Guides
Guides from our travels

Destinations
Day-to-day details & all costs of our trips

Deals
Deals from other travel websites

Postal Stamps Memorabilia
Make a memory of every place you visit by getting a postal stamp from local post office

Tips
Do's, don'ts, advice, how-to's



« Uzbekistan Itinerary

Day 4 – Bukhara

 
« PREVIOUS – Day 3
Khiva to Bukhara
Traveling from Khiva to Bukhara.
 
Day 4
Bukhara
Sights of Bukhara.

« Eight days in Uzbekistan

 
Day 5 – NEXT »
Bukhara
Sights of Bukhara.

 
I was scheduled to start the first day in Bukhara at 9am, so after this lavish breakfast (for four persons) at the New Moon hotel, my tour guide was at the lobby right on time!


[Lavish breakfast at New Moon Hotel, Bukhara.]

 
First stop on the tour was Ismail Samany Mausoleum. Erected as a family crypt after death of Ismail Samany’s fater, Ismail himself and his grandson Hasr were also buried in it. It is interesting to note that erecting crypts was against Islamic law at that time, for Islam forbade erecting any post-mortem monuments upon the tombs of Muslim believers. However, the prohibition was broken in the middle of the ninth century by one of the caliphs himself, for whom a special as-Suli-biya Mausoleum was built. Ismail merely followed his example.

Composed of a semi-spherical dome resting on a cube, the mausoleum reveals the genius of a plain design. All of the facades are identical and marked with three-quarter domed columns on the corners. There is an upper armature and a central entrance with a visible horizontal dividing line. The core is characterized by regular kiln-dried bricks, forming horizontal, vertical, and diagonal patterns on the walls.


[Ismail Sawany Mausoleum]


[Ismail Sawany Mausoleum]

 
Right outside the complex was a souvenir market where carvings on metallic plates are handmade. It was great to see the artisans work on these souvenirs.


[Steps of carvings done on a metallic plate as souvenirs]


[Artisan works on carvings done on a metallic plate as souvenirs]
 


[Chashma-Ayub well (“Saint Job’s Source”)]


[Chashma-Ayub well (“Saint Job’s Source”)]


[Chashma-Ayub well (“Saint Job’s Source”)]

 
From here we drove to Bolo Hauz complex, the only preserved monument on the Registan Square. Located on the opposite site of Ark fortress, this complex consists of the reservoir, Friday mosque and a minaret. The most ancient part of the complex is the pond (hauz), which is called as Bolo-hauz (“Children’s reservoir”). It is one of several ponds in Bukhara, that still exists today. In the past, these reservoirs were the water source for the population and unfortunately the source of many diseases. Therefore most of them were drained.

Bolo-hauz Mosque was built in 1712 by order of Emir’s wife. The other legend says that Emir Shakhmurad (1785-1800) built it for public prayers, because he liked to be among common people. 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.


[Bolo-hauz Mosque]


[Bolo-hauz Mosque and reservoir]


[Bolo-hauz Mosque and Minaret]


[Bolo-hauz Mosque]


[Bolo-hauz Mosque]

 
Right across from the Bolo Hauz complex is the massive Ark Fortress, the residence of Bukhara khans. The citadel in the fortress is from 4th century BC, and for many years of building and destruction, a 20 meter tall artificial hill was formed; its upper layers were built over in the time of last Bukharan emirs.

The Ark included the whole city, consisting of houses, courts and yards with state institutions and official lodgings of emir, his wives, and relatives. Inside the trapeze form outlines of citadel walls, the planning was right-angled with traditional cruciform crossing of main streets.

Upon arriving at this fortress, you will see the massive gates of Ar, portal with two-story towers by sides from arch aperture and latticed architecture gallery on top. Behind it there is a musical pavilion, built in 17th century, two-colored audience chamber, surrounded by gallery. The Ark gates leads to the gloomy, arched and raised-up passage. By its side there can be seen 12 niches, leading to damp dungeons, where prisoners were kept.

To the south of entrance from the dalon, there is the most interesting of reserved monuments – throne-room of Bukharan emir, drawing room for ceremonies and festivals. It was vast, brick-paved yard surrounded by ayvans on well-proportioned wooden pillars from three sides. On the long axis yard in deep ayvan there is emir throne. This marble “takht” dated to 1669, under painted, wooden canopy on fretted marble pillars, was made by Nuratian masters.


[Entrance gates of Ark Fortress]


[Djami Mosque inside Ark Fortress]


[Ark Fortress]


[Ark Fortress]


[Ark Fortress]


[Ark Fortress]


[Ark Fortress]


[Outer walls of Ark Fortress]


[Outer walls of Ark Fortress]

 

From here, we visited Kalyan Mosque, one of the outstanding monuments of Bukhara, dating back to the fifteenth century. Under Temur, the construction of monumental buildings was concentrated in Samarkand and Shahrisabz. However, under Ulughbek, the powerful clergy of Bukhara initiated the construction of a new Kalyan Mosque on the site of the old one. Its dimensions are just slightly smaller than those of the Bibi-Khanum, Temur’s congregational mosque in Samarkand, but not as decorated elaborately as the Bibi-Khanum.

The layout of the Kalyan Mosque is traditional: a rectangular courtyard with a tall and large maksura room on the west side. Each of the courtyard axes has a large ayvan and the perimeter of the courtyard is built up with pillar-domed galleries (there are 208 pillars and 288 domes). An octahedron of arched pendentives supports a vaulted inner dome and is capped by a spherical blue outer dome upon a drum. This structure still dominates the skyline of Bukhara.

The Kalyan Minaret dominates the skyline of Bukhara, and was was designated to summon Muslims to prayer five times a day. Normally, each mosque had its own minaret, but the main minaret was situated near the Kalyan Mosque. The body of the minaret is topped by a rotunda with 16 arched fenestrations, from which the muedzins gave the call to prayer. The minaret is made from baked narrow ornamental strings of bricks that are the main feature of its architectural design. They are arranged in a chessboard order, either straight or diagonally. A frieze with inscriptions goes around the minaret upon a muqarnas (stalactite) cornice. The frieze is covered with blue glaze, which was used widely in the architectural decor of Bukhara at that time.


[Kalyan Mosque.]


[Kalyan Mosque with Kalyan Minaret.]


[Kalyan Minaret.]


[Kalyan Mosque]


[Roof of Kalyan Mosque]


[The white washed columns inside the mosque.]


[The inner courtyard of Kalyan Mosque.]


[The inner courtyard of Kalyan Mosque.]


[The inner courtyard of Kalyan Mosque with Kalyan Minaret towering in the corner.]

 
It was a 5 minute walk to the Sarrafon trading dome. Long ago, in the 16th century under the Shaybanides dynasty, Bukhara became the capital giving rise to unprecedented growth of the city, and since it was located on the Great Silk Road, the markets and trading stores even more congested cross-roads of public roads.

Right next to the Lyabi-Hauz is the dome with a cross-road running under it. It housed one of the largest currency exchanges of Central Asia: merchants from India, China and other countries change their money from money-changers, named the sarrafs. The name of the trading dome originated from them. But now it has small shops where tourists can buy carpets, kerchiefs and other souvenirs.

 
This is where we were close to our hotel, so we stopped by for some late lunch at one of the restaurants in the market. This was the end of the days tour, and we had the rest of the day for some siesta and souvenir shopping.

 
After some more walking around the area in the evening while having some local ice-cream, we stopped by the that serves Uzbek food with live music and dancing!

 

Costs

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = UZS 6,000 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
 

What Cost Notes
Lunch $5.83 Inside Sarrafon Market – UZS 35,000
Ice-cream $0.83 Near Lyabi Hauz – UZS 5,000
Dinner $7.50 At Lyabi Hauz restaurant – UZS 45,000
Souvenirs $8.33 Fridge Magnets, carved metallic plate – UZS 50,000.
Water & snacks $1.67 From local store – UZS 10,000
Total Costs $24.16 Per person
Overall Costs $1,941.45 Per person

 

 
« PREVIOUS – Day 3
Khiva to Bukhara
Traveling from Khiva to Bukhara.
 
Day 4
Bukhara
Sights of Bukhara.

« Eight days in Uzbekistan

 
Day 5 – NEXT »
Bukhara
Sights of Bukhara.

EIGHT DAYS IN UZBEKISTAN

 
Planning
Planning & Information
Visa, tips, details of planning.

 
Day 1
Tashkent, Khiva
Sights of Tashkent & flying to Khiva.

 
Day 2
Khiva
Sights of the fortress city of Ichon Qala.

 
Day 3
Khiva to Bukhara
Traveling from Khiva to Bukhara.

 
Day 4
Bukhara
Sights of Bukhara.

 
Day 5
Bukhara
Sights of Bukhara.

 
Day 6
Shahrisabz, Samarkand
Traveling to & sights of Shahrisabz, over to Samarkand.

 
Day 7
Samarkand
Sights of Samarkand.

 
Day 8
Samarkand to Tashkent
Traveling from Samarkand to Tashkent.

Expenses
How much did it cost?
List of all the expenses.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

All websites use cookies. It's the 21st century! What's a cookie?!

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close