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There are more than thousand caves in Uzbekistan. In terms of the number of caves, their depth and size, the caves of Uzbekistan are significantly ahead of all the famous caves of Central Asia taken together. The biggest speleological discoveries in Uzbekistan started in the early 70s of XX century. As a result of these researches, more than 600 caves were discovered, including, the deepest abysses of the Asian continent: Boy-Bulok and Kievskaya, 16 km long labyrinth of Festivalnaya-Ledopadnaya cave systems. In recent years, as a result of the persistent and fruitful work of Ural spel..
The Savitsky State Museum of Arts, also known as the Karakalpak State Museum of Arts, is situated in Nukus, the capital of Karakalpakstan, and is one of the largest in Uzbekistan. The museum’s collection is recognised as the world’s second in volume and significance among the collections of works of Russian avant-garde, as well as the best collection of works of art in Central Asia. The museum was founded in 1966 by Igor Savitsky, an excellent scientist, ethnographer, artist and collector. In several years Savitsky managed to gather a huge collection of Russian and Turkestan avant-garde pai..
The Aral Sea is a once-large saltwater lake in Central Asia occupying the northwest end of Uzbekistan and a part of southeast Kazakhstan. Before the mid-60s of the 20th century the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest lake: its area was 68,000 km2, it was 426 km long, 284 km wide and its greatest depth was 68 m. Numerous vessels used to plough the sea one day. Most of them were fishing boats; however, some were military ships belonging to the Amudarya flotilla. Several large ports and fish factories were situated near the sea. The settlements on the shore were buried deep in trees, an..
Andizhan is a major Uzbek city in the southeastern part of the Fergana Valley, 350 km from Tashkent and 50 km from the Kyrgyz city of Osh. Andizhan sprang up in the early centuries AD as an important point on the Great Silk Road. According to the travel notes of Arab historian Ibn Khaukal, in the 10th century the site of present-day Andizhan was occupied by a relatively large settlement of traders and craftsmen, who also were good at agriculture. Andukan (Andizhan) is known to have been an economically developed city in the Timurid period, which even minted its coins at that time. Afterward..
The Aydarkul Lake with its more than 3,000 km2 water surface is the largest fresh water lake in Uzbekistan. The lake is manmade and is regarded as a “geographical wonder” for it has originally appeared as a result of filling up the enormous natural depression with excess water from Chardara reservoir during the disastrous high water in Syrdariya river in 1969. Today there live and migrate variety of wildlife - birds, fish and mammals. ..
Baisun is the centre of a district in Surkhandarya province located 150 km north of the city of Termez in the south of Uzbekistan. This green and cosy town rests at the foot of the Ketmen-Chapty Mountains in the Baisuntau Range. What makes the town famous is that each family in Baisun is keen to preserve ancient rituals, traditions and customs originating from the pre-Islamic pagan culture and pass them from generation to generation. That was the place where akyns (folk poets and singers) composed heroic epic Alpomysh a thousand years ago. Baisun is a region where an authentic musical culture ..
Silk and Spices is one of Uzbekistan's oldest festivals. The event is traditionally organised in the wonderful ancient Bukhara in May, every year since 2001. A spectacular and colourful parade carrying the viewer to the world of Central Asian legends organised near Labi-Khauz in the centre of Bukhara opens the festival. The event features hundreds of people in traditional clothes, actors, dancers, acrobats, wrestlers and musicians performing traditional ceremonial tunes, all marching through Bukhara’s historical centre. The festifal’s epicentre then moves to a large traditional bazaar, wher..
The Magic of Dance International Festival is traditionally organised in ancient Khiva, Khoresm province, Uzbekistan, in early September (in 2017 between 7 and 9 September). The festival features professional dance ensembles and amateur folk bands from Khorezm and other regions of Uzbekistan. At the event people can see the whole range of diverse traditional dances, performances from folk bands and ensembles, animation programmes, craftsmen’s exhibitions, puppet theatre shows, and demonstrations of traditional clothes, as well as an Uzbek cuisine festival, photographic exhibition The History of..
The Shark Taronlari International Festival is the most popular and prestigious song competition and festival in Central Asia. The festival is organised in the famous Registan Square in legendary Samarkand once in two years. In 1997 the event initiated by President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov took place for the first time. Shark Taronalari will be held from 26th to 30th of August. The festival is a competition between performers of ethnic music representing countries from all over the world. In 2017 over 250 solo performers – singers and dancers – and music bands from 60 countries ar..
Gijduvan is a small (about 60 thousand people) district center of Bukhara region of Uzbekistan, located on the Samarkand-Bukhara highway 50 km east of Bukhara and 230 km west of Samarkand. This historical (is mentioned in the historical scrolls from X century) village is famous for its potters, juicy Gijduvan kebabs, which have become a popular brand in Uzbekistan, a colorful bazaar where you can buy delicious halvah, apricot pits baked in the ashes (Shurdanak). People of Gijduvan are proud of AbdulkhalikGijduvani (XII century)- a philosopher, theoretic of one of the 12 lines of Sufi, whos..
For travelling in Uzbekistan foreign tourists need to have a tourist visa. The visa can be obtained with the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the country of your permanent residence or neighbouring country. More details you can find by the link: https://mfa.uz/ru/about/missions/ Citizens of the following countries do not need an Uzbekistan visa for visits of up to 60 days: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa for visits of up to 30 days:Andorra, Argentina, A..
Kuruksay is a small mountain village, that is hidden far from civilization in the picturesque gorge on the southern slope of the Zeravshan Range. The name Kuruksay is translated from Uzbek as “Dry river”. AdministrativelyKuruksay belongs to Chirakchidistrict on Kashkadarya region and is located in 50 km on northwest of Shakhrisabz One of the unique places in Uzbekistan is located in this village – Saypantash (worshipping stone), where ancient drawings ofthe early Neolithic era, performed with red and brown ocherwere found. The drawings of ancient artists depict handprints, hunting, wild ani..
The village of Sentab is situated on the southern slopes of the Nurata Range close to the Nurata State Reserve, Navoi province. Since the 5th century the area has been known as a goldfield. Local people continue to follow ancient traditions and lifestyle. The village is the only one in the region where you can come across houses built of flat stones on the edges of steep walls. The Sentabsay, a little stream running along the gorge and cutting the village into two parts, is responsible for the wonderful microclimate permeating this cosy place on the border between mountains and a lifeles..
There are many tourists who wish to learn more about the life of local people. The most suitable for that purpose are the mountain villages of Asraf, Ukhum, Khayat, Majrum and Sentab situated on the southern slopes of the Nurata Range, near administrative centre Farish. Each of these villages is hidden in a gorge and located 5 to 8 km from the Jizzah - Nurata road. Tourists like to wander about the villages’ picturesque neighbourhoods, admiring the local nature and watching and listening birds. One of the visitors’ favourite activities is to walk on mountain paths from one village to ano..
The famouse cave of the Tamerlan (Amir Temur Kuragani) is situated in the Gissar Mountains and administratively belongs to the Yakkabags district, of the Kashkadarya region of Uzbekistan. The huge entrance to the cave is located at the foot of the Eastern wall grand canyon, slit through the river in the limestone. To get to the cave is not easy and you need a conductor. You can try to find inconspicuous trail, which descends the stone steps into the canyon to a depth of 200 meters. The picturesque canyon about 6 miles long resembles the canyon of the well-known adventure film "Gold of th..
Gilan Kishlak (village), probably, is one of the most exotic place in Uzbekistan. It is one of the highest located villages in mountains of Uzbekistan. Gilan Kishlak (village) is located in Kitab district of Kashkadarya region, on the border of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, 80 km from Shakhrisabz city. Until the middle of 2018 foreign tourists could not visit this village because of the special border regulations. Even today, it is not easy to get here by a difficult but picturesque mountain off-road with numerous serpentines. The Gilankishlak (village) is surrounded from all sides ..
Festivalnaya-Ledopadnaya cave system is situated in Surkhandarja river near Kayrak village (Baisun region) in Hodja-Gur-Gur-Ata mountain range (part of Baisuntau mountain range). This system was also discovered by sportsmen-speleologists from Sverdlovsk (Ekaterinburg). First Yubilejnaya and Berloga caves were discovered, then the investigation of Festivalnaya cave was started. The entrance into this cave is 200 meters higher than the foot of the huge and almost vertical wall which stretches from the North to the South for 40 kilometers. The absolute reference mark of the entrance is 3445 m abo..
Nukus is the capital of Karakalpakstan autonomous republic that is located in the north-west of Uzbekistan. The distance from Tashkentapo by the straight line is 800 km, by the highway it is 1300 km. Nukus is located 76 meters above the sea level. The whole city is pierced by the main canal Kizketken. City is surrounded by Kyzylkum desert from its southern and eastern sides. The area of the city is more than two hundred square kilometers and Amu Darya delta is located on the north of the city. The climate in this area is dry, continental with a hot and long summer. The populatio..
Al- Aziz restaurant is located near the center of the city, on the coast of Ankhor river. Restaurant has 2 big halls for holding banquets, corporate parties, business meetings and family dinners. You can also sit on the outside of the hall, near fountain, or on the open air veranda. In the restaurant you will be offered different meals of European and National cuisine. Also, you can order meal delivery in this restaurant. Any order will be done in 30 minutes. ..
"Chimgan" and "Beldersay" are popular ski resorts in Uzbekistan and are situated just in 80 km from Taskent – the capital of Uzbekistan on the altitude of 1500 m above sea level in the mountains of South-West Tien-Shan. "Chimgan" is recommended for family rest and for junior skiers. "Beldersay" - for more experienced skiers. Clear air, soft winter climate, picturesque vicinity, long ski fast tracks, comfortable hotels, stable sunny weather, the absence of queues on ski lifts, good conditions for free ride, back country and heliski. "Beldersay" is a popular mountain ski resort. It is situate..
Chimgan- is one of the most beautiful places in Uzbekistan, situated in 80 km to the northeast from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, in the mountains of the South-Western Tien Shan in the Ugam-Chatkal National Nature Park. Chimgan is under the administration of Bostanlik district of Tashkent region. Chimgan is the most popular place of leisure among locals and guests of the capital city. It is not without reason that 150 years ago a summer cottage of the Tashkent Governor-General Kaufman was built. Chimgan is usually referred to as a vast territory from Beldersay to Charvak re..
The Zurmala Tower rising to the northeast of the Termez fortification walls of the Kushan period is one of the Buddhist monuments of ancient Termez. Probably, once there was a complex of Buddhist constructions in the area, but by the Middle Ages this territory had been turned into agricultural fields. The only construction that has survived the time span of many centuries, though lost all its decoration, is a huge stupa – the complex’s central structure. By now it has lost its form completely, but, according to excavated data, the structure consisted of a rectangular pedestal, on which a cy..
The Opera and Ballet Theatre is one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Tashkent. The theatre is located in the very heart of the city, next to the Central Department Store and Tashkent’s oldest hotel, in a historical building with an original design. The theatre’s history began in the 1920s, when M. Kari-Yakubov, a theatrical art enthusiast, organised an ensemble of professional musicians and dancers in Tashkent, which became the core of the State Uzbek Musical Theatre founded in November 1929. In 1939 the theatre staged its first opera Buran by Uzbek composer Ashrafi. After that t..
The Uzbek kurash is one of the most ancient types of traditional wrestling in the world and, probably, the most popular amusement in Uzbekistan. There is no holiday in Uzbekistan that goes without kurash. This sport does not require a special ground or a gymnasium. In the former times people were wrestling on the ground, sometimes covered with carpets. The rules are simple and democratic. Kurash is acceptable to both the young and the old. Holidays often feature wrestling with the participation of grey-bearded old men. Kurash requires much strength and stamina and is not characterised by co..
The architectural complex Poi Kalan is situated in the very centre of Bukhara. It is easy to find the complex as its main element, the Kalan minaret, towers above the city by almost 50 m and is visible practically from any spot in Bukhara. According to some sources, in the old times it was used as a landmark for caravans travelling across the desert around Bukhara. As the city has not changed its geographic location over centuries and has only expanded its boundaries, the Poi Kalan complex remains today, a thousand years afterwards, the central part, the axis of Bukhara. The construction..
Since ancient times the sheep fighting has been an important part of the Uzbek traditions. There has been no holiday that went without this spectacle. The sheep fighting is an attractive and excitable performance. The spectators boom, whistle and stamp their feet encouraging the contestants. The animal’s preparation for a fight is similar to that of a professional sportsman, with running and special food and training included. It is also very important to keep the animal clean and maintain a high level of hygiene. The sheep are brought to a special ground and placed at a distance of 5 m ..
Ayaz-kala fortress (from Turkic – frosty, cold) is located in the north-west of Elikkalin district of the Republic of Karakalpakstan in 30 kilometers from Buston settlement and in 30 kilometers from Khiva and it is the most showy one among other fortresses of ancient Khoresm. In real, there is no one fortress, there is a complex of three fortresses, grouped around a hill in the eastern part of Sultan Uizdak ridge. The first fortress – Ayaz-kala I, located on the top of a high hill and rising above surrounded desert, it was one of the most reinforced fort outlying the desert Kyzylkum. Having..
The Safari yurt camp is situated 5 km from the western shore of the Aydar Lake, near the village of Dongelek lost in sands in the very heart of the Kyzylkum desert, 60 km from administrative centre Nurata. Today it is one of Uzbekistan’s largest and most comfortable yurt camps. There are 20 ceremonial Kazakh yurts that comprise the camp’s permanent dwellings, with 6 other yurts erected in case of necessity. The yurts are richly decorated with carpets and sherdaks made manually by local artisans. The colourful ornamental patterns combined with original illumination tend to create festive atm..
The Museum of Archaeology was founded on 24 October 2001 in honour of the 2500th anniversary of the city of Termez, following a decree from President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. Featuring a diverse and unique collection, the museum has no rivals among its kinds in either Uzbekistan or other Central Asian countries. The internal space consists of 10 sections, each devoted to a certain theme. The museum’s entrance hall contains original stone and gypsum statues, large ceramic vessels, a stone pool and a map of Surkhandarya province with 20 archaeological monuments from different historical peri..
Often the Zaamin National Park is confused with the Zaamin Reserve. In fact, they are closely connected with one another, both territorially and from the floral and faunal aspects. The main difference of the Zaamin National Park from the reserve with the same name is that visitors are allowed into the territory of the national park. The park also includes a sanatorium, while the reserve forbids any economic activity in its territory. Usually the Zaamin National Park is considered to be confined to the narrow gorge of the Uryukli-Say river, from a point a little distance south o..
The Zaamin National Reserve (often confused with the Zaamin National Park, which is a different object) is situated on the northern slopes of the Turkestan Range, in the territory of Zaamin and Bahmal Districts, Jizzah province, Uzbekistan. The reserve was recreated in 1960 in the place of the former Guralash Reserve (founded in 1928) and at present covers a territory of 26,840 ha. The territory of the reserve is occupied by a mountain chain with clear divisions into altitudinal zones, the elevations ranging from 1,760 m to 3,500 m above sea level. The southern part of the reserve fe..
Sarmysh is a gallery of rock paintings in the open air. The Sarmysh gorge situated on the southern slopes of the Karatau range, 40 km northeast of the administrative centre Navoi, is a unique natural, historical and tourist object. The black basalt walls of the gorge polished by winds contain over 4,000 petroglyphs (ancient images on rock). There cannot be found many places on the earth with such concentration of ancient drawings on a limited area. The images found on the rocks of the Sarmysh gorge are of different style and technique. Some of the petroglyphs were drawn with ochre grou..
Marghilan city is a small satellite of Ferghana, its population is more than 200 thousand people, it is located on the mountain plain at the northern piedmont of Alay ridge in Marghilansay valley in 12 kilometers from Ferghana city. As many other cities of Ferghana valley, Marghilan had appeared at the early stage of organizations the silk caravan route over 2000 years ago and later it developed as a trade - craft town. The city is noted in Babur-name (“The notes”, “Memoirs” of Mukhammad Babur written in 20s years XVI century) among eight big cities of Ferghana valley. So Babur wrote about t..
Rishtan is a small town, buried in verdure, it is located in the east of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in 270 km from Tashkent and in 50 km from Ferghana. Rishtan is an administrative center of Rishtan district of Ferghana valley, with the population more than 50 thousand people. Rishtan is one of the most ancient cities of Ferghana valley on the Great Silk Road. The first records of Rishtan date from IX century. Since earliest times, it is famous as the biggest center of manufacture the unique glazed ceramic in Central Asia. Rishtan ceramic is notable for the gorgeousness of décor, where blue..
Namangan is a large city in the northern part of the Fergana Valley, 300 km from Tashkent, and the administrative centre of Namangan province. Namangan with a population of about 500,000 people ranks as the third largest city in Uzbekistan after Tashkent and Samarkand. The city's name translates from Uzbek as ‘salt mine.’ For the first time the city was mentioned in Babur’s memoirs (Baburnama); however, according to archaeological data, the first settlement sprang up on the site in the 1st century BC. By the 17th century the village had grown into a city, which soon became the administrativ..
Kokand is a small but very interesting and important city with a long history, situated in the famous Fergana Valley 250 km east of the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. Like many other towns and cities in the Fergana Valley, Kokand formerly known as Khovakand and Kavakend sprang up in a densely populated oasis on an ancient caravan route, which, according to 10th-century sources, ran through all major settlements in the valley. Local people were mostly engaged in crafts, agriculture and serving and guarding caravans. In the 13th century the Mongols destroyed the city. According to written so..
The principal holidays in Uzbekistan today are Navruz and the Independence Day. The Independence Day is celebrated on 1 September since 1991, when Uzbekistan gained the status of an independent country. This day is distinguished by large numbers of people walking in the streets of every town and village, listening to folk bands and partaking of the holiday feast. The tradition of celebrating Navruz has come from the Zoroastrian times. This day is celebrated on 21 March and marks the beginning of a new year. On this occasion people are dressed in the best clothes and cook the..
The Kitab National Reserve is situated in Kitab district, Kashkadarya province, Uzbekistan, and is located on the southwestern spurs of the Zeravshan Range, in the Kashkadarya river basin (on the left bank of the Jindydarya river). The Kitab Reserve is the only one in Uzbekistan that is administered by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Geology and Mineral Resources. This reserve was organised with the special purpose of preserving unique stratigraphic successions and the fossil forms of marine animals and plants they contain. The Palaeozoic strata in the territory ..
When in Samarkand, be sure to visit an original workshop specialising in the manual production of paper using a revived medieval technology. Historical background. According to a number of reliable sources, Samarkand was the first place in Central Asia and the Middle East where paper was made manually with the help of a watermill. The production technology had been adopted from China. Later, the Arabs carried it westwards: by the 11th century it reached the Middle East, in the 12th century it came to Spain and then spread across Europe. The paper manufactured in China and Samarkand s..
Wine sampling at the Khovrenko Winery in Samarkand, the oldest wine factory in Central Asia, will be a nice addition to your city tour programme. The tasting room is organised in a historical building of the late 19th century, the house of Russian merchant Filatov who founded the first winery in Uzbekistan as far back as 1868. Filatov used local sweet varieties of grapes and introduced new ones he had brought from Crimea and some other parts of Europe. Four years later the various types of 'Samarkand grape wine from Filatov's gardens' won gold and silver medals in international c..
The Khakim at-Termezi Mausoleum is a cultic and memorial complex which formed around the grave of 9th-century theologian Khakim at-Termezi, a holy person regarded as a patron of the city of Termez. The complex is situated in the village of Sherabad 60 km north of Termez. Khakim at-Termezi is the author of numerous mystic and philosophical treatises and the founder of the Khakimi dervish order, one of the twelve best known mystic orders. In the 10th century the grave was enclosed in a mausoleum decorated with fine fretwork in ganch, which featured bright plant and epigraphic or..
Fayaz-Tepa, a complex of Buddhist temples. The Fayaz-Tepa complex was discovered by L. I. Albaum in 1963, when the archaeologist was excavating a site near the Kara-tepe Buddhist temple in the centre of Old Termez. This complex features a wide diversity of paintings and numerous sculptures in a good state of preservation. When observed from above, the temple complex has the form of a series of U-shaped corridors, cells and sanctuaries. There is a free-standing stupa of great scientific interest. Fayaz-Tepa is one of the few Buddhist cultic monuments in Central Asia that featur..
Kara-tepe is a 1st-4th-century Buddhist monastic complex built on three hills in the northwestern part of Termez. The complex includes a few temples and monasteries constructed in the early 2nd century AD. Kara-tepe features original architecture, which consists of a combination of caves in sandstone and external structures built of pakhsa (rammed earth) and mud bricks. The internal parts of the temples were decorated with themed drawings, ornamental patterns on plaster and loess and clay sculptures. Marble-like limestone and fretted gypsum were widely used in the ornamentation ..
The Jarkurgan Minaret commissioned by Sultan Sanjar and constructed by architect Ali ibn Muhammad Serakhsi in 1109, is one of Uzbekistan’s oldest minarets. The monument is located in the village of Minor, 7 km from the town of Jarkurgan and 40 km from Termez. The minaret has an original form and initially had two tiers, of which only one has remained to our days. The tower is embraced by a continuous circle of 16 semi-columns, whose brickwork forms the ‘herringbone’ pattern. The base of the minaret is covered with extracts from the Koran, which, however, had not been finish..
The Sultan-Saodat memorial and cultic complex (10th-18th centuries) is the family grave of the Seyids, the ruling dynasty of Termez. The complex consists of a series of mausoleums, mosques and khanqahs, all built of baked bricks. The buildings which were being constructed for 6-7 centuries are grouped around a court 70 m long. The Sultan-Saodat complex occupies an area of about 4 ha and comprises 143 structures. The most interesting structure is an 11th-century mausoleum in the northernmost part of the complex. This is the tomb of Khasan al Emir, the founder of the Seyid dynasty of Ter..
Mizdahkan (Mizdahan, Mizdakhan) is a major architectural and cultic complex and one of Karakalpakstan’s most interesting tourist objects. Mizdahkan is situated about 20 km from Nukus, the capital of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, stretching along the road to Kunya-Urgench. The complex was founded over 2 thousand years ago. Situated on three high hills, it currently ranks as the oldest cemetery in Uzbekistan. However, it is not a cemetery in the usual sense – a place where mortal humans find their last refuge. The site is full of mysteries and mysticism and to this day remains a place of pil..
Kyrk-Kys (‘forty girls’) is an interesting 9th-11th-century construction. According to medieval historians, this feudal palace and castle was the country residence of the ruler of Termez. History contains no references to the origin of the mansion's name. We do not know, whether a squad of 40 girls guarded the castle or the castle’s harem consisted of 40 concubines. In our days only fragments of the palace’s ruins remain to testify to the high level of craftsmanship possessed by its builders. This was a square (54 x 54 m) two-storey building with robust towers in the corners. The comp..
The Gulkam Canyon is located in the Ugam-Chatkal National Natural Park, near the Chimgan ski resort highly popular among Tashkenters and the visitors of the Uzbek capital. Its nearness to Tashkent (85 km from the city) would take you no more than a couple of hours to move from the bustle of a metropolis to the quietude and cosiness of high mountains. On the bottom of the canyon runs a little stream, the Gulkam, which forced its way through the mountains to the Charvak Reservoir. The canyon extends for many kilometres, narrowing to a width of 5-6 m in some places or widening to a broad v..
Fergana is a major city in the Fergana Valley in the east of Uzbekistan and the administrative centre of Fergana province with a population of over 300 000 people. The city was founded in 1876 by Russian general Skobelev as an important strategic point and made a regional military and administrative centre. Named initially Novy Margilan (New Margilan) after a small old town situated in the neighbourhood, it was renamed into Skobelev in 1907 and given its present name, Fergana, in 1924. In the Soviet years and during the period of Uzbekistan’s independence the city has evolved into one of th..
Currently the Abulkasym madrasah houses the Khurnamad association for craftsmen also known as the Centre for Traditional Applied Arts. There you can watch painters, jewellers, wood engravers and miniaturists at work, take a lesson of craftsmanship from them and buy one of their beautiful items that would ever since remind you of Uzbekistan. ..
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