Traveling one of the greatest trade routes in history, the Silk Road, visiting Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and an optional visit to the fabled city of Khiva.
An ethnic and cultural melting pot, Uzbekistan has ancient roots and has seen the wax and wane of countless empires. Situated as it is on a key stretch of one of the greatest trade routes in history, the exchange of goods and ideas - religious, intellectual and artistic - left a remarkable historical and architectural legacy. Samarkand, Tamerlane's capital, was one of the great medieval trading centers and his legacy, and that of his grandson Ulug Beg, is to be found in the magnificent buildings. The Registan, the main square, is the centerpiece surrounded on three sides by buildings whose pillars, arches and domes explore perfection in colour and shape. Bukhara's great days began in the 9th and 10th cc. when it was the seat of the Samanids dynasty, but even when they were deposed, and Samarkand prospered, the city remained an important trading centre on the Silk Road. The old town is a treasure trove of old and beautiful buildings dotted around a warren of jumbled streets with the Ark, a citadel with 18-metre walls, dominating the main square. Khiva, probably the least known and most remote of the Uzbek cities, lies 320 kms north of Bukhara and flourished in the 16th c. thanks to its location on the trade route to the Volga. Since 1967 its status as a museum city has ensured that it remains the most homogenous collection of architecture in the Asian world.
Travel itinerary: Delhi - Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva - Bukhara - Samarkand - Tashkent - Delhi
Day 1 (Fri.): Delhi - Tashkent
12:15 Afternoon arrival in Tashkent - the capital of Uzbekistan, by flight HY-422, transfer to the hotel. Accommodation and rest after a flight. Afternoon city tour. Free evening time. Overnight in Wonderful Tashkent.
Excursion: New Tashkent TV Tower - the highest in Central Asia - 375 m, Memorial to the Victims of Repression - the memorial complex and museum, Monument of Courage (1976) - the epicenter of the Tashkent earthquake of 1966. Old part of the city: the architectural complex Khazret-Imam incl. necropolis of imam Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Kaffal Shashi who was one of the first Muslim imams and a famous prophet and poet (16th c.), Barak-khan Madrassah - built by Suyunidj-khan - the first ruler of the Uzbek dynasty of the Sheibanid's (16th c.), Tellya-Sheikh Mosque also called "Khast Imom Mosque" (19th c.), Mui-Mubarak Madrassah (19th c.), where Osman Quran - the world's oldest is kept, Juma Mosque (15-19th cc.) - the third biggest mosque in Uzbekistan, Imam Ismail al Bukhari Islamic Institute - a two year post-medressa academy, Hadra square, Kukeldash Madrassah ("Foster brother") - was built by Kukekdash - the vizier of Tashkent khans (16th c.).
Day 2 (Sat.): Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva
Early breakfast in the hotel. Depart to airport at 05:45. Departure to Urgench on flight HY-1051 at 07:00. At 08:40 arrival in Urgench - the administration centre of the Khorezm region. Transfer to Khiva. Accommodation in a hotel, located inside or nearby Ichan-Qala fortress. Khiva city tour. Free time. Overnight in a Museum-city Under the Open Sky.
Excursion: tour around the architectural complex Ichan-Qala - the historical center of Khiva which has been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List. City tour around the architectural complex "Ichan-Qala" (12-19th cc.): Kunya-Ark khan's castle - the inner citadel of Ichan-Qala (16-17th cc.), Kalta Minor Tower (Short minaret) that would have become the biggest and tallest minaret in Central Asia (19th c.), Muhammad Amin-Khan - the biggest medieval medressa in Khiva (1845-1855 yy.), Djuma Mosque with 212 wooden columns and a minaret 32,5 m height (10th c.), Tash-Hauli (Stone courtyard) palace looking like a fortress with a high battlements, towers and fortified gates (19th c.), Ak-Mosque (White Mosque) - a small quarter mosque by the gates of Palvan-Darvaza (1838-1842), necropolis of Pahlavan Mahmud - the cultic center of Ichan-Qala (1810-1913 yy.), residence of Islam Khodja (1910 y.) - the vizier of the last khan. Ensemble consists of the smallest medressa in Khiva and a minaret whose top platform has a height of 45 m and is the highest observation point in town.
Day 3 (Sun.): Khiva - Bukhara
Breakfast. Transfer to Bukhara (500 km, 7 hours). On the way stop to see Amu-Darya river. Arrival to Bukhara in the afternoon. Check in to the hotel. Free time for rest and walking through the old streets of Bukhara. One of the "1000 and 1 nights" in Bukhara.
Day 4 (Mon.): Bukhara - Samarkand
Breakfast. Excursion in Bukhara. Lunch. Continue excursion. Evening transfer to Samarkand. Dinner. Overnight in the Capital of Tamerlane's Empire.
Excursion: mausoleum of the Samanids - the most ancient brick building in Central Asia, a masterpiece of world architecture (9-10th c.), mausoleum Chashma Ayub that belongs to the esteemed "places of trace" left by saints persons (14th c.). The legend says that once the bible prophet Job (Ayub) visited this place. Visit to the museums of Imam Al Bukhari and The Museum of Water. Bolo-Houz Mosque - the only monument of medieval Bukhara (beg. of 20th c.), Ark - the center of Bukhara statehood (4th c. B.C.), silk carpet shops, complex Poi Kalon ("Beneath the Great"): Kalyan Minaret - the main symbol of sacred Bukhara that symbolized the authority and power of the spiritual governors. (12th c.), Kalyan Mosque - its area of 130 x 80 m surpasses Bibi-Khanym mosque in Samarkand, Miri Arab Madrassah - active madrassah is one of the most esteemed spiritual Islamic universities (16th c.), Taki Zargaron - the dome of jewelers (15-16th cc.), Ulugbeg Madrassah - one of the 3 madrassahs constructed by the grandson of Tamerlan - Ulugbeg (15th c.), Abdulaziz-khan Madrassah - traditional madrassah with 2 floors of hudjras and a mosque on the central axis ( mid. of 17th c.), Tim of Abdullah-Khan madrassah (1588-1590), atlas shops, Magoki-Attari Mosque" - the most ancient mosque in Bukhara (12th c.) is considered a masterpiece of Bukhara architecture.
13:00 - 14:00 - Lunch at the restaurant.
14:00 - 17:30 - Continue tour: Khanaka and madrassah of Nadir Divan-Beghi - a massive rectangular structure that was a place for the refuge and meditation of Sufis (17th c.), Kukeldash Madrassah (16th c.) - one of the biggest Bukhara madrassah, Lyabi-Hauz ensemble - the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara - is very popular among travelers (14-17th cc.), Chor Minor ("Four minarets") is an unusual madrassah built by Caliph Niyazkul (18th c.).
Day 5 (Tue.): Samarkand
Breakfast. Samarkand city tour including visiting to the famous carpet factory. Lunch. Continue excursion. Dinner. Overnight in the capital of Tamerlane's Empire.
Excursion: City tour: Gur Emir Mausoleum - Tamerlan's tomb (14-15th c.) that was built for Temur's grandson Muhammad-Sultan and the tombs of three other Temurids - sons of Temur - Miranshah and Shahruh and his grandson Ulugbek, Ruhabad Mausoleum ("House of Spirit") - the legend says that under the dome there is a box with seven hairs of Prophet Muhammad (14th c.), Registan Square ("A sandy place") - the major square of Samarkand: Ulugbeg Medressa - Sheikh Khodja Akhrar and poet Djami were among outstanding graduates of the medressa (15th c.), Sher-Dor Medressa ("Having tigers") (17th c.), Tillya-Kari Medressa ("Coated by gold") - the rich gilding on the dome, walls and mihrab surpassed all other famous buildings in Central Asia (17th c.). The mosque named after Hazret-Hyzr - an Islamic saint and eternal wanderer. He was esteemed as giving richness and good luck in far voyages and trade (19th c.), cathedral mosque Bibi-Khanym that was named after the oldest wife of Tamerlan (14th c.), the architectural complex Shahi-Zinda (Alive king) - necropolis on the slope of the Afrosiab hill is connected with Kusam ibn Abbas - the cousin of Prophet Muhammad (11-15th c.).
Day 6 (Wed.): Samarkand - Tashkent
Breakfast. Continue sightseeing Samarkand: Ulugbek observatory, Afrosiyob museum, shopping in a Central Bazaar in Samarkand. Wine tasting in famous wine factory. Afternoon transfer to Tashkent. Overnight in Wonderful Tashkent.
Day 7 (Thu.): Tashkent - Delhi
Breakfast. Check-out from the hotel at 13:00. Visit center of Tashkent, Amir Temur Square, Independence Square. Free time for shopping, visit Tashkent Metro - the most beautifull in the world. Dinner in Indian restaurant and departure to the airport for flight HY-421 for Delhi at 22:50. Good bye to the wonderful land, back to monotony with the intention of returning.
- This route is certified;
- Please note that the first and the last days of above itinerary are made-up in accordance with flight schedule of Uzbekistan Airways from Delhi;
- An import alcohol tax in Uzbekistan is high and we recommend advising your clients to purchase whiskey and rum at Delhi Duty Free shop;
- Uzbekistan group visa (15 pax and more) consular fee (fee per group). Individual visa consular fee;
- If it is't all inclusivepackage we do recommend purchasing a lunch box in one of the Khiva cafes to feel comfortable on the way from Khiva to Bukhara;
- (*)In case of Deluxe accommodation option please note, that the hotel Khorezm Palace (the only 4 star hotel in Khorezm region) locates in Urgench city, 35 km from Khiva;
- Vegetarian cuisine is not wide spread in Uzbekistan. If you require vegetarian we can recommend the most appropriate places;