Uzbekistan – Land of enchantment
Centuries of Silk Road wealth built Uzbekistan into an exotic land of ancient cities filled with domes, minarets, and intricate Islamic tile work, and the atmospheric madrasas and mosques of Bukhara and Samarkand rank among the most glorious of all Central Asia. This is also where Islam collided with communism: the capital of Tashkent grew to be one of the largest cities in the Soviet Union, with predictable results. Entirely surrounded by the Central Asian “Stans,” the land ranges from flat, arid plains to the Fergana Valley spread with cotton to eastern mountain peaks that attract mountaineers and backcountry skiers.
Shahrisabz happens to be a city in Qashqadaryo in southern Uzbekistan about 80 km to the south of Samarkand. As per history, the city is known as Kesh or Kish and it was one of the major cities of Central Asia as well as the urban centre of Sogdiana which was the province of Achaemenid Empire of Persia. The city is very much famous for being the birthplace of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur.
Shahrisabz happens to be one of the beautiful places to visit in Uzbekistan that is adorned with pristine landscapes and age old architectural marvels with beautiful intricate designs. You will surely fall in love with the heritage sites. Shahrisabz is home to some of the architectural marvels and tourist places like the famous Palace Complex of Ak-Saray, Dorut Tilovat, statue of Amir Timur, crypt of Tamerlan, and Dor Us-Siyodat.
Karakalpakstan which is also known as the Republic of Karakalpakstan happens to be an autonomous republic that is located to the northwestern end of Uzbekistan. The capital city of this region is Nukus. The territory of this region covers the land of Khwarezm. Karakalpakstan is one of the enchanting cities of Uzbekistan that is packed with pristine landscapes and enthralling architectural marvels that display the intricate artworks of the bygone era.
During your trip to Karakalpakstan, you will be marvelling at Savitsky Museum which is known for its remarkable art collections, unexpectedly modern and hip place Cinnamon Cafe, ruins of the beached ships close to the Aral Sea memorial, Karakalpak State Museum of Regional Studies which is home to some of the ethnographic and jewellery displays, and Moynaq Museum which stores interesting photos and paintings of the area.
Samarkand is located in Southeastern Uzbekistan. It is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia that was inhabited. As per the records, human activities have been found in these places from the late Paleolithic Era. The city is believed to be founded in between 7th and 8th century BC. It lies on the ancient silk road that connects China and Mediterranean sea and was one of the largest settlements of Central Asia. Samarkand happens to be the home of contemporary Uzbek culture. With beautiful historical monuments and holy places, the city is very much popular among the pilgrims and architecture lovers.
You will get to enjoy some of the best architectural marvels here.Samarkand is home to some of the beautiful tourist attractions like Registan which is popular for its beautiful madrassah that dates back to the 15th and 17th century and Gur-e-amir Mausoleum which is considered to be the architectural model of Taj Mahal in India. While visitng Hovrenko’s wine factory lets you taste some exotic spirits, the Tomb Of The Prophet Daniel is famous for its impressive 18 meter long sarcophagus.
Nukus is the 6th largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital city of the Republic of Karakalpakstan which is an autonomous city. The city of Nukus is very much popular for being the centre of the world class Nukus museum of Art. Nukus is very famed for its countryside environment and old fortresses. During your visit to the city, you will be heading out on various exploration tours to witness the intricate art of the artisans of the bygone era.
Some of the popular tourist places to visit in Nukus are Qaur Qala Fortress which is popular for its beautiful location on top of the hill, Moynaq & Aral Sea which is a popular ship cemetery, Karakalpak Homestay known for its traditional Karakalpak culture, and Mizda Khan Necropolis which happens to be an active place of worship.
Aydarkul is a semi-artificial lake in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert, in the northeast of Uzbekistan. It is also known as the ‘turquoise sea in the sands’ because of the colour of its water and it is one of the best tourist places in Uzbekistan.
Here we can enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating in the lake. You can also take a memorable view of the beautiful landscape around and various animals and birds living in the area. You can also spend the night in yurt camps which are made of wood as per the ancient technology used by the nomads.
The Nurata mountain range stretches from Dizzak to Nurata towns of Uzbekistan. The Nurata town was founded by Alexander the Great and the mountain range derives its name from it. This mountain range includes Nurata Nature Reserve and many valleys & rivers and it is one of the famous places to visit in Uzbekistan.
You can also find an endangered species of mountain sheep here, along with some rare tulips and numerous species of birds. You can trek in between the many villages located nearby and also find ruins of some historic fortresses here. You can also enjoy bird watching and swimming on the Adyar Lake located here.
Fergana Valley is located in Central Asia and has two rivers, Naryn and Kara Darya. The history of this valley stretches back almost over 2300 years when the Alexandria Eschate was founded by Alexander the Great.
The Fergana Valley has a rich history and has been home to Babur and many more great rulers of numerous empires like the Mughal empire, Mongol empire, etc. The valley has many beautiful and old architectures that you can see. You can also enjoy the diverse wildlife in and around the mountains and rivers.
Ugam-Chatkal National Park
Ugam-Chatkal National Park is located northeast of Tashkent city, Uzbekistan. This entire area is called Chimgan by the locals and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016. Here you can enjoy paragliding, trekking, and many other adventure sports activities from some mountains located inside the park.
This place also provides a mesmerising view of the entire area and the valley nearby. You can also go swimming, fishing, and canoeing near the Charvak reservoir inside the national park.
The Rishtan village is located in the west of Fergana, and is famous for its pottery. The pottery production in Rishtan goes back as far as 800 years ago. The pottery of this area has a unique decor, dominated by blue. The blue glaze or ‘ishkur’ used in the pottery is made by hand using natural mineral pigments and the ash mountain plants.
The pottery of Rishtan can be found in numerous museums and private collections all around the world. Here you can meet local master pottery makers and interact with them.