If to believe the words in the famous song about Shakhrisabz, this city is filled with pleasure and light. About it the vocalist of Yalla group - Farrukh Zokirov sang in the eighties in a smash hit. Geographically Shakhrisabz lies at a foot of Pamir Mountains and, as opposed to Bukhara at the edge of the desert or to hot Khiva, this city is really green. The origin of the word ascends from the Persian words "shakhar" (city) and "sabz" (green).
Nevertheless it is necessary to devote to excursion of the city (small on the area) the whole day. The part of this time will take the way (apprx. 100 km) from Samarkand and as much back. During this time it is possible to see magnificent orchards in vicinities of Samarkand, grape and tobacco plantations in the foothills of Pamir. The first stop can be in mountains near the stone- heart. From here you can see well tops of Gissar Range - the border between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, a storage reservoir Karatepa and the Plateau with the fanciful forms of granodiorite remained as a result of erosion and sliding of glaciers.
The serpentine road comes up in the small settlements (kishlaks) and children's summer camps. Once long ago at a primitive-communal system people lived here, too. Findings of archeologists in a cave Leva, where in a grotto remained to several thousand various artifacts, indicates of it.
Other possible stop can become the photo pause on the pass. The pass Takhta-karacha (1,675 m) is administrative border between Samarkand and Karshy areas.
In Shakhrisabz, within a standard sightseeing tour, it is possible to see the remains of Ak-Saray palace, complexes Dora-Saodat and Dora-Tilyavat. Constructed on command and desire of the greatest governor Timur Guragan (one of respectable addresses to Amir Timur was such) Ak-Saray palace had no equal around the world. The Spanish ambassador Ruy Gonzales de Clavikho attended the opening ceremony in detail describes huge size portal (up to 70 m high), with images of lions and with the fountain on a portal roof.
"Walls were decorated with a majolica with gold, floors were covered with multi-colored tiles (partially it can be seen even now), and in rooms it was possible to hear water murmur. And we didn't find number of those rooms …" the Spanish witness wrote in the XV century. In Ak-Saray palace it is possible to walk up the old stairs of a spiral ladder inside the intake portal to 38 meter height. It is also interesting to look at original tiles on a floor which are in the museum near an intake portal.
The complex Doru-Saodat includes a mosque Khazrat Imam and a necropolis where Amir Timur's sons were buried and there was built the mausoleum for him, but as the fates decree or by key influential people, it remained empty. After Timur's death he was buried in the state capital, in Samarkand. In a mosque Khazrat Imam it is possible to see probably the oldest plane trees in this region. Their diameter makes 7-8 meters though precisely still nobody measured. But it is precisely written on the plate before a tree that it was planted in 1370.
Among buildings which are parts of Dor-Tillyavat complex one can note high and large by proportions Kuk-Gumbaz (A blue dome) mosque. It was constructed during the rule of Mirzo Ulugbek in the XV century. Opposite a mosque with openwork patterns of Indian masters there is Mausoleum of Shamseddin Kulyalya and the Mausoleum Gumbazi Seyidan (the Dome of Seids).
Except the specified historical monuments it is worth strolling through a small bazaar in Shakhrisabz. It is attractive because it is long ways off perfection: here in the same row people sell onions, naswar, kashk. You will see here also bright colors and friendly sellers who with pleasure pose for tourists photographers.
On the way back surely call at one of numerous taverns on the way. Before entrance on the pass in the place Ming-chinar (Thousand plane trees) it is possible to taste the special homemade noodles. Slightly up on the road you can taste the real tandoor-kabob or the most delicate mutton – jizz.
To Shakhrisabz it is possible to go with the guide from Samarkand or it is possible to book in Shakhrisabz (if there is free guide). It is possible to arrive in Shakhrisabz from Bukhara (280 km) and after excursion to go further to Samarkand (and vice versa).
Distance from Samarkand to Shakhrisabz (via pass) – 95 km (by car)
Distance from Samarkand to Shakhrisabz (by way of a detour) – 140 km (by minibus)
Duration of the city tour: appr. 2,5 hours
Admission tickets: US$ 5.00/pax (in soums at Central Bank of RUz rate)
Photo- and video fees: 3,000 soums /per camera
Cost of tour to Shakhrisabz
More than 3 people the trip is by two cars or in one minibus. The road via pass is forbidden for minibuses, so the way to Shakhrisabz will be by way of a detour (via Chirokchi) and will be 140 km in one way (2,5 hours).