Dear travelers! We invite you to the fantastic journey around Uzbekistan — the land of ancient culture and great historical values.
In any city of Uzbekistan, turn from a wide central road, and you will certainly get to the makhalla — the old part of the city. Everything here breathes with dimensionality, leisure and peace: cleanly swept streets, flowers and trees along the road, well-groomed houses, at the gates of which, the gray-haired aksakals (honourable people) sit sedately. Do not be shy, knock on any door, and you will be delighted as the dearest guests! Welcome to the land of sun, fruit and oriental hospitality!
Let’s talk about Khiva and the nearby desert Kyzyl Kum in detail.
Khiva is the magic charm of the past! Khiva is one of the most ancient cities of Central Asia, as if emerging from dreamy vision, but quite real and tangible, allowing you to feel the atmosphere of an ancient fairy tale.
Khiva was the capital of the Khiva Khanate, famous throughout the world for its architecture. In Khiva there was a traditional division of the city into two separate parts: the inner city — Ichan-Kala (shahristan) and the outer city — Dishan-Kala (rabad).
Khiva managed to preserve the exotic image of the eastern city in Ichan-Kala, where numerous architectural sights are located. Khiva was within the fortress of Ichan-Kala, and was surrounded by a powerful clay wall, with the height of 8-10 m, thickness — 6-8 m, and length — more than 2200 m.
At the western gate of Ichan-kala there is the citadel Kunya-ark. Inside there are narrow streets with houses, mosques, palaces; there are more minarets than in any other city of Central Asia. All the buildings are harmoniously complementary. The symbol of Khiva is a stunning minaret of Islam Khoja, 44 m. high, edged with elegant openwork white, blue and turquoise stripes alternating with clay. The Juma Mosque is remarkable for its stunning finish with 218 elegant wooden carved columns of various periods, the oldest of which is set in the X century.
But the most remarkable evidence of the architectural perfection of the city is Kelta Minar — exquisitely decorated with glazed ceramic tiles of turquoise, blue and white colors.
For the perception of the special color and soul of the city, it is necessary to walk through its narrow streets, realizing that it is impossible to get lost, because the lighthouse of Islam-Hozhdah, visible from everywhere, acts as a beacon.
This is only a small fraction of what you can see in this ancient embodiment of the East.
Not far from Khiva on the road to Bukhara is the desert Kyzyl Kum. Its name is translated as «Red Sands», because the weathered bedrock (alumina) that is part of the desert sands do have a reddish tint in some of its areas.
A considerable part of the Kyzyl Kum desert is occupied by sandy massifs, which are formed by semi-fixed sands. Sandy ridges of meridional orientation are prevalent. In settlements you can see loose, barchan sands. A significant array of backhan sands stretches along the Amu Darya.
In the Kyzyl Kum desert, small cattle are grazed. Mainly they are Karakul sheep, as well as camels, horses, and cattle in a smaller quantity.
Jeep safari in the desert provides travelers with a unique opportunity to visit hard-to-reach places of Uzbekistan. During this kind of Uzbekistan package you can see the dying Aral Sea, the famous «Ship Cemetery» in Muynak, the Ustyurt plateau and of course the very queen — the Kyzyl Kum desert with its vast expanses, barchans, takyrs, caravan routes, salt lakes and antiquities. The most favorable time for such a trip will be the middle of March, the beginning of June, the end of August and October.
You can also have the opportunity to ride a camel. During such a trip it will be possible to visit yurt camps and take a dip in the famous Aidarkul Lake.
The yurt camp on Lake Aidarkul serves as a starting point for an exciting journey through the region. From this place trips on camels and tracks begin. During the trip on the lake tourists can observe the flora and fauna of the red desert, and those who like hunting and fishing will be able to taste dishes from fish.
Few people know that in the Uzbek part of the Kyzyl Kum there is a tourist infrastructure. It is non-standard, designed for lovers of extreme tourism. Every year there are more travelers who want to see the desert landscapes with their own eyes.