Day 1: Tashkent. Arrival to Tashkent. Meeting at the airport and transfer to hotel. Hotel check in. City tour in Tashkent including: Barak Khan madrassah (XVI c) - headquarter of the Sunni Mufti of ex-Sogdian Central Asia & Kazakhstan. It is interesting with its mosaic and Arabic calligraphy dated late 16 c. Brick facade and the intricately carved doors made by Samarkand craftsmen. Navoi Theater - by 1940, Soviet planners had decided a theater would greatly enhance an area known as the Drunken Bazaar for its wine-soaked market. Japanese prisoners of war completed construction in 1947.
Amir Temur Square - central park with the statue of Amir Temur on the horseback and so called "Broadway". You will be shown as well the medieval center of Tashkent, Hasti Imam square and visit the Mausoleum of Kafal Shashi, a mystical poet and interpreter of Koran of the 10th century. Also, you'll see the functioning Barakhan Madrassah, which accommodates the Clerical Board of Central Asian Moslems, and its famous Library, with over 30.000 books, 3500 manuscripts and the precious sample of the Holy Koran, written by the fourth Caliph Osman and bearing stains of his blood on its pages. After a short overview of the present-day Tashkent, you'll be taken to the Zangiota district to see two mausoleums of Sufi Zangiota and his wife Ambar Bibi. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 2: Tashkent - Samarqand. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer (289 km, 4 hours) to Samarkand, the famous city lying on the ancient Silk Road and known as "Rome of the Orient". After a short break in a hotel, you go out for sightseeing, visiting the Mausoleum of Qusam Ibn-Abbas in the Shahi Zindah complex, who is considered as the second person in Islam after Muhammed. Also, you visit the tremendous Bibi Khanum Mosque, which was built upon Tamerlane's order to symbolize the power of Allah. In its yard you'll see the massive stone book-holder, which, as legend goes, was once used for the Holy Book which is now kept in Tashkent. Overnight in Samarqand. Includes: (B).
Day 3. Samarqand. You start by attending the Registan Square with its three Madrassah, where for centuries students learned the Law of God and some secular subjects. You observe the sumptuous Tillya Kari Mosque, all covered in gold. Then, you visit the Tomb of Tamerlane, Guri Amir Mausoleum, which also contains the tomb of Mir Seiid Bereke, Tamerlane's spiritual tutor. After lunch you are taken 12 km north to visit the spectacular Complex of Imam Al Bukhoriy, which was built with the support of the entire Muslim world. Then, you go to see the Mausoleum of Khodja Daniar or Saint Daniel, a prophet of the Old Testament. This holy place is recognized by Islam, Christianity and Judaism as one of eminent pilgrimage destinations. Overnight in Samarkand. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Samarqand. Full day city sightseeing tour. The places to be visit: Registan Square (XV-XVIIc) which was the official center of Timur Empire, consist of grandious madrasahs of Ulugbek, Sher Dor & Tillya Kari. Bibi Khanum mosque (XIVc) built by Timur to be biggest mosque at time. Architect, craftsmen & painters built it for the period of 5 years. Gur Amir mausoleum (XV c) Timurids dynastic burial vault. Hodja Akhrar mosque & madrassah between 1630 and 1635 Bukharan vizier Nadir Divanbegi incorporated the funerary mosque built by Akhrar's sons into a large madrassah. South of the madrassah is the ornate Khodja Akhrar mosque (17th-20th centuries). Overnight in Samarqand. Includes: (B).
Days 5 - 8: Bukhara. Transfer to Bukhara (270 km, 4 hours), hotel check in. After a break in hotel, you go to see the monuments of ancient Bukhara, which was at all times the religious pivot of Central Asia. You will see: ARK Fortress (VI - XIX c) - in middle ages it was a whole town with the emirs house, with wives, mosques mint place, government institutes, store rooms, a prison and a square for public executions. Samanid's mausoleum (IX - X c) - it was the first building in Central Asia constructed from backed bricks in the shape of a cube covered by a dome with unrepeatable geometrical brickwork design - a masterpiece of world architecture
Chashma Ayub Mausoleum - (a place where Job the Prophet once worked wonders) - the original construction dates from the 12th century rule of Karakhanid Arslan Khan, the earliest surviving dome was raised by Amir Temur in 1380 over the existing tomb chamber. Poikalon (XII - XVI c) architectural ensemble in the center of old Bukhara - includes the cathedral mosque "Masjidi Kalon", "Miri Arab" madrasah and the highest minaret (46 m) at that time in the Orient. Ulugbek Madrassah 1417 was the earliest of three commissioned by the enlightened Timutid ruler (the other two stand in Samarkand and Gijduvan) and his secular influence dominates the exterior design of the religious college.
Abdul Aziz Khan Madrassah (1652), glittering in mercifully unrestored 17th century glory Tim Abdullakhan was built in 1577 and was one of the most elegant trade halls in Bukhara where silk and wool was sold by Afghan trades. Trading Domes consists of three trading centers: Tok-i-Zargaron (1570) - Jeweler's Bazaar, Tok-i-Tilpak Furushon - Cap Maker's Bazaar, Tok-i-Sarrafon - Moneychanger's Bazaar. Magoki Attori - in 937 the four-pillared mosque was burn the ground in a city-wide fire and in the 12th century the present mosque was erected, from which the focus of the mosque, the original southern portal remains. We will organize for you dinner and folklore evening in Nodir Dewon Begi Medressa. Overnight in Bukhara. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Bukhara - Tashkent. Early in the morning you go out of Bukhara to see the mausoleum of one of the most respected sheikhs of Islam, Bahauddin Nakshbandi, the founder of the Sufi movement in Islam. A pilgrimage to his tomb was considered as a sufficient substitution for a Hajj to Mecca. Then, you visit Chor Bakr, a complex of tombstones, one of which belongs to the famous founder of Djuybar Hajjis, Abu Bakr Saad, the grandson of the outstanding Bukhara Sufi Islam Djuybari (16 century AD). After completing your excursions you depart for Tashkent by air. Overnight in Tashkent. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Tashkent. Departure home with great memories of Uzbekistan.
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