For many centuries the main trade routes of the East ran through the city-oases of Uzbekistan. Caravans with goods moved along these routes, and numerous conquerors came to them.
At the beginning of the XIII century Central Asia was devastated by Tataro Mongols. Nomads destroyed the richest and most cultured Samarkand almost to the ground. The descendants of Genghis Khan revived the city, and Tamerlane made it the capital of his empire. Both the conqueror and his successors did not spare gold for the decoration of Samarkand. Tamerlane`s grandson, the great astronomer Ulugbek, built many beautiful buildings, in particular the amazing madrasah — a Muslim spiritual institution. Once again Samarkand was destroyed by the Uzbeks. Having seized the lands of present-day Uzbekistan, they created their monarchical states in the local oases. The most powerful of them were Khiva and Bukhara khanates, which existed until 1920. The appearance of ancient Bukhara was formed in the XVI-XVII centuries. Up to now, the walls of the ancient citadel and more than a hundred architectural monuments of that era have been preserved.
Not far from ancient Samarkand is the village of Hazrat Daud, named after the prophet and the first blacksmith on earth. It is within easy reach from Samarkand to the village. Dozens of pilgrims daily pass through it. They are especially numerous at the weekend. They go to two caves, which, according to legend, was visited the biblical king. They hope to find grace there and enlist his support. Makhmad Zamolu is 91 years old, he is the eldest resident of the village. Makhmad cleared the entrance to one of the caves, where, as the local people believe, there was a forge of David. In the far corner of the cave you can see the imprint of the David`s palm. If you put your hand to it and make a wish, it will surely come true.
The task is not easy, especially for the elderly to overcome one and a half thousand steps to the main cave, where King David hid from enemies. At the top of the mountain there is the David Mosque. It is very small. Each pilgrim, before going down to the cave, obligatory will perform a prayer. The locals say, the prophet David was a just king. For this, Allah granted him the ability to melt metal directly in the palms of his hands. The Samarkand ruler decided to capture David and force him to work for himself, to forge swords and spears. The Prophet learned about this and fled here. Allah made a clay mountain, let David in and closed the passage.
The pilgrims consider the deepening in the walls the prints of David`s hands. Having stood the line, pilgrims, following the example of the king, also ask the supreme to release their sins and fulfill their cherished desires.
Along with Samarkand and Bukhara, all the tourist routes in Central Asia, without exception, include visiting Khiva. Peopletravel Company offers unique Uzbekistan group tours to the cities of the country. Professional employees of the Peopletravel are ready to organize for you an unforgettable trip, which you will remember for a long time.
Part of the city is turned into a state historical-archeological museum-reserve. It is called «Ichan-kala.» There are many monuments of architecture, but most importantly — it is inhabited. People live in this area as they have always lived. Basically, they are hereditary masters: blacksmiths, carvers and weavers.
In the old town of Ichan-kale (this phrase is translated as «inner city» or «citadel»), artisans weave silk carpets. A silkworm is grown here, in the vicinity of Khiva. The dyer is a male specialty. The women’s business is weaving. Drawings of carpets repeat the patterns that can be seen on the old miniatures.
For a long time Khiva woodcarvers have been famous for their skill.
But Khiva was famous not only for its crafts. The main source of its prosperity for more than three centuries was trade. From dawn to dusk, while the fortress gates were opened, a string of loaded camel swings moved through them in an endless stream.