Earlier in Bukhara, there were about 20 ancient baths. Now on the territory of the “Old Town” there are two hamam: the male “Bozori Kord” and the female “Kundzhak”.
The ancient Hammam Bozori Kord, built in the 16th century, has been admiring not only locals but also foreign visitors for several centuries. Here is what the English traveler and diplomat, England’s first ambassador to Russia, Anthony Jenkinson, wrote in his reports about Bukhara in 1558: “Bukhara is a very large city with many brick buildings and beautiful buildings. Hamams of this city are built with such talent and skill, I think that in the whole world it is impossible to find anything more perfect.
As the oldest workers of Bozori Kord recall, earlier the bath was heated with the help of a 900-liter copper cauldron, which boiled from a single huge candle with a diameter of 1 meter. Such a candle was made of leather, equestrian and camel fat. And the wick was made of special silk.
Previously, hamams worked around the clock and were illuminated at night with the help of phonuses (hand lamps), and during the day the light penetrated through special openings in the domes. Hamam, as well as 500 years ago consists of – a changing room, a room “Poyshoykhona” (where the ritual of washing the feet) and a dome-shaped hall “Miensarai” take place. In the domed hall there is a hot room “Garmkhona”, a cold room “Hunukhona”, a mehrab (a place for prayers) and a large marble sofa for a massage procedure.
The hamam was reconstructed and heating is now carried out with the gas, but the most interesting thing was that all the procedures have not changed at all since the 16th century. Bathing is passed from generation to generation. Spa – the procedure begins with steaming the body. Then, on the steamed skin, peeling is done using a special rag device “halt”, resembling a silk bag. Thus, the skin is prepared for massage. After peeling, the body is washed with water, and the soap massage procedure begins. Massage technology also remained unchanged. Massage lasts about 25 – 30 minutes. After the massage, a mixture of ginger and honey is applied to the body. This mask has anti-inflammatory effect and improves blood circulation. The body is again washed by clean water and the visitor is offered the famous tea of 7 herbs.
Photos: Kamil Enikeev and Nozim Atoev
Address: Bukhara, “Old Town”, Telpakfurshon trade dome.