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Discovery Central Asia

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From the editorial board

Discovery Central Asia magazine is now five years old! We feel we have accomplished so much during these five years. To celebrate our 5th anniversary, we are delighted to include more pages and pack more fun contents in this magazine for our loyal readers to enjoy, as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your continuing support. We also hope that this magazine will provide useful information for new readers: Welcome! We wish you a pleasant read. more


In the 13th century Central Asia and the whole Middle East endured a chain of cruel internal wars changed by the devastating invasion of Genghis Khan's hordes whose successors soon entered into implacable strife with each other while continuing to plunder and destroy ancient cities. During precisely this fatal phase of history one of the oldest districts of Tashkent inherited its own spiritual tutelary. more

Afrasiab City

It is no easy task to revive the past, particularly when millennia stand between it and the present day. The task is even more formidable when the imagination has little to go on and we rely on plain facts. When ancient historians fail us we have to wrest information from the crumbling walls, ruts in the roads, potsherds, caked dust and cobbles. more

Mountains of Tien Shan
In the previous issue of "Discovery Central Asia" we told our readers about the picturesque region of Chimgan. This article will focus on its surroundings that are ideally suitable for various tourist walks and tracking. The vast highlands of the Tien Shan provide inexhaustible possibilities for active tourism, alpinism and rock-climbing. more
Chashma Ayub
Four ayats, verses from the holy Koran, amended the biblical story of the patriarchy Job. This underlay origin of the peculiar cult simultaneously existed with the coming and spreading of Islam in the ancient lands of Khorezm and Sogdiana, where it vanquished the Middle Ages religion with monotheism whimsically combined with millennial traditions of myths and folk legends. more
The Comm'on Life project
How to resolve the question of where to spend the May holidays...come to Chimgan! The annual May Alpiniad in Chimgan is invariably a big event for climbers from Uzbekistan and the CIS countries, offering as it does an opportunity to climb both familiar and untested routes, to be upgraded, to inspect the beginners, and for the beginners to get that 'alpinist' badge. more
Hippologists have convincingly proved that the Akhaltekin breed of horses is the oldest in the world and came from the original southern strain of the wild horse that lived in Central Asia. Its age spans at least three millennia. On rocks in the southern Fergana valley there are ten thousand year old drawings of horses that look just like modern-day Akhaltekin horses!. more
A glimpse of Kazakhstan

Reading about the roots and shaping of the country one comes to live in is a must for all expatriates. Kazakhstan is one of the countries in the Caspian region the history of which leaves much to be studied and pondered on. Concise sources are often superficial while in-depth studies are fragmentary and mostly in Russian and/or Kazakh. A brief introduction with some exhortation to read further. more

The Diminished Capital of Eastern Bukhara
Now downgraded to a republican sub-district of Tajikistan, Hissar was once the capital and cultural centre of Eastern Bukhara. Bukhara was a part of Movaro-un-Nahr, the state of Tajiks. Hissar held the status of capital from the 7th century until 1920, when the Soviet Republic of Tajikistan was created. more
City. Rush hour. Crowds of people. In a hurry. Hot weather. Cell phone. Polluted air. Dust. Hard to breath. Everyone has experienced it. Everyone knows what it is like. But it is possible to break the routine. Just imagine: Mountains. Silence. Fresh air. Cool wind. more
From ancient times China and Kyrgyzstan have been neighbours. The relationship between them, however, has not always been close and friendly. High mountains, difficult and dangerous paths and regular animosity have not helped in the development of harmony between them. Only the Great Silk Road overcame these and other difficulties. more
Sary Chelek
The name “Yellow Bucket” may not seem particularly appealing to tourists or to suggest a natural paradise but this would be misleading. “Yellow Bucket” is in fact a translation of “Sary Chelek” and, to those who know Kyrgyzstan, the name of “Sary Chelek” conjures up images of an area of outstanding natural beauty, an alpine lake with crystal clear waters, steep-sided banks lined with woods, snow-capped peaks. more
The Almaty-Urumqi train, full of Kazakhstani students going to China to study Chinese and various sciences, spent half a day at the Druzhba Kazakhstan Border Station and, by dusk, was ready to cross the border slowly and laboriously. more
Afghanistan: province of Ghandhara
Gandhara is located in the east of Afghanistan, stretched along the Sindh River, guarded by the Hindu Kush mountains (Paghman Ranges) in the west, bordering the Pakhtiya and Zabul Provinces in the south the Blur (Chitral, Nooristan, Panjsher) Province in the north. Gandhara expands through Peshawar, Attock, Yuosufzai, Hashtangar, Swat, Nanganhara (Jalalabad), Lampaka (Laghman), Konara, Kabul, Logar, Wardak and Kapisa (Kohdaman). more
Humped Wanderers
Who of us has not heard of camels, those characters from fairy tales, various wonderful stories or anecdotes from our childhood? Rarely seen, especially by town dwellers, but various breeds of domesticated camels can nevertheless be found on all continents except Antarctica. more
The legend of white storks
The Legend says: A very long time ago, during the old times when nobody remembers, the sacred Habi-Bila has come forth to people from great KyzylKum desert in the valley of Fergana. In this valley, a place full of pure water and sunshines. And It has told people: «Equip yourselves with modern conveniences, kind people! more

Discovery Central Asia #20

Discovery Central Asia supplement #20/2007

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