“Silk and Spices of Bukhara”
Annually held in Bukhara “Silk and Spices” festival, had become a true platform for the development of national applied art and promotion site of the cultural heritage of the Uzbek people. The festival has its aim to turn Bukhara into one of the world’s tourism centers. According to experts, there are great opportunities, as this ancient city, the biggest center of world trade on a Great Silk Road, have been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1993. With the help of various firms and instruments, travel industry in Bukhara has been developing actively. One of such form is “Silk and Spice” festival, which was initially designed 14 years ago, as a embodiment of rich and diverse heritage of talented people of Uzbekistan.
The word «silk» in the name of the festival — it is not only a silk fabric, but also a diversity of the entire handicraft production on the Great Silk Road. It is the embodiment of the desire of artists to show the world their talent and beauty of the Uzbek national products. And a word «Spices» implies a rich national cuisine of the Uzbek people, which cannot be imagined without the herbs and spices.
Duration: 8 days/7 nights
Itinerary: Istanbul – Tashkent – Bukhara – Samarkand – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand – Tashkent – Istanbul
Day 1. May 23. Istanbul – Tashkent
Departure from Istanbul to Tashkent at 23.55, flight TK368
Day 2. May 24. Tashkent
Morning arrival in Tashkent at 06:15, flight TK368.
Accommodation at the hotel.
There are not so many cities in the world, like the cities of Uzbekistan that have managed to preserve the beauty and spirit of bygone eras, and combined them with the elusive and ephemeral pace of modern life. There are the ruins of old castles, palaces, paved streets, reminding of the greatness of leaders who once lived here neighboring side by side peacefully with skyscrapers, towers, houses, buildings, offices and banks, squares and parks, built over the past decades. This is Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan – the city of bread, silk, cotton, tobacco, fruits.
Visit to the “Chorsu” market, one of the biggest markets of Uzbekistan. Kukeldash Madrasa and Shayhantur Ensemble with its three mausoleums. Hast-Imam square, which is considered the religious center of Tashkent, where the Barak-Khan Madrasa was built in the 16th century, the Tilla-Sheikh mosque, the mausoleum of the saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi, and the Islamic Institute named after Imam al-Buhari. Further tour of the new part of the city with a visit to Independence Square, which is the central square of Uzbekistan.
Dinner at the local restaurant.
Day 3. May 25. Tashkent – Bukhara
Transfer to the station to take the high-speed train “Afrosiab” to Bukhara at 8.00. Arrival to Bukhara at 11.50. Transer and accommodation at the hotel.
Bukhara is a city museum in the middle of the sands with two thousand years of history became famous for its former carpet market. The appearance of the city is surrounded by many legends and tales. One of the legends says that the son of Iranian king Siyavush arrived in Bukhara married the daughter of the king Afrasiab and built there the fortress – Ark. Scythian tribes, the Persian king Darius the conqueror Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane – all they were there. World famous scientists, artist, poets and writers have lived here in different epochs. The Italian traveler Marco Polo, who visited the city in the fourteenth century, called it a city of great splendor. The famous commercial artery – the Great Silk Road, a road from China to Europe passed through Bukhara and Samarkand in those years.
All day sightseeing tour around Bukhara:
Fortress Ark, located on the Registan of Bukhara, Central Square of the old town. It is estimated that this citadel was built in the II century, rebuilt several times, and received its current and final appearance at the sixteenth century, when Bukhara became the capital of the state of Sheibanids the first Uzbek dynasty. The citadel underwent bombings of the revolutionary army in 1920, only a quarter of the building remained untouched – emir’s mosque, reception court, emir’s chambers and prime-minister’s court.
The monuments in the Samanid’s park. : 12th century Mazar Chashma – Ayub and the pearl of Central Asian architecture: the Samanids mausoleum constructed in 908, the oldest shrine of the Islamic world, first building in baked bricks, classified by UNESCO among the 10 most important monuments of humanity. Pretty Bolo Hauz mosque (18c.), with a terrace 20 wooden columns.
The Labi-Hauz square with a large pool of water, surrounded by Poi-Kalian Square and Kalyan Minaret (12c.), The Kalyan mosque (15c.), The Miri-Arab madrasa (16c.) that is still functioning. The Madrarsas Ulugbek (15c.) and Abdulazizkhan (17c.). madrasa Kukeldash the biggest in Central Asia (16c.); madrasa and khanaka Nodir Divan-Begi.
Day 4. May 26. Bukhara “Silk and Spices Festival”
At the Silk and Spice Festival you will find yourself in the world of oriental tale. The opening ceremony usually has the festive procession involving people dressed up in national costumes; performances of artists, dancers, acrobats and wrestlers. Units of medieval warriors are rowed along the Ark fortress, and caravans of camels and horses pass the street connecting trading domes of Bukhara. All this makes an impression of the trip back to thousand years.
You will be able to get acquainted with bright palette of national costumes, dances and what is more important – find out the difference of crafts traditions of each region of Uzbekistan. In addition, locals and festival guests will be able to enjoy a variety of traditional Uzbek dishes, prepared by the best chefs from all over the Uzbekistan.
Day 5. May 27. Bukhara – Samarkand
Departure to Samarkand. Accommodation at the hotel upon arrival.
Samarkand is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia which is more than 2,750 years old. Uzbeks say: Samarkand is as old as the Earth. The city was conquered by the soldiers of Alexander the Great, the troops of the Arab Khalifat, the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan! But the city was rebuilt again and again… At the end of the fourteenth century Samarkand became the capital of the vast empire of Timur and the object of his particular concern. Many palaces and majestic buildings were constructed there.
Samarkand city tour – the pearl of the Orient, one the most majestic cities of Uzbekistan, beloved capital of Great Tamerlane. Gur-Emir Mausoleum (14-15cc.) – Tamerlane and his family last resort. The heart of Samarkand – Registan Square (15-17cc.): Ulugbek Madrasa, Tilla-Kori Madrasa and Sher-Dor Madrasa.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6. May 28. Samarkand – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand
Drive to Shakhrisabz.
Shahrisabz is the birthplace of Amir Temur.
He was born in 1336, 12 km far from the city, in the village “Khodja-Ilgar”. Amir Temur spent his childhood and adolescence Here. Since the beginning of his reign he found in Shakhrisabz many skilled craftsmen who built palaces, mosques and mausoleums for him.
The road goes through a scenic mountain pass Tahtakaracha (1750 m above sea level – the highest point of the Samarkand region), Shakrisabz city tour: the portal of the palace Aksaray (14-15cc.), Jahongir Mausoleum (14-15cc), Kok Gumbaz Mosque (16c.).
Day 7. May 29. Samarkand – Tashkent
Continue of the sightseeing in Samarkand.
one of the most beautiful ensembles of the East – Shakhi-Zinda Ensemble (12-15cc.) – so called “city of the dead”, necropolis, consisting of more than 20 unique buildings, one of the most ancient places of the city. Khodja Daniyar (St. Daniel) mausoleum – a place of pilgrimage for Hebrews, Christians and Muslim, surrounded by great number of legends.
Visit to the silk paper workshop. A welcome tea upon arrival at the location, followed by a historical overview of the workshop and exploration of the production process of the paper itself. As a souvenir for yourself you can find there paper masks, marble and silk paper.
Day 8. May 30. Tashkent – Istanbul
Transfer to the airport. Flight TK369 at 08.15.