The Oasis of the Kyzyl Kum desert, known from 3rd
century B.C. Bukhara had several names by the different epochs: Numiskat, Madaniyat,
It was one of the great trading centres on the Great
Silk Road, an independent Emirate and scene of Anglo Russian rivalry in the
"Great Game" of the 19th century, surrounded by the sands of the
Kyzyl Kum desert, Bukhara still retains the atmosphere of an ancient Great
Silk Road city.
The centre of historical Bukhara is the Shakristan
which contains the Ark, a massive fortress palace, home to the Emirs of Bukhara
for over a millennium dated to 6-9 centuries. The fortress covers 35 thousand
sq metres and includes the jewellery workshop, Visir's office (minister),
prison, warehouses, mosque and Harem.
Not far from the Ark, the 69m-high and being the
highest in Islamic world Kalyan Minaret (1227) and the Kalyan Mosque, which
is open to non-Muslims. Samanid Mausoleum, (9-10th century)-the burial vault
of the Bukharian governors and one of the first buildings in Bukhara built
from burned bricks.
Other sights include the 16th century trading domes,
the Bolo Hauz and Poi-Kalyan mosques with their beautiful decorations, The Labi
Hauz complex apparently dated to 17th century is the artificial basin where
old men in their traditional dress while away the afternoon drinking tea and
A short drive outside Bukhara is Sitora-I-Mohihosa,
19th century summer palace of the last Emir with its gaudy mix of eastern and