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Bukhara, Uzbekistan, Silk RoadBukhara (Uzbek: Бухоро, Tajik: Бухоро, Russian: Бухара, and Chinese: 布哈拉) is the historical city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Bukhara Province. It is said that Bukhara means Buddhist monastery in Sanskrit. The ancient city with about 240,000 inhabitants has more than 2,000 years history, though some residents here strongly believed that it has over 3,000 years, because of the considerable amount in historical heritage. Bukhara had once been the capital of the Khanate of Bukhara (existed 1500 – 1785), which the Sunni Islam was the national religion, and thus presented gifts of the Middle Ages architecture, notably the Kalyan Minaret, Kalân Mosque and Mir-i Arab Madrassah (a kind of Muslim school or university).

Before the Arab invasion of Bukhara in 708 AD, there had been several religions popular here, including Buddhism and Christianity. The Arab army had changed many churches and monasteries into Mosques at that time, but the local people resisted by means arms and faith for a few decades. The residents eventually accepted Islam in 783 AD. The Samani Dynasty took power in Bukhara in 819 and they encouraged further development in Islam that made the city which had been the trade center and traffic hub between Asia and Europe to be also the cultural and study focal point for Muslim people. 

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, Silk RoadThe popularization of Islam continued when the nomadic, Mongolian leader Genghis Khan captured Bukhara in 1220. He imposed Islamic laws to solidify and stabilize his rule over Central Asia. The Khanate of Bukhara's long and stable epoch had created favorable time for development that they built many mosques especially in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. This was ended when the Russian captured Bukhara in 1868. Uzbekistan became a part of the USSR in 1924 and it declared independence in 1991.

Sightseeing Highlights

The Ismail Samani Mausoleum (from 9th to 10th centuries) is one of the classic architectural sites in Central Asia. It is the resting-place of the Samanid Dynasty's founder, Ismail Samani of Persian origin. The tomb is in dome shape. It was the first fire-brick construction in history in the region. It is said that the bricks were made from mud mixed with camel milk, the resulting construction is strong that can withstand bad weather conditions and minor attacks. The bricks were arranged and juxtaposed to be in different pretty patterns that include forming the images of historical legends, as well as flower, insect and fish images.

The old city wall and its gates from the 8th century are also worthwhile to be visited. Rebuilt several times but their magnificence is still clearly seen, it embraces about 72 square kilometers of land area. 

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, Silk RoadBukhara is a place of typical continental climate that temperature difference between day and night might be huge. The blue domes of houses' tops, and the passionate and polite people created the great city for travel.

Transportation: The Bukhara Airport is the transportation hub and the M37 highway links to neighboring Turkmenistan and the highways that go the Europe.


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