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|Founded||6th Century BC|
|• Type||City Administration|
|• Hakim (Mayor)||Qiyomiddin Rustamov|
|• City||39.4 km2 (15.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||225 m (738 ft)|
|• Density||6,700/km2 (17,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||GMT +5|
|Area code(s)||(+998) 65|
|Vehicle registration||20 (previous to 2008)
80-84 (2008 and newer)
|Historic Centre of Bukhara|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Criteria||ii, iv, vi|
|Inscription||1993 (17th Session)|
Bukhara (Uzbek: Buxoro; Tajik: Бухоро; Persian: بخارا; Russian: Бухара), is one of the cities (viloyat) of Uzbekistan. Bukhara is a city-museum, with about 140 architectural monuments. The nation's fifth-largest city, it had a population as of 24 April 2014[update] of approximately 272,710. Humans have inhabited the region around Bukhara for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. UNESCO has listed the historic center of Bukhara (which contains numerous mosques and madrassas) as a World Heritage Site.
- 1 Names
- 2 History
- 3 Major sites
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Notable people
- 7 Twin towns – Sister cities
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Sources
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Bukhara was known as Bukhoro in 19th- and early 20th-century English publications and as Buhe/Puhe（捕喝）in Tang Chinese. According to the Encyclopædia Iranica the name Bukhara is possibly derived from the Soghdian βuxārak ("Place of Good Fortune") which in turn is derived from Sanskrit vihara which means Buddhist monasteries. Bukhara emerged as an urban centre of Buddhism in the ancient times along the Silk Route in Central Asia.
Muhammad ibn Jafar Narshakhi in his History of Bukhara (completed 943-44 CE) mentions:
Bukhara has many names. One of its name was Numijkat. It has also been called "Bumiskat". It has 2 names in Arabic. One is "Madinat al Sufriya" meaning - "the copper city" and another is "Madinat Al Tujjar" meaning - "The city of Merchants". But, the name Bukhara is more known than all the other names. In Khorasan, there is no other city with so many names
The history of Bukhara stretches back millennia. It is now the capital of Bukhara Region (viloyat) of Uzbekistan. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long been a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. During the golden age of the Samanids, Bukhara became the intellectual center of the Islamic world. The historic center of Bukhara, which contains numerous mosques and madrassas, has been listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites.
Bukhara has been one of the main centres of world civilisation from its early days in 6th century BCE. From the 6th century CE, Turkic speakers gradually moved in. Its architecture and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of Central Asian history and art. The region of Bukhara was a part of the Persian Empire for a long time. The origin of many of its current inhabitants goes back to the period of Aryan immigration into the region.
Bukhara was the last capital of the Emirate of Bukhara and was besieged by the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. During the Bukhara operation of 1920, an army of well-disciplined and well equipped Red Army troops under the command of Bolshevik general Mikhail Frunze attacked the city of Bukhara. On 31 August 1920, the Emir Alim Khan fled to Dushanbe in Eastern Bukhara (later he escaped from Dushanbe to Kabul in Afghanistan). On 2 September 1920, after four days of fighting, the emir’s citadel (the Ark) was destroyed, the red flag was raised from the top of Kalyan Minaret. On 14 September 1920, the All-Bukharan Revolutionary Committee was set up, headed by A. Mukhitdinov. The government – the Council of People's Nazirs (Commissars) – was presided over by Faizullah Khojaev.
The Bukharan People's Soviet Republic existed from 1920 to 1925 when the city was integrated into the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. Fitzroy Maclean, then a young diplomat in the British Embassy in Moscow, made a surreptitious visit to Bokhara in 1938, sight-seeing and sleeping in parks. In his memoir Eastern Approaches, he judged it an "enchanted city" with buildings that rivalled "the finest architecture of the Italian Renaissance". In the latter half of the 20th century, the War in Afghanistan and Civil war in Tajikistan brought Dari and Tajik-speaking refugees into Bukhara and Samarkand. After integrating themselves into the local Tajik population, these cities face a movement for annexation into Tajikistan with which the cities have no common border.
|Historic Centre of Bukhara|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Criteria||ii, iv, vi|
|Inscription||1993 (17th Session)|
The title Po-i Kalan (also Poi Kalân, Persian پای کلان meaning the "Grand Foundation"), belongs to the architectural complex located at the base of the great minaret Kalân.
- Kalyan minaret. More properly, Minâra-i Kalân, (Persian/Tajik for the "Grand Minaret"). Also known as the Tower of Death, as arguably for centuries criminals were executed by being thrown off the top.
The minaret is most famed part of the ensemble, which dominates over historical center of the city in form of a huge vertical pillar. The role of the minaret is largely for traditional and decorative purposes - its dimension exceeds the bounds of the main function of the minaret, which is to provide a vantage point from which the muezzin can call out people to prayer. For this purpose it was enough to ascend to a roof of mosque. This practice was common in initial years of Islam. The word "minaret" descends to Arabic "manara" ("lighthouse", or more literally "a place where something burn"). Probably an idea of minarets of Islam was adopted from "fire-towers" or lighthouses of previous epochs.
The architect, whose name was simply Bako, made a minaret in the form of a circular-pillar brick tower, narrowing upwards, of 9 meters (29.53 feet) diameter at the bottom, 6 meters (19.69 feet) overhead and 45.6 meters (149.61 feet) high. There is a brick spiral staircase that twists up inside around the pillar, leading to the landing in sixteen-arched rotunda - skylight, which based on a magnificent stalactite cornice (sharafa).
- Kalân Mosque (Masjid-i Kalân), arguably completed in 1514, is equal to the Bibi-Khanym Mosque in Samarkand in size. The mosque is able to accommodate 12 thousand people.
Although Kalyan Mosque and Bibi-Khanym Mosque of Samarkand are of the same type of building, they are different in terms of art of building. 288 monumental pylons serve as a support for the multidomed roofing of the galleries encircling the courtyard of Kalyan Mosque. The longitudinal axis of the courtyard ends up with a portal to the main chamber (maksura) with a cruciform hall, topped with a massive blue cupola on a mosaic drum. The edifice keeps many architectural curiosities, for example, a hole in one of domes. Through this hole one can see foundation of Kalyan Minaret. Then moving back step by step, one can count all belts of brickwork of the minaret to the rotunda.
- Mir-i Arab Madrassah (1535-1536). The construction of Mir-i-Arab Madrasah (Miri Arab Madrasah) is ascribed to Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen - called Mir-i-Arab - the spiritual mentor of Ubaidullah-khan and his son Abdul-Aziz-khan. Ubaidullah-khan waged permanent successful war with Iran. At least three times his troops seized Herat. Each of such plundering raids on Iran was accompanied by capture of great many captives. They say that Ubaidullah-khan had invested money gained from redemption of more than three thousand Persian captives into construction of Mir-i-Arab Madrasah. Ubaidullah-khan was very religious. He had been nurtured in high respect for Islam in the spirit of Sufism. His father named him in honor of prominent sheikh of the 15-th century Ubaidullah al-Ahrar (1404-1490), by origin from Tashkent Region.
By the thirties of the 16-th century the time, when sovereigns erected splendid mausoleums for themselves and for their relatives, was over. Khans of Shaibanid dynasty were standard-bearers of Koran traditions. The significance of religion was so great that even such famed khan as Ubaidullah was conveyed to earth close by his mentor in his madrasah. In the middle of the vault (gurhana) in Mir-i-Arab Madrasah is situated the wooden tomb of Ubaidullah-khan. At his head is wrapped in the moulds his mentor - Mir-i-Arab. Muhammad Kasim, mudarris (a senior teacher) of the madrasah (died in 1047 hijra) is also interred near by here.
The portal of Miri Arab Madrasah is situated on one axis with the portal of the Kalyan Mosque. However, because of some lowering of the square to the east it was necessary to raise a little an edifice of the madrasah on a platform.
Ismail Samani mausoleum
The Ismail Samani mausoleum (9th-10th century), one of the most esteemed sights of Central Asian architecture, was built in the 9th century (between 892 and 943) as the resting-place of Ismail Samani - the founder of the Samanid dynasty, the last Persian dynasty to rule in Central Asia, which held the city in the 9th and 10th centuries. Although in the first instance the Samanids were Governors of Khorasan and Ma wara'u'n-nahr under the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliphate, the dynasty soon established virtual independence from Baghdad.
Chashma-Ayub is located near the Samani mausoleum. Its name in Persian means Job's spring due to the legend according to which Job (Ayub) visited this place and brought forth a spring of water by the blow of his staff on the ground. The water of this well is still pure and is considered healing. The current building was constructed during the reign of Timur and features a Khwarazm-style conical dome uncommon in Bukhara.
The Lab-i Hauz (or Lab-e hauz, Persian: لب حوض, meaning by the pond) Ensemble (1568–1622) is the name of the area surrounding one of the few remaining hauz (ponds) in the city of Bukhara. Until the Soviet period there were many such ponds, which were the city's principal source of water, but they were notorious for spreading disease and were mostly filled in during the 1920s and 1930s. The Lab-i Hauz survived because it is the centrepiece of a magnificent architectural ensemble, created during the 16th and 17th centuries, which has not been significantly changed since. The Lab-i Hauz ensemble, surrounding the pond on three sides, consists of the Kukeldash Madrasah (1568–1569), the largest in the city (on the north side of the pond), and of two religious edifices built by Nadir Divan-Beghi: a khanaka (1620), or lodging-house for itinerant Sufis, and a madrasah (1622) that stand on the west and east sides of the pond respectively.
There is also an interesting metal sculpture of Nasruddin Hodja, the quick-witted and warm-hearted man, who forms the central character of many children's folk stories in the Central Asian and Indian subcontinent, sitting atop his mule with one hand on his heart and the other with an 'All OK' sign above his head.
Bukhara Fortress, the Ark
Magoki Attori mosque
The former Magoki Attori mosque was constructed in the ninth century on the remains of an older Zoroastrian temple. It was destroyed and rebuilt more than once, and the oldest part now remaining is the south façade, which dates from the twelfth century, one of the oldest surviving structures in Bukhara. Lower than the surrounding ground, it was excavated in 1935. It is no longer used as a mosque and now houses a carpet museum.
Mosque of Ali el hamadoni
Char Minor (Chor-Minor, also the Madrasah of Khalif Niyaz-kul) is a beautiful building tucked away in one of the lanes a bit to northeast from the Lyabi Hauz complex. This is the well-preserved structure built by Khalif Niyaz-kul - rich inhabitant of Bukhara, the Turkmen by origin. Some consider the structure with four towers as a gate to lost madrasah behind. However, on closer examination one can see that Chor-Minor (even in the state that it got up to our days) is all-sufficient complex of buildings that have at least two destinations - ritual and dwelling.
Main edifice cornered with towers is a mosque. In spite of its unusual outward shape, the mosque has quite customary interior. Owing to cupola the room has good acoustic properties, therefore it takes on special significance of 'dhikr-hana' - a place for ritualized 'dhikr' ceremonies of Sufi, the liturgy of which often include recitation, singing, and instrumental music.
On either side of a central edifice are located the dwelling rooms. Some of them collapsed, only basement remained. Consequently, for full functioning of madrasah only of classroom and some utility rooms is lacking. However, it was common practice that so-called madrasahs had no lecture rooms or, even if they had, no lectures had been given in them. These madrasahs were employed as student hospices.
Each of four towers (minarets) has different shape. Some say that elements of decoration reflect religious-philosophical purport of four world religions. At least, one can easily find some elements are reminiscent of cross, Christian fish and Buddhist praying-wheel.
On the esplanade to the right from Chor-Minor is a pool, most likely of the same age with the complex of buildings.
Char Minor is now surrounded mainly by small houses and shops on its perimeter. One may find an artisan or two selling a fine piece of hand drawn paintings.
Bukhara Airport has regularly scheduled flights to cities in Uzbekistan and Russia. The M37 highway connects the city to most of the major cities in Turkmenistan including Ashgabat. The city is also served by railroad links with the rest of Uzbekistan.
According to the official statistics, the city's population is 82% Uzbeks, 6% Russians, 4% Iranians, 3% Tatars, 1% Koreans, 1% Turkmens, 1% Ukrainians, 2% of other ethnicities. However, official Uzbek numbers have for long been criticized and refuted by various observers and Western sources and it is widely assumed that the population of the city consists mainly of Persian-speaking Tajiks, with ethnic Uzbeks forming a growing minority. Exact figures are difficult to evaluate, since many people in Uzbekistan either identify as "Uzbek" even though they speak Tajik as their first language, or because they are registered as Uzbeks by the central government despite their Tajik language and identity. According to Soviet estimates in the early 20th century (based on numbers from 1913 and 1917), the Tajiks formed the overwhelming majority of city. Until the 20th century, Bukhara was also home to the (also Persian-speaking) Bukharan Jews, whose ancestors settled in the city during Roman times. Most Bukharan Jews left the city between 1925 and 2000 and settled in Israel and the United States of America.
Dehkhoda defines the name Bukhara itself as meaning "full of knowledge", referring to the fact that in antiquity, Bukhara was a scientific and scholarship powerhouse. In the Italian romantic epic Orlando innamorato by Matteo Maria Boiardo, Bukhara is called Albracca and described as a major city of Cathay. There, within its walled city and fortress, Angelica and the knights she has befriended make their stand when attacked by Agrican, emperor of Tartary. As described, this siege by Agrican resembles the historic siege by Genghis Khan in 1220.
Many notable people lived in Bukhara in the past. Among them are:
- Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Mughirah Ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhari (810-870) - Islamic scholar and compiler of hadiths
- Avicenna (Abu Ali ibn Sina) (980-1037) - physician and philosopher
- Bal'ami: Abolfazl Muhammad and his son Abu-Ali Mohammad, two famous viziers of Samanid kings, historians and patrons of art and literature
- Abubakr Narshakhi (10th century) - historian who wrote History of Bukhara
- Sadiduddin Muhammad Aufi (1171-1242) historian, scientist, and author.
- Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari(c. 595-690 AH, 1199-1291 CE)
- Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari (1318–1389)
- Amir Kulal (died in 1370)
- Kiromi Bukhoroi
- An Lushan
- Sadriddin Ayni (1878–1954)
- Fayzulla Khodzhayev (1896-1938)
- Abdurauf Fitrat
- Oksana Chusovitina
- Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar
Twin towns – Sister cities
- Nisa, Turkmenistan
- Old Urgench, Turkmenistan
- Merv, Turkmenistan
- Gonur Tepe, Turkmenistan
- Samarkand, Uzbekistan
- Dushanbe, Tajikistan
- Khudjand, Tajikistan
- Hamedan, Iran
- Nishapur, Iran
- Balkh, Afghanistan
- Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
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- Narshaki,Richard Nelson Fyre, The History of Bukhara, Pg 27
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- Jaffer Badakshi in Khasatul Munakib reference by Jeelani Allaie
- О.А.Сухарева КВАРТАЛЬНАЯ ОБЩИНА ПОЗДНЕФЕОДАЛЬНОГО ГОРОДА БУХАРЫ (в связи с историей кварталов) Академия наук СССР Институт этнографии им.Н.Н.Миклухо-Маклая Издательство Наука; Главная редакция восточной литературы Москва 1976 (Russian)
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- Paul Bergne: The Birth of Tajikistan. National Identity and the Origins of the Republic. International Library of Central Asia Studies. I.B. Tauris. 2007. Pg. 8 ff.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bukhara.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for [[Wikivoyage:Bukhara#Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 863: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).|Bukhara]].|
|Wikisource has the text of The New Student's Reference Work article Bokhara.|
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- UNESCO World Heritage list: Historic Centre of Bukhara
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