetted for international markets.
Ferghana is a green city with streets lined with shady plane trees,
poplars and acacias and numerous parks and gardens with flower beds
Besides silks, Ferghana is also well known for its lovely flora
and fauna. Tourist visiting Ferghana can visit the mountain region
of Shahimardon for some clean, cool fresh air. Many people in Ferghana
like to spend their summer weekends in Khamzaabad town in Shahimardon.
A narrow concrete stairway leads to a ledge on which stands the
white mausoleum of Khamza Khakim-zade Niyazi, an outstanding Uzbek
poet and dramatist.
Another tourist attraction is Kokand. The distance between Ferghana
and this ancient city is 86 km. While on the way to Kokand, be sure
to visit the ancient village of Ristan, famous for its hand painted
blue pottery works. Their jugs, plates and teapots are made of a
special kind of clay and it rings like a bell everytime at the flick
of a finger.
You could also visit the nearby Andijan and Namangan areas. So,
if you're ever tired of the bustling city life, Ferghana would be
the ideal get-away for some peace and tranquility.
| ANDIJAN & MARGHILAN
Full day tour includes the Khanatlas Silk factory
at Marghilan, where you can see beautiful hand made ornaments and
embroideries. We also visit the CENTRAL mosque & bazaar. Later tour
Andijan, birthplace of Babur the founder of the Moghul dynasty that
ruled India and built the Ta) Mahal, Shalimar Gardens and the many
forts and palaces. We also visit the Babur Literary Museum.
This is the largest province in Uzbekistan-it has
been named after the Black Hat People. It is an autonomous region
and the people speak their own language, which is more closer to
Turkic than Uzbek. It used to be part of the Khanate of Khiva and
during the Soviet rule it was governed as part of Kazakstan. There
are lots of camels and we get a thrilling, often painful, experience
as we go into the desert on camelback.
A one-time capital of the Kokand Khanate, It was
known for its very strong religious base and thus had over 35 medressas
and hundreds of mosques. Kokand is a transit stop in our programs
and we visit the museum-fort of the last Ruler-Khodayor Khan, Sahib
Mian Hazrta Medressa and the Khamza Museum.
Records show of habitants dating back to at least
ist century BC. A well-known place for trading, it offers a well-stocked
and interesting bazaar. Our tour will also include the silk factories
- where the famous Central Asian silks originate.
Timur Taragai Tamerlan was born in the village near
this city. This city combined the modern and ancient, industry and
crafts preserved in the monuments, dwellings and in architecture.
Ak-Sarai Palace - with only two pylons of the entrance arch and
a small fragment of wall to survive, still they impress with the
volume and height of the building. The cave of Tamerlan is a fabulous
natural and historical object.