The Old Water Mill of Oblokul-bobo Rakhmatov in Suburb of Samarkand

A visit to a small water powered flour mill in a suburb of Samarkand A very unique proposal from! Visit to an old water mill in a Samarkand suburb!

A small flour-grinding water mill has found its refuge on a bank of the little Siab River, isolated from day-to-day vanity and technological progress in the peaceful village of Gala Osyo, situated in the environs of Samarkand. The water mill belongs to the family of Oblokul-bobo Rakhmatov. Until recent times the village was famous for its water mills. 311 artisan flour producing projects had been established here. However, the irrational Soviet Union policies of the 20th century on the extermination of private enterprise closed virtually all of these mills and subsequently led to the vanishing of knowledge of the old flour-grinding technologies. Only one water mill has saved its centuries-old traditions.

The history of the mill goes back to the distant past, to the times of Timur the Great, to the centuries of the prosperity of Tamerlane's Empire. The owners have carried the unique technologies of flour production through the times. Across the generations, ancient experience is imparted from father to son, from sons to grandchildren. And Oblokul-bobo, in his 82 years, comes every day to the mill and works there with his son Bakhodir.

A workday on the mill begins at 8 a.m. and continues until 6 p.m. The technology of the production of flour is quite simple, but this is the very reason why the mill is so unique. Water in a channel branched off Siab River propels the vanes of a waterwheel. The wheel in turn sets in motion millstones grinding wheat grain into flour. Then the flour is bolted. Various bolters are used for different kinds of flour. After bolting, the flour is packaged in sacks and waits its customer. In one day Bakhodir and his father Oblakul-bobo can grind up to 400 kilograms of wheat flour.

While you are in the mill, away from the city noise, breathing flour dust and listening to the monotonous sounds of the millstone, little by little you begin to understand that in our informational century, in the race for innovation and high technology, we should save such corners of original life where traditions and skills are imparted from generation to generation, and where primitive methods of work are preserved. Oblokul-bobo has three sons, 22 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. We want to believe one of them will continue the traditions of their ancestors.

The mill works every day except Friday. The whole family of Oblokul-bobo is very religious and follows Islamic traditions. And every Friday, all members of the family visit the mosque for the traditional Friday prayer. So we recommend strongly wearing high-necked clothes, especially for women, during your visit to the mill.

If you are interested in this option, please tell us the time and date when you plan to make a visit to the old mill during your Samarkand trip with