Uzbekistan Tours - escorted, private or tailor made...
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Welcome to our Uzbekistan tour pages. Whether you are
looking to book onto an
escorted group tour of Uzbekistan, would
like your own private tour or prefer us to totally tailor make your tour of
Uzbekistan we can take care of the arrangements for you. From this page
you can view an example of one of the group tours we offer and also a private
tour. For tailor made enquiries please call or email us, details above.
Uzbekistan, in the ancient cradle between the Amu-Darya and
Syr-Darya rivers, is arguably the most fascinating of the Central Asian
republics. A key link on the Silk Road connecting China with Western Europe, it
contains some of the oldest towns in the whole world, such as the legendary,
powerful cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.
The land here has always been different from the rest of Central Asia. Its
people are more settled than nomadic, with land use and social structures that
changed very little from the 6th century BC to the 19th century. You can still
see the towering fortresses of Khiva and Bukhara and the glorious Islamic
architecture of Samarkand; as their beauty and inaccessibility continue to live
on in the imagination of the West as symbols of oriental beauty and mystery.
There's natural beauty too with the verdant Fergana Valley, home to fine silk,
and far to the west, the parched basin of the Aral Sea.
Historically, some of the most influential and savage conquerors came and ruled
these lands, such as Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, and influences from
Huns, Turks and Arabs can still be seen today. However, Uzbekistan's golden age
was under Tamerlaine in the 14th century AD, who made Samarkand his capital and
left a breathtaking architectural legacy including mosques, madrassahs and
majestic Registan Square.
Today, the old atmosphere of the Silk Road still survives in the oriental
bazaars and tea houses where the many nationalities of Central Asia gather
together wearing their colourful traditional clothes.
Bukhara was a major staging point on the Silk Road. By about 500BC, it was
already an important centre, defended by a citadel that has stood in one form or
other ever since. Today it is the site of the Ark Fortress, residence of the
former Emirs of Bukhara, which occupied an area of about 13 hectares. Many of
Bukhara‘s buildings were constructed during the Kharakhanid era (992 - 1211) and
there are more than 150 monuments in the city. With its narrow alleyways and
bustling bazaars, Bukhara is the quintessential Silk Road city.
Shakhrisabz is one of the most ancient cities of Middle Asia. In certain
periods through its long history, it appeared as the centre of some of the most
important events in world history - sometimes glorious, sometimes tragic. But
Shakhrisabz would not be as famous if on 9 April 1346, in the village of
Hodja-llgar a certain individual known as Tamerlane had not been born. Wherever
destiny took him, Shakhrisabz remained Tamerlane’s native city, the place where
he spent his childhood and youth. Notable places of interest include the remains
of the once vast Ak-Saray Palace - parts of the portal remain and are evidence
of the scale of construction, the Dorus-Syadot mausoleum where Jahangir - the
most beloved son of Amir Temur, was buried; and Dorut-Tilavete. Surrounded by
the high Gyssar mountain range Shakrisabz is much greener than other Uzbek
cities and a few degrees cooler than Samarkand.
Known as the "Garden of Uzbekistan" the Fergana Valley lies in the eastern
part of Uzbekistan between the Tian Shan (Heavenly Mountains) and the Pamir Alay
range and is shared with neighbours Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It is the most
fertile and populous area of Uzbekistan. Fergana, the largest town in the
valley, with its Russian colonial architecture and streets shaded with plane and
poplar trees, makes a good base from which to see the older and more interesting
towns of Kokand and Margilan.
Nukus is now the 6th largest city in Uzbekistan but it grew from a small
settlement. However, the city's isolation made it host to the Red Army's
Chemical Research Institute. The State Museum has artifacts recovered from
archaeological investigations, traditional jewellery, costumes and musical
instruments, but more interestingly, displays of the area's now vanished or
endangered flora and fauna. The Art Museum is noted for its collection of modern
Russian and Uzbek art from 1918-1935. Stalin tried his best to eliminate all non
Soviet art from this period, and sent most of the artists to the gulag. The
collection at Nukus survived because of the city's remoteness.s
Samarkand is the mythical, evocative name of one of the key trading cities
of the ancient Silk Road. With a history dating back 2700 years, Samarkand
became famous as the capital of the vast state created by Timur Lang (known in
English as Tamerlane) and later ruled by his grandson Ulugbek in the 14th and
15th centuries. Some of the most magnificent architecture in the Islamic world
can be found in Samarkand with some wonderful mosques, mausoleums and madrassahs.
Samarkand sits on the banks of the Zerafshan River and to the northeast of the
modern town is Afrosiab the site of the most ancient parts of the city, from
where the Sogdians, the masters of Silk Road trade ruled.