More than 300,000 inhabitants
Since 1938, the town of Bukhara has been an administrative, economic and cultural center of the Bukhara region. Bukhara is the 4th biggest city in terms of territory and population after Tashkent, Samarkand and Andijan, and is one of the major centers of tourism. It is located in the south-west of Uzbekistan, in the lower part of the Zarafshan River. It has common borders with the Kyzyl Kum Desert from the south-west, with Karshi desert from the south and with the Zarafshan Valley from the south-east. It lies 606 km from Tashkent.
The climate is continental, with long, dry and hot summers; the winter is cold and dry. The normal temperature in July is +29°C; the highest temperature is +42°C. The normal temperature in January is -0°C, the lowest temperature is -29°C.
The population is composed of Uzbeks, Tajiks, Jews, Russians, Tatars and representatives of other nationalities.
Bukhara is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of Central Asia and is one of 3 masterpiece cities of the Great Silk Road. Bukhara is a Muslim spiritual and religious center in the east, (called Kubbat al-Islam – The Dome of Islam) the largest commercial city and “one of the noblest cities in the world”. According to archeological data, the founding of the city goes back to the middle of the first millennium BC. The oldest Chinese sources give the names An, Ansi, Ango, Nyumi, Bukho,Buku,Bukhe,Buxuaer, Buxuala Fuxo and Puxuala.
Arab historians called the city Numijkat, Noumichkat, Mumichkar (new castle), Al-Madina Al-Sufriya (copper city), Madinat at-tujjor (city of traders), Foxira (honorable city).
It is supposed that the term Bukhara comes from Sanskrit language from the word «vikhara» reviewed in Turkic-Mongol like Bukhor (the temple). In fact, the word “Bukhara” in the language of fire amateurs means “home of science”. It is close to Uighur and Chinese languages, they called «Bukhor» the place where idols were kept.
Another interpretation in Sogdian terms was that the word Bukh which means “God” and “Oro” (beauty), becomes “the beauty of God”. During its long history, Bukhara has been described with various adjectives. For example, the “wise Bukhara”, “feminine Bukhara” , “happy Bukhara»,» scientist Bukhara”, “heavenly Bukhara” , “noble Bukhara”, “spectacular Bukhara”, “dome of Islam” and “the pillar of religion” , “Spirit beauty ” and ” the world’s most exciting Kent “,” the most mysterious caravan-passing city”. But none of these can be compared with a description “Bukharai Sharif” .
The real history of the city began with the arrival of the Arabs. The city embraced Islam in the 8th century. During the rule of the Samanids dynasty (9th to 10th centuries), it became the capital of Central Asia and lived its golden age. This period has been named the “Eastern Renaissance”. In the 11th to 12th centuries, the period of the Karakhanites left as a national heritage three of the most beautiful structures of Bukhara: Kalon minaret, (12th century), Namozgokh Mosque (12th century) and the Attari mosque.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the city was destroyed by Genghiskhan. In the 16th century it became the capital of the Emirate of Bukhara.
At the beginning of the 20th century I Bukhara, there were more than 250 schools, 390 mosques, 150 caravanserails and 114 pools.
Unlike other cities on the Great Silk Road, Bukhara preserved its true spirit. Today, this unique city is like a mysterious island keeping priceless art treasures and a rich culture of the past in the middle of the Kyzyl Kum desert. The magic of this island and the incredible beauty delight tourists.
Samanid`s magnificent tomb is considered to be one of the finest mausoleums in the Muslim world, the grandiosity of the Poi Kalon complex, a unique construction in Central Asia- Chor Minor, the places of knowledge – madrassas, definitely leave no one indifferent. The city is a motherland for great scientists, doctors, governors and sufis like: Abu Khafzl Kabir, Al-Bukhari, Rudaki, Abu Ali Ibn Sina ( Avicenna), Narshakhi, Gijduvoni, Bahauddin Naqshbandi, Said Amir Kulal, Sayfiddin Buharziy.
Bukhara is also one of the major tourist centers.
In 1922, a State Museum Reserve was established to keep and discover unique traditions passed down from generation to generation as well as the material and spiritual richness of Bukhara. There are more than 200 architectural and historical monuments in Bukhara, 118 of them are included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. In 1997 the 2500th anniversary of the city was celebrated. Bukhara was declared as a “City of Peace” by UNESCO in 2001.
There is a University, two institutes, more than 10 lyceums and colleges, more than 50 schools, the Bukhara State museum and two theaters in the city.