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Information about Uzbekistan:
Short review of Tashkent
Sights of Tashkent
Short review of Samarkand
Sights of Samarkand
Short review of Bukhara
Historical Background of Bukhara
Sights of Bukhara
Short review of Khiva
Sights of Khiva
Ferghana Valley
Short review
Historical Background
Outstanding people of Ferghana
Short review of Kokand
Short review of Margilan
Short review of Kuva
Short review of Kokand
Outstanding people of Kokand
Short review of Namangan
Architecture and monuments Namangan
Outstanding people of Namangan
Ancient settlement of Akhsikent
Short review of Chust
Architecture and monuments of Andijan
Short review of Ancient settlement of Akhsikent
Short review of Ancient settlement of Akhsikent
Short review of Ancient settlement of Akhsikent
Short review of Ancient settlement of Akhsikent
Ancient Khorezm
Fortress Toprak-Kala (2-3 cc.), (4-6 cc.)
Fortress Ayaz-Kala (4-2 cc. BC)
Koy-Kyrylgan Kala, fortress and temple
Fortress of Kyrk-Kyz Kala (1-2 cc., 12-13 cc. A.D.)
Ancient civilization of thousand fortresses
Lost Khorezm
Site of ancient settlement Mizdahkan
Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biosphere Reserve
Natural environment
Ecological and ethnographic tourism
People and social environment
Rules of Ecotourism
Wedding traditions in Bukhara
Wedding traditions in Samarkand

Sights and architectural monuments of Bukhara

BukharaIn 1991 Bukhara has been entered in the list of World heritage of UNESCO. In 1997 under the direction of UNESCO 2500-year-old anniversary of the city was widely celebrated in international scale.

The most ancient architectural monuments have remained in Bukhara. In its territory there are monuments of all historical epoch, since 4 century AD on present time.

Ark Fortress (4 century BC -19 century)

Ark - a city fortress - is the most ancient archaeological monument of the city. It is a former governmental centre. In front of it there is situated the area of Registan («the bulk area»). Majestic ancient Ark-fortress attracts attention of everyone who visits Bukhara city.

Ark FortressAccording to Narshakhi, a historian of 10th century, the fortress of Ark had been laying in ruin for long time, and only in 7th century buhar-khudat restored a big palace «kakh», and then ordered to carve the name of the builder on an iron board and to attach it to the gate of the palace.

According to a legend, the palace failed again, the construction rebuilt many times, but it couldn't be erected at all. Then a ruler gathered scientists and according to their advices constructed the palace anew in the form of constellation of the Big She-bear, on seven columns.

On the plan Аrk fortress is close to the wrong rectangle, a little extended in a direction from the West to the east. The Southeast corner is slightly cut off, length of Ark walls is 789,6 metres. The area is 3,96 hectares.

In old time in front of it there was a big lowland. People gathered and started to carry sand and to fill up the lowland, having formed the area instead of a lake. From here the name of the area - Registan (rеg - sand) is descended.

In the beginning of 20 centuries the area Registan was the most brisk place in Bukhara. There was a big market here, part of which was located by circles around khauz (pond). There were held public competitions, executions. The place was called "bozori respon" (rope market).

Emir’s wives, his mother, and other close relatives lived continually in Ark. Numerous women of the harem lived here too. Brothers and uncles of an emir, with their families and servants also lived in Ark under special supervision. Each of them had a special isolated premise in the Ark. In total about 3 thousand persons lived in Ark.

As far back as in 20's of the last century in the northeast part of Ark Fortress (destroyed in our days) was many residential buildings where it could be possible to pass from one room to another. These were beautiful lodgement and each of them had special decoration; there was a mosque here too. There also were a small madrasa, a bath, a well with potable water.

The Samanids Mausoleum (9-10 cc.)

Samanid MausoleumThe mausoleum of Samanids is situated in Samanids' park, on one of its alley, under the arches of shady trees. This is the monument of 9-10 centuries.

A cube construction crowned by a hemispherical dome. All facades are identical, none of them does not stand out as main. Entrances of all sides are desigend with cross-cutting arched gallery.Compositional decision of the monument is very simple. The entrance is desigend by a lancet niche with three perspectively reduced arches.

Powerful three-quarter columns are situated in every corner of the building. At the top of the mausoleum Gallery with forty window openings is situated at the top of the mausoleum.This adds some lightness to the building and unloads its dome.

Compositional decision of the monument is very simple. The walls of the mausoleum from the outside and inside are stacked curly patterned laying from dried bricks. Despite of the small size of the interior, it seems spacious and airy.

A variety of brick patterns and sizes were very skillfully used in the decor of the mausoleum: they are polished brick, placed flat; brick in the form of large rosette. Small bricks of the square and rectangular form were used for laying for laying of walls, arches, domes, columns and mausoleum facing. This is the first building in Central Asia, for which was used dried brick of light yellow color with a pinkish hue.

Due to this, during the day, at different angle of sunlight, the ornament of the monument is changing its intricate picture. Most effective when it is moonlight.

The tomb of the founder of Samanid state - Ismail Samani, his father and the grandson is located in it. Ismail Samani was the governor of the first centralised state. The period of his governing is characterised as a Renaissance epoch. The architecture, science, poetry, literature, music reached their fullest flower at this time.

Many remarkable poets, writers, scientific lived and created during this period, among them Аbu Ali ibn Sina (Avicenna), Rudaki, Beruni, Dakiki, Al-Kodemi, Tabari.

The architecture had also reached its peak. New types of buildings of mosques, madrasas, mausoleums, a caravan-sheds, bath houses were built in this period.

Magoki Attari Mosque (12-16 centuries)

Mosque Magoki AttoriThe mosque is situated in the center of the city. It is named so because in place of it there was trading row of merchants who sold spices and herbs (Attors).

With time the mosque went almost six meters deep, becouse of considerable cultural stratification surrounded the building.

Narshakhi, a historian of X century, tells that here there was the mosque Makh (Moon), which was built in the place of fireworshipers' temple. Twice a year in the presence of a governer trade fair took place here. In this bazaar there were sold wooden and clay idols.

Magoki Attari Mosque refers to the type of so-called closed mosques, with overhead covering on the six stone piers (columns). Its southen portal, built in 12th century, is the masterpiece of architectural decor.

The portal and its niche entrance are decorated with carved plaster, polished brickwork, glazed majolica and carved terracotta.

Mausoleum of Chashma Ayub (12,14,16 centuries)

Chashma Ayub Mausoleum
Name of this ancient monument is translated as "Source of St. Iowa". The beginning of the construction of Chashma Ayub Mazar belong to the era of Karakhanid dynasty (12 century).

Later in 14th century, by order of Amir Temur, the construction of the building was continued. It was finally completed in 16th century.

The mausoleum was erected over the spring. The inhabitants of Bukhara consider it sacred and healing.

According to legend, in dry years people prayed to God asking him to send them water. As response to their prayers, the biblical saint Iowa came to them, struck his stick on the ground, and the life-giving spring welled up.

Mausoleum of sufists Sajfeddin Bakharzi and Bujan-Kulikhan (13-14 centuries)

Mausoleum of the Sufi Sayfeddina Baharzi and Buyan-Kuli KhanSayyid al-Haq wa-d Din Abu-l-Maani Said ibn al-Mutakhar ibn Said al-Bakharzi (1190-1261) was a follower of Nadjmid ad-Din Kubro, who established sufi order of "Kubraviya".

Bakharzi encouraged Khan of the Mongol Golden Horde - Bereke to convert to Islam. A follower of Bakharzi was Chagatai Khan Buyan Kuli.

Mausoleum-khanaka Bakharzi was erected over the grave of Bakharzi. It had served as a place for dervish rites.

His follower Buyan Kuli Khan was buried in the opposite of his grave. Later there was built a mausoleum over his grave too.

Poi-Kalon Ensemble(12,16 centuries)

Poi-Kalon EnsemblePoi Kalon ensemble consists of a 3-architecture: Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Madrassah Mir-i-Arab, constituting together a coherent architectural ensemble, which is the greatest and most majestic constructions of Bukhara.

Kalyan Mosque (1127 year)

Kalyan Minaret

Kalyan Minaret (big, great) was built in the reign of Qarakhanid Khan - Arslankhan. This is the tallest building in the old Bukhara (46.5 meters).

The minaret is a massive round pillar, built of dried bricks and topped with a lantern-rotunda with 16 transversal arched openings. Along the full height of the minaret there are 12 decorative belts, each of them has its own special pattern.

In its three belts there are preserved inscriptions: the date of construction  —1127 year, the name of contributor — the ruler of Bukhara Arslankhan and the name of the architector — Master Bako,whose grave, according to a legend, is situated in one of nearby neighborhoods.

Minaret served as a call place for Muslims to holiday or Friday prayers in the mosque, which is located near the foot of the Great one.

Kalyan Mosque (1515 year)

Kalyan Mosque

Cathedral of Friday mosque Kalyan is one of the oldest one in Central Asia and the second largest mosque after Bibi Khanim Mosque (in Samarkand). Archeological excavations point to the presence of several ancient floors on its territories. According to the inscription over the entry of mosque, the construction of the building was presumably begun in XV century and finished in 1515.

The mosque belongs to the type of open mosques with the large rectangular yard. The main building at the western wall has artly finished mikhrab, a high portal with a carved mosaic and an internal dome over which the external dome on a high decorative drum towers. The dome towers over all constructions of the city and wallow in blueness of Bukhara sky. Opposite to the mosque, on the same axis with it, Miri-Arab Madrasah is located.

Miri-Arab Madrasah (1530-1536 years)

Miri-Arab Madrasah

Miri-Arab once was famous all over the world of Islam. It is built in 1530-1536 by order of Ubaydullah-Khan, a governor of Bukhara, as a sign of gratitude to the sufi Abdulla al-Yamani, who stirred up the people to fight against the Iranian conquerors. Once upon the time it was not less known, than Al-Azhar Madrasah in Cairo. According to the director of madrasah Muhiddin Numonov, there are 114 cells in Miri-Arab, as many surahs are in the Koran. In these cells, as well as once in the antiquity, the students live, who comprehend secular disciplines and theological sciences.

In due time Miri-Arab was a unique average educational spiritual Muslim institution in the territory of the former USSR.

Among the well-known graduates of Miri-Arab are a mufti of Azerbaijan Aajalo-Shukur Padshah-zade, the former mufti of Kazakhstan ratbek Nisanbayul, the head of Russian Muslims Ravil Gaynuddin and the deceased president of the Chechen Republic Ahmad Kadyrov.

While showing lecture-rooms, which have no difference from ordinary school classes, Numonov says, a hundred students,mailny from Uzbekistan, study here now. To the school of muftiat there is practised an acceptance of students from other countries.Along with the theological disciplines they study completely secular ones too: chemistry, biology, physics, ethics, vocabulary, rhetoric and oratory. Upon graduation, students receive diplomas due form, giving them the right to teach in secondary schools.

The premise on the left side of the entrance, is the tomb, which contains the graves of Mir-i-Arab, his pupil Ubaidulla-Khan and his royal relatives. On the right side is a mosque.

Lyabi-Hauz Ensemble

monument Khodja Nasriddin Afandi

Lyabi-Hauz ensemble consists of Kukaldash Madrasah of 16th century, Khonako and Nodir Devanbegi Madrasah, built in 17th century, and pond-khauz. A modern monument to the legendary hero of folklore Khodja Nasriddinov Afandi blend with this ensemble perfectly.

Lyabi-Hauz (pond) (1620 year)

Lyabi-Hauz is translated as «at the pond». It gave not only name to the whole ensemble, but also served a very important function in the close urban sprawl, creating a unique microclimate in this part of town. The centuries-old mulberry trees growing around the pond, provide shade on hot days. This place has always been a favorite place of Bukharians. The market, teahouse, hairdressers, barbers shops settled here before. In our days you can meet them here too.

The pond has rectangular form,42 meters long, 36 meters wide, and about 5 meters deep. Its "banks", sloping at the corners, lined with large blocks of stone with ledges, by which Bukhara watermen (mashkob) went down to take some water for watering streets and drinking. Water in Lyabi-Hauz came from the canal Shahrud running nearby.

Large celebrations were held exactly in this area. Stalls were decorated with tapestries and embroideries. In the evening the lights were lit, stalls were staged. Crowds of Bukharians after the festive prayer walks in the square Labi-Hauz.

Kukaldash Madrasah (1578 year)

Kukaldash MadrasahThe earliest building, included in Lyabi-Hauz ensemble, is Kukaldash Madrasah. It was built in 16th century. This is the largest madrasah of the city. It is a two-storied building with a large mosaic portal at the entrance, decorated with deep arched niches, flanked on the corners by elegant columns of translucent green onyx. The portal of the madrasah is very stretched and completed with "guldasta" towers. This construction has unusual architectural solution, it is not closed, in other words, the exterior and back sides of madrasah, like the main one, are decorated with deep loggias.

The madrasah has 160 hujra (rooms), there studied and lived 320 students. Decor was not rich even at that time, and only small fragments survived to the present day. Later, in the 17 th century, architectors built two buildings near the pond. One of them is the mosque Khanaka Nodir Divan Begi.

Khanaka Nodir Divan Begi (1620 year)

Khonako Nodir Divanbegi

It is a rectangular building with a cruciform domed ceiling, with non-traditional elongated narrow portal and side turrets. Niches of domical hall are decorated with stalactites. The hall has one dome, and hujras in 2 floors around it. Here you see a mihrab, decorated with a rich architectural decor.

Khanaka was a place where dervishes ((itinerant monks preaching Sufism) gathered. Sufism - a mystical and ascetic teachings of Islam. Originally Sufism appeared in the 8th century among the Arabs in Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

As time goes by, many orders such as Kubraviya, Nakshbandiya had appeared. The founder of the order Nakshbandiya was Bakhouddin Nakshbandi from Bukhara. His memorial complex is situated In 12 km from Bukhara, in the village Kasri Orifon. Many other followers of sufism were also from our city. Among them are Abdukholik Gijduvani, Muhammad Al-Bukhari.

Though an architectural layout of Khanaka is not proportional, it still blends with an architectural ensemble. Nodir Divan Begi madrasah is at the same axis with it.

Nodir Divan Begi Madrasah (1630 year)

Nodir Divan Begi MadrasahNodir Divan Begi Madrasah is built in 17th century. The same rectangular portal, in 2 rows stretching hujras, and towers-guldasta are on the sides.

The portal is decorated with images of living beings.This was the first attempt of architects, moved away from traditional decor. The decoration of the portal tympanum is of great interest. It was made in the technique of polychrome mosaic.

Fabulous bird of happiness Semurg rushes to the radiant sun. It holds an animal in its jaws. You can also see here floral ornament - spiral stems and flowers.

Red colour is not used in the decor, becouse it is associated with heat. Since the climate was very hot, the architects tried to decorate their work mostly with cold blue, green, dark blue and yellow tones, which dominate here in the decor. In the portal there is written: "Allah is great, Muhammad is His prophet". To decorate the portals of madrasah with inscriptions was a traditional element.

The word "madrasah" has arabic origin and came from word "dars" - "lesson". This educational institution appeared when Islam had been become firmly adopted. The Koran, Arabic and Persian languages, secular science, geography and history of local region were studied here.

A square courtyard is surrounded with hujras in 2 floors. Distinctive feature of the madrasah is that there is no a mosque and classrooms (darshona) in the madrasah. This is explained by the fact that the madrasah was originally conceived as a caravanserai, but for some reason, then was turned into a madrasah. Currently, the madrasa is a craft center.

Ulugbek Madrasah (1417 year)

Ulugbek Madrasah

The oldest of 3 madrasah, built by Ulugbek, a grandson of Tamerlane - a ruler, a scientist, an astronomer. This is a rectangular building with a courtyard and main entrance, decorated with high portal - peshtak. The facade is of a two-tiered arcade and has 2 wings.

From both sides it is closed by towers - guldasta. In the ornamental motifs astral elements, that can be associated with outlook of Ulugbek as an astronomer, predominate. The inscription from Koran on the leaf of the gate states, "Aspiration for knowledge - the duty of every Muslim". The madrasah strike with its exceptional rigor, consistency of form and proportionality.

Abdulaziz-khan Madrasah (1652 year)

Abdulaziz-khan Madrasah occupies special place among the monuments of Bukhara due to its rich artistic decoration. The portal - peshtak of Abdulaziz-khan strikes with its height and rich outer decoration. "Ayvan" (an open verandah) has many-sided form and is decorated hanging stalactites.

Poems of secular poets are written on its wall. Instead of unpretentious geometrical and floral ornaments there stand out more complicated and many-coloured ornament.

There are two mosques in the madrasah - winter and summer mosque. Indoors of the winter mosque and classroom-darshona are notable for exclusive luxury of its decoration on the walls and ceiling. The madrasah was mainly restored in 1930 year by master Shirin Muradov.

Sitorai Mohi-Hosa Palace (end Sitorai Mohi-Hosa Palace of the 19th early 20th century)

In 4 km north of town is the palace, that belonged to the last emir of Bukhara - Said Alimkhan (1911-1920 years).

The name of the palace is translated from persian as "Star and moon of khan".

For the decoration of the main entrance to the palace was used mosaic of most colorful hues and colors, that is not typical for the architecture of Bukhara, which uses mostly blue, green colours.

The palace was built by example of traditional Bukharian houses and consists of 3 parts: entrance, outdoor courtyard (for men) and indoor courtyard (for women). The entrance is surrounded by shops of craftsmen who worked here.

Then you go out to a broad area, in the center of which there is a small pond, surrounded by single-storied building in the form.

Its architecture resembles European style with the elements of local architecture. This s explained by the fact that Amir Said Alimkhan had studied in St. Petersburg for some period. Russia's architects took part in the construction of the palace.Sitorai Mohi-Hosa Palace

Sitora-Mohi-Hosa has also an old palace, built by his father - emir Ahadkhan. This palace was built in a completely different style. He has a different layout and decoration.

There was harem in this, for wives of the emir and for his numerous concubines. The facade of the building, like in the mirror, is reflected in the water of the pond, built simultaneously with the palace of Ahadkhan.


Bahaud-Din Naqshbandi Ensemble

Baha-ad-Din Naqshbandi EnsembleArchitectural complex of Bahaud-Din Naqshbandi is situated in 12 km from Bukhara, in Kasri Orifon village (translated as "fortress of cognizant Divine Truth").

Very high respected in Bukhara, sheikh Bahaud-Din, a spiritual protector of Bukhara, was a founder of sufi order "Naqshbandiya". He was buried in his own village.

Graves of his mother and his teacher - Said Mir Kulol, are situated not far from his grave.

Baha-ad-Din Naqshbandi Ensemble

In 1544 dahma with marble carved wall above his tomb and a building of khanaka were erected in honour of the Naqshbandi. On the territory of the necropolis there is located hauz-pond, which involves a lot of legends about the Bahaud-Din Naqshbandi.

Each year thousands of pilgrims from all over the world visits the grave of Bahaud-Din Naqshbandi.

The most famous Naqshbandi saying: "Dil ba joru, dast ba kor" (translated as "Heart with the beloved (meaning God), and hands at work"). The followers of the teachings of "Nakshbandiya" stick to modesty, do not flaunt their devotion to their order and to God. They live among ordinary people, earning a living for themselves by working, not by asking handouts.

Baha-ad-Din Naqshbandi Ensemble. Main entrance.Sheikh Muhammad Nazim Al-Haqqani - Mufti of the Sufi Order Nakshbandiya, founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, came in Uzbekistan at the invitation of our government, said to our countrymen: "Do not forget and always remember that every inch of your fertile land is considered sacred, because the great scholars and thinkers, the founders of the Islamic civilization lie here. You have full right to be proud that you are the descendants of such people as Imam al-Bukhari, Sheikh Abu Mansur Maturidy, Abdukhalikov Gijduvani, Arif Rivgari, Ali Romitanii, Muhammad Baba Samosi, Said Amir Kulol, Muhammad Bahauddin Naqshbandi, Ubaydulloh Akhror".


Necropolis of Chor-Bakr (12-16 centuries)

Necropol of Chor-BakrSheikh Muhammad islam (died in 1563) was a disciple and follower of the head of the order "Naqshbandiya" - Makhdum-i Azam Kasani.

It is considered that Sheikh Muhammad Islam was Sayyid - a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, and from the maternal side - a descendant of Genghis Khan. Sheikhs of Djuybar had held senior government posts since period of Samanids

Starting with Muhammad islam, the order "naqshbandiya" had been headed by Djuybar sheikhs. Among the murids of Muhammad Islam was Iskandar Sheybani - the governor of Karmana and Miankala. With the support of Muhammad Islam, Abdullakhan II had begun to fight for the throne since 1556. Abdullakhan II captured Bukhara, and almost all region of Mavaraunnahr, Khoresm and Khurasan. His political success let "naqshbandiya" disseminate more spiritual influence and directly take part in governing the state. Necropol of Chor-Bakr

Khodja Abu bakr Saad - Djuybar sheikh from the order "naqshbandiya" had been the teacher of Abdullakhan II for 20 years. After his death, Abdullakhan II immortalized the name of his teacher by erecting around his grave a complex, which included a mosque, khanaka, madrasah, necropolis and a big garden under Bukhara in Chor-Bakr - an ancestral settlement of Djuybar sheikhs. Chor-Bakr became family burial-vault of Djuybarids and a place of muslims' pilgrimage.

The complex of Bolo-Hauz (1712, 1911, 1917 years)

Bolo-Hauz complex

The complex consists of a pond, a friday mosque and a minaret. The Friday mosque of Bolo-Hauz is situated in opposite side of Ark - the fortress of the emir, so governors of the city often prayed here.

The mosque was built in 1712 by the order of the wife of Bukhara's ruler. Inspite of the fact that in this period in Bukhara khanate there was observed decline in cultural and economical life, nevertheless, one of the most beautiful mosque of Bukhara was built.

A wooden ceiling of ayvan (traditional verandah), which leans on refined columns, is abundantly decorated with fretwork and ornamented with floral and geometrical ornamental patterns. A short minaret was built in 1917 by Shirin Muradov, a famous master of Bukhara.

Khonaka Khodja Zaynuddin (16 century)

Khonaka Khodja Zaynuddin Mosque Khodja Zaynuddin is situated in one of the old buildings of Bukhara. It fulfilled a function of residential quater mosque, served as a shelter for errant dervishes and was a place, where the representatives of sufism gathered. The burial place of Khodja Zaynuddin is also situated here.

In the composition of the building the main hall dominates, which adjoin the back rooms. The hall is extensive, high and saturated with ornamental decoration.

Patterned mosaic pavement, and wall panel on it, covered with lush paintings, mainly of floral nature. Further, through the system of four angle sails and intermediate net of shield sails, the transition to patterned bowl of the dome of the stalactite crown is accomplished. Polychromatic coloring with a predominance of blue and dark blue is prevailed in everything

Khanaka Fayzabad (16 century)

In 16th century Bukhara was a place of dervishes' concentration. Therefore in the city and nearby places of worship there were built special buildings with cells for living and with big halls for collective rites of dervishes. This formed architectural type of building took the name "khanaka".

A big, high, light hall of khanaka Fayzabad is solemn as a palace. It is opened with embrasures into a transparent gallery. It is airy and not closed. Creative plan of masters is not constrained by the appointment of the construction, its architecture is imbued with nicety.

Architects created a very dynamic composition of the external appearance of khanaka. From low wings of galleries to the entrance portal increases the height of the building. From the side facades of the center becomes a dome, which rise in terraces volumes galleries, its domes, then the octahedron. Transparent gallery gives khanaka easeness and elegance.

Chor-Minar Madrasah (1807 year)

Chor-Minar MadrasahRich turkman Khalif Niyazkul subsidized the construction of a small Chor-Minar Madrasah. It is situated to the west of Ulugbek Madrasah and Abdulazizkhan.

Its architecture differs from traditional scheme. An unusual madrasah adjusted to four small minarets crowned with blue domes. The decor of each dome is various. Hence the building got its name - "Chor Minor" ( "Four minarets").

There is a yard in front of the madrasah, in the middle of which is a small pond-hauz,lined with stone blocks. Several cells-hujrah adjusted to the madrasah on its each side.

Kiz-bibi - sufi nunnery (end of the 18 – beginning of 20 century)

The architectural ensemble Kiz-bibi is situated at a distance of 30 km from Bukhara. This place in ancient times was densely populated, it was located in the lower reaches of Zarafshan.To 16th century constant fluctuations in levels of water and its scarcity had turned this territory into a zone of sand. Exactly at that time many ancient villages of Bukhara oasis ceased to exist .

In the 18th century the liveliness is observed in the territory, and in the life of this areas there has been some recovery, namely in this time the construction of Kiz-Bibi had been completed. Khonaka Kiz-Bibi oriented south. It consists of three yards, where there are located Mazar Kiz-Bibi with ayvan and marble tomb, mosque-khonaka, chillyahona, kitchen, bath, combined with taharathona, hujras for pilgrims, rooms for the mentally ill people.

The entire set of functionally different rooms of this khanaka was typical for early medieval Kaonaka with yard, where sufi's life proceeded in isolation from the world.

Kiz-Bibi - the name of Mastura khanum. Sadikkhon, a viewfinder of Miri-Arab, erected this unique ensemble in her honour. Kiz-Bibi was sufi-woman, who once disappeared in one of the cells of the cloister. Local people think that her spirit dwells among the walls of the complex, helping women to cure sterility and gain family happiness.

Women come here from all over the country. Men are prohibited to enter this place. Women ask God to give them children in their prayers and fasts. They live for 3 day in the one of the cells, praying diligently, and avoiding to see anybody.

Mazar of Khodja Ubbon

Mazar of Khodja UbbonMazar of Khodja Ubbon is situated on a small hall. These buildings were built in the middle of last century. Following buildings adjust to the mazar: a vast inn and a mosque. "Chashmahona" is a building of burnt brick.The building is divided into two parts, each is covered with a dome. In the western half of the building there is a well, with a slightly bitter water.

A honoured saint Khodja Ubbon's burial place is isituated in the mausoleum. According to a legend, since the time when Khodja Ubbon was 15 years old, he lived in solitude in the desert, by the spring. He had lived here up to deep old ages, was held in respect as a physician, so people, who maimed because of skin diseases, reached out to him.

Sometimes people who come from different places, and often from very remote one, live here for 2-3 months, far from civiliziation.The effect of such treatment exceeds expectations, and therefore does not stop the flow of people wishing to be cured of the disease.

Mazar of Khodja ZaffaronMazar of Khodja Zaffaron

Mazar Khodja Zaffaron is a cult complex, which is notable for its well with sacred water. This place is well known among the people from outskirts of villages.

There is a deep well here. Investigation of its water showed the presence of various usefull minerals in it. Through the ages people come here to cure from jaundice. According to an ancient legend, Zaffaron was a teacher of Khodja Ubbon. There is a legend that Zaffaron is a son of the Caliph Usmon.

Site of ancient settlement Varakhsha Site of ancient settlement Varakhsha (4 century BC - 8 century AD)

Varakhsha - an ancient capital of buhar-khudats. A historian of 10th century Narshakhi wrote: « Varakhsha - one of settlements, is more ancient than Bukhara. It was habitation of kings and had strong fortification. In Varakhsha there were 12 irrigation canals. Every 15 days a one-day trade fair is held here. The trade-fair, which falls to the end of the year, lasts for 20 days. It is called the bazaar of farmers' New Year. People of Bukhara keep count of a new year since this day.».

Ancient constructions, uncovered in the settlement, belong to 1-3rd centuries. But, these buildings were not initial. To 3rd century the settlement had grown and was surrounded with strong city wall. One of the towers and minor part of the wall were uncovered from under the multi-meters later stratification at the north-western corner of the settlement.

The foot of external walls lies at the level of the adjacent areas, obviously, these are the first walls surrounding the settlement. City buildings were located especially in the center of the settlement.

Larger remainders of buildings belong to 6-8th centuries. These are grandious remainders of citadel, a palace, buildings of religious purposes. A high citadel was situated in the center of the city. Ceremonial rooms of the palace adjoined to the citadel from west side. In front of the palace, on a high place, on the ruins of more ancient buildings of a temple are located.

In the 8 th century the desert sands came right up to the city. Local people gave way before the destructive force of nature, and left their homes and the city.

Rural neighbourhood of Varakhsha

To the south and west of Varakhsha and to the west the group of Tepe (mounds) are located. The southernmost one is Dingil-Tepe. The length of tepe is 30 meters, the width is 15 meters. On the southern side it is adjusted by second hill. It is lower than first one. Both mounds merged together. One can assume that there was once a fortified building - such as guard towers. Pottery, gathered on the hill, belongs to the 6.7 cc. AD

A big hill Yalpak-Tepe is situated on the north-east of Dingil-Tepe and Zarmitan, and almost covered with sand. It consists of two hills. There were found pieces of glass alloy, glass blowers worked here. Both of the hills surrounded by a moat.

Tepe Katta Khodja-ishan took its name due to mazar located nearby. Remainders of the building are preserved. It is surrounded by a moat. There are many pottery. This settlement existed till Х century.

Ramish village is situated near the mazar. It has preserved its ancient name: "pleasure", "tranquility". The site of ancient settlement consists of three parts: a rectangular hill with height of 12 meters, a large broad hill, approximately square in its plan, and a low irregular hill. Ramish is mentioned in the "Stories Narshakhi" as one of the oldest settlements of Bukhara. Its foundation is linked with the name of the legendary Kai-Khusraw, the son of Siyavush. Kai-Khusraw built this village as a fortress to fight external enemies.

Site of ancient settlement Paikent (4-2 centuries BC and - 12 century AD)

Site of ancient settlement Paikent (4-2 centuries BC and - 12 century AD)

Paikent city is one of the most ancient centers of Bukhara oasises. It is located in the lower reaches of Zarafshan River, which arose in the beginning as a settlement, then as a fortress, at the end of 4.2 cc BC

Paikent fortress, apparently,had already played an important strategic role at that time:

1.As boundary, military and trading point on the western outskirts of Sogdiana.
2. As an important junction of the Silk Road, which linked India, Bactria, Nashkhab and further, along a dry riverbed Qashqadarya (once flowed into the lake of Karakul) with Khorezm and the Nordic countries.

The greatest prosperity of Paikent refers to 6-8th centuries, due to its location, it was one of the basic stations on the transcontinental route of the Silk Road. Site of ancient settlement Paikent

Paikent, unlike other cities in Central Asia, had no ruler, it was a kind of "merchant republic", the silk trade flourished here. After the conquest of Central Asia by Arabs, Paikent became one of the largest centers of Bukhara oasis against the nomads in the 8 th century .

Life went on here until the 12 th century. Paikent often called the "Asian Pompey." The city was swallowed by the desert, this explains the well-pereservation of Paikent, which gradually strewed with sand, well-preserved.


The text prepared by Djuraeva Klara

Constant reference to the article "Sights and architectural monuments of Bukhara":