The age of Khiva is 2500 years old. Throughout its history, the city experienced the Achaemenid, Arab, Mongol conquests and periods of prosperity, when the borders of ancient Khorezm reached Colchis. It was not just given Khorezm and Amir Timur. Only during the fifth campaign, Khorezm submitted to him.
The legend of Khiva states that the city originated around the Heyvak well, which was famous for its amazing water. The well was dug by order of the eldest son Noah (biblical character). This well is still preserved in the territory of Ichan-Kala fortress.
Here everything seems to be not quite familiar – the kitchen, the people, the speech, even the architecture. Almost everything is preserved in its original form. The streets are paved with stone. As if chess pieces, minarets, domes of madrasahs and mosques can be seen everywhere. Even modern buildings are decorated with antique.
In 1990, the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Geography and climate
The city is located in the Khorezm region southwest of the city of Urgench near the border of Turkmenistan.
In Khiva, the summer is very hot and dry with an average temperature of + 35 … + 37 ° C. In winter, the temperature drops to + 4 … + 1 ° С.
It is recommended to visit the city in late spring or in the autumn months when the weather is relatively mild.
Khiva is like a huge open-air museum, and its heart is the fortress of Ichan-Kala. This is where most of the sights are located. The walls of Ichan-Kala were built in the 5-6 century.
People here are very helpful and hospitable. The people are simple, modest and not very wordy.
Khorezm speech more like Turkish. The language is very melodic, beautiful and not at all like the literary Uzbek language.
The cuisine of Khorezm is quite dietary, although sometimes it comes across very high-calorie foods.
The most famous dish is considered to be “tukhum barrack” or “humorta barrack”, which resembles dumplings in appearance. But the filling is very unusual. It is a mixture of ghee and egg.
In contrast to the dumplings of this dish do not eat much. From the power of a few pieces. It is nourishing and very high in calories. In general, flour dishes predominate here.
Another discovery is a soup with very small dumplings. For a long time, if people come to the Khorezm girl’s house to get married, such dumplings are served at the table. It is believed that the more dumplings can fit in one spoon, the more skillful the future sister-in-law is in cooking.
Khorezm flat cakes are not at all like Tashkent or Samarkand. Flapjack is flat, thin and large in diameter.
Sometimes tomatoes are added to bread. Then it has a reddish tint and a more pronounced taste.The dough in the Khorezm kitchen is often painted with natural dyes.
For example, green lagman – “Shivit Oshi” is dyed with dill juice.
The dish is served with sour milk, which is used as a sauce.
Well, of course, it is impossible not to say about the Khorezm pilaf. He actually cooks steamed and exclusively with yellow carrots. The most commonly used local elongated rice varieties “Laser”.
The local dish “Itzhan” may seem strange to guests. This stuffing, which is not subjected to heat treatment. Stuffing beats off and served to the table raw. In restaurants, this dish does not occur. But, if there is a desire to try, you can order the dish individually.
I would also like to mention the Khorezm melons. They are considered the sweetest in Uzbekistan.
Khiva annually hosts a melon festival, “Kovun Saili”. One of the best varieties is considered “Gurvak.” Delicious melon with sweet taste and magical aroma.
Along with local food in cafes, restaurants and teahouses, you can eat Uzbek traditional and European dishes.
Culture and art.
Khorezm has difference with its culture. The Khorezm dance school has always been notable for its brightness and passion in performance. Here there are comedic dances and the technique of imitating animals. And the costumes of the dancers are decorated with numerous coins. Dance “Lazgi” one of the most popular in this region.
Here are still relevant areal puppet shows.
In Ichan-Kala there is a huge number of craft shops. What can be brought from Ichan-Kala? The choice is huge! Carpets, wooden carvings and painted items, various figurines and statues, dishes and, of course, Uzbekistan national hat (do’ppi).
The most popular craft here is making puppets.
Khiva puppets are mainly made of papier-mâché and fabric.
They are similar in appearance to Bi Ba Bo puppets that are worn on the arm. The Khorezm style is traced in the costumes of the dolls – the girls’ hats are decorated with feathers, and the dress with coins. Djigits are dressed in Khorezm hats – “chegurma”.
These hats are in great demand among tourists. They are made from lambs wool and are not dyed. “Chegurma” are relevant in winter and summer. The price of such hats varies from 50 to 500 thousand soums.
It is also worth visiting the Suzanne Center, where girls are engaged in the manufacture of carpets and suzane. Here you can see how the silk thread is dyed, the process of embroidery and carpet weaving.
Most hotels in Ichan-Kala located in the old buildings of the madrasa. They are within walking distance of attractions. The daily price of living is on average 15-30 US dollars.
In Ichan-Kala, you will not find pubs and nightclubs. This place is more suitable for lovers of history, romantics and people who want to plunge into a completely different era.
A walk through the city at night is fraught with special charm. In the evening, as in the daytime, it is safe to move around the city. In the evening, you can look at the city with a completely different look.
Have a nice trip!
WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO EAT, WHAT TO SEE:
- Ak Mechet White Mosque
- Ata Darvaza Gate
- Akshih Bobo Bastion
- Bagcha Darvaza Gate
- Palvan Darvaza Gate
- Tash Darvaza Gate
- Tash Hauli Harem
- Nurullaboy Palace
- Alla Kuli Han’s Tim and Caravanserai
- Heyvak Well
- Kuhna Ark Fortress
- Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum
- Seid Allauddin Mausoleum
- Uch Ovliya Bobo Mausoleum
- Yunus Han Mausoleum
- Hodjam Berdybiy Madrassah
- Abdullahan Madrassah
- Abdurasulbay Madrassah
- Alla Kuli Han Madrassah
- Amir Timur Madrassah
- Arab Muhammadhan Madrassah
- Atajanbay Madrassah
- Dost Alyam Madrassah
- Bikanjan Bika Madrassah
- Islam Hodja Minaret
- Islam Hodja Madrassah
- Muhammad Amin Han Madrassah and Minaret
- Palvan Kari Madrassah and Minaret
- Seid Niyaz Shalikarbay Madrassah and Minaret
- Kazi Kalyan Madrassah
- Kutlug Murad Inaka Madrassah
- Mazari Sharif Madrassah
- Matniyaz Divanbegi Madrassah
- Matpanabay Madrassah
- Musa Tur Madrassah
- Muhammad Amin Inaka Madrassah
- Muhammad Rahimhan Madrassah
- Muhammad Rasul Mirzabashi Madrassah
- Talib Mahdum Madrassah
- Hodja Murad (Hodja Marama) Madrassah
- Sha Kalandar Bobo Madrasshah
- Shirgazihan Madrassah
- Yusuf Yasulbashi Madrassah
- Yakubbay Hodja Madrassah
- Bagbanli Mosque
- Juma Mosque and Minaret
- Hasan Murad Kushbegi Tura Mosque
- Yar Muhannad Devon (Saidata) Mosque
- Kalta Minor Minaret
- Ichan Kala Walls
- Palvan Kari Trading House and Pavilions