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Tourist Gems of Uzbekistan
Equestrian tourism in Uzbekistan
Since olden times Central Asia has been famous for its horses. For ages, breeding of these magnificent animals – man’s staunch helpmate both in labour and in journey – has been the common occupation of the Uzbeks. There is a strong presumption that it was from this land that noble Argamak strain originated. Thoroughbred stallions of most of known breeds inherited the best qualities of this strain. By the way, the stud breeding famous Karabair breed is also located in Uzbekistan, in Jizzak region. Today, guests from all over the world come to Uzbekistan to admire the Uzbek horse thoroughbreds of well-known strains, to watch breathtaking local horse-shows, to experience the unmatched joy of horseback riding.
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The Eternal Fire of Janbas-Kala
The highway leading from Urgench north to Karakalpakstan, runs along one of the trails which camel-driven caravans used to take a few millennia ago, traveling through the wilderness of the plateau Ustyurt to Caspian steppes and further to the Volga river. Here, on the Ustyurt plateau there have survived remains of old caravanserais, which once served night's lodging for tired merchants and cameleers.
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Jeweler's magic - like art
Jeweler's art is one of the most ancient on the earth. Initially jewelry was used not merely as adornment; it also served a magical purpose as was believed to have magic properties able to protect the wearer from evil spirits. The earliest adornments found in Uzbekistan date back to the 12th century B. C. In a burial ground located in the upper reaches of the Chirchik river there were excavated bronze bracelets with triangular inlaid patterns and ornaments in the form of cosmological spirals. Of great historical and cultural value are gold and silver religious objects, bracelets, finger-rings and necklaces from so-called Amu Darya treasure discovered in 1877 upstream the Amu Darya river. They vividly evidence the fact that as early as the 5th century B. C. the skill of Bactrian handicraftsmen achieved the perfection of a true art.
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Tea for all
In chaikhana (tea-house) people drink tea. This is a fuss-free, dignified institution. Here it is seldom that loud, excited voices are heard, or quarrels occur or bad language is used. Surely, from time to time people happen to 'sort out their relations', but as a rule, in a calm and peaceful tone.
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The poetics of carved wood
While traveling round Uzbekistan it is unlikely that one can meet a traditional Uzbek house without wooden decorations. Since ancient times wood has been highly valued and respected by the local craftsmen who have demonstrated genuine mastery of wood carving.
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Suzane: home adornment and protection
Finding himself in a traditional Uzbek house for the first time, a westerner will be involuntarily amazed. First of all, he will wonder at almost total lack of furniture. A patterned oriental tapis or a tufted carpet on the floor, blankets – kurpacha and pillows laid together in wall niches, a trunk decorated with engraving and a low little table khan-takhta make almost all the furniture of the room. Another important part of family life decoration is large big embroidered wall panels - suzane hanging out on the walls.
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A silver song of metal
Embossing is a noble craft. To compare an embosser with an ordinary tinsmith is the same as to compare the cabinet-maker with the carpenter. To produce a jug – oftoba the embosser should master the art of founding, blacksmithing, chasing, engraving, carving and tinning. In addition to household applicability, the embossed copper and brass ware was always appreciated in Uzbekistan, first of all, for its artistic features. It decorated the shelves of open fitted cupboards and indicated prosperity and affluence of the owner.
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In praise of clay
Ceramics is one of the most ancient and appreciated crafts the Uzbek people have ever possessed. Having arisen at the dawn of human civilization, primarily for satisfaction of needs for kitchen utensils, ceramics became the most important part of the world cultural heritage. It is not without reason that scientists age-date a historical epoch of archeological findings by broken pieces of pottery, since for an archeologist ceramics means as much as a written source does for a historian. Yet a considerable number of specimens of Uzbekistan’s ancient ceramics are also art monuments.
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Trekking in the Celestial Mountains
The charm of Uzbekistan unusual nature can be experienced during the trekking tours in the Western Tien-Shan, or Celestial Mountains. That's how two thousand years ago the first Chinese travelers called the Tien-Shan because of their fantastic beauty. The Western Tian-Shan is unique because here fauna and flora of different latitudes meet and mix. The local valleys are famous for their bumper crops of grapes and fruit. Because of the high quality of these gifts of nature the region can rightfully be compared with such classical regions as Champagne, Tyrol and California.
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The folklore spring of Boysun
In the world there are a lot of ancient regions where there have lived diverse nations and nationalities, fascinating lovers of folklore with their peculiar culture and spirituality. Many customs and rituals, cultural and spiritual values have been forgotten or modified owing to certain historical events, variability of life conditions.
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Heli-Ski in the mountains of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan has become one of the most attractive places in the world for mountain skiing and snowboarding on virgin snow. As the enthusiasts of Free-Ride believe, for this type of activity the mountains of the Western Tien-Shan, situated only within one-hour drive from the capital of Uzbekistan – City of Tashkent, have exclusively favorable combination of snow blanket quality, country topography and climate conditions.
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Sven Hedin's discoveries on the Silk Road
Only steppe and steppe! Mountains are seen on the horizon; the road goes along frozen covered with snow Urals. Here and there Kyrgyz yurts are seen, but on the whole everything is deserted around, distances between stations are vast; monotonous jingles makes sleepy". In such a way a famous Swedish researcher and geographer Sven Hedin remembered his travels to Central Asia. And the moment was memorable: the traveler had just crossed beyond the Ural river, a symbolical border between Europe and Asia.
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Boating and Rafting in Uzbekistan
A Breathtaking Tour down the Rivers of the Western Tien-Shan.
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All about Melon
Probably everyone, who at least once visited the oriental bazaar, heard a seller repeatedly inviting people in a singing voice: Come and try melons of mine! Sweeter than honey, worth your money!
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Tubeteika suits everybody
Tubeteika (skull-cap) can become suitable attire for both gray hair of a sage and the braids of a bride. It has always enjoyed people's favour. Popular maxims say, "Tubeteika does not weigh heavy upon a dzhigit (young man)", "When there is no one to talk to, tubeteika becomes a good company". Tubeteika, a round slightly pointed skull-cap beautifully decorated with embroidered or applique patterns, is the national head-dress throughout Central Asia.
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Dance - the life and soul of the nation
Dance is the life and soul of the nation. It is probably in dance that emotional and sensitive world of a human being becomes apparent most vividly. Dance is always the expression of feelings - love, joy, passion, grief, trust and hope. It took many centuries before a primitive world of 'dancing people' that remained intact to the present day on rock paintings, has transformed into a dance - the flight of the soul!
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Golden Journey to Samarkand
Golden journey to Samarkand!.. – In Europe, long ago these words became the idiom and slogan, something like a tourist brand, which symbolizes a magic oriental fairy tale. They are connected with the English poet and dramatist James E. Flecker. His poem "Golden journey to Samarkand" turned into a hymn for travellers making for the East.
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Chimghan – Charvak – Beldersay
Nature of Uzbekistan presents an amazing variety of landscapes. The Aral Sea borders on the sands of the Kizilkum Desert; the Pamir mountain range – “The Roof of the World” protects the subtropics of Surkhandarya oasis from northern winds; fertile Fergana Valley is surrounded by the foothills of the Tian-Shan Mountains – “Sky Mountains”.
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Winter tourism in Uzbekistan
There is an erroneous opinion that autumn and winter are not the best season to make a tour of Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, thousands of tourists, availing themselves of seasonal discounts, make amazing tours to Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva – the ancient cities and towns, which are located along the Great Silk Road. Making a tour at this time of the year gives you certain advantages: you are not bored by huge crowds of sightseers; escorted by helpful and erudite guide all to yourself you can view historical and architectural monuments known worldwide, as well as to choose a cultural program to your liking; you can wander along bustling oriental bazaars that are no less exotic and colorful than those in summer time.
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The blue ceramics of Uzbekistan
From ancient times the people of Uzbekistan have treated water and earth as sacred objects. Under hot Asian sun there is no life without water. Earth is the life-giving source, the origin of everything; and even the first man, Adam, as Koran says, was also made of clay. At all times the people inhabiting this land were making from clay their own world. Adobe and baked bricks were used to construct fortresses, temples and dwellings. In round clay stoves called tandir they baked lepioshka - round flat bread. In pre-Islamic epoch clay idols protected the family from any kind of troubles; toy-whistles were made from clay for children; clay was irreplaceable material for making plates and dishes.
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