Gijduvan’s Precious Ceramics

Туры в Фергану. H1_02

The Gijduvan tour seemed very short to me, as the time flew by quickly. On the way back, I was going through my impressions of Uzbekistan, and I just couldn’t help getting emotional. It was fantastic! I have just visited a center of crafts art called Gijduvan, which is just outside of Bukhara. Not everyone is that lucky because other Bukhara tours don’t include a stop at that town of marvelous ceramics.

I recommend dropping by Gijduvan, even if it’s out of the sightseeing program. Otherwise, you won’t forgive yourself for being in Bukhara but missing a trip to the town of great craftsmen. It is an exceptionally beautiful place that is famous for masterpieces of pottery. There are lots of views to see in addition to the amazing ceramics. Moreover, Gijduvan bazaars attract tourists from all over the world.

The regular Bukhara Gijduvan bus runs all the time and the trip takes about forty minutes. Go get a bus ticket and take a ride just a bit north of Bukhara. I, on the other hand, was more fortunate, our group went to Gijduvan purposefully, following a pre-planned route.

On the way, the guide detailed the history of the town and it made me want to get there all the more. The small village of Gijduvan originated at the end of the 10th century. At that time it was one of the trading points on the Great Silk Road. The settlement was engaged in trade for a long time and was even called the bazaar center. That’s why Gijduvan bazaars are highly valued up till now. They’re kind of special.

That village changed its status after Abdulkhalik Gijduvani, the mentor of Bahaudin Naqshbandi, commenced preaching Sufism. He made a great contribution to the development of the village. Then Gijduvan finally attained the status of a city. A few centuries later Gijduvan was transformed into a center of pottery. In fact, the Gijduvan potters reached the highest level due to the school of the Narzullaev dynasty. Their ceramics were highly valued, for instance, one set was worth three camels.

I couldn’t wait to see that pottery, luckily, our bus was already rushing along Gijduvan Street. The first object to visit was the Gijduvan Ceramics Museum by the Narzullaevs. I couldn’t believe I was finally looking at those crafts. Each item was a masterpiece. No doubt there is no such glazed pottery anywhere in the world. But I was twice as amazed to find out that all those masterpieces were handmade.

The craftsmen who work at the museum suggested visitors try to make a pot on the potter’s wheel. Nice offer, but we turned it down because we didn’t want to look foolish and unskillful. Instead, we went to the Gijduvan Crafts Art Studio. Our Bukhara Gijduvan tour also included a stop at Ulugbek Madrasah and the local highly acclaimed bazaars.

I’m not going to say too much about the Gijduvan bazaars to save time. But I will say the main point, which surprised me greatly. Gijduvan bazaars are not places where people come just to buy things. Those are cultural places like a community center for a variety of interests. You can find out the news, talk to people there, watch a tightrope walker show, eat good food, etc. There we also found out that Gijduvan is famous not only for ceramics but also for shashliks (kebabs). The shashliks tasted divine, but the recipe is kept a deep secret by the shashlik-makers.

By evening the tour to Gijduvan ended, and we headed back to Bukhara. A lot of positivity, tons of photos, pleasant memories and souvenirs I took away from that wonderful town. My next Tashkent Bukhara Samarkand tour is going to be in half a year, and I think it’s good motivation to go cheerful. I’ll be waiting!