“Historical and cultural heritage of Uzbekistan”


In the extreme South of the Republic of Uzbekistan is located Surkhandarya region. This is a hollow surrounded by spurs of the Tien-Shan mountain system (ridges – Hissar, Surkhantau, Babatag). The Surkhandarya river valley is the outpost of Uzbekistan: it borders with Tajikistan in the north-east, Turkmenistan with the south-west, and Afghanistan with the South. The Northern part of the region is piedmont – with a mild warm climate. It even grows subtropical fruits and sugar cane. The central part of the valley is occupied by irrigated crops of fine-grained cotton, corn, masha, sorghum and in the floodplain of the Surkhandarya River – rice. Karakul sheep graze on the slopes of the hills.

The Southern part of Surkhandarya is the hottest place in Uzbekistan – in the summer the temperature is + 50 ° C – a common phenomenon. Here kishlaks (villages) are deprived of typical gardens and vineyards for Uzbekistan. The reason for this is the “Afghan” wind (from Afghanistan). From his hot breath for a few hours, the leaves from the plants wither and fall.

The South of the valley is famous for its oil and gas fields. From the historical point of view, Surkhandarya is an archaeological paradise: caves of the Stone Age, remains of Bactrian palaces and Buddhist temples, mosques and mausoleums of the early Islamic period – traces of civilizations that have passed away into oblivion are everywhere visible. The administrative center of this region is the city of Termez – the Southernmost border town of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It is located on the right bank of the Amudarya River, along which the state border with Afghanistan passes. Here is the largest river port of the republic. Not far from Termez, the bridge “Hairaton” (formerly known as “Friendship”) stretches along the two banks of the Amu Darya. It was built by Soviet builders in 1981. The length of the bridge is 816 m. In 1996, the movement was closed by Uzbekistan unilaterally for the sake of state security. In 20 km. to the West of the present Termez on an area of 10 hectares. There are ancient settlements of “old” Termez, formed at the ancient ferry on the bank of the Amu Darya. The foundation of the city dates back to the III – II centuries BC, when there is a strengthening (feces ‘), surrounded by walls. According to historians in the IV century BC. Here, next to the ferry, was built one of the seven Alexandria, built by Alexander the Great in the territory of present-day Central Asia. In the first centuries of our era, the ancient city is expanding in breadth, it distinguishes residential and industrial quarters, cult complexes, in particular, large Buddhist monasteries. Buddhism came here from India in the I century BC. Much earlier than it spread in China, Korea and Japan. The heyday of medieval Termez begins in the X-XII centuries, when suburbs are being formed and many civil and religious buildings are being built. Thus, as a result of archaeological excavations, the remains of the palace of the Termez rulers (XI-XII centuries) were uncovered. The city dies under the Mongol conquest at the beginning of the XIII century, but again folds to the east of the original in the XV century.


In the 200-km. from the Termez to the north-west is the Kashkadarya region. It is a valley located along both banks of the Kashkadarya River. From the East it is restricted by the spurs of the Hissar Range, from the North by the Zeravshan (Pamir-Alai Mountain System). It perfectly combines snow-capped mountain peaks with numerous waterfalls from shallow mountain streams and fragrant valleys, waterless steppes and sand dunes, brought from the desert located on the territory of Turkmenistan. The region is rich in minerals, in particular, oil deposits. The administrative center of the region is the city of Karshi. It is a modern industrial center of Uzbekistan, which has a long history. The second city in size and historical significance of Kashkadarya is Shahrisabz – the birthplace of Amir Timur (Tamerlane). In the XIV-XV centuries. It was the main city of the Kesh region, ancestral lands of the Turkic-Mongolian tribe “barlas”, to which the formidable Tamerlane belonged. Under Timur, Shakhrisabz is experiencing an unprecedented heyday and is built up by luxurious monumental buildings. Since the XVI century. The city is gradually declining. At the beginning of the XIX century is the seat of the local bek. Now it is a modern city with 25 centuries of the past.

SAMARKAND – 2750 years

One of the oldest cities in the world (2750 years) is the “Pearl of the East”, as it is called chroniclers and poets of antiquity. In our time, Samarkand is the second largest city in the country with a population of more than 500,000 people. It was here, at the most important and busiest intersection of the Great Silk Road – a unique trade caravan road – that the cultures of different civilizations merged throughout the centuries. There was a constant exchange not only of goods, but of historical, cultural and spiritual values. This, apparently, has developed in the people inhabiting our land, tolerance, respect for religious beliefs and the way of life of the peoples of other countries.


The capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It is a modern metropolis with a population of more than 2,500,000 people, having a 25-century history. But, wars of conquest, clan struggle for power and natural disasters destroyed here many monuments of antiquity. After a devastating earthquake in 1966, the city was practically rebuilt. Tashkent is constantly growing and becoming more beautiful, it is decorated with new parks, fountains, wide modern highways.


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Arrival to Termez International Airport. The tour to Uzbekistan begins. You will be greeted by a representative of our company with a sign. Tourist motor transport will take you to the hotel. Accommodation on arrival. Dinner at one of the city’s restaurants.


After breakfast at the hotel, you go with a guide on a tour of ancient settlements of “old Termez”. At the crossing point across the Amu Darya in the III-II centuries BC. There was a port that functioned until the 8th century. The remaining remains of storage facilities were later named Kampyr-kala (“old fortress”). To the north-west of the city wall of the “old” Termez was a Buddhist monastery, named by the archaeologists Fayaz-tepe. This ground construction was erected in the I-II century by architects in that architectural type, which is called a sangarama. This cult complex included a monastery proper, which has a rich artistic decoration, a stupa for storing sacred relics, various farm buildings and ancillary facilities that provide all the necessary monastic community. Fayaz-tepe decorated the painting. Among the numerous extant fragments are the Buddha’s face in the nimbus and the images of Buddhist worshipers. A magnificent statue of the Buddha, sitting under the sacred tree, was found on both sides of him – two monks with prayer folded hands. To the east of the sangaram there is a stupa, built of raw brick and plastered with ganch (chalk). Another monument of Buddhist culture – the Zurmala Tower – is located in the so-called countryside zone, where, apparently, a whole complex of Buddhist buildings. This is a huge stupa (diameter – 14.5 m, height – 16 m), devoid of its facings, survived centuries – now almost formless massif. Its scale indicates the special significance of this structure in the Buddhist construction of the “old” Termez. A huge palace country estate, which belonged to the ruling dynasty – Kyrk-kyz (“40 girls”) – popular rumor connects with the widespread in Central Asia legend about the Amazonian girls who lived in a fortified castle. The total number of rooms of the manor reached fifty. The raw material is a raw brick, the walls are plastered with clay. Kirk-kyz is, in a sense, a museum of construction and technical searches and constructive experiments of early medieval architects of Central Asia. This building is characterized by a combination of pre-Islamic traditions with the demands of a different era. Not far from the manor, on the site of the “old” Termez, there is the architectural complex of At-Termisi, which was formed around the burial place of the famous theologian and hadith expert IXb (hadith – a story about the deeds, words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad). The nickname – Hakimi Termizi, imprinted in the inscription on the marble tombstone, means “Termez sage”. Over time, a small mausoleum was erected over the grave. The ensuing expansion of the ensemble is already at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 15th century. A large architectural ensemble of Sultan-Saodat rises in the territory where the post-Mongolian Termez grew. This is a group of different-time family burial vaults of Termez seiids, that is, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, and religious buildings (X-XIb, XV-XVIII). Not far from Sultan-Saodat, among the greenery of the surrounding gardens are the remains of a monumental building of the 16th century, called Kokildor. In its purpose it was a mausoleum-khanaka (a hospice for pilgrims). Did you feel dizzy from the onslaught of times? Then we will transfer from the “old” Termez to the “new” and go to lunch in one of the restaurants in the city. After lunch, you have a visit to the Termez archaeological museum. It’s just a “temple” – sciences, cultures and departed civilizations. A rare European museum has such a rich exposition and equipment. 27 thousand exhibits – from archaic ceramics to a gigantic collection of coins and jewelry. Here, under the lenses of luminous windows, are unique artifacts from different eras, changing dynasties and religious trends. In the museum there is an unusual room – “Hall of customs confiscation.” It is especially felt that the border is near. The exposition presents items from different centuries, regions, and styles. There is a feeling that everything you saw was extracted from a huge chest, which traveled along the Great Silk Road for at least 20 centuries. Dinner will be held in one of the restaurants in the city.


Breakfast in the hotel. The tour to Uzbekistan continues. You will make a transfer by car to the city of Shakhrisabz (282 km). The road passes through the so-called motley-colored low mountains – these are the last dying waves of the Hissar range and its spurs: Chakchar and Baysuntau. The relief is diverse and bizarre: jagged ridges, curly peaks, pillars, peaks and cornices. All these forms are colored with a whole range of colors: snow-white, bluish, dark gray, greenish, orange, dark red. Closer to Shakhrisabz will already go villages (villages) with gardens and vegetable gardens, cotton fields. On the flat terrain, ancient burial mounds continually rise. Upon arrival in Shakhrisabz, you will have lunch in a national Uzbek house. Then you will go on a tour of architectural monuments (XV-XIX centuries), accompanied by a guide. The most grandiose structure of that time was Ak-Sarai Palace – the White Palace (1380-1404gg), built on the orders of Timur. Both local masters and prisoners in Khorezm and Azerbaijan participated in its construction. From the magnificent palace there were only two pylons (pillars) of the entrance portal, supported by side towers. Above the arch, according to written sources, the saying of the terrible Timur was written: “If you doubt our greatness, look at our buildings.” To the south of Ak-Sarai is the cult-memorial complex Dorut-Tilyavat (the end of the 14th century – the first half of the 15th century): the mausoleums, the mosque and the newly constructed madrasah (XIX-XX) – are united by a small courtyard. Nearby is the cathedral mosque Jami. To the east is the once great burial vault of the Timurids – Dorus-Siadat (1379 / 80gg-1404g). Until now, only the mausoleum of the eldest son of Timur (Jehangir), preserved by the masters from Urgench in the forms of Khorezm architecture, has survived. Here is the crypt of Timur (1380-1404gg), lined with marble limestone, and the white marble sarcophagus is empty. Buried Amir Timur in Samarkand. Then you go to the city of Samarkand (about 100 km). Your path lies along the picturesque foothills and spurs of the Zeravshan range (the Pamir-Alai mountain system). Rise along the serpentine road to the pass Takhta-Karacha (1675m). From the height of the pass you will see a bluish-green spot of the oasis in the upper reaches of the Kashkadarya River, which you are leaving. Going down from the mountains to the valley, you will soon drive to Samarkand. Upon arrival you will be accommodated in a hotel. After that, dinner will be served in one of the restaurants of the city


Breakfast at the hotel. Tour to Uzbekistan – to be continued. Departure for a tour of the architectural monuments of Samarkand XII-XX centuries. (With access to the sites of the show). You will see the dynastic tomb of Timurids – Gur-Emir (1404-1405gg, XV-XVIIvv). By the order of Timur in 1404 the construction of the mausoleum over the ashes of his grandson Mohammed Sultan began. In the same year, Timur goes on a campaign against China, but unexpectedly dies in the city of Otrar (South Kazakhstan). His remains were transported to Samarkand and buried in the crypt of the mausoleum of Muhammad-Sultan. From that time it is called Gur-Emir – “Emir’s grave”. Later, the mausoleum became a burial place for people only from the Timurid clan. The decor of the mausoleum is unique: stone and wood carvings, stalactites and stained-glass windows are used here, but blue-gold paintings occupy the main position. They covered all the walls from the bottom to the top of the dome. Then you go to the center of the “old” city – the ensemble of three madrasahs – Registan (“sandy place”). Originally it was the trade area of Samarkand with a caravan of sheds, handicraft workshops and baths surrounding it. Here life was boiling all day long, until the city gates closed. In 1417-1420 on the orders of the ruler Mirza Ulugbek (grandson of Tamerlane) on the left side of the square is built a madrassah (a spiritual Muslim school), it now bears his name. Only in the XVII century, in front of the building of the Sher-Dor madrasah – “having tigers” (1619-1636). Its entrance portal depicts tigers tearing deer against the background of the sun’s face. The ensemble is completing the building of the central madrasah – Tillya-Kari (“painted with gold”), built in 1646-1660. The abundant gilding is decorated with the interior of the cathedral mosque, the entrance to which is located in the courtyard of the madrasah. The next excursion object is the Bibi-Khanum cathedral mosque, built by the order of Timur (Tamerlane) in 1399-1404gg. In the East at that time, it was the highest and richly decorated both outside and inside the structure. The excursion will be interrupted for lunch in one of the city’s restaurants. The continuation of the excursion will begin with one of the masterpieces of world architecture – the ensemble of mausoleums of Shah-i-Zind (XII-XIX centuries). The entrance portal opens a corridor in front of you, on either side of which there are tombs, mausoleums, mosques, memorials and offices – making up this magnificent memorial complex. Here you will not find two identical buildings of similar size, architecture, color, finish. One of his contemporaries wrote: “Heaven – the Moon and the Sun … sat on the carpet of meditation and bit their fingers of surprise – they never saw buildings so well-decorated and elegant.” Then you go to the memorial museum and the remains of the observatory of Ulugbek (grandson of Tamerlane). Built on the orders of Mirza Ulugbek in 1428-29, the observatory, had no equal in the Muslim East. Being a great scientist of his time, Ulugbek created the “Astronomical Academy of the East”, and his scientific work – “Ziji-Gurgani” contains a catalog, which included more than 1000 stars. Here various chronological systems, tables of geographical coordinates of 683 settlements of the world, definition of duration of a star year are stated. On the same hill, VL Vyatkin, a Russian archaeologist who discovered the remnants of the observatory in 1908, was buried. The museum of the foundation of Samarkand, on the territory of the ancient hillfort Afrasiab, where you will see the world-famous original wall painting (VIIc) of one of the palaces found during archaeological excavations. You will get acquainted with a large exposition of artifacts (from VIII century BC to the 13th century), found on the territory of the ancient settlement. Marakanda – the so-called ancient Greeks Afrasiab, is the ancestor of the present Samarkand. Here in the middle of the 1st millennium BC. There was a fortified city, destroyed in the IV century BC. Troops of Alexander the Great. In the 8th century, the restored city was again destroyed by the forces of the Arab Caliphate, but again revived to life. After the invasion of Genghis Khan hordes in the 13th century, Afrasiab ceased to exist and the inhabitants moved to the south-west of it, to the territory of present-day Samarkand. The excursion day in Samarkand is over. You go to dinner in one of the restaurants in the city.


At the end of the breakfast at the hotel, you will visit a small factory for the production of silk paper, which was famous even in the Middle Ages and in the 14th century supplanted the papyrus paper used in Europe. The technology of handicraft paper production has been revived by enthusiasts and now tourists often come here to observe the process of creating silk paper and to purchase products from it as souvenirs. Nowhere else will you see this – it’s exclusive! Further we will take you to the biggest bazaar of the city, which occupies the territory of 7 hectares and is located on this place from the 9th century. You are expected to have dinner in a national Uzbek house, where you will taste dishes of Samarkand cuisine – the most delicious and varied in Uzbekistan. The transfer to the railway station will take a little time and you will go to Tashkent by electric train (2 hours 10 minutes on the way). The tour to Uzbekistan continues. At the station square you are already waiting for vehicles that will take you to a SPA hotel in the mountains of Chimgan (80km – 1.5 hours), where you will be accommodated upon arrival. Dinner on site.

DAY 6 & 7

After breakfast you do not need to go on an excursion – you came here to relax and enjoy the cleanest mountain air, magnificent scenery, to bathe in the warm and tender waters of the Charvak reservoir. There are many entertainments here that can satisfy anyone: hiking in the mountains, horseback riding, water skiing and bicycles, scooters. Evening shows in the restaurant of the hotel will not leave you indifferent. Relaxation in the open air will prepare you for your departure home.


After breakfast at the hotel, you go by car to Tashkent, where you will find a transport sightseeing tour accompanied by a guide. You will get acquainted with the sights of the capital of Uzbekistan (3 hours). Farewell dinner in one of the restaurants of the city. Motor transport will take you to the international airport of Tashkent. The program of your stay on the Uzbek land is completed. The tour to Uzbekistan is over.

On the route it is necessary to have: In the summer

  • Closed comfortable shoes with thickened soles
  • Headgear for protection against direct sunlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Creams from sunburn
  • Outer clothing of linen or cotton material, preferably with long sleeves
  • Swimsuits

Seasonality of the route – all the year round
The programs for staying on the route of the 1st and last days depend on the time of arrival to the place where the tour starts and the time of departure from the final destination, therefore, they may change.








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