Hamam – a special attraction of Bukhara. In engineering terms, they represented the undoubted achievement of the era.
The current female Hamam Kundzhak, located near the famous complex of Pai Kalyan, was built in the era of the Sheybanids (1507 – 1598) and was originally intended to serve the wives of the emir and his concubines. For convenience, mehrabs (places for prayer) were provided in the bath halls. For five centuries, the building has been preserved in its original form. The brick and marble of the XVI century are preserved in excellent condition.
Water in the hammam comes from 2 pools with hot and cold water. There is an opinion that the pools are trimmed with silver and therefore the water that is settled in them is very soft and has healing properties. Dome-shaped roof structures provide a constant supply of fresh air in each room. The girls who work here, the banshchitsy, inherited the secrets of an old-fashioned spa – a departure from their grandmothers and great-grandmothers, who also worked in this hamam. Here is the peeling procedure – skat with silk “Haltacha” bags. Technology has not changed at all since the 16th century. After the skin is cleaned – a special mask is applied to the back and legs, which includes ginger, honey, turmeric, yolk and a few other ingredients that are kept in strict secrecy.
This mask has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as rejuvenates the skin. After peeling, body massage is performed on a soap or oil basis. Guests are also invited to the famous herbal tea, which perfectly quenches thirst and tones the body.
For Bukhara women, the hammam is a way of life folded over many centuries. For example, a woman always comes here at 10,20,30 and 40 days after birth (every 10 days). New mothers bathe, do special procedures, massage and exercise. This period is called “Chillia Doura”. During this period, everything is done so that the woman’s body fully recovered after childbirth. Banshchitsy also bathe newborn babies, using special herbal teas.
Traditionally on Friday, before Namaz, many elderly local women come here, who, in addition to taking bath procedures, communicate with each other for a long time and share the news.
For guests, the hammam provides the opportunity to try spa treatments, which, as in the 16th century, are very relevant in the modern world.
The female Kunjak hamam is under the patronage of the International Organization of Twin Cities.
Photos: Kamil Enikeev and Nozim Atoev
Address: Bukhara, landmark – the back side of the complex “Poi Kalyan”
Note: Hamam works only for women!