Ecological tour – Through the Mountains and Valleys

Узбекистан
14 дней
Апрель - Ноябрь
Макс. гостей: 35
Decription

Ecological Tour

Rout: Tashkent – Charvak reservoir (SPA-hotel) – Urgench (Khiva) – Bukhara – yurt camp (Lake Aidarkul) – Samarkand – Tashkent

14 days/ 13 nights

Tour operator « AL SAMARKAND TRAVEL » We invite you to an exceptional journey through the most picturesque and unique country of Central Asia – Uzbekistan.

Kharezm – Khiva

Khiva — city — open-air museum is located on the territory of the Kyzyl-Kum desert, not far from the Amu-Darya River. According to ancient legend, the city was named in honor of the well “Kheyvak”, which was dug by Shem, the son of the late Noah.

The well has survived to this day, but it is on private property and is closed for display. On the territory of Khiva there is an “inner city” – Ichan – Kala (26 hectares), formed around the citadel.

It is surrounded by powerful fortress walls (height – 10 m, length – 2200 m.), being an example of medieval fortifications. Within the walls of Icahn – closed almost all architectural objects of the show, which changed the historical appearance of the city XVII – XIX centuries.

Honorable Bukhara

“Buhoro-i-Sharif” (“Noble Bukhara”) has secured the respect of the spiritual and artistic central capital of Asia since the 17th century. The first mention of the city in the holy book “Avesta” under the name “Vihar”, which means “monastery” in Sanskrit.

After the domination of the Tajik dynasty of Samanids (IX – X centuries), perhaps the greatest prosperity reaches Bukhara in the second half of the XVI century. The central part of the “old” city forms an integral architectural ensemble of the XVI – XIX centuries.

In Bukhara and on its territory there are more than 500 architectural monuments belonging to different epochs and preserved up to nowadays. Narrow streets in the old parts of the city even nowadays convey the atmosphere of the middle ages.

Lake Aidarkul – Yurt Camp

Lake Aidarkul is an oasis in the thunderstorms, a marvelous blue space, a conference in the golden frame of the sands of the Kyzyl-Kum desert. Its fate is interesting. For a long time it lay alone within the framework of solonchak lowlands.

The water in it was quite salty, as evidenced by its name – Tuzkan (Uzbek: Tuz – salt). The shores of this lake, doomed to slow drying up, were also lifeless. However, in the spring of 1969, as a result of an unusually high flood on the Syrdarya River, its waters rushed into the Arnasay spill and rushed westward deep into the sands, filled the structural salt marsh depression Aidar and, joining the waters of Lake Tuzkan, turned it into a part of the skull of the reservoir, stretching along the southern edge of the Kyzylkum Desert for almost 200 km.

The waters of the Syr Darya opened new life in the dying lake. Its surface increased many times, the water became more fresh, the shores turned green, many fish and waterfowl appeared. On the winding shores of the new reservoirs there are many gentle shoals and shallow lagoons.

Among the bluish expanse of small golden islands are large sand dunes surrounded by water. Their shores are overgrown with sedges and are home to many birds. On some islands you can see colonies of white pelicans. Water bodies are rich in fish. There are carp, zherekh, zander, pike.

Samarkand – the Pearl of the East

Samarkand is more than 2700 years old. “Pride of Ost” – so called it surpisers and poets of the past. It has witnessed many historical events. Its walls resisted the armies of Alexander the Great (the end of the IV century BC), the troops of the Arab Caliphate (VIII century), but the city was destroyed to the ground by the hordes of Genghis Khan (XIII century) and could not revive in its former place.

In XIV-XV centuries Samarkand became the capital of the formidable Amir Timur (Tamerlane), who became his capital Mira. Now it is the second major city in the Republic of Uzbekistan, where “gray antiquity” and modernity peacefully neighbor.

Shakhrisabz – Green City …

In 100 km from Samarkanda is located the city of Shakhrisabz (“Green City”) – the birthplace of Amir Timur (Tamerlane). In the XIV-XV centuries it was the main city of the Kesh region, the fiefdom of the Turkic-Mongolian tribe “Barlas”, which was joined by the formidable Tamerlane.

Under Timur, Shakhrisabz experienced unprecedented color and influence with luxurious monumental buildings. Since the XVI century the city gradually falls into decay. the beginning of the XIX century is the residence of the local bey. Now it is a modern city with 25 centuries of past.

The way to the city runs along the picturesque terrain of the foothills and spurs of the Zeravshan range (Pamir-Alai mountain system). Then there is an ascent along the serpentine road to the pass Takhta-Karacha (1675 m.). From the height of the pass you can see a bluish-green spot of oasis in the upper reaches of the Kashkadarya River, where Shakhrisabz is located.

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan

It is located between the western foothills of the Tien Shan mountain system and the Syr Darya River. It is a modern metropolis, which is the means of political and economic life of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The first mention of Tashkent (named at that time as Shash) dates back to the II century BC. Wars and natural disasters destroyed many historical monuments of different eras. After the devastating earthquake in 1966, the city was completely in ruins and practically rebuilt. New buildings decorated with mosaics and stucco decorations in Uzbek style give Tashkent an attractive and interesting look.

SUMMARY:

  • This itinerary operates from April 1 through October 1 (seasonal yurt camping);
  • Maximum number of people in the group – 18

For the active part of the route it is necessary to have:

  • comfortable shoes on a thickened platform,
  • hats to protect from direct sunlight,
  • sunglasses,
  • bathing suits,
  • sunscreen and mosquito repellent,
  • warm clothes for the evening.

The programs of stay on the route of the 1st and the last day depend on the time of approach to the beginning of the tour and the time of departure from the final point, so may vary.

The Tour Programm

Arrival at the international airport of Tashkent. You will be met by a representative of our organization and escorted to the hotel located in the Chimgan Mountains (spurs of the Tien Shan Range) on the coast of the Charvak Reservoir.

Transfer by motor transport to the hotel complex “Charos Deluxe Resort and Spa” (80 km 1,5 hours).

Unforgettable hikes in the mountains, horseback riding, as well as swimming in the warm, gentle waters of the Charvak Sea await you. You will have an opportunity to actively participate in cooking national dishes of Uzbekistan on open fire, and also exclusive evenings of national folklore music and dances, famous for its unique grace and plasticity, are waiting for you.

The pristine beauty of mountain landscapes and blooming nature will leave indelible impressions in your soul, and clean mountain air will help you quickly acclimatize and gain strength before the trip to the ancient and majestic cities of Uzbekistan.

Early transfer to Tashkent airport of local airlines for Tashkent-Urgench flight. Arrival at Urgench International Airport and transfer to Khiva (35km). Accommodation and breakfast at the hotel upon arrival.

After that go on a fascinating walking tour of the architectural monuments of Ichan-Kala. You will see the Mohammed-Amin Khan Madrasah with an unfinished minaret (tower for calling to prayer), why it is called Kalta Minor (“unfinished minaret”). Its height is 26 meters; the complex is Kunya-Ark (fortress-palace), and opposite is the madrasah (Muslim spiritual school) of Muhammad Rahim-khan.

Then you will pass to the only surviving monument of the XIV century – the mausoleum of Seyid Alauddin. From it turn left to the end of the narrow street and follow the Kari Khan Madrasah, where repair stores and stores are now located. Turn left again and go down the steps to the Shirgazi-khan Madrasah, and opposite you see the mausoleum of Pahlavan-Mahmud.

Right along the way – the slender minaret of Islam-Khoja beautifully decorated with colored tiles, and next to it – madrassah and mosque – it is a whole ensemble, opposite to which is the building of the structure built by Islam-Khoja for the new detodal school.

Then go to the main exit of Ichan-Kala, where the cathedral Juma Mosque with a minaret rises on the right and, following further, you find yourself on the shopping square. On the right is the Ak Mosque building, behind which are public baths, on the left is the Kutlug-Mudad-inak madrasah with an underground water storage – sardoba.

Opposite is another ensemble of Alla-Kuli-khan’s buildings: a madrasah with a lavishly decorated portal, a tim (a closed shopping arcade) and a caravanserai. On the opposite side of the street is the Tash-Hauli Palace with rich wall decoration (tiles, paintings). Your excursion can be interrupted only by lunch and dinner of Uzbek Khorezm dishes in the restaurant of the city.

After breakfast at the hotel you leave by tourist motor transport to Bukhara (450km). Ecological tour in Uzbekistan continues. Your way will pass through the Kyzyl-Kum desert, only not on the caravan paths of the “Great Silk Road”, but on a smooth highway. Accommodation in the hotel upon arrival. Late lunch from Uzbek Bukhara national cuisine. Free time. You can calmly, without fear to walk along the streets of the “old city”, where souvenir shops with goods for every taste are concentrated. Dinner in a restaurant of the city.

Breakfast at the hotel. You go on a tour of architectural monuments of Bukhara X-XIX centuries. The first object of the show is the core of ancient Bukhara – Ark fortress (I-XIX cc). Almost opposite the Ark, across the square (Registan), there is a very elegant, light and elegant ensemble Bala-house. Just one block away is a park, at the end of which there is a wonderful in its beauty mausoleum – the dynastic tomb of the Samanids (late IX – early Xvc). The ratio and alternation of the masonry bricks of the structure, laid horizontally, vertically, at an angle, cut in the form of disks and rosettes, create a rich architectural cover. If the previous objects of the show are as if embedded in the modern Bukhara building, the central part of the “old” city is an integral architectural ensemble of XVI-XVII centuries.

You will begin your tour with the complex of buildings Poi-Kalyan (“foot of the Great”), grouped around the highest minaret of Bukhara – Kalyan (tower for calling to prayer). It was built in 1127. Its height is 47 meters, inside there are 105 steps leading to the top.On the right side of the minaret rises the majestic building of the Masjidi-Kalyan Cathedral Mosque, erected in the first half of the XV century over the remains of the medieval mosque XI-XII centuries. It was rebuilt and renovated in 1514. Its high raised dome, lined with bricks painted in blue color, argues with the bright blue of the sky. Opposite the mosque is the Miri-Arab Madrasa building, erected by an influential sheikh (head of a religious order) in 1535-36. Both externally and internally, the building is decorated with colored mosaics. It is a functioning madrasa where young men are trained to serve in mosques. In addition to the Koran, they also study natural sciences.

Near the religious center of Bukhara there were shops of traders and workshops of craftsmen selling their goods. The old bazaars of Central Asia were usually always covered. Galleries and domes protected from scorching sun rays in summer and from rain and snow in winter. A number of closed trade passages – tims and domed market buildings – takas – have been well preserved. The dome of jewelers – Taki-Zargaron belongs to the XV century, the dome of headwear sellers – Tilpak-Furushon – to the XVI century, the dome of changers – Taki-Sarafon and Tim Abdullahan, intended for the sale of silk. In the covered passages of the city, which are still in operation today, you can buy wonderful products of applied art, for which Bukhara has been famous since ancient times. One of the most ancient mosques – Magokki-Attari – is located near the trading rows. According to written sources, it was built on the site of a pagan temple, but it was substantially rebuilt in the XII century, and then in the XVI century.

The main facade with an asymmetrically arranged portal has been preserved from the original building, striking with a variety of shaped brickwork and ornamentation of terracotta tiles (fired clay), forming a real stone lace. Walking a little along the narrow streets of medieval Bukhara, you will get to one of the largest sources of water supply of the city – to Lyabi-Hauz. The almost square water reservoir of Lyabi-Hauz was built in 1620. It is framed by three monumental buildings: the khanaka Nadir-Divan-Begi (a strange house for dervishes and pilgrims) – the 20s of XVI century; the second building – madrasah Kukeltash (1568-69) – it was one of the largest madrasahs of its time (160 hujras – cells); madrasah Nadir-Divan-Begi (1622). Its facing is dominated by stylized vegetation motifs, among which the images of flying phoenixes stand out. For centuries, the territory where the khauz (water body) is located, with adjacent buildings, served as a place of rest and walks of Bukhara residents. This tradition has been preserved even nowadays. The rich excursion program can be interrupted (at your request at any time) for lunch and dinner in the restaurants of the city.

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to the country residence of the last emirs of Bukhara – Sitora-i-Mahi-Khasa (late XIXc-1918). The old palace, built by Bukhara masters who studied Russian architecture in St. Petersburg and Yalta, is a mixture of European and Bukhara styles. The new palace is a whole complex of buildings (also of mixed Oriental and European styles): a gate arch, a harem, a greenhouse, a covered gallery and the main building. The most interesting in this palace are the interiors of the White Hall and the reception hall. The walls and ceilings are decorated with the richest carving and painting on ganch (gypsum) in the traditions of Bukhara architectural and decorative school.

Carved gates with forged copper nails and handles decorated with fine chasing should be attributed to the undoubted attraction of Mahasa (as Bukharians lovingly call it). The palaces are located in a beautiful park with a variety of ornamental and fruit trees, lawns, a huge pond. Once, part of the territory was occupied by a zoological garden, where gazelles, pheasants and peacocks walked on the grass, the latter walk freely and nowadays. Having said goodbye to Bukhara, you will transfer to the yurt camp in the Kyzyl-Kum desert near Lake Aidarkul (180km). Accommodation in Kazakh yurts (felt tents) upon arrival. Lunch. Free time. You can drive to the lake (5km from the location). Dinner. Rest by the fire. Overnight.

You can go to the lake for rest, or you can try camel riding in the vicinity of the camp. After lunch the trip will continue by auto-transfer to Samarkand (210km). Accommodation in hotel upon arrival. Dinner in the restaurant of the city.

Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to the architectural monuments of Samarkand XII-XX centuries. You will start your excursion into the history of the city from the dynastic tomb of Timurids – Gur-Emir (1403-1405, additional additions – XV-XVII centuries). The construction of the mausoleum began by order of Timur in 1403 over the tomb of his grandson Mohammed-Sultan, who was to become the ruler of Maverannahr (Arabic for “beyond the river”, the territory between the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers) after Timur’s death.

However, his grandson died before his grandfather. Having gone on a campaign to China in 1404, Timur dies in the city of Otrar (Southern Kazakhstan). His body is transported to Samarkand and buried in the crypt of the mausoleum of “Mohammed-Sultan”. Since that time it became known as Gur-Emir – “Emir’s grave”. During the reign of Ulugbek (grandson of Timur), the mausoleum became the burial place of persons exclusively from the Timurid family. The fully restored Gur-Emir attracts with its marvelous combination of proportions, lively ornament of mosaic facing and luminous blue of the ribbed dome. Stone and wood carvings, stalactites and stained glass windows are used in the mausoleum’s decoration, but the main position is occupied by blue-gold paintings. All planes from the bottom of the walls to the top of the dome are covered with them. The artistic and historical significance of the Gur-Emir Mausoleum has caused a great and enduring interest of researchers. Pages are devoted to it in all generalizing works on the architecture of Central Asia. The next architectural ensemble is the square of three madrasahs (spiritual Muslim school) Registan (“sandy place”). This is the “heart” of Samarkand. Initially, it was a place of trading rows. Caravanserais, bathhouses, trading pavilions, shops of small craftsmen were located here.

Merchants from different countries brought goods here: Asia Minor and the Volga region, the Far East and Siberia, Persia and the Arabian Peninsula. During the reign of Ulugbek, Samarkand became a major scientific center of the East. At this time, not only the famous observatory was built, but also Ulugbek’s madrasah (1417-1420) on Registan Square. Only in the XVII century the Sher-Dor madrassah “having tigers” (1619-1636) was erected opposite it. Its portal bears a heraldic emblem: a tiger tormenting a doe on the background of a sunny face. The ensemble is completed by the central madrassah Tillya-Kari – “covered with gold” (1646-1660) – was erected on the site of the caravanserai of the XV century with partial use of its foundations and walls. The building combined the functions of madrasah and cathedral mosque of the city.

The interior of the mosque is painted with luxurious floral and vegetal ornament with abundant gilding. Nowadays, an international festival of folk art is held every two years on the square between the three madrasahs, where singers and dancers from different countries of the world demonstrate their singing and dancing art. Then you will proceed to the majestic cathedral mosque Bibi-Khanim, built by order of Timur (Tamerlane) in 1399-1404 by both local architects and those brought from different countries. It was the highest construction in the East at that time. The facade and dome of the mosque give an idea of the original splendor of the entire grandiose building, decorated with colored mosaics, carved marble, figurative ligature, laid out of bricks, everywhere was applied abundant gilding. In the courtyard you can see a marble lectern (lectern – first half of the 15th century) for a huge Koran taken out of the mosque. It is covered with ligature of the Arabic language.

The excursion continues by showing the ensemble of Shah-i-Zinda mausoleums (XII-XIX cc) – the greatest achievement of world architecture. From the entrance portal up the slope rise two rows of tombs, between which formed a corridor. More than two dozen mausoleums, mosques, memorial and service premises make up this majestic memorial complex. The structures vary in size, architecture, color, and finish. There are bright colored mosaics, carved lace walls and doors with strict geometric planes, almost devoid of facing. The inscriptions, which are intricately and at the same time organically woven into the ornaments decorating the facades, have left us the names of remarkable folk craftsmen from Samarkand, Bukhara, Azerbaijan; the picturesque manner of Iranian masters is evident. One of contemporaries wrote: “Heavens – the Moon and the Sun … sat on the carpet of reflection and bit their finger of surprise – they have never seen buildings so decorated and ornate”. The excursion program will be interrupted only for lunch in one of the restaurants of the city, and for dinner you are expected in the national Uzbek house, where you will taste dishes of Uzbek Samarkand cuisine – the most delicious and diverse in Uzbekistan.

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Shakhrisabz (100km). Upon arrival you will go on an excursion to the architectural monuments of XV-XIX centuries. The most grandiose construction of that time was the palace Ak-Saray – “White Palace” (1380-1404), built by order of Timur. Both local masters and those captured in Khorezm and Azerbaijan participated in its construction. Only two pylons (pillars) of the entrance portal supported by side towers remained from the magnificent palace. Above the arch, according to written sources, was written a saying of the fearsome Timur: “If you doubt our greatness, look at our buildings”. To the south of Ak-Saray there is a cult-memorial complex Dorut-Tilyavat (the end of the XIV century – the 1st half of the XV century): mausoleums, a mosque and a newly built on the old foundations madrasah (XIX-XX) – united by a small courtyard. Nearby is the Jami Cathedral Mosque. To the east is once a huge tomb of Timurids – Dorus-Siadat (1379/80ãã-1404ãã). Only the mausoleum of Timur’s eldest son (Jehangir), built by masters from Urgench in the forms of Khorezm architecture, has survived to this day. There is also a crypt of Timur (1380-1404), lined with marble-like limestone, and the sarcophagus of white marble is empty. Amir Timur was buried in Samarkand. Lunch in national Uzbek house. Return to Samarkand. Dinner in one of the restaurants of the city.

Breakfast at the hotel. Continuation of the excursion to the historical sites will begin with a visit to the Museum of the city foundation, on the territory of the ancient settlement of Afrasiab, where you will see the world-famous original wall painting (VII c) of one of the palaces, discovered during archaeological excavations. You will get acquainted with a large exposition of artifacts (from VIIIc BC to XIIIc) found by archaeological expeditions on the territory of the settlement. The fortress-city Afrasiab, the ancestor of Samarkand, ceased to exist in the XIII century after the invasion of Genghis Khan’s hordes and the inhabitants moved to the south-west of it, to the territory of the present Samarkand. Your sightseeing program in Samarkand will be completed by visiting the memorial museum of Ulugbek (grandson of Tamerlane) and visiting the remains of the observatory built by his order in 1428-29, which at that time had no equal in the whole Muslim East.

Ulugbek was not only the ruler of a huge country, but also a great scientist of his time, an outstanding astronomer. Many data obtained in Samarkand Observatory were used by scientists of Europe until the XVII century. In the museum you will see exhibits telling about the “astronomical academy of the East” and its remarkable creator. Next to the museum is the grave of Russian archaeologist V.L. Vyatkin, who was the first to discover traces of the observatory in 1908. Lunch in one of the restaurants of the city. Then you go to the suburbs of Samarkand, where there is a place called Kanigil. The Ab-i Rahmat (“Blessed Waters”) stream flows through it. This place has been known since the XIV century. Court festivals and folk festivals were organized here, tents and marquees were set up.

Nowadays this territory is built up with private sector houses. Here, on the bank of Ab-i Rahmat brook, is a small factory producing Samarkand silk paper. In former times there were many such factories on the banks of small rivers and silk paper produced on them replaced papyrus paper in Europe already in XIV century. Enthusiasts revived the ancient technology of artisanal paper making from the bark of mulberry tree and now it is a place of pilgrimage for tourists coming to Samarkand. Masters will show you the whole process of work, after which you will have an opportunity to buy your favorite silk paper products. It is a wonderful souvenir for memory – typical Samarkand souvenir. You will have time for dinner in one of the restaurants of the city, during which you can walk around the city on your own.

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by motor transport to the mountainous village – 35 km on the way. You will breathe fresh air of foothills, get acquainted with rural Uzbek way of life, customs, family traditions, take part in cooking pilaf and shurpa (Uzbek national soup), and then dine on cooked dishes. Departure to Samarkand. Dinner in one of the restaurants of the city.

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by motor transport to the mountainous village – 35 km on the way. You will breathe fresh air of foothills, get acquainted with rural Uzbek way of life, customs, family traditions, take part in cooking pilaf and shurpa (Uzbek national soup), and then dine on cooked dishes. Departure to Samarkand. Dinner in one of the restaurants of the city.

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by motor transport for a sightseeing tour of Tashkent with a trip to the objects of demonstration (3-4 hours). Your ecological tour of Uzbekistan ends with lunch in a restaurant of the city. Transfer to Tashkent International Airport, where we will say goodbye to you in the hope to see you again on the hospitable Uzbek land on the tourist routes of “AL SAMARKAND”!

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