About Uzbekistan

Ancient Bukhara highlighted in the TREND
20 February 2020
Ancient Bukhara highlighted in the TREND

An illustrated article about the historical attractions of Bukhara, written by the Deputy Chief Editor Elchin Guseynov of the International News Agency TREND has been posted on their website.

As the author writes that each Uzbek citizen is proud of this ancient magnificent city of Central Asia. Bukhara, with its history going back to 2500 years, has more than 660 tourist attractions, 142 of which are under the protection of UNESCO. The city has been announced the cultural center of the Islamic world 2020 by the Islamic Organization on education, science and culture ISESCO. In this regard, a large number of international events will be held in the city during 2020.

The guides usually start their tour from the popular square next to the complex of Labi Khavuz, constructed in 16-17 centuries, which has a monument of Khoja Nasreddin in it. You can also see an artificial lake of 42 meters long here, which served as a water reservoir for water carriers, who then supplied it to the residents. There is a fountain installed between the madrasah and khanqah of Nodira Divan Begi of 1622 and the madrasah Kokaldosh of 1568. Labi Khavuz used to be the commercial area, where traders made deals.

Indian movies have always been popular, especially among in Central Asia and Caucasus. Majority of the scenes of the famous Indian movie “Ali Baba and the forty thieves” was shot in Bukhara. The игшдвштп complex Poyi Kalon served as one of the main area for filming, as in the scene where they traded Marjina (Hema Malini) as a slave, and Ali Baba (Dharmendra) was wandering for his beloved.

As quoted by the author, Poyi Kalon belongs to 12-16 centuries and is a central architectural complex of Bukhara, located in the front square of Registan. There are 3 constructions in the complex, including the Kalon Mosque, Kalon Minaret, which is one of the main symbols of Bukhara and the madrasah of Mir Arab.

The unique necropolis of Chohr Bakr, which is translated as Four Brothers, is located not far from Bukhara and has been included into the world heritage list of UNESCO. The formation of the necropolis took a start from the grave of Abu Bakr Saad, who was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. Over the years, the Chor Bakr has gradually turned into the family tomb of the Juybar dynasty, mausoleums with tomb-dahmas in small courtyards, entrance to which was through a special gate, the darvoz.

“And of course, the main religious sightseeing of Bukhara and the pilgrimage holy place is the tomb of the famous Sufi religious leader Sheikh Bahauddin Nakshbandi. Visiting this holy place for 7 times equals to making Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, according to the statement of the elders. This is the reason for the large number of visitors at the tomb daily, both local and foreigners” – quotes the article.

Bukhara has always been one of the most significant trade centers of the Great Silk Road, thus there is an endless number of caravan sarays here and so called trade domes. All of them are located in the central part of the city.

Spending time in a local ancient bathhouse would be an exotic experience for any tourist. Most of the bathhouses were built in the 16th century and you can find several ones right in the center of Bukhara, but Bozori Kord is among the most popular ones.

The author also mentions the fortress Ark as the oldest cultural memorial, located close to the historical center of the city. Its foundation stone was laid in the 6-3rd BCE. The Ark has been ruined and reconstructed over and over again during its long history, and used to serve as a palace to the governors of ancient Bukhara until the 1920.

The journalist writes that today the fortress Ark is a big museum, which has several sections, such as the section of history, numismatics and epigraphy, where they have a large collection of the rarest ancient coins, carpets, clothing, photos and many other interesting artifacts.

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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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