Most amazing place in Central Asia
A modern-day country with roots that go back to Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and the fabled “Silk Road”. During your visit you will visit the ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva – walking the lanes and narrow streets traversed by caravans and their laden camels back in the 14th century. Carrying exotic spices, carpets and other merchandise between Europe and China – that are still sold in the bazaars you will shop in. Uzbek cooking and wide-ranging cuisine is famous for its blend of tastes and use of natural ingredients drawing on the extensive variety of fruits and vegetables that are grown locally. While predominantly a Muslim country, Uzbekistan is host to all religions with churches, mosques and synagogues. Mathematics and medicine have historical foundations in Uzbekistan dating back to studies in the 15th century. A modern-day county with no illiteracy and government provided healthcare and education for all. You will visit and explore enchanting cities that were centers of trade long before Columbus discovered America. Our tour guides will take you to see craftsmen at work making ceramics and wood carvings that you will want to bring home.
TAKE ONLY MEMORIES, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTSChief Seattle
Crispy breads, plov, dried fruits and a thousand and one other unique dishes of Uzbekistan
Main trait of the inhabitants of Uzbekistan
Which consist of incredible architectural structures and their hidden secrets
Two-thousands-year history containing hundreds of events that influenced world culture
Uzbek cuisine shares the culinary traditions of Turkic peoples across Central Asia. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan so breads and noodles are of importance and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as "noodle-rich" one. Mutton is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is a part of various Uzbek dishes.
Uzbekistan's signature dish is palov (plov or osh or "pilaf") which is a main course typically made with rice, pmeat, grated carrots and onions. It is usually cooked in a kazan (or deghi) over an open fire; chickpeas, raisins, barberries or fruits may be added for variation. Although it is often cooked at home for family and guests by the head of the household or the housewife. Palov is cooked on special occasions by the oshpaz or the osh master chef who cooks the national dish over an open flame, sometimes serving up to 1,000 people from a single cauldron on holidays or occasions such as weddings. Oshi nahor, or "morning plov", is served in the early morning (between 6 and 9 am) to large gatherings of guests typically as part of an ongoing wedding celebration.
Other notable national dishes include: shurpa (shurva or shorva) which is a soup cooked of large pieces of fatty meat (usually mutton) and fresh vegetables; norin and lagman, which is noodle-based dishes that may be served as a soup or a main course; manti (also called qasqoni), chuchvara and somsa, stuffed pockets of dough served as an appetizer or a main course; dimlama (a meat and vegetable stew) and various kebabs, usually served as a main course.
Green tea is the national hot beverage taken throughout the day; teahouses (chaikhanas) are of cultural importance. The more usual black tea is preferred in Tashkent. Both are typically taken without milk or sugar. Tea always accompanies a meal, but it is also a drink of hospitality, automatically offered green or black to every guest. Ayran, a chilled yogurt drink, is popular in the summer.
The consumption of alcohol is less widespread than it is in the west countries. Uzbekistan has 14 wineries, the oldest and most famous one is the Khovrenko Winery in Samarkand (est. 1927). The Samarkand Winery produces a range of dessert wines from local grape varieties: Gulyakandoz, Shirin, Aleatiko, and Kabernet likernoe (literally Cabernet dessert wine in Russian).Uzbek wines have received international awards and are exported to Russia and other countries in Central Asia.
The choice of desserts in Uzbek cuisines is not that much. A typical festive meal ends with fruit or a compote of fresh or dried fruit and followed by nuts and halvah with green tea.
Hospitality is the inherent quality of the Uzbek people. A good guest reception with Uzbeks is more valuable than any wealth. Hosts meet the guests at the gate of the house and greet them. Men are greeted by shaking the hands and women are greeted by putting a hand to one’s heart. People enquire about health and state of affairs during the hands shaking. Then guests are invited to the house and the owner of the house himself sits with everybody at the table. Any meal begins and ends with tea drinking. Sweets, pastries, dried fruits and nuts are served on the table first; snacks are served next, and main course as pilaf or another festive dish comes only at the end. The owner offers tea for guests. The traditional aspect of Uzbek hospitality is a small amount of tea poured in the cup - the more honored the guest is, the less drink is in his cup.
Sights of Uzbekistan are rich architectural heritage which are almost untouched by time and which have a great history.
The first thing that comes to ones's mind when talking about the remarkable features of Uzbekistan are madrassas and minarets with its unique patterns, beautiful squares and magnificent mausoleums.
One of the features of Uzbekistan is its great history. It is incredibly interesting and exciting. This is evidenced by many cities, such as Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, which left a bright and indelible mark on the development of civilization and the culture of the East. They have been ravaged and destroyed more than once, but they were again erected and delighted with their unsurpassed beauty.
The history of Uzbekistan is the history of great nations and states, it is the history of the Great Silk Road, the history of great scientists and their discoveries.
El Merosi Theater of Historical Costume was founded in April 2006. The main goal of the theater is to recreate and promote the cultural heritage of the peoples of the region through the prism of costumes.
El Merosi Theater has taken a certain place in the cultural life of the country, as evidenced by numerous performances for foreign VIP guests and tourists, company staff and educational institutions.
El Merosi Theater represented the national culture in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium (twice), Turkey (thrice), Turkmenistan, Russia (twice), Korea, Japan, and other countries.
El Merosi Theater is a participant of the international music festivals Shark Taronasi and Asrlar Sadosi in Uzbekistan, CIS Stars in Moscow, the Krasnoyarsk Festival of the Asia-Pacific Ocean Region and others.
Theater actors are the youth of Samarkand city students of universities, lyceums and colleges; they are 18 - 25 years old.
"Only the one who is able to
discover something new while turning
to old is worthy of being human."
This law is simple and precise: everything new is based on the old, grows out of it, and transforms itself into the new.
How can we learn about those who came before us, who lived their life on the same ground that we are walking on, and who left their mark in the history that we are now so interested to find?
History and Archeology.
All sources of history can be divided into two large groups: material and written. Tools of labor, remnants of ancient buildings, burials, mine workings and shrines, caves, ancient irrigation systems, decorations, dishes - everything that man has created are the most valuable sources for historians. Cave paintings are of great interest to researchers of the past times. According to the drawings carved on the rocks, painted with plant paints on the walls of caves and grottoes, it is possible, to some extent, to form an idea of the world surrounding the ancient people, their views on the world and on their own kind.
Authoritative evidence is written sources that are extensive and varied.
The unique heritage of our ancestors - the traditional costumes of people of different eras, different beliefs, and different states - represent the eternal dream of the beautiful, embodied in household items, jewelry and especially in creating the external appearance of a person.
Clothes not only isolate a human from the external environment, but also, according to the beliefs of our distant ancestors, preserves and strengthens it with the help of magical actions, often encrypted in drawings and ornaments. The magical power of the folk costume is so great that you experience aesthetic pleasure, when you look into this treasure house and realize its connection with customs, rituals, and with the most ancient sources of culture. Folk costume becomes a chronicle of the life of our ancestors, which reveals to us many intimate secrets and laws of beauty in the language of color, form, and ornament.
The Moment of Eternity theatrical performance begins with a dance and music performance, where the harsh hunters of the Bronze Age (end of III - beginning of II millennium BC) perform hunting scenes. Their costumes handmade of coarse weaving fabrics and trimmed with leather and fur were reconstructed on the materials of archaeological expeditions. This performance has fragments of traditional ritual dances of peoples worshiping nature and the spirits of birds, animals and plants, for which there was more mysticism than knowledge.
They are replaced by nomads, whose costumes already have more fur and leather, and the spears in their hands were replaced by short swords - akinaks. Costumes from the mid I thousand BC were recreated based on the images on silver vessels and bas-reliefs of Behistun (Iran). Militant Scythians depict the scene of the battle in which both men and women participate, who had a high status in nomadic society.
Rhythmic - one can even say, aggressive - music disappears with those with whom it is so well associated, and “golden” Achaemenids appear on the scene. Smooth movement of demonstrators correspond to the dignity of aristocrats and royal persons. Their costumes of VIII-VI centuries BC are created on the images on stone and majolica bas-reliefs of palaces in Pars, Persepolis, and Babylon. They are more complex and sophisticated, with high headdresses, telling about the high status of the owner. Various cults coexisted peacefully in the vast Achaemenid empire, including the cult of the divine essence of Anahit.
It is as if mythical birds with wings of the finest fabric of different colors fluttered onto the stage - these are Anahit priestesses. These costumes were restored based on the clay sculptures of Anahita found in Afrosiab. The costumes are decorated with gold and silver cords, beads, and round plates. Big turbans are worn on the head.
The Sogdian period is presented by the embassy of Chaganian King in Samarkand - acquaintance with the princess and offering gifts. The royal person appears with her suite in rich clothes, decorated with gold and silver embroidery and painting. Costumes of IV-VII centuries AD were created based on wall paintings of Afrosiab (Samarkand), Penjikent (Tajikistan), and Varakhsha (Bukhara).
Temurids (XIV-XV centuries AD) replace Sogdians. Information about this historical period is more available because writing was widely usedand generously "flavored" with illustrations (Babur-name, Zafar-name). The clothes of the courtiers and noble ladies are made of velvet, brocade, silk, and richly decorated with gilded laces and ribbons. This time is considered the heyday of science, culture and poetry, which has become an essential attribute of palace receptions and festivities. It is this side of the life of the inhabitants of Temurids that the artists showed.
The performance is completed by the rite which survived in the almost undistorted form in the various regions of Uzbekistan to the present day; these are weddings. Costumes of XIX century are made of silk, brocade, bekasam, and satin. Gold and silver embroidery are widely used, both in women's and men's clothes.
The classical national Uzbek dances performed by soloists of the theater harmoniously complement the performance program. For a relatively short period of its existence, El Merosi Theater of Historical Costume received deserved recognition not only in Uzbekistan, but also honorably represented the national culture on tour in Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
One may carry on an endless conversation about heritage of Uzbek culture, spirituality, especially music. Today we are going to talk about “makoms”.
This traditional musical and singing genre formed as far back as in the middle of the century and took a place of honour in Uzbek professional music.
Some researchers find “makoms” to be a development of the Zoroastrianism culture came into long before Islam.
Probably, initially the guards on changing had to perform above the gates a special ritual music called “makom” translated from Arabic as “location”.
“Makoms” that are a cycle of vocal-instrumental plays the poetic base of which is masterpiece of ancient folk poetry and classical literature, namely Jami, Hafiz, Navoi and many others.
Based on stylistic peculiarities the makoms are divided into:Bokharan and Khivan cycles. Bokharan cycle “Shashmakom” consists of six cycles named Buzruk, Rost, Navo, Dugokh, Irok and Segokh.
Each makom consists of two parts: instrumental and vocal ones.Herewith each instrumental part consists of several plays - Tasnif, Gardun, Tardji, Sakip and Mukhammas which differ in its melodic composition.
Main instruments for performing makoms traditionally are tanbur and doira.The important role in achieving integrity and dynamics of makom cycle is played by usuls - rhythmic inserts drummed on doira or nagara-drum.
Both Khoresmian cycles of makoms and Bokharan ones consist of six parts and contain several original melodies.Tempo and melody change is allowed.
As it was said above the makoms cab be discussed on and on.That’s why you should visit Uzbekistan and hear live performance of these melodies.
Artistical handicraft takes a special place in the culture of Uzbekistan. Since the ancient times from one generation to another the secrets tricks of the trade have been transferred, motif have been carefully kept, art schools were established which thereafter became the centres of different handicraft centers.
The proximity of the past and present in architecture, art, traditions create the uniqueness of Uzbekistan.
Ceramics is one of the most ancient and rather interesting types of applied art of Uzbekistan.
Famous products of masters from Rishtan (Fergana Valley), Gijduvan (Bukhara region), Urgut (Samarkand region) may delight everyone with their unique ornaments and patterns, rich colours and invaluable imagination of the authors.
In the villages of Uba (Bukhara region), Nurata (Navoi region), as well as in Denau (Surkhandarya region), professional craftsmen make clay toys. Fantastic animals, birds, horses, sheep, deer make up the main part of the unique images of clay toys. The most popular toys are tin whistles.
The Central Asian toy is a great cultural heritage preserved in rare places, in each locality and community it contains original unique images.
During many centuries Uzbekistan and the whole Central Asia have been the crossroads of various religions. It was the religion that played a key role in uniting the peoples living in this territory regardless of their nationality and race.
Today young Uzbekistan is a secular state where all religious organizations and associations are equal as per the law. The predominant religion in Uzbekistan is Islam, and more specifically, Sunni Muslims. Islam is professed by about 93% of the population. The next religion in terms of follower is Christianity, of which Catholics are 3% and Orthodox christians are 4%.
There are 225 religious organizations and 16 religious denominations registered in Uzbekistan. This variety of religions shows absolute tolerance to any religion in the country. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan every resident of the country has the right to profess any religion or to profess none.
In 1999 the Islamic University was established in Tashkent for the purpose of detailed study of the great heritage of Islam. There are many mosques which are coordinated by the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Uzbekistan. Two institutions are engaged in spiritual management: the Mir Arab religious school in Bukhara and the Islamic University in Tashkent.
Herewith, much attention is paid to Orthodoxy, thus in 2011 Uzbekistan celebrated the 140th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church in Central Asia. In Tashkent, there is the Holy Dormition Cathedral, as well as the Alexander Nevsky Church, the Cathedral of Prince Vladimir and the St. Nicholas Convent.
Armenian Apostolic Church and the Jewish synagogues сan be referred to the temples of other religious denominations.
Since ancient times Uzbekistan is famous for its carpets. During past centuries the carpets were very expensive at cost and generally they were used to decorate the palaces of khans and nobles. And nowadays in Uzbekistan carpet is the symbol of prosperity, comfort and well-being. This is a mandatory gift for a newly married couple at the wedding.
There are many carpet factories around the republic. Besides, there are many small weaving workshops where craftswomen sew carpets by hands. Homemade carpet weaving can be seen very often. In different regions carpets are differ in color and pattern. For example, black, red and blue tones prevail in Samarkand carpets while Bukhara carpets are full of a variety of beautiful patterns. In Fergana Valley carpets have red and blue stripes, while in Khiva more emphasis is placed on plant patterns. Carpets depicting the sun, amulets, tumours and horns of argali have magical significance and are designed to protect its owner from misfortune and bring good luck and well-being into the house.
Carpets are usually woven from wool, cotton, much less from silk however silk carpets are very much appreciated. In order to make it pecial patience and skill of the craftsman are required. High-quality silk carpets may have up to 1 000 000 knots per square meter and sometimes it takes up to 2 years of hard work to create two-sided carpets. Samarkand is considered to be a birthplace of silk carpets.
One of the oldest types of carpets in Uzbekistan is a felt carpet. Nomads used to decorate their yurts with felt carpets in old times. They may be white, grey and dark brown.
While being in Uzbekistan you will be able to purchase one of these magnificent carpets which will be not only a decoration for your house but also fill it with good luck and well-being.
The State Museum of the Temurids History was opened on October 18, 1996 in Tashkent in honor of the 660th anniversary of Amir Temur.
The museum is a combination of medieval "Temuridsky" style with modern architectural one. It has a round shape with a large blue dome and graceful columns. There is a beautiful fountain at the entrance.
The building has three floors, the first one is used for staff, the museum exhibits are located on the second and third floors. In the center of the main hall there is a copy of the famous holy book - the Koran Osman.
You may be interested by a large panel in the style of a miniature called “The Great Temur- the Great Creator”. The picture reflects the life of Temur from his birth to death. Here you can see a shooting star, symbolizing his name “Sahibkiran”, which means “born under a lucky star”. Also there is a bird Humo that is a symbol of happiness and freedom in the picture, and the falcon that symbolizes the birth of a baby and its high take-off.
The majestic buildings of Amir Temur are represented in the second part of the panel, they are the Ak-Saray Palace in Shakhrisabz and the Bibi-Khanum Mosque in Samarkand. The final third part of the panel is a last stage of Amir Temur life, his tomb is the Gur-Emir mausoleum. All parts of the panel are connected by the running river which represents the course of the great Tamerlane’s life.
Museum exhibits have great historical value. Among them you can find jewelry, clothing, weapons, musical instruments, astronomical instruments of Ulugbek and many other cultural valuables belonging to the great Temurids period.
All this professionally built exposition of the museum shows the spirit of that time, brings us the richest information about the state, social and cultural life of the peoples of the Middle Ages.
Uzbek national dances let to more deeply understand the people feel their character, desires, aspirations. Uzbek dance is distinguished by smoothness, grace and most importantly by colorful costumes.
The dancers spin in the dance like whipping-tops, hover in the air and freeze in deep hogs. Then, modestly bowing they fall to their knees and gently wave their hands. Their dance can impress everyone. In old times the dancers of Bukhara became so popular that they were invited to perform in the palaces of the Chinese emperors.
National dances of Uzbekistan which have survived today include two forms: traditional classical dances and folklore or folk dances. In classical dance three schools can be distinguished: the Ferghana school “Katta uyin”, the Bukhara school “Dance of the Makom” and the Khorezmian school “Ufori Makoma.”
There is a huge number of folk dances and depending on the region they are quite different from each other.
Traditional dances, as a rule, show some story or event but do not serve for the expression of dancers themselves. Their wide repertoire emphasizes the clarity and importance of dance for the culture of the country.
Uzbek dancers must be flexible and very precise in their movements since the movement of each part of the body including the fingers and eyebrows makes motive bringing more accurate. Consequently expression is just as important as the technical performance of steps in Uzbek dance.
Today, like many centuries ago, khan-atlas is one of the most recognizable brands in Uzbekistan. A rave of colour of the silk is amazing in its originality and magnificence. It is interesting that khan-atlas is used in collections by well-known designers like Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, John Galliano. It is very pleasing that today the khan - atlas recovered its former glory and again adorns women from all over the world. The legend of the royal silk says that once one of the rulers of Margilan fell in love with a daughter of the poor weaver and was going to make her his fifth wife. The miserable father threw at the ruler’s feet and begged him to release his daughter .The ruler agreed, but only on terms that by morning, the weaver would create something so beautiful that would be able to overshadow the beauty of his daughter. The regretful old man went to a bank of aryk (local canal). He spent there a long time in thoughts not noticing the rain started mixing with his tears. Suddenly the rain stopped and the poor weaver saw the reflection of clouds in the water. The clouds were turned in all colors of the rainbow. The weaver happily exclaimed - "Oh heaven, thank you for the idea!" He went back to his workshop and worked there through the whole night, but in the morning he unfolded before the khan’s sight a marvelous fabric sparkling with all colors of the rainbow and fluffy like a cloud and light like the air. The ruler asked how he managed to create such a miracle in just one night to which the following words were said: “I took the greenery of the foliage washed by the rain, added the colour of the tulip petals, the glow of dawn, the blue of the night sky, the patch of the sunlight on the river and the shine of my beloved daughter’s eyes and mixed all them. ” The ruler was shocked by the beauty of the fabric, so he forgot about his bride and agreed to let her go. The fabric of incredible beauty was called Ruler's silk or Khan-atlas.
In old days, Bukhara was the center of makinth the khan - atlas. However Margilan masters made it so much skillfully that up to now it has been considered as one of the best quality. The process of making khan - atlas by hand is very complicated, it includes up to forty stages. Only natural ingredients are used for dying: pomegranate peels, onion husks, madder, extracts from roots, fruits and plants. A special painting technique creates a unique pattern called abr which means a cloud. In Europe, however, the fabric is more known by the name of ikat. The Khan Atlas continues holding the sceptre among other fabrics pleasing its owners with brightness, tenderness and beauty.
Today I would like to talk about a skull-cap. There is a legend about the creation of the skull-cap. According to this legend, in old and ancient times there were disputes between supporters of orthodox Islam and representatives of nomadic culture, for whom the strict and severe prohibitions of religion were alien.
Arab missionaries wanted to force a young beautiful woman living in the steppe to put a headscarf on her head, following which a fierce struggle was unleashed. As a result, this headscarf was torn out and only a small piece of fabric remained. Having been tired after the long struggle the parties decided to make piece. The woman was allowed not to wear a headscarf, but as a respect to a foreign culture, the same small piece of fabric was to remain on the top of the head. However, winds raged in the steppe, which often carried it away. After that the nomads decided to give it a new shape and created a skull-cap, which is also worn by men. This is just one of the legends.
The name "skull-cap" or as local people call it “tyubeteyka” comes from the Turkic word "tuba", which means «a peak".
In Central Asia, skull-caps appeared long before the Muslim religion came there. For example, the symbolism of the ancient Aryans was embroidered on Badakhshan skull-caps.
Unlike our contemporaries the ancient people wore skull-caps not on the very top of the head, their foreheads and even eyebrows were covered by the skull-cap. According to ancient beliefs doing that they covered their "third eye" from the effects of negative energy. A cone-shaped head-dress in those days was supposed to serve as a connection between a man and space. However, skull-caps have a more practical function. As we know, the climate of Central Asia is very hot and most of the time the sun is very severe. In this climate, cotton skull-caps protect your head from the sun. And during sleep they are even used as a night cap.
Today, we will carefully consider the most popular Uzbek skull-caps and reveal the hidden meaning of their ornaments.
This tetrahedral (and it is no mere chance) head-dress has become one of the symbols of Uzbekistan.
Four faces that divide the head-dress into equal parts are designed to protect the wearer from evil forces from all over the world. The black color of the skull-cap symbolizes space and darkness. The ornament is usually embroidered with white thread. Four elements on the upper part of the skull-cap are calampir peppers symbolizing a symbol of life, family well-being and protects from the evil eye.
Sixteen elements in the form of arches deposited on the lower part of the head-dress represent the cyclical nature of life and death. According to legend, these elements attract wealth and give a supply of vital energy. Lamb horns inscribed in arches mean strength and courage.
Many tourists acquiring memorable souvenirs prefer a gold embroidered Bukhara skull-cap. And it is not a surprise as some samples can be called and look like a real work of art.
Ornaments embroidered with gold and silver threads can tell a lot. They indicate the high status of the owner and carry a certain ritual orientation symbolizing the purpose of the event for visiting which they put it on.
The main elements are the nightingale’s eye, the sparrow’s tongue, the dome, stars and circles, symbolizing the goal.
Today I would like to talk about Suzani. What is Suzani? Translating from Farsi language “Suzani” can mean “a needle”. Suzane or Suzani in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is a carpet that is embroidered with silk or mouline thread with a special kind of hemstitch called "kandakhiel". In 2014 four ancient Uzbek Suzanis were immediately sold for £ 43,875 at the Sotheby’s auction in London. These works of decorative and applied arts turned out to be four times more expensive than their original cost.
Suzanis make people to understand what a real and perfect virtuosity is; they have been near them throughout all their lives beginning from birth to the very old ages. Special Suzanis with special embroidery techniques are created for wedding and are kept in the family house for a whole life being a guarantee of happiness, a cornerstone of well-being and a symbol of constant fertility. The Suzanne ornament is designed in such a way that it has the beginning but there is no end. According to a very ancient tradition there is always a small unfinished ornamental fragment left the embroidery. An ancient tradition says that a small pattern on your Suzani must be left unfinished to let the weddings in the house take place over and over through the new generations to bring healthy to the housefather’s daughters and to allow the joy and happiness live in the house forever. Popular design motifs include the sun and moon, flowers (especially tulips, carnations, irises), leaves and vine shoots, fruits (especially pomegranates), and sometimes a shape of fish and birds. Some ornaments are amulets and embroidering them the needlewomen thought only of something good, sang beautiful songs and in this way transmitting and wishing well through their embroidery. True masters and real experts of Suzani can read them like a book because each Suzani is inimitable and unique indeed.
In September, the ethnic park “Navruz” was opened in Tashkent. What is noteworthy is not only a park with beautiful photo areas in the form of miniature cities of Uzbekistan such as Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara, but also a very authentic city of artisans. The whole area is a small two-story building with skillfully carved wooden shutters on the windows and doors which are striking in their beauty. And all of this is hand-carved by craftsmen of Uzbekistan. There are "streets" named after Karakalpakstan and other regions of the country, with houses in the old style, embodying the characteristic features of each region. Courtyards with mud walls, terraces, teahouses and workshops re-create ancient mahallas. An amphitheater was erected for celebrations on the occasion of Navruz holiday in the center of this new colorful town. A bridge of 88 meters long was erected over the canal flowing through the park.
It will be very interesting to walk along the narrow streets of the town, there is a boutique workshop in each house. You can just buy unusual national souvenirs and also see how they are created. I was impressed by the workshop for creating of national dolls. These dolls look so colorful and beautiful that you won’t pass by. In the evening, beautiful park lights are lit, oriental music is heard near the amphitheater, someone is dancing, and someone is just talking while sitting on comfortable oriental pillows. However you can just sit down and enjoy the starry sky above your head, strewn with billions of stars.
When talking about Tashkent sights one cannot ignore the famous theater named after Alisher Navoi. Academic Theater Alisher Navoi is the largest theater in Southeast Asia. The history of the Alisher Navoi Bolshoi Theater dates back to the 20s of the XX century. The Musical Drama Theater did not have its own building for performances, so the artists had to perform at the Coliseum Circus Theater. It was the only spectacular building erected in the first half of the 20th century. A bit later, in the 30s of the XX century, Russian and Uzbek musical theaters performed here. Even after the reconstruction the building of the Coliseum did not allow to fully realize the plans so it was primarily related to national and major classical performances. It was necessary to build a special building for the theater so then a state competition for the making of the best project was announced. The developed projects were published in the mass media and the public had an opportunity to discuss them. After summing up the competition results the victory was won by Academician Alexei Shchusev who made not only a project for the new theater building but also developed many other projects for Moscow buildings, including the mausoleum on Red Square. Construction work began in 1939 however was suspended in 1942-1944 during the World War. Uzbek artists were invited to decorate the halls and other rooms. At this stage, Japanese prisoners of war from the Kwantung Army who were moved to Tashkent in November 1945 were involved in the construction of the theater as evidenced by a commemorative plaque on the theater’s facade and genuine interest in the building of Japanese tourists.
According to the plan of architects each of the six halls on the sidelines has its own style, which reflects the peculiarities of architecture of the historical regions of Uzbekistan. In the Bukhara Hall, openwork ganch ornaments are superimposed on the mirror pilasters (made by Usto Shirin Muradov). In the decoration of the Samarkand Hall, Gazgan marble was used and two-layer carving “islimi” was used (Kuli Jalilov). The Khorezm hall is decorated with panels that repeat the wood carvings of the Khorezm carvers-craftsmen (craftsman Abdullaev). Termez Hall is characterized by decoration that adorned the palace of the ruler of Termez (craftsman Nigmatov). The Tashkent hall was executed by the craftsman Tashpulat Aslankulov, the Ferghana hall was made by the craftsman Narkuziev. The lobby of the theater is decorated with paintings by Chingiz Akhmarov. The creamy velvet curtains of the stage and lodges are embroidered with a pattern made by Bukhara gold seamstresses according to Shchusev's pictures. Just in front of the main entrance to the theater, after its construction, it was proposed to make an original fountain. Alexey Shchusev was the one who made this proposal and made it. Just a few years ago the fountain was renovated, now it is decorated with original lighting with musical accompaniment. Residents and guests of the capital of Uzbekistan come to the theater to admire the new "singing" fountain.
When we talk about the applied arts of Uzbekistan, we usually talk about ceramics, carpets weaving, and embroidery. But we completely forget about our traditional Beshik-cradles. Unfortunately, beshik is gradually becoming a thing of the past. When a child is born in a family Uzbeks call respected mullah, who sings azan to the new-born (azan is welcome prayer). The child hears his/her name for the first time in azan. According to the popular belief after the carrying out this ritual a new-born will grow to a noble and kind person.
The name of new-born is pronounced directly to his/her ears. After the birth of a child so called great and small “chilla” begins. Small chilla lasts for twenty days and during this time access to the child is limited to all except the parents, a nurse and other close people due to the necessity. Great chilla lasts forty days during which the ceremony of putting the child to “beshik” (cradle) is held. All close people take part in this process. If the new-born is the first child in a family, then new cradle – beshik is bought in a bazaar. In case of the second or third child he/she can be put to the beshik of his brother or sister. Beshik is the home of the child where he lies for most part of his days till he/she can walk.
Beshik holds a particular position in the life of Uzbeks. Beshik is very convenient and useful including in hygienic regard. The child always dry and neat in it. Beshik is made from the fruit type of trees. There is a special opening in its four wooden leg construction. In the upper head and lower feet parts of the bed there are two veneer arcs, which are connected by a strong carved wooden axis. There is a handle on each of the arcs for rocking the cradle. Many generations can grow in a firm, convenient and beautiful beshik.
There are some people who have grown up in the beshik of their father. It is a good luck for a young mother to grow her child in such an old beshik which is supposed to bring happiness. Therefore beshik is a holy object in every Uzbek family and even when they do not have a new-born, they never throw it out. It is always kept in each family.
An exhibition “Lullaby in the moonlight”, dedicated to the history of the traditional baby cradle - Beshik, opened in the Tashkent House of Photography. The exposition consists of 10 works of hereditary beshik-masters, as well as photographs of the process of making a lullaby from preparing a wooden frame to applying patterns.
Uzbekistan Fashion Week 2019 which was held in Tashkent has ended. The main organizer of Fashion Week is the Association of Designers of the Republic of Uzbekistan OSIYO RAMZI with the support of the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the development of tourism.
Tashkent Fashion Week-2019 provides a unique opportunity to professional designers and “Fashion Houses” to demonstrate their collections and provide an opportunity to get information on trends in the fashion world.
Meanwhile, fashion for tourism is of particular importance - one of the main criteria in choosing a destination when traveling. Uzbek national fabrics are of great interest to the international community and world fashion houses and Uzbek designers, in turn, are trying to bring new elements to modern fashion while preserving national traditions.
Tashkent Fashion Week 2019 program includes a competition of young designers, designer shows by Uzbek and foreign participants, Tashkent Fashion Performance and National Dress festival. In addition, an exhibition of Uzbek fabrics and Uzbek traditional costume is being held as part of Fashion Week. Leading foreign and domestic designers held master classes and training seminars.
An official opening of Uzbekistan Fashion Week 2019 was held in the best traditions of Hollywood. Each designer and his model broke upon the audience on the red carpet in brilliant images, which impressed every participant in the show even before it began. The IKAT show is one of the most beautiful shows for the fashion industry connoisseurs from all over the world. And the show has fully met the expectations of guests and participants. Along with foreign ones, famous Uzbek designers presented beautiful images. Each designer was distinguished by individual idea, presentation, technique and execution of each outfit. A riot of colors and bright patterns, impressive embroideries and appliqués, as well as a sea of amazing handmade work - designers were able to synthesize all modern trends and cultural features using stunning national fabrics.
On December 12, 2019 legendary Lyazgi dance was included into the Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO as an element of cultural heritage of Uzbekistan. Uzbek dances are an ancient tradition of the people. Dance art began to emerge in antiquity as a part of ritual activities. Moreover in the middle Ages the dance was an integral part of Eastern culture. The Uzbek dance is very expressive, hand movements and bright facial expressions prevail in it. Sometimes it is even compared with pantomime. The whole philosophy of dance is to express feelings: joy, sadness last but not least love. Prior to start of the dance, the Uzbek dancers traditionally hold their hands to the heart, and then extend their arms to the sky, as if to say that everything “comes from the heart.” There are 3 schools in classical dance which can be distinguished: Khorezm, Ferghana and Bukhara.
The Khorezm School is distinguished by originality of movements and expression. The movements of many dances are based on imitation of fauna - dance of pigeons, ground squirrels, goats, cats, cock and mutton fights, dance of pheasants, goose, quail and seagulls. Dancers even mimic the sounds of animals.
Many dance elements of this region are associated with circus art, where the masters of "aerobatics" dance with fire, knives, or on a rope. The most expressive and famous Khorezm dances are rightfully considered to be “Lyazgi”, “Dance on a Plate” and “Dance of Broken Fingers”. The last one is connected with the ancient legend of the king’s concubine, who once fell severely and broke her fingers. In order not to upset her beloved she danced without flexing her fingers. The king was very pleased taking the girl’s strange movements for a new dance. Now it is one of the most popular Khorezm dance styles.
Moreover there are satirical dances that tell about professions (dance of a fisherman, baker, hairdresser, cook, shepherds) in Khorezm School. In such dances, not a profession is ridiculed however a specific person does.
Unusual and different are characterized the dance costumes. An integral part of the men's Khorezm dance costume is a rough fur hat - hat, and the female headdress on the contrary is very elegant. Costumes of dancers are decorated with numerous coins.
The Ferghana school is characterized by softness, smoothness and expressiveness of movements, an easy sliding step, original movements in place and hands extended upwards, “speaking movements” and pantomime elements. Besides, improvisation is often allowed in the dances of Ferghana region as a great emphasis is placed on emotions and feelings in this school.
A lot of dance compositions are real miniature performances, scenes illustrating various events in the life of a young girl - for example, bitter separation from a beloved one, or a variety of everyday situations: picking cotton, creating silk fabric, baking flat cakes etc.
One of the most popular dances in Ferghana Valley is Tanovar. The word “Tanovar” consists of two parts – “tan - body or soul, “ovar” - pleasure, that is, “pleasure of the soul”. Each movement of this dance is an expression of the female soul, narrating about her love.
The Bukhara school unites the dancing traditions of Bukhara and Samarkand. There are also comic and circus elements. The movements are sharper, sometimes even more like gymnastic in these dances, very often there is shaking of the shoulders with tilts forward and backward and falling to the knees.
The flexibility of the dancers is simply amazing, and the play of the face adds passion to any dance. The most famous dances of Bukhara school are considered to be “Zamin Bozi””, “Larzon” and “Sarizon Bozi”, where complex movements and very bright facial expressions are performed.
Unlike classical, Bukhara folk dances are characterized by smooth movements and the use of Asian stone castanets – “kairok”, which support the rhythm of the dance. In fact, “kairok” resembles two flat pebbles. This instrument is an integral part of Bukhara folk dance.
Folk dances of each region are distinguished by its manner of performance, costume and musical accompaniment. Each folklore dance is a performance in which the dancer talks about the culture, history and life of his region. The cut of their costumes is simple, however the colors of the fabric and large ornaments attract the eye. The dances are so contagious that it is impossible to resist and not to start to dance!
Traveling around Uzbekistan in every teahouse, in any Uzbek courtyard, you will certainly be offered to stay on a trestle bed (Topchan). The Uzbek trestle bed is always decorated with many beddings (kurpachas) and decorative pillows. The trestle bed is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Topchan is a piece of furniture that came to us from the East. In Arab countries, trestle beds are quite common and, moreover, the place where the trestle bed is located considered a special one almost holy. The trestle bed can have different sizes however the entrance as a rule should be only one. Usually a small table is set on the trestle bed for eating. Its height is about 30-40 cm. This table is called "Joza". It got its name thanks to Chinese language – “Jose” from Chinese language means table. The design of the trestle bed itself does not have strictly defined standard sizes. As a rule, trestle beds are made according to individual sizes, however in general the height may range from 45 to 75 cm, with the height of the backs from 40 to 60 cm. This furniture item can be installed both in the dining room as well as the living room which is decorated in oriental style. It will also be very convenient to put a trestle bed in a courtyard under the canopy or in the garden house.
Kurpacha is a quilted mattress which carries out several functions at once. You can sit on it while eating at a low table, as well as cover the trestle bed for relaxation and convenience. In Uzbekistan, kurpachas are made all around republic which is associated with the huge demand for it. However, the best and most famous kuropachas are sewn by craftsmen of the Ferghana Valley. Kurpacha most often has size of 0.75 m x 3.60 m, however, its patterns, fabrics used in production and the color can be varied. The front side of kurpacha is usually made of khan-atlas, pan-velvet or plush, which adds a pleasant softness to the finished product. The inner side is made of cotton fabric and cotton wool serves as filler. Cotton wool for kurpacha is pre-whipped to uniformity and therefore the finished product is light and mobile - it is very easy to fold and move it from place to place. As an average, five to ten kilograms of cotton are consumed per kurpacha. Kurpacha is an integral part of everyday life for the peoples of Central Asia.
Tashkent can make fun even in winter! A few days before the New Year, to the riot of laser beams and megawatts of good music, the long-awaited festival of electronic and dance music DM Fest 2019 winter swept like a whirlwind. A whole slew of energy, light and electronic music from eminent DJs filled the December evening with an unforgettable atmosphere. The star guests of Dance Music Fest 2019 Winter were a Turkish disc jockey and producer Mahmut Orhan, Belgian DJ Romeo Blanco, DJ Taker, DJ KMRN, DJ Cayote and DJ Trace. Dance Music Fest is one of the few unique electronic music festivals in Central Asia that promotes a healthy lifestyle and aims to attract the attention of young people from many countries. The next festival of electronic music will be held very soon. Residents and guests of the capital can visit the Dance Music Fest 2020 winter in February this year.
Amir Temur (Tamerlan the Great, Temur the Great) – was born on April 8, 1336 in the village of Khoja Ilgar, near Kesh (modern Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan). The childhood and adolescence of the future commander passed in the vicinity of his native city. From a young age he loved hunting, horse riding and war games.
Amir Temur made 9 military campaigns around the country. Having created a powerful state, he proclaimed Samarkand as his capital. Suppressing conspiracies and rebellions, consolidating centralized power, the great commander became cramped in his native empire, plans for new military operations ripened in his head, he intended to complete what Genghis Khan did not manage to accomplish. The era of tremendous campaigns has begun!
The great commander died during a military campaign in China, it happened in February 1405 in the city of Otrar. The great ruler and conqueror was in power for 35 years. During the years of his reign, Amir Temur managed to create a huge empire and gain the respect of others, which has survived to this day!
It should be noted that Amir Temur was not only a brave warrior however a good master of the art of diplomacy. During his reign Temur was able to establish diplomatic relations and settle trade relations with the largest states of the Old World, such as England, France and Castilla. The name of Amir Temur is widespread throughout the world. Many people know about his campaigns, legends on his courage.
Monuments and madrasahs have been constructed in honor of Amir Temur throughout Uzbekistan!
Today we would like to tell you about the cotton that is known as “WHITE GOLD”
There is not a single branch of the national economy where cotton is not used. Not only the light and food industries, but also the heavy industry, automobile, aviation, electrical, chemical, clothes and shoes, artificial silk, paper and livestock feed and many other types of products cannot be successfully developed at the lack of cotton. By its significance in economics of the country, cotton occupies one of the leading places. It is of the same importance with bread, metal, oil. That is why from the ancient times people with love call it "white gold."
The cotton is a child of the sun; it needs a lot of heat, hot and life-giving rays. But in order to get a white, fluffy box, the cotton grower’s caring and gentle hands are also needed. Leonid Ilvich Brezhnev once spoke with great warmth about the workers of the cotton fields, saying that “white gold” is created by golden hands, that the valiant work of cotton breeding masters enjoys well-deserved fame in our country.
Navruz is the main holiday of spring. Everything seems to come to life on this holiday, when the day becomes equal to the night. Every day the sun shines brighter and brighter and warms the earth more generously with its rays, while filling all the living around with its energy.
Navruz is celebrated on March 21 in countries such as: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Albania, Macedonia, and even in some regions of Russia (North Caucasus, Bashkiria, Tatarstan) and Ukraine.
Navruz is not celebrated in Arab countries.
It is believed that Navruz came to us from Zoroastrianism, a religion, the sacred book of which states that it is necessary to celebrate the rebirth of life every spring. It is also believed that the celebration of Navruz is associated with the rule of the legendary Shah Jamshid, who is referred to in Shakhname poem. According to another legend, it is believed that the Iranian commander Siyavush was buried on this day.
People usually do general cleaning of the whole house, buy new clothes for the family, return debts, forgive and reconcile with foes before Navruz.
Navruz is considered to be a family holiday. On this day, a festive table is set up, where there must traditionally be dishes such as sumalak, kuk-samsa and halim (halisa), whose cooking has many mysteries. For example, sumalak is a dish that is cooked from sprouted wheat, flour, and vegetable oil in a large pot. And, surprisingly, in order for sumalak to be saved from burning, stones ar put in the pot. Sumalak is cooked almost all day, from dawn to dusk, without leaving the pot unattended. Only women cook it. While stirring sumalak in the pot, they sing songs and tell stories to each other. Already cooked sumalak turns out incredibly sweet and tasty.
Along with the cooking of sumalak, the preparation of the “male” dish halim takes place. This is a dish of meat and sprouted wheat. It is cooked exclusively by men.
Cooked treats are distributed among all relatives and friends in the morning.
The festive table for Navruz boasts not only beauty and taste, but also benefit. After all, all its dishes contain a huge amount of vitamins that help restoring the balance of the body after winter. Therefore, Navruz may be considered a truly spring holiday!
Navruz is a celebration of hope for the best, kindness, and love. The mystery of the origin of this holiday is hidden from us by the past, and it is of great importance that it has not been lost in the centuries, has reached our days, and may be celebrated by us just like our ancestors used to celebrate it.
Let the times and people change, but the commandment of Navruz will remain unchanged: “[It is necessary] to speak only good words, to do only good deeds, to think only about good, and then the Good will triumph over evil!”
The electronic visa is issued to foreign citizens who would like to visit Uzbekistan as tourists. In order for it to be processed, you need to contact the official electronic visa portal of the Republic of Uzbekistan at www.e-viza.gov.uz.
For the processing of the visa application, you need to apply at least three working days before the planned date of travel to Uzbekistan. The application is considered within two business days excluding the day the application is submitted.
The electronic visa is issued for a period of stay in Uzbekistan up to 30 days with a single entry and is valid for 90 days from the date of issue.
A consular fee of 20 USD is charged for consideration of the application for issuing an e-visa. The payment for consideration of the application is carried out electronically through international payment systems. The amount of the consular fee is charged only for consideration of the e-visa application and is not refundable.
The issued electronic visa is sent by email.
A foreign citizen may be denied an e-visa if the case does not comply with the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In this case, the corresponding refusal notice is sent to the e-mail address of the foreign citizen.
When passing through the State Border of the Republic of Uzbekistan and during their stay in the country, the foreign citizen shall show a passport and an electronic visa, in hard or sof copy.
According to the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, foreign citizens and stateless persons, with the exception of citizens of a certain number of countries, can enter Uzbekistan only if they have entry visas. Visa-free entry into Uzbekistan was introduced for citizens of the CIS countries, with the exception of Tajikistan (visa-free entry for its citizens is issued for 30 days) and Turkmenistan (only visa-free transit entry, temporary stay and exit from Uzbekistan is valid for its citizens). Visa-free entry is valid for a period of 30 days for citizens of the following foreign countries:
Starting from 1 January 2020, Uzbekistan will introduce a visa-free regime for a period of 30 days for citizens of another 20 countries.
This decision is adopted in accordance with the decree of President “On measures for the further development of the tourism sector in the Republic of Uzbekistan”.
The list includes:
Visa-free travel is not granted to stateless persons permanently residing in the above countries.
Persons under the age of 16 are granted a visa-free regime only when accompanied by legal representatives and while holding a biometric passport for the duration of the visa of the accompanying person, but for not more than 90 days from the date of entry into the country.
Citizens of the following countries are granted visa-free transit entry, temporary stay in Uzbekistan and departure from it:
For the processing and issuance of visas, the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan provide for the following consular fees:
Note: the rate increases by 10 USD for each additional visa multiplicity.
After that, a request for a visa to the consular or other diplomatic mission of Uzbekistan in your country is sent, where you will be able to complete the processing.
Uzbeks are amazing, sympathetic, and kind people. An Uzbek is the person who can sit in a warm chapan (coat) and drink hot green tea in the summer heat of 40 degrees Celsius. Please, do not think anything bad. This is one of the most ancient method of the Uzbek people to deal with the exhausting heat. We will tell you more about this people now.
One of the features of the Uzbek people is that they never say ‘no’. This trait was formed long ago: Uzbeks were engaged in trade from ancient times, and it was not in the interests of the seller to offend the buyer. For this reason, you will never be denied your request directly but they will respond traditionally ‘khop mayli’ (ok, good). However, it will be not clear when your request will be fulfilled: Uzbeks are not in a hurry to make decisions.
And if it turns out that the agreement is broken you will be offered several options to resolve the issue - up to the most ridiculous ones - so that you are not angry.
The next feature of the Uzbeks is a greeting. This is a ritual! When they see someone the Uzbeks greet and heartily ask them how they are doing, how is it going at home, how is their family and children, how is their household and work? The traditional answer is the following: "Thanks God, all is well." All of these takes a lot of time especially when two women are met.
The next feature is the Uzbek plov (pilaf). Any important event is marked by cooking of this dish made from rice, meat, and carrots. The Uzbeks can eat it even at 6 o’clock in the morning. This time was not chosen immediately: plov was originally prepared for the end of the first prayer, that is, by 4 am. It was then moved to 7 am, and finally shifted again, so that people would get to work in time. It is impossible to refuse an invitation to plov - it is sacred.
The Central Asian Plov Center operates in Tashkent, serving wedding pilaf decorated with kazy horse sausage and quail eggs. Uzbek plov is gradually conquering the world and it was included into the list of intangible heritage of UNESCO last year.
Finally, how can you do without tea? It is always served. They say in Uzbekistan: “If you don't drink tea where will you get the strength from?” The more appreciated the guest is, the less tea is poured to him, so that he will often turn to the host for more tea to be poured and will stay longer. While passing tea to the dear guest, the right hand touches the heart as a sign of respect.
Uzbeks are the people who honor their traditions and value the experience of ancestors that have been passed down from the depths of ages.
Uzbekistan is a state of great cities with a huge number of architectural structures of different historical periods. Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are much appreciated around the world. These cities being Rome and Babylon coevals used to be the largest centres of Islamic and Eastern culture and spirituality. The greatest scientists and sophists of those days lived in these cities. Their beauty was supplemented with luxurious palace, minarets and mausoleums. Unfortunately, many of these masterpieces could not survive till the present days or just magnificent ruins remained instead of them... But those that by some miracle remained distinctively show an image of the distant and passed away past.
The Great Silk Road connecting the East and the West was passing through these cities. A great deal of efforts were made to ensure a comfort and safe tourism in these historical cities. In this respect a large number of new hotels and restaurants are being opened as well as transportation infrastructure is being improved.
A journey to Uzbekistan with its historical, archeological, architectural and natural objects is a real adventure that makes it possible for you to reveal many ancient mysteries and legends. Guests of our country have possibility to immerse in the past of the Uzbek people not only in the museums seeing its exhibits however feeling life of the people of that time. Once you step on the ground of the ancient settlements, visit archeological sites and you will feel the doors to the history of the past age opening for you.
This land full of the Eastern atmosphere leaves no one untouched. This land is also famous for cotton, fruit gardens, various bazaars.
Endless deserts and silent plains were the crossroads of caravan tracks and facilitated development of the Great Silk Road. Nowadays Uzbekistan proposes trips on prairies and deserts with unique possibility to make a camel tours and stay in yourts.
The mountains of Uzbekistan with theirs colourful and unique landscapes are individual feature of Uzbekistan nature. These amazing places should be seen by everyone who wants to feel harmony of merging with nature, a rare feeling of isolation from the civilized world. Forests, alternating with mountain meadows overpassing to the mountain peaks covered with eternal snow and glaciers.
In summer time the mountain tourism of Uzbekistan offers a wide range of bicycle tracks, hiking, tracking, rafting, alpinism, equestrian tour services and holidays in fashionable mountain resorts. In winter snowboarding and paragliding are very popular. High-skilled instructors ensure a high level of service and will help you to make the extreme ideas of yours to come true.
Besides all natural beauty you will be happy to know about hospitality and open kind soul of Uzbek people. You will be also attracted by national ethnic cuisine with abundance of many delicious dishes. They are worth having a taste!
However Uzbekistan is not only a great past with its unique cultural heritage, Uzbekistan is yet a perfect modern place for a rest and entertainment.
But do not neglect safety. With the regard to safety Uzbekistan is very stable state and you can enjoy your holidays not apprehending of unsafety.
On visiting Uzbekistan you make your trip frantic and unforgettable.
Tourism is one of the important economy branch of Uzbekistan today. Great attention is being paid to development of tourism, organization of service for foreign guests according to all international standards. During the years of independence, our country made a significant breakthrough in this field focusing on the historical and cultural values, renaissance and revival of national traditions and customs, restoration and arrangement of architectural monuments.
Every year Uzbekistan is visited by more than 2 million people from different parts of the world. Foreign guests are coming from almost all remote parts around the world. Our country is particular popular among the citizens of Germany, France, Italy, Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Malaysia, Russia and India.
The tourism in our country is evidenced by the availability of over 7,000 tangible cultural heritage sites from different eras and civilizations, including the historical centers of Bukhara, Khiva, Samarkand and Shakhrisabz included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. World famous historical monuments, modern cities, unique nature of Uzbekistan, incomparable national cuisine as well as unsurpassed hospitality of our people attract travelers.
Thanks to the efforts made by our country, tourism has achieved a higher level today. In particular, 1,176 tourist organizations, including 621 tour operators and 555 hotel facilities, are successfully operating in the country. A diversified network of hotels with more than 25 thousand beds meets modern international standards.
Owing to the ambitious construction and reconstruction of airports in Uzbekistan, 11 of them have received a status of international harbors as well. Modern aircrafts of the National Airlines of Uzbekistan “Uzbekistan Airways” that meet all international requirements and consist of Boeing and Airbus airliners operate regular flights to more than 40 cities in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and America. In 2016, Uzbekistan civil aviation fleet was replenished with two modern Boeing Dreamliners.
Tourists of Uzbekistan have the opportunity to get to the sightseeings of the country by means of railway transport. Thus, besides the usual and high-speed trains, the “Afrosiab” high-speed trains run daily between Tashkent, Samarkand and Karshi. In addition, in June 2016, Uzbekistan reached another breakthrough in the development of the tourism and transportation industry — the opening ceremony of “Angren-Pap” electrified railway line was held connecting the picturesque Fergana Valley with the rest of the country.
Ecological tourism has been actively developing in Uzbekistan recently. Nature reserves, national parks, natural monuments attract more and more people every year. Geotourism, medical tourism, as well as alpinism and rafting have been developed. Recreation areas and comfortable infrastructure facilities are being built in the regions of Uzbekistan. For example, the necessary conditions are created for skiing and other winter sports in the sports and recreation centers “Chimgan”, “Beldersay” and “Charvak” located in the Tashkent region. Mountain paths of different types with a length of 300 to 3 thousand meters are built here. Tourists can lift on the ropeway using a special elevator.
Mice Tourism, accompanied by major events play a significant role in the development of tourism in Uzbekistan and its image on the world stage. One of the most important annual events is the Tashkent International Tourism Fair named “Tourism on the Silk Road.” Today it is the largest forum in Central Asia where industry professionals meet, negotiations are held in various formats, including business-to-business meetings, the Hosted Buyers program is being implemented for buyers of the national tourist product, as well as conferences are being held on actual issues of the development of the tourism industry in Uzbekistan and the world as a whole.
Uzbekistan also regularly takes part in foreign international fairs and exhibitions in order to present the country’s tourism potential and to maintain the country’s image. Participation in these activities allows being in touch with the latest trends of the world tourism market, awarding business contracts, and developing cooperation with foreign partners.
Thus, an intensive development of the tourism industry in Uzbekistan, including solicitous attitude to the historical and cultural heritage, the creation of infrastructure that fully meets international standards, and the strengthening of international relations have turned our region into one of the most visited countries in the world.
Uzbekistan is a mysterious country for a foreign traveler today. Many have desire to see it with their own eyes. Therefore, you will be presented with some interesting facts about Uzbekistan below that may be of use for you:
Despite the fact that the watermelon is really good - sweet, juicy - there is no “honey” in it; “honey” is in the melon. The Uzbeks say so.
But this is really so! One has only to leave the melon cut in the open air, as bees and wasps immediately fly on it and drink sweet juice.
In order to determine the ripeness of the melon, it is enough for it to be aromatic.
Uzbekistan is considered the birthplace of the world's best melons since ancient times! IA huge number of varieties of melons with excellent aromas has been created in the oases of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, and Khorezm, known for their fertile lands and culture and thanks to the hard work of Uzbek breeders over the centuries. From the point of the climate, it happened that Uzbekistan is an ideal place for such a heat-loving plant like melon. Each region of Uzbekistan is famous for its varieties of melons. Early-ripening Handalaki appear on the urban markets almost everywhere in early June, and Assate come to the market a little later. Honey-sweet Ich-Kyzyl and Shakar-Palak will ripen in July. August will delight the melons of Bekzodi variety. And in September, you will enjoy the late ripening winter varieties that keep their excellent taste until April-May of the next year that have received worldwide fame - Gulyabi, Kara-Kavun, Koy-Bosh, Umyrvaki, and Kara-Gyz.
Melon contains a lot of valuable vitamins and minerals. First of all, the melon is loved for its sublime taste and unsurpassed dietary properties. It is difficult to find a better sweet than fragrant and tender melon.
Uzbek national national dress is very beautiful and has its own specific features. Since the ancient times unusualness of the national dress was specified by climatic and handicraft conditions. Till the present days it preserves its archaism features. Uzbek people have an original fabric named atlas that differs from other ones in its colorfulness and delicacy. Generally women’s light dresses are made of it. As for the men’s wear there is a dressing-gown called chapan. This all-purpose clothing keeps you warm in winter and protects you from summer heat. It was rather light and had some cuts for convenient walking and sitting on the floor. Chapan was usually tied with a kerchief. Uzbek people also have a special head wear in the form of embroidered skullcap called tyubeteyka. The name of tyubeteyka originates from turk word “tyube” that means “top” or “peak”. Tyubeteyka is a national head wear not only for Uzbek people however for other native peoples of Central Asia.
At all times generally women were the masters of tyubeteyka sewing. The motif that can be found most often as a decoration for tyubeteyka is floral motif, almond motif “bodom” a symbol of life and fertility.
The most popular type of tyubeteyka is “doppi” that is characterized by black background and white motif in the form of pod-pepper - kalampir.
Nowadays the clothing of Uzbek people changed greatly influenced by European culture that is why in the streets you may see people wearing hottest new trend of clothing. However the famous Uzbek fabric atlas and the inimitable dresses made out of it, traditional head wear and carpets are still greatly more popular than European innovations.
Pilaf takes a honourable and special place in Uzbek cuisine.The process of cooking pilaf is just an art for Uzbek people and it may take you a whole life to approach to this secret of art. We are going to tell you some interesting facts about this delicious dish.
There are lots of types for cooking pilaf worldwide.Imagine that there are more than 200 kinds of pilaf only in Uzbekistan.There is a Turkish proverb:Each Islamic city has its own type of pilaf.
Throughout the world the pilaf has different names.Thus, in Spain the local people cook paella that differs from Uzbek pilaf only in adding seafood ingredients.
In ancient Central Asia the pilaf was cooked inside the sheepskin.For this purpose the pilaf was cooked wrapped in the sheepskin laid on hot coals into a big hole and again with the coals on the top. This way the temperature in pilaf was distributed evenly.
It is known that Amir Timur included the pilaf into ration of his warriors.One day planing his campaign to Ankara the commander asked himself a very important question:How is it possible to put an army of thousands, a long road and a sudden attack together without taking huge unit trains with food?Here a wise man suggested him a recipe of this delicious, nourishing and nutritious dish. Having eaten a bowl of pilaf the soldiers became full of energy for several days and Amir Timur’s troops easily achieved victory.Since that time the pilaf became the leading food for Amir Timur’s faithful troops and may be one of the main secret of his triumphant campaigns.It is believed that the soldiers of Alexander the Great had been eating this dish in their military campaign long before Amir Timur discovered it to his warriors.
It is a tradition among Uzbek people that only men are adept at cooking a real Uzbek pilaf.In fact this dish of rice, meat, carrot, onion and spices simultaneously combines mastery of boiling, frying and evaporation.It is said that if you can cook the pilaf you can easily cook any other dish.
Shaitan Zhiga - "Helmet of the Devil"
This is a name of mysterious plateau hidden from curious eyes in off spurs of Zerafshan range 30 km from Samarkand not far away from Urgut. Rocks here look like fantastic sculptural masterpieces – frozen demons, idols of the ancient Gods, petrified prehistorical monsters. Among them you can find the figures of animals ( bear, tiger, huge a frog, pangolin, bird of prey) and cut off giant’s head.
As local residents say, this place has its own power, once upon a time mysterious rituals were held by local pagans on a high plateau. Wizards gathered around the altar and performed sacrifices. Maybe that's why there are almost no trees and flowers growing on this land. Only in spring small water sources break through, reminiscent of the victorious or defeated water element.
Tashkent TV tower 375 metres high is the highest structure in Central Asia. It is rather earthquake-resistant and can withstand earthquake with magnitude of 9 points on the Richter scale. TV power was built in 1981. Its main function was television and radio broadcasting. Broadcasting centre is the largest in Central Asia.
Moreover the TV tower is equipped with a special observation platform where the city is spread along the eyes. There is a rotating restaurant named “Koinot”on TV tower which will offer you Oriental and European cuisines. So the visitors may both have a good meal and enjoy a great panorama of Tashkent city.
This is real landmark visited by lots of inhabitants of Uzbekistan and foreign countries. There is a famous Central Asian Center of Pilaf at the foot of TV tower, where incredibly delicious pilaf is cooked. There is also Tashkent water park and Tashkentland beloved by everyone.
If you come to Tashkent you will not be able to miss it as it can be seen from everywhere in the city. It is hardly to imagine Tashkent today without this magnificent structure.
Independence Square or “Mustakillik Maydoni” is not just a square it is a place where all the people gather during holidays, where it is always pleasant to walk along the green alleys surrounded by the sound of fountains.
Just approaching the square and stepping on granite steps with the beautiful fountains we can see the majestic structure of 16 marble columns with the storks flying on the top that are the symbols of peace and calmness in the country.
Further more passing along the avenue you will get to the Independence Monument representing a granite obelisk, where we can see a globe on the top with a marked outline of the territory of Uzbekistan that expresses the desire of the state to become a fully valid member of world society. At the foot of the monument there is another memorial known as the Monument to the Happy Mother where we can see a woman with a child in her arms symbolizing the centuries-old wisdom and bright future of the country.
Then the square smoothly passes into the Avenue of Glory where galleries are located on both sides. These galleries contain Books of Memory in which the names of Uzbekistan people died in World War II are engraved with golden letters. Having passed the Avenue of Glory you will find the eternal flame and the monument of the Sorrowing Mother always covered by flowers.
There are two administrative buildings located on the territory of the square. They are Senate building that is Supreme Assembly of Oliy Majlis (Parliament). Its central entrance is decorated with a national flag of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Cabinet of Ministers.
Bride-couples can be met in the square very often. According to the traditions they go through the arch of kind and lofty thoughts stepping on a white path and laying flowers to the monuments.
Although the Uzbek Internet and cellular communication are different from foreign ones both in speed and quality. Every tourist should know how to ensure communication and the Internet in the country.
Most hotels provide internet via Wi-Fi. But if there is no such service in your hotel so you can buy a SIM card in any cellular shop nearby. There are four mobile operators in Uzbekistan: Beeline, UMS, Ucell, Uzmobile and Perfectum Mobile. When using Perfectum Mobile you need a special mobile phone supporting CDMA standard while SIM cards of other mobile operators fit to any mobile device as they all support GSM standard.
In airports of Tashkent and Bukhara you can find a shop where SIM cards of UMS operator are sold. You just have to show your passport and pay the required tariff plan (3 to 7 USD). The minimum cost of connecting cellular communication of any operator is 1 dollar. The payment is made in national currency.
Toping up is also not a problem, payment system dealer network is available in any city of the country called Paynet that transfers funds to the phone account in a matter of seconds.
Also be noted that the speed for mobile Internet of all operators is almost the same however the amount of traffic depends on the selected tariff. An average cost of 1000 MB Internet package of all cellular companies is about 4 USD.