The ancient city of Khiva was the most coveted destination, although I had visited two other towns in Uzbekistan before. And I kind of felt like this treasure trove would turn the understanding of things in my life upside down. Well, I was impressed by all the cities, but the Khiva tour turned out to be number one on my preference list. All that I saw stunned me and made me love the town. It’s really a great experience.
One of the reasons why Khiva tours seem magnificent to everyone is the rare flavor of centuries-old Khorezm culture. Almost all historically significant buildings and monuments have been preserved in that ancient town. Modern architects kept away from changing the outer contours, so everything comes to be in its original form. It’s like you fall into ancient times and feel it.
I’ll go ahead and say that one day is not enough to see all the sights. You might see them, but it will be impossible to observe the ornaments in the smallest detail. That’s why I advise you to take the Tashkent Khiva Tashkent tour. It provides a two-day visit to the ancient town, and you won’t have to hurry. The objects of Eastern antiquities require thorough viewing. Moreover, you’ll be more impressed if you do it.
Let me finely start telling about my trip to that ancient town. The tour to Khiva began with visiting Ichan Kala. It is a segregated area, which actually is a city museum. Ichan-Kala resembles a city within another one or a fortress town. It’s surrounded by huge fortification walls making it look mighty. As you pass through the gates of the fortress, it takes your breath away. Then you get to the ancient oriental world.
There are sixty historical buildings in Ichan-Kala, and each of them is exceptional. To be honest, only a highly experienced guide can make a proper route so to see the most valuable objects of cultural heritage. I will mention the most impressive ones. There was another fact that surprised me, which I could not explain at first. There were many ancient tombstones outside the walls of Ichan Kala. Why not inside? I had to ask my guide about it.
The guide knew history well, so he explained it clearly. It turns out that in those days there was a prohibition on bringing in and taking out the dead through the city gates. That is, the dead were buried on the side of the gate where they died. As my Khiva tour included an overnight stay in a hotel near the gates of the old town, I had a chance to examine the tombs in detail.
Ichan-Kala is conditionally divided into four parts and each of them has its own gate (darvoza). For instance, the main gate is considered to be Ata-Darvoza. Oters are Bagcha-Darvoza, Palvan-Darvoza and Tash-Darvoza. Not far from the main gate, you can see a huge Great Silk Road map. In the past, this scheme used to be a guidebook for caravan conductors.
The ledge of the mighty walls attracts tourists by its inaccessibility, and still, permission to climb them is granted. We could not resist such an enticement either and headed up the ledge. The view from the ledge on the inner Ichan-Kala town and outer Dishan-Kala is fantastic, but the ascent became a real challenge.
The ancient steps were worn out by time, and many of them were missing at all. Besides, there were no railings, which made walking on the ledge dangerous. I think it’s still worth visiting the tops of the Ichan-Kala fortress walls, because you won’t get such an experience in any other city.
There are many sights in Ichan-Kale, but the most fascinating are Kunya Ark fortress, the Mausoleum of Said Alauddin, Kalta Minor Minaret, Bani Anush-khona, Ak-Mosque. No need to list the others, as it would take too much time. Believe me, they are all charming inside and out.
The friendly atmosphere of Khorezm town stayed in my heart forever. Unfortunately, the Khiva Samarkand Bukhara tour came to an end and I had to part with this fabulous place. What am I thinking about now? About booking the Khiva trip. There are plenty of other streets I got to walk down.