Here's What You Need To See In The 'Enchanted City'

Here's What You Need To See In The 'Enchanted City'
A glimpse of the Poi-Kalyan architectural ensemble Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Here's our sightseeing guide to Bukhara, Uzbekistan's fifth largest city

OT Staff
May 24 , 2019
02 Min Read

The scientists say that the place around modern territory of Bukhara had been inhabited for about 5 millennia, and the time of existing of this city is about 2.5 millennia. The meaning of the city name is “lucky place” or “the place of good fortune” and for a long time this lucky place had been the center of trade and culture, religion and scholarship on the way of the Great Silk Road.

Bukhara, like Samarkand, is listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, because of its beautiful old minarets and madrassas standing in the historic center of this ancient city. The changes in Bukhara are not such big like in Tashkent or Samarkand – it’s almost the same as before. The streets are the same and the architecture the same. You have to visit this place because it will show you the best how the ancient city of Uzbekistan looked centuries ago.


Did you know that Bukhara is the country's fifth largest city? 

Sights and sounds of Bukhara

The famous Scottish writer and politician Fitzroy Maclean during his travel to Bukhara called it “enchanted city” and its architecture he defined as "the finest of the Italian Renaissance". You can read his “Eastern Approaches” but better for you to take a walk to Bukhara and you will understand what he meant under these mysterious characteristics.

View of the Kalyan mosque and minaret in Bukhara

You should start with Poi-Kalyan Ensemble which undoubtedly is most significant architecture monument in Bukhara. The components of this ensemble are really grand and beautiful.

Kalyan Minaret, or the Grand Minaret: its historic name is Death Tower, because the criminals were thrown down from the top. Made like circular-pillar and narrowing upwards brick tower, Kalyan Minaret was built in 1127 by the order of Mohammad Arslan Khan.

Kalyan Mosque is the second component of the Ensemble, similar in its size to Bibi-Khanim Mosque of Samarkand. Mir-i Arab Madrassah is the third component of Poi-Kalyan Ensemble and it is very little information about it.

Among the other interesting historical sights of Bukhara is Ismail Samani mausoleum related to 9th-10th centuries (he was the founder of Samanids dynasty). Near it you will find Chashma-Ayub mausoleum, constructed during the rule of Tamerlane.

Interiors of the Ismail Samani mausoleum in Bukhara

And of course you have to visit second great Ensemble of Bukhara – Lab-I Hauz (the meaning of the name is “by the pond”). It surrounds one of the few survived after the Soviet period Bukhara pounds.

Other sights are The Ark (fortress) and Char Minor placed behind the Lab-I Hauz Ensemble, Medieval Baths of Bukhara, Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah, Djami Mosque and Magoki-Attori Mosque.

Getting there: Uzbekistan Airways flies direct from Delhi to Tashkent. From Tashkent, the easiest way to get to Bukhara is via train which takes a little over four hours. 

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