09-27 Tashkent

27th.September 2019, Tashkent

Tashkent is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan, as well as the most populated city in ex-Soviet Central Asia with a population in 2018 of 2,485,900. It is located in the north-east of the country close to the Kazakhstan border. Much of the city was destroyed in the 1966 Tashkent earthquake, though it was rebuilt afterwards as a model Soviet city.

Tashkent is known for its many museums and its mix of modern and Soviet-era architecture. The Amir Timur Museum houses manuscripts, weapons and other relics from the Timurid dynasty. Nearby, the huge State Museum of History of Uzbekistan has centuries-old Buddhist artifacts. The city’s skyline is distinguished by Tashkent Tower, which offers city views from its observation deck.

Today, as the capital of an independent Uzbekistan, Tashkent retains a multi-ethnic population, with ethnic Uzbeks in the majority. In 2009, the city celebrated its 2,200 years of written history.

Usbekistan Hotel


I and one other person of our group arrived safely on time in the middle of the night at the huge Usbekistan Hotel. The others had arrived from Moscow earlier the previous day. We all started again at 10.00 for sightseeing of Taskent. It is a modern city but the centre is attractively laid out with parks and fountains. Some of the mosques are just for tourists and others are used by thousands of men in white shirts and caps for their daily worship.

Kaffal-Schashi Mausoleum


Kaffal-Shashi lived more than a thousand years ago, but there is no person in modern Tashkent who would not know the honored name ‘’Hazrati Imom’’ (Holy Imam), the name that was given to him in the 10th century. Kaffal-Shashi, a brave poet, a polyglot, and the author of many books on Islam Law, was born in 291 according to the Hijri Calendar (903/904 AD) in Ash-Shash (present Tashkent). Soon he developed a passion for reading, as is still popular among the youth today, and began to write his first poems. He became one of the leading representatives of the Sharia Schools of the Shafi madhhab (stream), received popularity for his erudition in many scientific disciplines and won unquestionable respect in issues of Sharia.


rear facade

Hazrati-Imam Square is the religious centre of Tashkent, located in the old town. This complex arose near the tomb of one of the first imam of Tashkent city, the famous scientist, scholar of the Koran and Hadith, poet and craftsman Hazrati-Imam (full name – Abu-Bakr Muhammad Kaffal Shashi, see above). On the square there are several architectural monuments, including the madrasah of Barak-Khan, Hazrati-Imam-Mosque, Tilla Sheikh Mosque, and the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari, where future preachers are taught. The new building of the Hazrati-Imam mosque was erected in 2007 and consists of the mosque itself and two minarets in the style of the XVI century. The entrance area of ​​the mosque is decorated with splendid woodcarvings representing the various schools of Uzbekistan.

Barak-Khan Madrasah


Barak-Khan Madrasah was built in the XVI century by order of the governor of Tashkent, Nauruz Ahmad- Khan a grandson of Mirzo Ulugbek. His subjects considered Nauruz Ahmad-Khan a ruler accompanied by good luck, which is why they nicknamed him “Barak-Khan” or “Lucky ruler.” Construction of madrasah took place in several stages and was completed in 1532. The building Barak-Khan Madrasah was erected in front of Mahalla Hastimom, considered the centre of scientists, philosophers and scholars of Islam. For more than five centuries, Barak-Khan Madrasah symbolized the greatness of the city’s history and until 2007 it housed the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Central Asia.

Koran of Osman Museum

fluted dome

Opposite Barak-Khan Madrasah, in a museum specially built in 2007 on the place of former Mui-Mubarak Madrasah to house the famous Muslim relic – the Koran of Caliph Osman or the Ottoman Koran written in the VII century and considered the primary source of the holy book. According to a legend Caliph Osman was killed while reading this book and it shows drops of his blood. It was considered holy and for a few centuries was in the caliphs’ treasure in Medina, Damascus, and Bagdad. There is a theory that the Koran of Osman was brought to Movarounnahr by Amir Timur, and it is known that in the XV century it was at the court of Mirzo Ulugbek in Samarkand. When the Central Asia territory was conquered by the Russian Empire, the Koran of Osman was taken to St. Petersburg. In 1924, the relic was returned to Uzbekistan and resided in the History Museum of the Peoples of Uzbekistan until at the end of the twentieth century on the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, it was handed to the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan.

Chorsu Bazaar


The traditional bazaar of Tashkent is located in the centre of the old town. Under its blue-coloured dome and in the adjacent areas, all daily necessities can be bought. The bazaar is the heart of every oriental city, the centre of public life and a breadwinner for the whole city. Since the dawn of civilisation bazaars have appeared on the intersections of trade roads and on the big squares of cities. They were the main sites of the city, where merchants, traders and common people gathered to discuss important news, to know prices, or to have a rest in a cozy choykhana (Uzbek café) eating pilaf and drinking green tea. They were also the places of the main entertainment events of the city – theatrical performances.

Kukeldash Madrasah


This medieval madrasah in the historic part of Tashkent, close to Chorsu Bazaar and Metro station was built around 1570 by the Shaybanid Dynasty of rulers. It is built of yellow brick, and has a traditional square shape with a big portal and an inner courtyard. Originally it was part of an ensemble forming the city’s main square. The initiator of the building Dervish Khan – vizier of Tashkent khans dynasty Sheibanids was nicknamed “Kukeldash”, which translates as “milk brother”, because he was the foster-brother of the khan. In the XVIII century the madrasah was used as caravansary for merchants and in the XIX century served as a fortress of the Kokand khans.

Arch with statues of cranes

the fountains

Independence Square located in the centre of Tashkent city is a favorite resting place of the Tashkent residents. The beautiful fountains located in the square are a main attraction. Independence Square like many other places in Tashkent has its own history. Before 1865, there was a palace of the Kokand khan nearby. Today Independence Square is a place to hold solemn events on festive days, such as Uzbekistan Independence Day (1 September) and New Year (1 January). Many of the Tashkent residents visit Independence Square on festive days, since performances of musicians, clowns and rope-dancers are held here. When overall reconstruction was carried out in the square, many buildings were renovated and acquired a modern look. The central feature of the square is an arch with sixteen marble columns, supporting statues of cranes which symbolize peace and tranquillity.

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