Khiva - The capital of the Turkic world
Khiva is a beautiful oasis city with ancient walls, minarets and unique clay buildings.
Within the framework of the XI session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Baku, Khiva was declared as the tourist capital of the Islamic world in 2024!
The climate in Khiva is dry and desert-like. Summer is hot, but windy, and in winter the temperature very often drops below 0 °C, so do not forget warm things! You will definitely need them!
Gifts and souvenirs
In Khiva, as well as in other cities of Uzbekistan, you can buy a wide variety of souvenirs. In addition, several interesting things can be bought only in the Khorezm region. For example, this is a handmade doll. On the territory of Khiva there is a puppet theater, which, according to conservative estimates, is about 2000 years old! Therefore, the manufacture of puppets for performances dates back centuries, but the love of puppet shows has not died out so far. One of the main advantages of the Khorezmians is the hats “Chugurma”, which have been made since the ancient times. It looks quite bulky and heavy, but in fact, it is quite light and comfortable. The hat is made in such a way that it creates a special microclimate and thereby saves from overheating in the summer and protects from cold in the winter. In the ancient times, such hats were very expensive. Their cost was equal to the cost of a camel and therefore only wealthy people could buy them. Now the price for it is much lower and fans of unusual hats definitely like it! On the territory of Khiva, you can purchase a variety of woodcrafts as well. Local artisans create everything from tiny chess pieces to staves and carved doors! Whatever sophisticated taste you have, local artisans will be able to satisfy you.
The recipes is changing from region to region and if you taste the same dish in different cities, you will be surprised how much the taste varies! Khorezm cuisine is one of the most unusual in Uzbekistan, because the natural conditions are quite difficult there. You can often find one unusual dish... It is called “tukhum-barak”, which literally translates as a boiled egg. What is unusual, you may ask? The finished dish resembles dumplings in shape, and its way of cooking is quite unusual. The dough is filled with a raw egg and before it leaks, is placed in the oven. It is said that this dish was prepared for the khans before their visits to the harems. Fish is the culmination of the local gastronomic extravaganza. It is no exaggeration to say that the fish is prepared incomparably and even if you do not like seafood, you will not be able to resist the local fish. One of the iconic dishes is Shivit Osh or Green Lagman (noodle). Locals use dill to make noodles green. It is served with katyk (sour milk) and meat in vegetable sauce. Follow the link to read more about Uzbek cuisine. You can read more about the national cuisine of Uzbekistan at this link.
Top Attractions in Khiva
Would You like to visit the real past? See a real historical town, wander through the old streets? This is all real, just come to Khiva, and you will see a real Eastern fairy tale - the open-air fortress -city of Ichan-Kala, which is a treasure of Uzbekistan and contains numerous madrassahs, mosques, minarets, cells, craft workshops and Inns.
In addition, strange as it may seem, people live and work in this unique historical city, who at any time of the year will meet every guest with a smile, show and tell about all the wonders of this place.
The walls of the city were built in the V-VI centuries. Most of the buildings of Ichan-Kala have preserved their original appearance - stone-paved streets, minarets, mosques, madrassahs and cells, even the buildings built today are decorated to match the local architecture. 30 years ago, Ichan-Kala was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Among the many historical attractions of the inner city of Khiva - Ichan-kala, the residence of the Khiva khans – the Kunya-Ark Fortress, erected at the end of the XVII century, deserves special attention.
Upon completion of the citadel's construction in 1688, Kunya-Ark turned out to be a kind of "fortress within a fortress", separated from Ichan-kala by a high clay wall. Winter and summer mosques, reception hall, women's quarters (harem), mint, stables, workshops, living rooms, etc. were located here.
Military parades and training battles took place on the fortress square, there was also a prison (zindan) with a place for the execution of sentences. At the beginning of the XIX century, the citadel was restored.
History pages are full of stories about the luxurious life of Eastern khans and emirs. And, of course, every ruler tried to surround himself with palace chambers, wonderful gardens and impressive royal halls. For this purpose, the most skilled craftsmen, jewelers of architectural craft were invited.
Nurullabay Palace conveys the history of Khiva of the late XIX and early XX centuries and is not inferior to other palaces in beauty and charm, brilliance, and splendor. The history of the construction of the palace is interesting.
Muhammad Rakhimkhan II (1845-1910) asked a rich man from Khiva Nurullabay to sell his garden. The merchant Nurullabay agreed, but on one condition, if the name of the garden remains the same. Khan agreed to the condition. Thus, the name Nurullabay has been preserved.
Muhammad Rakhimkhan II decided to build a large summer palace on the territory of the garden for his beloved son Asfandiyar Khan (1871-1918). The palace is located in the north-western part of Ichan-Kala. It is surrounded by a high wall and consists of four courtyards. You can get to the palace through the front gate, inside which there were special rooms for guards and offices.