45/42 Shota Rustaveli Street
Phone (Uzbekistan): (99871) 2814148, (99871) 2814149, (99871) 2553504
Fax: (99871) 1206500
Itinerary:Tashkent - Samarkand - Nurata - Ukhum - Nurata - Bukhara - Khiva - Mangit - Nukus - Tashkent
Duration:13 days / 12 nights
Itinerary of «Countryside Uzbekistan»Day 01: Arrive Tashkent – Flt
Meeting on arrival assistance and transfer to hotel.
Morning free at leisure
Afternoon orientation tour of Tashkent – visit the Old city, Hast Imam Complex, Barak Khana seminary, Tilla Shaikh archives, later proceed to Chorsu bazaar, Kukeldesh madrassah and Akbar’s pottery House. Later visit museum of Applied Arts and Navoi Theatre
Meals and overnight
Old City of Tashkent: Tashkent is one of the oldest cities of Uzbekistan. The history of Tashkent goes back to the Silk Road days when it was a transit station. There used to
exist several settlements in the outskirts with several fire temples as is significant from the excavations which date back to 2nd to 7th AD. During the course of time it grew with changes and became an important Silk Road town called Chach. It saw the ravages of Mongol armies and later became the governorate of later Mongols by then
changing its name to present as Tashkent – the town of stones. It may be due to several branches of Chirchik river causing inundation leaving stones. By 15th century it had grown as an important commercial stop into a huge walled city. After the great earthquake of 1966 Tashkent grew into a huge metropolis with new
Buildings, well laid out gardens and fountains. The background of low lying TienShan ranges give Tashkent a pleasant climatic conditions.
Day 02: Tashkent/Samarkand – 340 kms – 5hrs
Morning depart for Samarkand enroute short stops at the village markets – arrival and Transfer to hotel
Lunch at the hotel restaurant
Afternoon we shall visit Registan Square – to see the three beautiful madrassahs, later proceed to Bibi Khanum tomb, the Friday mosque and Shahi Zinda necropolis dinner at local restaurant
Samarkand – the Maracanda of the west is one of the oldest living cities in the world and its history could date back to Babylonian times. One of the richest cities of ancient
Sogdiana, Samarkand flourished and destroyed with the history of this region. It was an important part of Persian Empire till the invasion of the Mecedonian army under Alexander the Great defeated the local Sogdian governor Spitamenes army submitting the city to his army. Later it continued passing through the hands of different invading armies a period of misfortunes and fortunes were part of Samarkand. It was an important city on the Great Silk Road with caravans halted for days enjoying the mild
climate of the region. The most devastating time was the invasion of Mongol army which destroyed the city literally depopulating by general massacre that whose effects
lasted for years to rise again to prominence during the reign of Mongolid successor Tamerlane. Tamerlane chose Samarkand as the capital of the world by adoring the city with construction of numerous monuments and gardens by his Persian captives brought during his campaigns. Marco Polo mentions about the beautiful buildings and gardens that he saw during his visit of the Silk Road City
Day 03: Samarkand
Morning excursion to Urgut Sunday market later return in the afternoon to Samarkand.
After lunch we shall continue with our sightseeing of Samarkand visit – Afrosiab Museum and site, Ulugbek’s Observatory and Gur Emir, the mausoleum of Tamerlane dinner and overnight
Urgut Sunday Bazaar: One of the only surviving Central Asian markets which survives its traditional spirit of the caravan days. Countryside folks gather here bringing their products for sale in the market or buyers from far of places leaving with a load of things bargained at the market. See different folks from all around the countryside selling and yelling their things
Day 04: Samarkand
Morning depart for Shakre Sabz – the birthplace of Tamerlane but we shall continue first to visit Langar village situated in the remote corner of the hills. Langar is one of the few villages which survives its traditional atmosphere keeping away the modern day progress. Langar was the home to Tamerlane’s soldiers buried in the quite of the valleys. We shall see an old 16th century AD mosque which has never been restored and a visit to an old shrine of a local saint commonly known at Langar Ota. On return we shall visit Shakre Sabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane – we shall visit some of the Timurid period monuments. Ak Saray Palace ruins, Dorus Tilavat seminary, Kok Gumbaz mosque, Dorus Saidat, Tamerlane’s crypt and the Friday mosque. We shall have lunch at a local Uzbek house
Return to Samarkand in the late afternoon
Dinner and overnight
Day 05: Samarkand/Nurata/Ukhum valley – 278 kms
Morning depart for Nurata via the traditional villages and afterwards drive upto Aidorkol Lake taking the road through the Kizilkum desert to Ukhum village – at Nurata we shall stop for Lunch and take jeeps to Ukhum valley
Arriving at Hayot village at 960mtr after a rough road in the heart of small Nurata range
We shall repose to Pardaboy’s Guest House – simple traditional homestay but has hot water and good facilities
short walks around the village visit a local house - opportunity to see the real rural sight of Uzbekistan. In the spring we see a thick carpet of grass with wild flowers while in summers the farmers tilling their land and harvesting their crops, while in the autumn things tend to be quiet but wonderful temperatures with trees changing colors return for dinner and overnight
Day 06: Ukhum Valley
Today we shall take an extensive walk through the hilly tract – see the Urial (ovis orientalis vignei) sheep reserve nearby and a chance to see the animals
We shall hike for the day see an old abandoned settlement
People settled in this part of Uzbekistan came from Tajikistan about more than hundred years ago during the times of emir of Bukhara as breeders and shepherds. A very old Tajik dialect survives in these parts worth studying their roots takes us to the
ancient Sogdian languages.
Return in the late afternoon and after a fresh up we shall have a nice BBQ dinner in the courtyard of our Guest house
Day 07: Ukhum/Nurata/Bukhara – 265 kms – 07/08 hrs
After seeing a nice sunrise and a hearty breakfast we depart for Bukhara – our first stop will be at Nurata – visit the legendary grave of Alexander the Great’s soldier, a spring of sacred fish and the walls of the an ancient fortress. Later we continue to Bukhara stopping at Gijduvan to see the local traditional pottery works of a master potter, Alisher
Lunch at the potter’s house
Later proceed to Bukhara – with another visit to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the summer palace of the last emir of Bukhara. The palace building was one of the last gifts of the imperial Russia for the newly incorporated Bukhara Khanate into their dominions. See the interior décor of the Russian imperial days with numerous souvenirs and gifts at display. Also see an excellent exhibition of Suzzanne, a local needle point embroidery found in this part.
On arrival in Bukhara, transfer to hotel
Dinner and overnight
Day 08: Bukhara
Full day sightseeing tour of Bukhara visit – Laybikhauz, madrassah Nadirkhon Devanbegi, Khanaga, Mogaki Attari mosque, the covered bazaar of Tilpak Farushan, the madrassahs of Ulugbek and Aziz Khan, Poi Kalon minaret and mosque and the living madrassah of Miri Arab and Chor Minor
Lunch at a Doostan House – a traditional Jewish house of the old days
Afternoon continue visit of Arg Fortress, Balakhauz mosque, mausoleum of Ismail Samanid and Chasma Ayub
Dinner with Folk Show in a madrassah
Bukhara – the sacred city often called Bukharai Sharif due to the presence so many Sufi Shrines thronged by pilgrims from all over the countryside. But Bukhara’s or the Sanskrit Vihara means a monastery, dates from as old as 6th BC being the part of Persian Empire.
This was another important Silk Road city lying at a short distance from Amudarya. It was under the rule of some Turkic tribes and continued till the invasion of Arabs in 8th AD changing its centuries old character to invaders with the first introduction of Islam as religion of the majority of her population. This brought a total change and a new control there by giving birth to many Muslim dynasties. The invasion of the Mongols was another turning point in the history Bukhara with later Mongols characterizing themselves into a homogenous society giving birth to new era when we see a series of Khanates adoring the map of Central Asia. Today we see buildings and minarets that speak of the great days of its Khanates. Also interesting to note is the local Jewish population which lived through with the changing history of Bukhara. It will be interesting visit the traditional quarters of the Bukharan Jews living with their old culture
Day 09: Bukhara/Khiva – 460 kms – 8/9 hrs
Morning depart for Khiva via Kizilkum desert with short stops enroute at the sight of the wide expanse of Amudarya(Oxus river)
picnic lunch enroute
we continue through the desert to reach Khiva – the walled city
on arrival transfer to hotel
dinner and overnight
Khiva – another of the Khanate which existed in the extreme north of the great desert of Kizilkum. Khiva was part of the once powerful Khorezm Kingdom which was a
subject nation of the Achaemenian empire under Darius the Great. The Land of Sun as the State of Khorezm was known passed through different rulers. The last of being the
powerful Khorezm Shahs extending their dominions to the fringes of TianShan mountains challenging the rising powers of the Chinese in the east. But the abrupt end of Khorezm was the onslaught of the Mongols where Chengiz Khan pledged to kill its ruler who challenged his authority. This was the setting of a new era in the history of Khorezmian domain to be succeeded by the later Mongols who had ameliorated with local people of Turkic origins.
Khiva today stands as a living museum of the bygone days with numerous brick buildings the madrasahs, mosques minarets and the administrative quarters of the rulers surrounded by a thick wall. It is interesting to walk around the old monuments and to explore how the old days of Khiva were!
Day 10: Khiva
Full day sightseeing tour of the walled city – this is a walking tour starting with Ichan Kala,
Kalta minor, Kunya Arg, madrassah Rakhimkhon, Hunarmand workshops for the development of the local handicrafts, visit the mausoleum of Pakhalavan Makhmud
Lunch at local restaurant
Continue to visit Islam Khodja minaret and Museum, the Friday Mosque, Tashauli harem and the Caravan Bazaar
dinner and overnight
Day 11: Khiva/Mangit/Nukus – 175 Kms
Morning depart for Nukus – we shall drive through the villages at the edge of Uzbek/Turkmen border line – we shall cross over pontoon bridge over Amudarya(Oxus). On arrival transfer to hotel
After Lunch we shall visit Krakalpakstan Regional Museum – see Savitsky rare collection and the nomadic art. Later visit the necropolis of Mizda Khan for its unique tombs and old burial traditions
dinner at local restaurant
Krakalpakstan Regional Museum: This museum is more known for its rich Savitsky collection jealously protected in Nukus. Igor Savitsky came to Nukus as an archaeologist, painter and collector with a research mission from Moscow. His love for Nukus was imbedded since then finding a place where he could hide his collections of pre and post Russian avant-garde paintings which he collected from 1957-66. He took pains to collected the prohibited paintings through various sources and brought them over into his hidden realm of Nukus, until then a closed zone. Works of Lyubo Popova, Kliment Redko, Mukhino, Ivan Kudriachov, Robert Falk and many more were lying until ’66 that he was able to convince the authorities for displaying his collections and archaeological material sought from sites in Khorezm region. He died in 1984 but his work and collection found recognition in Perestroika of 1985. His ardent student and the current Director of the Museum Ms Marinika Babanazarova is dedicated to his museum now the exhibits have found respect in a more spacious building named as Krakalpakstan Regional Museum.
Day 12: Nukus/Tashkent – HY1008 – 1955/2120 hrs
This morning we shall make a long excursion to Muyinak – visit the graveyard of rusting
Boats left over of Aral Sea. Return in the afternoon and later transfer to airport for flight to Tashkent.
Arrival and transfer to hotel
meals and overnight
Aral Sea: A unique example of human indifference and apathy that brought Catastrophic end to once a flourishing Aral Sea. During the Soviet Union in ‘66 a campaign for a systematic growth of cotton crop was ordered by formulating a strategy of harnessing the waters of Amudarya, the main source of Aral Sea.
Construction of a network of water channels was laid out for diverting the main flow of Amudarya for utilizing water for cotton crop. This resulted in the fall of water resource
to Aral thereby setting a slow death to one of the four largest lakes of the world. Water levels of Aral Sea continued dwindling to a catastrophic decline. Today it has shrunk
to a 10% of what it use to be originally. Not only excessive usage of Aral’s water resource but the chemicals used in the growth of cotton and other crops are contaminating the residue water resource resulting in the danger of its presence in the salt levels which fly cross country during the windy season. The countries benefitting from the lack of water in Aral have now realized the danger of diminishing sea and have started working on crash programs upsurge of water levels of Aral but the lack serious effort is still missing. Muyinak once a busy port gives a somber look of deserted town.
Day 13: Tashkent/Depart – Flt
Morning transfer to airport for your destination flight
Assistance on departure
Details of itinerary & map
Tour cost in USDPrice available on request.
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