Tashkent Tour :
Tashkent - 4 Nights

Tashkent Tour :
Tashkent - 3 Nights

Information of Tashkent

Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and Central Asia's premier metropolis, betrays little of its 2,000-year history as a ‘Silk Route’, crossroads of ancient trade route from China to Europe. Little remains of the ancient city after the 1966 earthquake and earlier modernisation work following the 1917 revolution. Tashkent is a very Soviet city that has little remaining from its ancient Central Asian past. The city has a mixture of modern new office buildings, hotels, parks and crumbling Soviet style apartment blocks. The streets are generally clean and there are not too many potholes in the city center. Further out, the infrastructure is not so good.

Over the last few years the Uzbek government has embarked on a major reconstruction program in the centre of the city. Roads, government buildings and parks are all being reconstructed (many historical buildings and sites are bulldozed in process). To the visitor, the new city looks very impressive, although many of the local residents have yet to see any improvement in their residential areas.

Tashkent is waiting for a boom. The infrastructure, hotels and shops are there but the influx of people and business has failed to materialise. This is caused in part by a combination of government policy and bad publicity.

This modern city of 2.5 million people, the fourth largest in the CIS after Moscow, St. Peterburg and Kiev, holds much to arrest the curious traveller, from imposing squares, monumental architecture and fine museums, to the mud-brick maze of the old Uzbek town, autumn colors on dappled poplar lanes and the sweet spray of fountains on burning summer daysIt's hard to visit Uzbekistan without passing through Tashkent, and there are many facilities- consular, communications and medical, along with a busy (and very affordable) cultural life. The architecture and sculptures are an organic part of the city's landscape and give Tashkent a cheerful air. Head out from the Hotel Uzbekistan to leafy Amir Timur Square, where a statue of Tamerlane on horseback. Follow the direction of Tamerlane's horse, between 19th century gymnasia, along Sayilgokh Street, reborn as 'Broadway', where portrait artists, hawkers and cafes compete for your custom, the former residence of Grand Duke N.K Romanov (1850-1917)  a first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II, exiled here in 1881 for exploits involving the crown jewels. The firebrick building of dog and deer statues, domes and spires, is based on the outline of the double-headed eagle.

Although Uzbek is now the official language, Russian is the native language for most Tashkent dwellers, although most also speak Uzbek. Most businesses use Russian in their signs, menus and other printed material. Only government institutions use Uzbek as the first language, and even then, many government forms and reports are in Russian, rather than Uzbek. Currently, Uzbek uses the Latin alphabet rather than the Cyrillic that was used during the Soviet Union. This is a source of some confusion for many Uzbeks, especially those of the older generation. Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, and Uzbekistan declared independence in 1991, the written Uzbek language was converted back into Latin characters. Many older Uzbeks have difficulty reading the Latin characters. Uzbek is a Turkic-based language, and while Uzbeks and Turks cannot completely communicate directly, the better educated on both sides can usually find some common understanding.

Many of the signs in Tashkent are in Cyrillic. A significant number of Russian words are similar to their English counterparts. Learning the Cyrillic alphabet- which is not as difficult as one might think — will help a traveller to read signs and in restaurants. It is very useful for the casual visitor to Tashkent to learn a few basic Russian or Uzbek words and phrases. If you need to speak English, young people are your best bet, and even then there is no guarantee that they will speak more than very basic English.

The name Tashkent is usually derived from the Turkish word "tash" (stone) and the Persian word "kent" (city), meaning "city of stones". Another opinion refers to the Sogdian word "tschatsch", meaning "place on a hill"

Travel Guide
Very light and loose clothing (preferably cotton or natural fibres) is recommended for daytime use, with a light jumper and/or casual jacket for the cooler evenings. Because of a large amount of sightseeing on foot in dry, dusty and sometimes rough areas (i.e. dirt, cobblestones, etc.), comfortable, solid walking shoes with strong soles and support are essential You may be required to remove your shoes on entry to some religious sites. There are no special clothing requirements for visiting Islamic religious sites, except that you should take care to cover most parts of your body including arms and legs. Above all travellers are encouraged to dress for comfort rather than fashion. Valuable jewellery and any clothing requiring special attention should be left at home. Due to very high danger of sunburn, your clothing should offer as much protection as possible. A hat with good shade protection and sunglasses are essential. In some areas the average visitor may appear extremely wealthy to local people. A lavish display of jewellery, bulging handbags and wallets and a neck full of cameras will make you stand out in a crowd. Be discreet, respectful of local culture and traditions and carry the minimum of valuables.

Health: You will be travelling in areas, which are largely free of major infection diseases, so there are no official vaccination requirements for foreign visitors. However we strongly recommend you to consult your physician of the Vaccination Centre for current health warnings and recommended vaccination. As it is practically inevitable in the areas where water is high in mineral and metallic salts (as in the case with Central Asia) one should be prepared for minor gastric complaints. Consult your physician or pharmacist for recommended remedies. Throughout the areas you will be travelling, one of the main health warnings is dehydration. At all times maintain a steady intake of non- lcoholic liquids. Sunburn is another major problem. Bring adequate suntan lotion and a wide brimmed hat. If desired, you may also bring a supply of vitamins, throat lozenges, a throat gargle to prevent basic infections, cold / flu tablets, aspirins, Band-Aids, antiseptics and antibacterial cream. Please, advise us if you have any allergies or particular medical aliments which may require special attention during the trip, if your doctor has prescribed any medication, make sure that you have sufficient supplies to last the duration of your holiday. 

Places to visit in Tashkent:
Independence Square:
This is the largest square in Tashkent is more like a large park than a square. With several monuments and fountains, surrounded by impressive public buildings and filled with trees and flower beds, the Independence Square in Tashkent is a showcase of modern Uzbekistan. Today the Independence History consists of several areas: administrative buildings, the recreation area with green zones and fountains, monuments including the Arch of Independence and the Independence Monument. The story of the Independence square as a center of Tashkent goes back to more than hundred years. The General Governor of Turkestan erected here his military fortress in 1865. Since 1974 this place was called the Avenue of Parades, where military parades and demonstrations of workers were held to celebrate the holidays of May 1st, International Workers Day, May 9 - Victory Day. Passing through the arch of silver with figures of storks around the fountain, which marks the entrance to the Independence Square, you will see the the main monument of the Independence square. It is a high pedestal with a golden globe erected on the top. Before the pedestal there is a statue of a seated mother with a baby in her arms. The monumental complex represent the revival of Uzbekistan as a free independent state. The Monument of Independence was erected in 1992, and the complete reconstruction of the area was completed in 2006.
On the opposite sits a statue depicting a mourning mother sadly looking down onto an eternal flame in memory of her children who fell when defending the country, to commemorate the fallen unidentified soldiers in the past World Wars.
Administrative buildings, including the Cabinet of Ministers, Senate of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Finance are located on the western side of the Independence square in Tashkent.

Broadway Square: Saligokh Street, known locally as 'Broadway', has some street artists and painters, who display their original artworks. There are many shopping centers, fashion shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes are located on and around the Broadway in Tashkent. Here you may also pick up some handmade crafts and bric-a-racs.

Amir Temur Square: Amir Temur Square is the true center of the city, where stands a famous monument to Amir Temur. From here radiates main roads of the city to all corners of the country and neighboring states. When you get off at the Amir Temur Square station of Tashkent Underground and pass through the pedestrian subway and you will be in the Amir Temur Square.In front of you will see the famous Monument to Amir Temur. Surrounded before with century-old plane trees, today, the monument to Amir Temur is seen from afar – as recently planted young trees replaced the old ones, creating a green background in the square.
Walking through tracks towards to the Amir Temur monument, you will see this great militant sitting on a horse raising his hand to the sky as if he is blessing the nation. On the monument you will read the wise words of him: “The strength is in justice”, inscribed in three languages. History of the Amir Temur Square The history of the square is very interesting. It was firstly designed in 1870 by Imperial Russian architects as a central park of the new Tashkent (see Old Tashkent) and called Constantine Square. Since then the main monument in the center of the square was changed several times. The first was one to General Kaufmann later replaced by monument to Free Workers (1917), monument to 10th anniversary to October revolution (1927), monument to Stalin (1947), monument to Karl Marx (1968).
Since 1993, the monument to Amir Temur stands in the center of the square; the square is now called “Amir Temur Hiyoboni,” which in translation from Uzbek means “Amir Temur Square”. To the south of the Amir Temur Square across the road are famous Tashkent Chimes. The first one was erected in 1947. The clock itself was brought as a war trophy after the World War II from city of Konigsberg. The one on the right, which was built in November 2009, fully replicate the architecture of its sister. To the left of the Tashkent Chimes stands enormous snow-white building surrounded by lawns, flower beds and young trees. This International Congress Hall of Uzbekistan was built in 2009 to the honor of Tashkent’s 2200th anniversary. Exterior view of the Palace is very impressive. The Palace is crowned by a large dome with the golden statue of storks on the top that symbolize the peace and happiness.

TV Tower: The Tashkent Television Tower is a 375 metres high tower and is the tallest tower in Central Asia. The construction of Tashkent TV Tower is started in 1978 and it began operation 6 years later, on 15 January 1985. It was the 3rd tallest tower in the world from 1985 to 1991. It is of a vertical cantilever structure, and is constructed out of steel. Its architectural design is a product of the Terxiev, Tsarucov & Semashko firm. The tower has an observation deck located 97 metres (318 ft) above the ground. It is the tallest structure in Central Asia. It also belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers, ranking as the 8th tallest.

Abdulkasim Medressah, (in the southern part of the old city). This medressah was erected in honour of the great thinker Abdulkhasim Khan in the beginning of the 19th century. This Medressah is situated close to the Parliment of Uzbekistan.

Khavendi Takhur Sheikh Mausoleum. The mausoleum was founded in the 14th cent. The present buildings were erected on the old foundations in the 18th and 19th century. The mausoleum is constructed with light yellow bricks and has no decoration in the interior.

Kaldyrgach-bly Mausoleum. This mausoleum is the most ancient monument in Tashkent. The dome in the form of a pyramid dates from the 15th century. and is said to remind the mazars in the Kazakh steppes. The mausoleums contains the tomb of a famous Kazakh political, Tole-bly, who had the nickname Kaldyrgach ("swallow").

Yunus Khan Mausoleum. The mausoleum is one of the few monuments in Tashkent dating to the epoch of the Timurids. Yunus Khan (1415-1487) was a descendant of Gengiz Khan and grandfather of the Indian moghul Babur. The building was erected in the 15th century and restored several times. It has no decoration except 'panjara' on the main facade.

Mausoleum of Abubakr Muhammad Kaffal Shashi. It is the mausoleum of one of the first Imams who died in 976/977. The present mausoleum is rectangular in shape and is crowned by a conical dome. The frieze with inscriptions over the entrance and the panjara (wooden lattices) in the window openings are especially remarkable.

Mausoleum of Zainuddin-bobo Sheikh. This is the mausoleum of the son of the founder of a famous Sufi order. His father sent him to disseminate the ideas of this order. The mausoleum is of the khanaka type. The hall is covered with a double dome. Nearby is a chillyakhona (subterranean monastic cell) dating to the 12th and 13th century.

Old Town:
The Old Town has retained much of its old charm. Here you will find low adobe houses with shady courtyards, narrow winding streets and many ancient mosques and madressas.
Chorsu Bazaar (Tashkent’s farmers market under a huge cupola, spices, grain, dairy products, fruits of the season), (Southern edge of the old town). Here you can encounter the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Central Asia and you will have a good chance to see people in the colourful local dress.
Kukeldash Medressa, Nawai Prospect (on a hill overlooking Chorsu Bazaar, near the Friday Mosque). This Quran school was built in the 16th century during the reign of Abdulla-Khan by the vizier, scientist and poet Kulbobo Kukeldash, Kukeldash means “the Khan’s foster brother’. Kukeldash Medressa is one of the largest and best preserved Quran schools in Central Asia. The Medressa has a traditional composition with a large inner yard with hujras (pupils’ cells) and darshakona and mosque in the corners. Uzs 2000.
Ensemble Khazret Imam, (2 km north of the Circus on Zarquanyar). Tomb of one of the first Imams of Tashkent, Visitors may wish to visit the mosque in the Hast Imam area of the city. The library there contains the remaining fragments of the world’s first Koran, written only 19 years after the death of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).
Tellya Sheikh Mosque. With a beautiful Islamic library with ancient ceilings and ancient manuscripts and the Osman Koran. It is considered the oldest Koran in the world and is said to have been stained with the blood of Hazrat Osman in 655.
Moyie Mubarek Library Museum (preserving the world’s oldest Quran, from the 7th century),Zarqaynar 114, daily 9 AM until 4 PM.
Architectural Complex Zengi-Ata, (in the Zengi-Ata settlement near Tashkent). Burial place of sheikh Aj-Hodzha, nicknamed Zengi-Ata, which means “black”, living from the end of 12th to first half of 13th century.
Barrak-Khan Madrassah, (to the east of Chorsu market, among the clay-walled buildings of the old city). The Medrassah was completed in the 2nd half of the 16th century. Barak Khan died in 1556 and is buried in Samarkand.

Shopping in Tashkent:
Local produce, such as fruit, nuts, vegetables can be very good, especially when they are in season. In the late summer, local melons appear on the streets and in the bazaars and are tasty and very cheap.
Most local residents do their primary shopping in bazaars. There are many of them in Tashkent, the largest of which is the Chorsu Bazaar. It is huge, colorful, teeming with people and offers just about anything that can be purchased locally, from produce to locally-made furniture and hardware. Hand-crafted items, including crockery, rugs, traditional dress, etc., are also available and far less expensive than in the shops frequented by tourists. Have a local go with you to the bazaars if possible. Foreigners are inevitably charged higher prices. Bargaining is common, but requires some language skills.
Alayskiy Bazaar. Alayskiy Bazaar is the least noisy and crowded bazaar in Tashkent. Only here can you can buy button and oyster mushrooms, Caspian sturgeon and Far Eastern salmon.
Chorsu (Eski Juva) Bazaar, (in the very heart of the Old Town, next to Chorsu square.). The most exiting oriental market in Tashkent. Eski Juva bazaar is the biggest and oldest bazaar in Central Asia, operating on the same spot for over two thousand years. The market was reconstructed in the 1980s. The stalls of the bazaar stand under seven huge domes covered with colored glazed tiles. In the biggest domed building you will find all kinds of spices and cooking herbs: saffron and brown tree bark, red and black pepper, thyme and cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, as well as raisins and dried apricots, almonds and pistachios, walnuts and peanuts. The bazaar is famous for peanuts boiled in sugar or honey, covered with sesame seeds. Under the small domes are the workshops. Here the craftsmen make and sell jewelry, painted cradles (beshik); gold embroidery; Uzbek chests with metal decorations; embroidered suzanes (thin tapestries) and jiyak (lace for trimming the lower edges of women's trousers); quilted men's (chapan) and women's (yashmak) caftans; kurpacha quilts and pichok knives in leather or brass sheaths and national musical instruments. Potters offer lyagan dishes and kosa bowls with blue and turquoise painted patterns. You will also find carpets from Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Farkhatsky bazaar, (selling only melons, especially in September and October).
Hippodrome bazaar, (best for (leather)clothes, shoes, very crowded). every day except Mon.
Parkentsky bazaar, (best for beer, biscuits, cigarettes, coffee, cookies, cooking oil, soft drinks, liquor in large quantities).
Food in Tashkent:
Uzbek national dishes are similar to those of other Central Asian countries.
The national dish is Plov (also called Osh, Plaf, "Pulau" in Urdu). It is a mixture of rice, mild spices, yellow or orange carrots, mutton, meat, cumin (zeera) and, according to individualized recipes, occasionally other ingredients.
Shashlik - meat (usually mutton, beef or chicken) and chunks of fat roasted kebab style over charcoal.
Samsa ("Samosa" in Hindi or Urdu) are similar to South American empanadas - most commonly with meat (beef or mutton)and potato and sometimes with onion and mushrooms, encased in pastry and baked in wood-fired, clay ovens shaped like inverted beehives called tandories.
The local bread, round and flat, is also baked in tandories. It is called Non (or in Russian, "lepioshki,", "Naan" in Urdu) and is usually delicious. Nan from Samarkand is especially well regarded by many in Samarkand but each region takes pride in its own version of non just as it does its version of Osh.
Though the King of Uzbek food is Plov but Uzbeks feel very proud to make Sumalyak. To every body Sumalyak is a miracle sweet dish. It is made from Pure wheat and with out any addition of sweetener. The art is such that Sumalyak becomes sweet and Uzbeks take it on very special occasions. A visitor if visting Uzbekistan with a family must make it a point to see the process of making Sumalyak. Readers can find all the information in detail about making sumalyak and other Uzbek Cuisines from link. There are hundreds of small cafes in Tashkent (and other Uzbek cities and villages) offering these and other local dishes at very inexpensive prices. A meal of salad, bread, tea, soup and shashlik at around 2-3 USD isn't difficult to find. Bear in mind that sanitation standards leave a lot to be desired in many of these cafes. Especially on warm days, look to see if the meat is kept refrigerated before it is cooked.
There are many small restaurants serving simple meals at good prices. Burgers and kebabs are common. Borsch (soup) is tasty and perfect on a cold day. Drujba Burgers (a local chain) are everywhere. Kazan Kabob near Yoshlik (Milli Bogh) Metro, Near Beruni Metro on Sufiski, on Novoi Street is very Popular amongst the local population. In Kulug there are cafes which cook good quality Korean Food, In Badamzar Area Local Home cooked Uzbek Food is Popular, Lavash (Armenian) and Shaurma (Arabic) can be taken from many Kiosks in Town.
Milli Plov, Plaf is near TV Tower is the most Popular Place. Thousands of People eat. Bukhara Food is at the Corner of Shahristan Street, Near Museum of Repression and offer cheap Good quality food. Try the Following Dishes, Lavash (Armenian), Shurpa (Uzbek), Kazi Kabob (Uzbek)
Bravissimo at junction of Shahrisabz Street and Movarounnakhr Street serves cakes and good local food.
Neft i Gaz kitchen, it is a canteen of a company, but many people from around go there, as it is cheap and tasty. It serves most traditional dishes - plov, lagman (a soup with spagetti, meat and other ingredients), borsh. Languages russian and uzbek, but it is easy to order, as it is canteen type and you can just show what you want. Lunch shouldn't cost more than 2000 sums. It is not far from Amir Temur boulevard and Westminster University. If you ask around people will know it and can show you more specifically as it is in the backyard and not so easy to find. Note: It works only from 12-16PM
Cafe Bukhara, close to the railway station (Avliyoota st. and little ring road intersection) - cheap and tasty local food, nice atmosphere and you can buy own drinks in a shop next to the place.