(99871) 2814148

45/405 Shota Rustaveli Street
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Mezzanine Floor., Office 8A
Mushtaq Mansion, Block D
Fazel-e-Haq Road, Blue Area
Islamabad, Pakistan

E-mail: tashkent@sitara.com islamabad@sitara.com

Phone (Uzbekistan): (99871) 2814148, (99871) 2814149, (99871) 2553504
Phone (Pakistan):  (9251) 2805583, (9251) 2805288

Fax: (99871) 1206500

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Uzbekistan Adventure through Bricks, tiles & Silks

  • Itinerary:
    Tashkent - Nukus - Muynak - Aral - Nukus - Toprakala - Khiva - Bukhara - Nurata - Aidorkol - Samarkand - Tashkent - Ferghana - Tashkent
  • Duration:
    16 days / 15 nights
  • Price:
    on request
  • Tour program
    Itinerary of «Uzbekistan Adventure through Bricks, tiles & Silks»
    Day 01 Arrive Tashkent – Flt
    Meeting on arrival assistance and transfer to Hotel Miran or similar
    Later sightseeing tour of Tashkent – we shall our tour with visit of Old City, Hast Imam Complex – Barak Khana, the seat of the Grand Mufti of Tashkent, later visit Tilla Shaikh Archives – see the rare manuscripts and Usman Koran – written in 7th AD by Usman himself on deer skin was brought during Tamerlane’s expeditions of Constantinople.
    Later we shall proceed to Chorsu Bazaar, Kukeldash madrassah early 19th AD was once standing at the cross roads of Silk Road with four small rivulets. Tashkent used to have twelve gates unfortunate non gate is left have been removed owing city expansion.
    The wall of the city is practically diminished due lack of protection and expansion of the city limits.
    Interestingly pre-Muslim era kurgans mostly known as ‘tepe’ or kurgan traces could be seen. These were mostly from the times when people professed Zoroastrian and other faiths. One of the Kurgan called Ming Orik was fire temple in the outskirts of present
    Tashkent. This could date from 2nd century AD supported by a small settlement of farming families and should be having gardens and aristocracy residences. Similarly we have another kurgan called Ak-Tepe the white hill was of similar age like Ming Orik and similar characteristics. Ancient Tashkent was known as Chach or Sash had seen many invading armies owing to its strategic position on the Great Silk Road. Old Tashkent must have served as a halting station for the caravans crossing over from many small towns in the great steppes. Well today many such signs are seldom seen as most destruction happened due to a devastating earthquake in 1966 that levelled the city. Now with arm of modern modernisation Tashkent is bustling out as the true capital of Central Asia.

    Day 02: Tashkent/Nukus – HY011 – 0710/0945 hrs
    Nukus/Muyinak/Aral – 199+199 = 398 kms
    Soon on arrival we shall depart for Myuinak the former port town on the Aral Sea
    This will be a long day’s ride into the once port town on the dying Aral Sea. We shall visit the Museum – see the old pictures of Aral and later visit the site to see the rusting boats left over by the receding waters. After having a nice meal we shall proceed to Aral Sea(water) on arrival transfer to our Yurt camp site
    those wishing to swim can do so near the beach arealater return to your camp or hunt for the fossil remains

    Aral Sea:
    Ustyurt plateau is a large wasteland lying between Caspian Sea and Aral Sea with an area of 200,000 square kms. Except for large boulders and stony paths Ustyurt has less and typical desert nature with scarce vegetation on the area near Aral and Caspian Sea
    We can find growth of saxaul (haloxylon ammodendron) all along the water belts in the plateaux.
    Local semi-nomadic pastoral population lives on raring fat tail sheep and dromedary Camel. The plateau was once home to Asiatic cheetah and tiger subsisted on saiga in antelope and Transcaspian Urial (ovis orientalis arkal)
    Aral Sea – the dying sea as it is often referred these days had an area of 68,000 sq.kms now reduced to 10% and even more to its original size. Aral is regarded as one of worst man made ecological disaster, has been denied its share of water by divulging the water source into series of channels for usage in cotton economy during the Soviet Union time and was left to its fate to its breakup until the oncoming disaster and worst effects started revelling on the pastoral communities living around the lake. A consortium of countries concerning Aral including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan have started under the auspicious of international disaster management have been makings efforts to rejuvenate to unfortunate water body that once flourished as late as 1970. In the north which belongs to Kazakhstan due construction of a dam for releasing water into the lake has shown some results with fishing communities reverting to their old profession. The southern part which concerns Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan has shown little effects but more solid efforts are needed. On the southern eastern brim of the lake Uzbekistan Govt. has activated a joint project in the growth of saxaul shrub whose effects have been reported positive.
    Myuinak once a busy port town until 1970 is now more than 100 kms away from the receding water. Satellite image of 2014 depicts a very unfortunate picture of Aral and greater reduction of its water. The rising salt contents in 2007 was 100g/ltr is further rising. The desert storms carry large amounts of salt contents polluted with agricultural pesticide is of great concern though this has been largely addressed not to the satisfaction to the health disaster management
    The receding water of Aral has left some huge calcite rocks with layers of mineral making a scenic spectre of Aral. To reach the water one has to travel by jeep to the water through a rough terrain and camping by the water is wonderful experience.

    Day 03: Aral Sea/Nukus – 189 kms
    After seeing the sunrise on the Aral Sea waters we shall have our breakfast and depart
    Nukus via a different route – stopping at a local village for a meal. Later continue via
    Sudochi Lake – bird life
    On arrival at Nukus transfer to Hotel Jipek Joly
    Time permitting we shall visit Karakalpakstan Museum of Regional Studies – more
    known for Savitsky collection of Russian avant-garde were transport by Igor Savitsky
    hidden from the eyes of Stalin era purges of imperial period art work

    Day 04: Nukus/Toprakala/Khiva – 210 kms
    Morning excursion to Chimbay a small town known for making yurt implements. Yurt
    makers are slowly passing with the passage of time and this art could be at its end.
    We shall be visiting traditional yurt making families involved in selling them among the
    nomadic communities from the large steppes of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It is
    interesting to see the sorting of strong indigenous wood and shaping it into the main
    structure of a yurt. On return visit Mizdakhan necropolis with the only subterranean
    tombs of local rulers and spiritual leaders.
    Afterwards depart for Khiva – our next stop will be to look at Shilpyk Kala – the Tower of
    Silence. Later continue to Toprak Kala – the royal fortress of the local ruling class. The
    fortress was well laid out in typical Persian style of construction applied for Khorezm
    region. Toprak Kala dates from 2nd BC and the later occupants were from Sassanid
    period 2nd to 7th AD. There was residence or the palace of the ruler situated on high plinth
    near the fire temple. The series of rooms associated with ceremonies were located
    nearby. After a general visit of the site we shall continue to Khiva
    arrival and transfer to Hotel Malika Khivaek or similar

    Day 05: Khiva (WHS)
    Full day tour of Khiva – the walking tour of Khiva enables us to discover and explore the legendary walled city which once held a powerful Kungirod Khanate that extended upto Merve in the south while the northern boundaries covered Mangyshtau peninsula.
    Khiva is an excellent example of Khorezmian architecture in brick with usage of tile work as part of pattern or décor. The walled city looks like a place lost in the in the legendary
    ‘1001 nights’ of the orient. Today it looks like an open air museum of Islamic architecture which was added from 15th century and onwards till the takeover by Bolsheviks.
    We shall start our tour with visit of Ichan Kala, Kunya Arg, madrassah Rakhimkhon, mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud, Islamkhodja minaret and museum, the Friday mosque with many pillars and Tashauli harem you will have ample free time to roam around the walled city

    Day 06: Khiva/Bukhara – Train – 0845/14448 hrs
    Morning we shall depart by train to Bukhara – through the
    Kyzylkum desert(red sands)
    On arrival transfer to Hotel Zargaron Plaza or similar
    Later in the afternoon explore the old city of Bukhara – we shall
    have a walking tour of Lyabikhauz the famous pond is a sight where local elders gather
    in the afternoon over a cup of tea. Also visit nearby Nadirkhon Devanbegi madrassah,
    the smaller cupola, Mohgaki Attari mosque known for its origins a fire temple, Nestorian
    church or a mosque.
    Later walk to Tilpak Frushan (hat sellers), Tim Abdullah, madrassah Ulugbek and Aziz
    Khan and later visit Chor Minor

    Day 07: Bukhara
    Full day sightseeing tour of Bukhara
    We shall then continue in the afternoon by visiting Arg Fortress, Balakhauz mosque, Ismail Samanid mausoleum 9th century architecture of Zoroastrian character. Ismail ibn
    Ahmad the noble ruler and founder of powerful Samanid Dynasty. Later we shall visit Poi Kalon minaret and mosque – Poi Kalon minaret is beautiful example of early Islamic
    architecture of Central Asia was built by Kara Khanid ruler Il-Arsalan in 1127 AD. This is a remarkable building and its décor in brick is fascinating. The nearby mosque was burnt
    to ashes during the Mongol invasion in 1225 AD but thanks to high position of the minaret that it was spared of destruction which was then used as lookout tower. This is an important part of Bukharan buildings as there existed fire temples and some other secular buildings
    free time in the afternoon to explore the old part

    Day 08: Bukhara/Nuarata/Aidorkol – 327 kms - Jeep
    Morning depart for Aidorkol by jeeps – we shall make our first stop at Gijduvan – the town known for potters. We shall visit the family of Alisher from third generation of potters is known for its own indigenous style and coloration. His pottery works have been visited by state guests like late Princess Diana and Ms Hillary Clinton and many others.
    Afterwards we shall proceed to Nurata – the town in the desert has seem many invading hordes but was settled city after the arrival of Arabs converting a large number of local to Islam. We shall visit local shrine and the so-called grave of Alexander the Great’s soldier. see the sacred fish pond with a crystal clear spring water oozing out for centuries and is regarded as place of reverence by the local people after our lunch at a local house we shall proceed to Aidorkol the huge reservoir now looks more of a desert lake. In the first two weeks of April Kyzlkum springs up and many flowering plants start appearing in the desert – the beautiful is the wild tulip. We have some varieties of tulip in the desert while some species are found in the hilly range of Nuratau we shall take off the road to Aidorkol Lake to Yurt camp – on arrival transfer to cottages while for lovers of Yurts may take the accommodation of choice
    Evening we shall have a nice cocktail party with sunset views on the lake

    Day 09: Aidorkol - Jeep
    Morning excursion to Ukhum valley in Nuratau mountain range – we shall drive up the valley to reach the interesting village higher up. On arrival we are escorted to National Park area to see Argali Sheep (ovis amon argali) thriving in this reserve as a protected species. Later we shall have a walk through the village meeting local folks of the valley
    We are entertained for Lunch at the local house
    Afterwards drive back to your resort – horse ride around the area of the resort or walk around – April – May we can see birds flying back from India and Pakistan taking resting stop before flying out to Siberia and vice versa in Sept – Oct
    evening we are entertained to a BBQ Dinner outside before our cocktail party

    Day 10: Aidorkol/Samarkand – 165 kms - Jeep
    Morning we shall take ride out of the desert lake onto steppes and drive through exciting
    rough road to Samarkand. On arrival transfer to Hotel Grand Samarkand
    Lunch at the hotel
    Later in the late afternoon we shall visit Registan Square to see sunset on the three
    beautiful madrassahs

    Day 11: Samarkand
    We shall spend full day touring Samarkand which is one of the highlights of any Central Asian visit. Samarkand as was known from the ancient times existed when the
    Babylonian civilisation was at its zenith. The Turkic roaming tribes from the steppes and the expansion of Persian speaking tribes gave rise to new racial groups inhabiting Central Asia whilst Samarkand was mainly a concentration of Persian speakers later to be known in the history as Sogdians. Turkic and Sogdian tribes lived together in Sogdiana whereas one was pastoral and the other sedentary race. When Samarkand became an important halting station for the caravans it rose to prominence as one of the important cities in the steppes. The city was well protected with a huge wall which existed for centuries. Alexander the Great spent some time in Samarkand boasting his successes followed by
    his predecessors who continued their rule. After the invasion of Sassanian Empire by the Arab armies in 8th AD the ancient religion was replaced with conversion of her population to Islam marking the beginning of a new era. Then it was in 13th century when Samarkand was destroyed by the Mongols who butchered its population and left the city at the mercy of time to recover. After the establishment of Mongol rule and division into confederacy of Mongol tribes, Samarkand saw a new era in history which in the coming centuries established her as the capital of a most powerful
    rule in the world under Tamerlane. His successors continued ruling till the advent of
    Sheybanid rule.
    The murals found from the ancient site of Afrosiab depict the life in Samarkand with its
    character of a caravan city. People of various origins could be seen visiting the country
    prior to Islam highlighting a great trade activity that had contacts in east with China and
    in the west with the Roman world holding its Sogdian character. It was the place where
    apart from indigenous Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Nestorians and Manicheans lived in great
    harmony and mutual respect prior to Islam
    we shall tour the city visiting famous Registan Square with its overwhelming madrassahs
    of massive structures. Later visit Bibi Khanum mosque, Siyob market, the Silk Road
    bazaar, Shahi Zinda necropolis – one the unique places to see the best of tile and
    majolica in Central Asia. We shall then also visit Ulugbek’s Observatory, Afrosiab
    Museum and Gur Emir, the mausoleum of Tamerlane.

    Day 12: Samarkand
    Today we shall take a long day excursion to Langar Ota, as secluded village will be a good insight into the rural and remote villages of Uzbekistan/ We shall visit the shrine of
    medieval period shrine of Langar Ota and 16th century mosque which has been there in her original state. On the route we shall visit Shakre Sabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane.
    Visit Ak Saray Palace ruins where only portal suggests of an impressive structure and grandiose of a palace once it had. Later visit Dorus Tilavat seiminary, Kok Gumbaz
    mosque, Dorus Saidat, the crypt of Tamerlane and the old Friday mosque we shall then return via beautiful Takhtakarcha pass the route of Tamerlane

    Day 13: Samarkand/Tashkent – Train 1700/1910 hrs
    We shall spend the day exploring the Sunday market of Urgut in the outskirts of
    Samarkand. We shall visit the Urgut and hosted by one of embroidery master’s master
    in his house – see the beautiful collection of embroidery
    later we shall visit the village market and return in time for our evening train to Tashkent
    arrival and transfer to Hotel Miran or similar

    Day 14: Tashkent/Ferghana valley – Train – 0805/1216 hrs
    This will be an interesting train journey over the scenic Kamchik pass – the train passes
    through beautiful countryside rising to the pass through a long tunnel arriving into
    Ferghana valley and slowly trudging interesting part of the valley. We shall disembark at
    Kokand – taking ride by our coach in waiting – visit the Khan Khodoyar Khan’s fortress
    residence museum, visit Danagar nearby to see the wood carvers. Afterwards proceed to
    Rishton – we shall see the pottery works of master Rustam Usmanov see his workshop
    and small museum
    afterwards proceed to Ferghana and on arrival transfer to Hotel Asia Ferghana

    Day 15: Ferghana/Tashkent – HY084 – 2125/2220 hrs
    Today we shall spend the day exploring the traditional Silk making – cocoon to separation of silk thread on the spindles, the designing, tie and dye process and cleaning
    then to the looms the interesting process ends up into turning out of beautiful silk cloth in many designs – later visit Ishan Hoja madrassa to see silk masters, cloth stamping and carpet making
    afterwards proceed to Andijan the birthplace of Babur the Great founder of Moghul Dynasty of India. We shall then visit one interesting market of Shaxrikhon – see the
    traditional knife makers later drive through the orchards of
    Ferghana valley to the city
    transfer to airport for your flight to Tashkent
    arrival and transfer to Hotel Miran or similar

    Day 16: Tashkent/Depart – Flight
    Morning transfer to airport for your departure flight
    Assistance on departure
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