Exploring the “Pearls of Uzbekistan”

24 April 2008 – 2 May 2008

In Spring 2008, a group of Friends of the DAI explored the some of the highlights of Uzbekistan.  With stops in Tashkent, Samarqand, Bukhara and Khiva, the group was constantly on the move.

The group got an early start in Tashkent at the Museum of Applied Art.  After a quick stop in Mustaqillik Maydoni (Independence Square), they moved on to the beautiful Navoi Theatre.  The last stops were three madrassahs: Barak Khan Madrassah, Kukeldash Madrassah and Abdul Kassim Madrassah.

In Samarqand, the group visited Ulugbek’s Observatory, Shahi Zinda Mausoleum, Registan Square, Gur Amir Mausoleum and the Bibi Khanum Mosque and adjacent bazaar.   Just outside Samarqand, the group explored Aq Saray Palace (“White Palace”), which was Timur’s Summer home, Kok Gumbaz Mosque, Dorus Tilovat Complex, Gumbazi Seydon, Doru Saodat Complex and Hazrat Imam Mosque.

In 24 hours, the travellers visited 11 important sites in Bukhara, including two madrassahs, two mausoleums, three mosques, a fort, the trading domes, a “residential area”, and the compound of Khazreti Mohammed Bakhauddin Nakshbandi, a respected Sufi and founder of the Nakshabandi Tarikat order.

Khiva was the last stop and well worth the visit.  The Nurulla Bai Palace featured tiles outside and in and was spectactular as was the many pillared Juma Mosque.