Tours to Uzbekistan
Events in Uzbekistan
Bukhara: “lucky place” and fifth largest city of Uzbekistan
The scientists say that the place around modern territory of Bukhara had been inhabited for about 5 millennia, and the time of existing of this city is about 2,5 millennia. The meaning of the city name is “lucky place” or “the place of good fortune” and for a long time this lucky place had been the center of trade and culture, religion and scholarship on the way of the Great Silk Road. Bukhara, like Samarkand, is listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, because of its beautiful old minarets and madrassas standing in the historic center of this ancient city. The changes in Bukhara are not such big like in Tashkent or Samarkand – it’s almost the same as before. The streets are the same and the architecture the same. You have to visit this place because it will show you the best how the ancient city of Uzbekistan looked centuries ago.
Bukhara history: stretched back in centuries
The official time of founding of Bukhara is 500 BCE. It was a center of trade during the rise of the Great Silk Road; also the center of Islamic World in the prosperity age of Samanids dynasty; also it was marked as one of the centers of Persian Civilization (this event related to the early days of the city about 6th century BC).
But not only being the center of culture, trade and science glorified Bukhara in the centuries, but also its important role in administrative life of Turkestan. Once it had been the capital of very ancient state called also Bukhara (6th to 8th cent AD). From 9th to 10th century the city of Bukhara had been the capital of Samanids, then in 16th century the capital of Sheybanids Great Empire, and also from 18th to 20th century it was famous as the capital of Bukhara Emirate. Finally, from 1920 to 1924 this city had been the administrative center of Bukhara People’s Soviet Republic.
Many of the most important events of Uzbekistan history took place in Bukhara, but unfortunately there are almost no documental records left. Ancient sources of course mention the city, but not the whole city, only the part that had been connected to ancient Sogdiana. Chinese sources of the early Middle Ages mention Bukhara too, but the information is really poor. So no one knows and can tell exactly how old the city known in Muslim world as "Bukhara-i-Sharif" is. The scientists only can guess. Best guide to the history of this mysterious city is surely translated into Persian (and originally written in Arabic) the book “History of Bukhara” written by Mukhammad Narshakhi.
Sightseeing in Bukhara: sights of enchanted city
Once famous Scottish writer and politician Fitzroy Maclean during his travel to Bukhara called it “enchanted city” and its architecture he defined as "the finest of the Italian Renaissance". You can read his “Eastern Approaches” but better for you to take a walk to Bukhara and you will understand what he meant under these mysterious characteristics.
You should start with Poi-Kalyan Ensemble which undoubtedly is most significant architecture monument in Bukhara. The components of this ensemble are really grand and beautiful. Kalyan Minaret, or the Grand Minaret: its historic name is Death Tower, because the criminals were thrown down from the top. Made like circular-pillar and narrowing upwards brick tower, Kalyan Minaret was built in 1127 by the order of Mohammad Arslan Khan. Kalyan Mosque is the second component of the Ensemble, similar in its size to Bibi-Khanim Mosque of Samarkand. Mir-i Arab Madrassah is the third component of Poi-Kalyan Ensemble and it is very little information about it.
Among the other interesting historical sights of Bukhara is Ismail Samani mausoleum related to 9th-10th centuries (he was the founder of Samanids dynasty). Near it you will find Chashma-Ayub mausoleum, constructed during the rule of Tamerlane.
And of course you have to visit second great Ensemble of Bukhara – Lab-I Hauz (the meaning of the name is “by the pond”). It surrounds one of the few survived after the Soviet period Bukhara pounds. Other sights are The Ark (fortress) and Char Minor placed behind the Lab-I Hauz Ensemble, Medieval Baths of Bukhara, Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah, Djami Mosque, Magoki-Attori Mosque.
Modern Bukhara: what really changed?
Nowadays Bukhara city inhabited by 90% Tajiks (Persian-speaking) and 10% of Uzbeks. Bukharan Jews (most of them) left the city to live in the USA and Israel. Bukhara hasn’t changed its look much, so the ancient atmosphere of the city will take you by surprise.
Visit Bukhara State Museum to know more about the history and architecture of this city (it’s opened from 09 am to 04:30 pm, Wednesday is day off); there is also Gijduvan Museum of Ceramics (great collection of ceramics made by modern masters). And of course you should pay your attention to Bukhara cafes and restaurants (especially if you call yourself gourmet): among them are Lyab-I Hauz Tea Houses, Silk Road Spices Tea house (one of the most popular tea houses in the city), Nodir Devonbegi Madrassah (it’s a restaurant with national dishes).
Bukhara, the holy city, will surprise you with the spirit and the atmosphere of past. Visit this city, order the tour to Uzbekistan by Peopletravel! And you will never forget this exiting journey!
Bukhara Pictures and Photos
The center of ceramic heritage of uzbekistan
Perhaps Gijduvan will not astonish someone by the abundance of historical monuments, museums and other major attractions. However, here you'll find a unique spirit of oriental tale, walking through the small streets and feeling the atmosphere of this ancient settlement.
The place where emanates the East
Varakhsha is an ancient town. The area of 100 hectares located 40 km west of Bukhara. There are ruins of the citadel with the "corrugated" and the walls of the palace with courtyards, numerous adobe rooms and the front rooms, decorated with paintings and carvings. This remains the houses of IX-X centuries.
On the territory of the ancient settlement was the residence of ruler of Bukhara oasis before in the Arab conquest. In the XI century life freezed in Varakhsha. The reasons for the decline Varakhsha was the lack of water in irrigation systems area.
Varakhsha was an important military outpost on the western edge of the oasis, and was also an important political and cultural center of Bukhara oasis. It was and trade center, at the intersection between Bukhara and Khorezm.
Varakhsha had played an important role in anti-Arab war of the local population, under its walls there were important battles.
Ancient city of Vardanzi
Oriental spirit of the Early Medieval
Vardanzi is an ancient and medieval town located in the Bukhara oasis, 40 km north-east of Bukhara. Now there is reserve in Shafirkan fog Bukhara region.
At the time, Vardanzi was large and well-known city, but due to the translational motion of sand, in the XIX century it was bombarded by them and became uninhabitable.
Vardanzi ruled by the dynasty of kings who bore the title of Vartan-khudat. The city in those days was of great strategic, industrial and commercial importance. It was a border crossing point with the nomads. The Arabs, led by Kuteib ibn Muslim in the years 708-709, and finally conquered Romitan possession Vartan-haudatov.
The mysticism of the ancient Zoroastrian settlement
Paikend is ancient settlement located 60 kilometers south-west of Bukhara and occupies the area about 20 hectares. Large-scale archaeological surveys were carried out in the middle of XX century. And as a result were found many findings that are attractive not only for scientists, but also for tourists. The inner fortress, which was the ruler's palace, occupied dominant position in the city.
It was also found such excavations as temples and government buildings with incomparable architecture. It is believed that the first settlement on the site of the citadel was founded in IV century BC. To the north of the fort was a necropolis with Zoroastrian funerary constructions.
In the suburban area revealed several blocks of buildings, which included dozens of caravanserais.
In the early Middle Ages Paikend was an independent merchant republic and was famous for its wealth. With the advent of Islam, Paikend retained its importance as one of the largest centers of caravan trade on the Silk Road.
And numerous caravanserais were built across the walls of the city, were used in the winter to gather the Muslim fighters for the faith. However, Paykend was gradually turned into a minor craft center. At the beginning of XI century, as a result of changes in the mode of Zarafshan ducts, the city had lost its water and was abandoned by its inhabitants.
The place that shift every visitor to Medieval tale
Archaeological evidence suggests that the settlement on the territory of modern Shafirkan was founded in the early Middle Ages.
According to legend, the founder of the city was the Sassanid Shapur prince, who lived in the III century BC. Currently Shafirkan is a district center in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan. It is home to the representatives of various nationalities: Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russian, Turkmen and others.
The main attraction is not only a historical uniqueness of the town, but also charming atmosphere of the flora and fauna of the mountain range. The territory of modern Beldersay is a green area that is rich with representatives of the feathered world. In the thick juniper forests can be found rare birds such as wood pigeon, bunting, turtle thrush, Turkestan owl and the starling.
Cuisine with various preferences, national color, masterpieces of art, spirituality of local people and spreading legends that are kept from remote time – all this cannot be compared with other places of Uzbekistan. It is truly unique place that shift every visitor to tale and bewitch with unforgettable atmosphere.
Sitorai mohi hosa
The corner of Eden on the Earth
Many people who visit this place call it as fairy Paradise. And it is true, because in this blessed gardens you could see numerous peacocks or the birds of Eden. They are walking about garden paths, dispiritedly staring at their dry thin feet. According to the legends, these birds were excluded from Paradise and as punishment have received extremely horrible voice. This place called Sitorai Mohi Hosa that located in the Pear of Uzbekistan – Bukhara.
Until now, they are walking about summer palace of Bukhara Emir. And here guides insistently advise every visitor to feed these royal birds, because they aren’t even afraid of people. And they accurately take small pieces of bread out of hands.
This is a historical place that was bought out by great ruler Ismail Samani from the Arabian conquerors. And that time referred to beginning of the Samanid Dynasty’s governing. However, there were gardens and before Samanids. These flower gardens existed exactly in the place a dozen years ago.