Bukhara Bazaars (and what to visit in the surroundings)


You can wander aimlessly and Bukhara will captivate you equally. Its streets, its people, its atmosphere ... It is said that before the arrival of the Russians, Bukhara it housed the biggest bazaar in Central Asia and welcomed more than 30,000 students. We never learn from our history and if before it was Genghis Khan and his Mongol Empire, then it would be the Russians who would be responsible for closing them. Nevertheless, the markets and bazaars of Bukhara (or Bukhara) today are reborn with tourism and, along with some attractions to visit in the surroundings (impressive the mausoleum of Bakhaouddin Naqshbandi and the Chor Bakr necropolis, in addition to Char Minar), have occupied our day today

A new day dawns in this living museum, splendor of yesteryear of the Silk Road

Route of day 2, trapped by the spirit of the caravans

He merchandise exchange between East and West turned Central Asia into a network of endless trails used by caravans for, bypassing deserts, rivers, bandits, armies and mountains, load with silk, paper, glass, cotton, gunpowder, jewels and gold but, above all, of knowledge.

The merchant's culture reached its peak in cities like Samarkand, Jiva or where we have slept today in that old transformed madrasa that shelters us. He Amulet Hotel sheds charm in abundance.

Do you remember the map of what what to see in Bukhara from yesterday?

Until the afternoon we are not going to approach three visits that make us especially excited in the surroundings of Bukhara, so in the morning we will enjoy a pleasure that is very good for Paula ... bazaar! And on that way to our first market, we are going to finish off 3 visits that we were missing

Chor Minor or Char Minar (15)

We left already having breakfast and walking down we quickly reached our goal that is very close to the hotel. With the meaning of "4 minarets" and built on the door of a great madrasa built in 1807, do you see anything strange?

Chor Minor has Indian art influence and it looks little like other buildings of influence of the Shaybanid period that we saw yesterday among the main attractions what to see in Bukhara. Actually, the difference is such that minarets cannot be considered but rather towers or unique decorative ornamentations

Inside there is a little shop but, speaking with the lady and for 4,000 UZS per person, it allows you climb to see the false minarets (thanks for the advice Alexa)

The upper part, beyond the possible views that are not a big deal because we are in a more suburban area of ​​Bukhara, the decoration and the dome that makes the roof of the interior store is much better appreciated

Next to it is also the Djuma Mosque that we do not enter but that has a small museum with manuscripts and writing systems dating from the 17th century

The Madrasa of Ulugbek (13)

We cross in a straight line Bukhara until we reach the top where we were already yesterday. Of the three madrassas built by the famous grandson of Tamerlane, Ulugbek, which we have seen these days (even in the soup) this is the oldest, dated from 1417 and built by the best architects of its time, Ismail Isfahani and Nazhmetdin Buja, stands out for its harmony and simplicity of forms

Its interior (1,000 USZ per person and 1,000 USZ photos) is also occupied by a store but The old cells are completely abandoned. Of course, the Museum of the history of restoration of the monuments of Bukhara is here. Perhaps, the curious aspect is that the entrance hall does not lead to the courtyard (as usual) but that it forks on one side towards the mosque and on the other to the darkshona or study room

Here too Paula found one of the best places to buy cheap and high quality scarves.. But where are you going with all that? hahaha (60,000 USZ)

The slogans of Ulugbek are not missing here either. "The aspiration towards knowledge is the obligation of every Muslim and every Muslim"Or"May the doors of God's blessings be opened every day for people enlightened by the wisdom of the book"they pray on the walls of this madrasa

The Madrasa of Abdul-Aziz-Khan (14)

In front of the previous one, being part of the same group, but separated by two centuries of history (dating from 1652), stands a building radically opposite the previous Timurid madrassa. The balance of forms gives way to a huge sumptuously decorated madrasa, like wanting to make clear that differentiation between legacies. Here we take the opportunity to change 100 USD to 6,100 USZ each USD

The arch of the portal is decorated with beautiful mocharabes, contrasting with that of Ulugbek. How could it be otherwise, its interior is full of craft and souvenir stalls (3,000 USZ each).IN SEARCH OF MINIATURES: If we had any desire in Iran, it is to bring us a good miniature. The influences of this area of ​​Central Asia are evident and here we can find some of the best miniaturists in Turkestan. And which ones would we recommend?

OPTION 1: Following the directions of Alexa (thank you very much) we arrive at the miniature shop of the master Davlat Toshev, a mandatory stop for the variety of options available.
Indications: In the Tak-i-Telpak bazaar, leaving the dome on the left (Naqshband street)

OPTION 2: After much look we have fallen in love with the miniatures of the young miniaturist Abudall (we think it is written like this) that, without having so much variety, creates true wonders.

Indications: Simple. Looking at the courtyard of the Madrasa of Abdul-Aziz-Khan, in the background on the left.

So it is so that after starting asking for 50 USD we have finished in 33 USD (yes, you can also haggle in this) but the quality and the show of affection of this boy has won us. We would have taken 3 or 4.

Do not miss the walls with poems by famous poets against the phrases of the Koran. The astral and geometric decoration, here gives rise to images of Chinese dragons and the bird of happiness Simurg. Curious contrasts, right?

The Bazaars of Bukhara (and some caravarsary)

There are still many locals in Bukhara who continue spinning silk by hand. Craftsmen, more and more specialized, but also jewelers, ranchers or farmers, have shelter in their markets even if they have to flee from those who have opted for tourist souvenirs in covered bazaars or the monumental madrasas themselves. On the map indicated in red (and without loss) are the domed or domed enclosures that make up the covered bazaars that were formed by the union of artisans' workshops, shops and business galleries

Taqi Zargaron or jewelers bazaar (A)

Located next to the previous madrasas, at the main intersection of the ancient Shajristán roads, we are at the place where during the height of the Silk Road the business of jewels, precious stones, gold and silver was concentrated.

It is said that from here came some of the great treasures of monarchs and princesses. We conform with water (1,500 USZ)

Taqi Telpak Furushon or carpet weavers bazaar (B)

If we go down Naqshband Street we will find many little shops on the sides of it

Some of them seem true collector's museums, with coins, spices and unknown artifacts for us. If we had to choose a place in Uzbekistan to buy, it would certainly be Bukhara

Halfway between Taqi Zargaron and Taqi Sarrafon, the carpet weaver bazaar now combines these with crafts and souvenirs.

So, we continue down the street to enter the last bazaar

Taqi Sarrafon or bazaar of money exchangers (C)

Located on the city's old Shajrud canal and unique that has completely lost its function (after all, here anyone changes your currency today).

It seems that here, despite the constant devaluations, a kind of central bank of the complex commercial network of the Silk Road worked. After all, we are at its nerve center and true heart.

Currently, the premises are used to sell textiles, miniatures, handicrafts of all kinds, souvenirs, paintings, clothing and even hats.THE DIARY OF PAULA:

Ahem ... let's see, let's see how to say it. The Uzbeks (and Isaac says that the Uzbeks) are very very handsome. They have a mixture with an oriental touch that together with always having a smile for the traveler, makes you find some very attractive ...

... however, we have discovered that Tolkien was inspired by an Uzbek to describe Frodo Bolsom's hairy legs. With all the love, eh! How different we are the cultures according to the side of the planet in which we live!

Do you want more options to buy in Bukhara?

Caravasares transformed into craft centers

Splashed along our entire morning route we have been finding several old caravans adjacent to the monumental streets that were transformed into craft centers or as chaikanas

In them you can see how complex it is to make a carpet, for example. The names? You will identify them quickly because you do not have to leave the street but we have pointed Abdulloxon, Nogay or Sayfiddin

What to see around Bukhara

Almost without realizing it, the morning is gone. Something tells me that Paula has had a lot to do, ahem ... Touch eat!RESTAURANTS IN UZBEKISTAN | SHEET: Chaikana Minorlocated on the way to the Amulet Hotel from the main square, in the area where taxis offer excursions outside and where we have eaten quite well and very relaxed on its upper terrace (Paula a vegetable skewer not to force)

On the lower floor they also have an air-conditioned restaurant room that they insisted on first but where there is a terrace that removes everything! (44,000 USZ)

By the way, wandering south has led us to a discovery. We did not know that after the expulsion of the Jewish community of Merv (where we will try to arrive tomorrow in Turkmenistan) and Shiraz in the 16th century, it reached Bukhara and had an important implantation. The finding comes from meeting witha main synagogue in one of the narrow streets perpendicular to the Lyabi Hauz square and another further south when we were looking for a restaurant to eat

TIP TO SAVE A FEW HARDS: Although it is not too ethical, a trick that we have UNCONSCIOUSLY discovered is that in some madrassas if you say that only one is going to enter, you end up insisting that you enter the other at half price or sometimes free (If she is the most girl, because inside there are usually shops). It happened by chance and then we realized that it always works 😉

The afternoon, beyond curiosity, takes us to 3 very special places that are 6 and 15 km away respectively. These are Bakhaouddin Naqshbandi, Sitorai Mohi Hosa and Chor Bakr. And how did we get there? Negotiating in our own hotel a driver who was waiting for us at 14'00 for 25 USD (this we put in the final budget in transport)

The mausoleum of Bakhaouddin Naqshbandi

We move 13 km from the Historic Center of Bukhara to knowthe mausoleum of one of the most important Sufis that has ever existed, Bakhautdin Naqshband (open from 8 to 19, 5,000 USZ each). Sufism, for those who do not know since we have spoken several times these days, is a spiritual path within the context of Islam aimed at purifying the soul, metaphysics and interior interpretation

Bakhautdin Naqshband lived in the fourteenth century in the most influential Sufi order in the world but until 2003 this place fell from how ruinous it was. Finally on that date, the sanctuary was restored, rebuilt all the buildings giving them the splendor that the Sufi followers claimed, but what caught our attention is to see how the faithful seem to ignore this fact. Their eyes take another path ... the tree of desires!

People, kind as all we have found in Uzbekistan (what a wonderful town), pray, make requests, leave money or cloth and even pass under the branch. Some even cut some wood from the tree to take it away and protect themselves from the future that comes.

We do not want to sin of ignorant but, as we write in these lines, it sounds more like a cult, right?

Sitorai Mohi Hosa or Emir's Summer Palace

We moved near there, 6 km from Bukhara, where it was located Emir's usual summer residence (open from 9 to 17, 9,000 UZS per person) and which is converted into a museum.

Really, of the three, this is the weakest visit although different from what we have seen so far, but it serves to take a pleasant walk accompanied by ... even peacocks!

In addition, today of all the interior museums there were only a couple of them open. In any case you already know that we are not too much of museums.

The Chor Bakr necropolis

The atmosphere that breathes this place…! Uffss !!! How to say it without repeating ourselves with some of the adjectives used these days? We put on the "Indiana Jones" hat again and explore COMPLETELY ALONE (as all these days) one of the TOP places we have been traveling on (4,000 USZ per person and 3,000 USZ photos)

From the moment you enter denotes that you are in a special place, a complex consisting of a madrassa, a mosque and a khanaka where the Tomb of Khoja Abu Bakr that one of the four Abu-Bakrs (Chor-Bakr) descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and teacher of Abdullah Khan II.

Around him, the necropolis was growing with relatives and with the centuries the sheikhs Djuybar were also buried. It is this area of ​​the complex Goosebumps get back on. By the way, do the wasps feel something special about the necropolis?

These days we have talked about those places that stop time, right? Aim this one, where almost alone, walking through those polychrome tiles and between mosques, courtyards, darvazahana and domes, you can breathe that special atmosphere.

By the way, we read that in this complex there is the peculiarity of having "khaziras", a type of mausoleum oriented to the 4 winds without covers, with entrance with a special decorated door called "darvoza".

We return to Bukhara. Ah, we have seen in the hotel some people who went (we don't know if by agency or with a driver) to Lake Tudakul, about 20 km from Bukhara, where it seems that one can spend a day of sun and relaxation with quite crystalline waters. Do you want more ideas to refresh yourself? He Asia hotel has an indoor pool and allows non-guests to use it for 10,000 UZS. There's also a mixed hammah near Taqi Telpak Furushon

The thousand and one stars of Bukhara night

And where do you think we have come to say goodbye to Bukhara? You remember that yesterday we were talking about restaurant-terrace near Poi Kalón. Here we are with our cold beer!

When the colors of a sunset arrive, there is no possible competition. The star point of Bukhara, the same where we would spend hours and hours just contemplating, dyed the most beautiful shades what can you give

Before leaving the terrace, almost by chance, why don't you know who appears? Do you remember Joan, the nice Catalan who recognized us in Samarkand? Another beer! This moment you have to share it (36,000 USZ in total all sunset - we lia- - haha)

We say goodbye to our good traveling friend and head towards Liabi-Khauz Square where we have stayed with Emma and family, seeing the night Bukhara, the magic carpet

If Bukhara has charm by day, how to define it at night? The atmosphere of this city is magnificent, possibly one of the most recommended to spend several relaxed days beyond the visits themselves

!Are here! Emma, ​​Ricard, Marti and Arnau, just arrived the day before yesterday from Turkmenistan on an itinerary very similar to what we intend to do from tomorrow.

THE "UZBEKISTAN AND TURKMENISTAN" SERIES ALREADY IN YOUTUBE: Those who prefer the most complete AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCE have in our Youtube channel the COMPLETE SERIES OF UZBEKISTAN AND TURKMENISTAN and then the chapter of this day without leaving the article you are reading (Bazaars, shopping in Bukhara)…

Emma, ​​Ricard, Marti and Arnau are an important part of our adventure because they helped us a lot to decide but, beyond that, they constitute one of those great traveling families that take children and toddlers around the world to the most exotic places ( Senior Keys also did it with us). Without a doubt, they are already an example in which we would like to look in the future. Thank you very much for that dinner and so many tips for what we have left!

We have made dinner at the Minzifa, a hotel and restaurant that looks at a caravansar (40,000 USZ both) but the truth is that little we realized what surrounds us, haha

RESTAURANTS IN UZBEKISTAN | SHEET: More recommendations for those looking for gastronomic experiences ("made" in Alexa, Emma and other travelers) can be:
- Rustam
- Old Bukhara Restaurant
- BudreddinThe ancients said that in The light will go from the earth to the sky. The Arabs called it "the paradise of the world." This beautiful starry night in this desert oasis, we say goodbye to one of the most wonderful places we have enjoyed in the world. Who knows? The same Bukhara saves us some surprise in the future. Tomorrow Turkmenistan! (Those who want to follow a reasonable tour in Uzbekistan without entering on Day 15 of our newspaper) Will we manage to cross that blissful border of such a hermetic country?

Paula and Isaac, from Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 177,500 UZS (approx. 27.30 EUR) and GIFTS: 60,000 USZ (approx. 9.23 EUR) and 33 USD (approx. 31.13 EUR)