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Zangi-Ota

For the 2000 years of its existence Tashkent has been subjected to conquerors' assaults thirteen times, razed to the ground four times, and survived seven terrible earthquakes. Various dramatic events and natural cataclysms changed the appearance and topography of this ancient city, but couldn't force people to leave this city for good, a city which apparently, was not notable for the especially advantageous geographical location or terrifically favorable climate. ...read more

Navruz - A Celebration of Life

Navruz (also called Noruz, Nowruz, and Nawruz), the spring "New Year" holiday, has been celebrated for more than 2,500 years, perhaps for as long as 5,000 years. Originating in Persia and long associated with the ancient Zoroastrian religion, its name means "new day" in Farsi because to ancient Persians it marked the first day of the new year. On this day, Persian kings would have worn a crown with images of the annual solar cycle on their heads, participated in a divine mass in the Temple of Fire, and distributed generous gifts to citizens. ...read more

MASTER OF THE MOUNTAINS
The bear is probably the largest of the wild animals in the Central Asian mountains. A fully grown bear (100-200 kg and over) can compete in weight with tuskers. The transformation of pastureland and poaching caused the number of bears to diminish and a reduction of their territory. An increase in protection is exerting a positive influence; this large animal can quickly restore its numbers. An example is in the Chatkalski reserve, where they number up to 1.4-1.75 animal units per 1,000 ha. In the Central Asian mountains the bear has been singled out into one particular subspecies, namely the Tien Shan, or white-clawed, brown bear. It has been entered in the Red Books of rare and endangered animals in a number of states. ...read more
Noble Bukhara
Legend has it that Tsarevich Siyavush married a daughter of the Afrosiab Tsar and raised the fortress known as the Ark, initiating the city of Bukhara, an ancient city boasting a history of more than two thousand years. ...read more
The May Alpiniad 2007 Chimgan
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. ...read more
Akhaltekin Horses are “Heavenly Horses”
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! ...read more
XAMAR ART GALLERY

This picture reminds me of a journey, when new roads open, leading to the unknown, promising the unexpected. It seems that much has already been attempted, but again and again I return to that which has been covered lightly in snow, slightly melted, glowing in the bright dazzling sun. The world consists of colors and light and various gradations of colour caused by the play of reflexed light - pure enjoyment. To be able to depict the elements of stone, water, sky and ground is a skill that excites me - colour living in time with its masses and nuances, continuities and breaks. The artist has a dexterous interest in depth in his special depictions of nature. ...read more

Capitals of the Great steppe
The Great steppe... there is sadness, eternity on her countenance, making an entire era seems like a moment. This ocean of the endless plains with solidified hills and wrinkled mountains has strange memories, each event a legend, each legend a memory. Many, many years ago this unique steppe civilization was born here, always striving to be understood, but went, according to legend, unclaimed. ...read more
TURKESTAN EXPEDITION
After the whole of the central Syr Darya territory had been incorporated into the Kazakh khanate, the city of Yassi-Turkestan - by now the biggest commercial and handicraft center - became the residence of the Kazakh khans. It was not chosen as the political center of the Kazakh khanate by chance. The city was the second Mecca for Central Asian Muslims and was located at a point where nomadic and settled cultures overlapped; it was also at a crossroads of trade routes and was surrounded by heavily fortified walls. ...read more
Pamir Mountaineering: Exploratory Routes and Virgin Summits
Tajikistan sits at the junction of five of the world's greatest mountain ranges: the Himalayas, Karakorum, Hindu Kush, Tien Shan and Pamir. The Pamir mountains occupy almost half of modern Tajikistan. The Tajiks call this region Bom-i-Dunyo, the Roof of the World. Exploratory opportunities abound in the remote Pamir region. Most mountaineering expeditions have concentrated on the big peaks of the central Pamir, where a mountain base has been established and there is helicopter access. However there are more than 100 peaks over 6 000 m in the Pamirs and many as-yet-unclimbed summits beckon the experienced mountaineer in search of a fresh challenge. ...read more
Dungan Cuisine
Dungan Cuisine is a very distinctive style of cooking which originated in the East and is very popular all over the world due to the variety and originality of its dishes which have a particular piquancy and multiplicity of flavours. Labbe, a French traveler and a member of the Paris Geographical Society, was so impressed by the meal served by his Dungan hosts during a visit to Karakunuz, (modern day Sokulok - not far from the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek), in September 1897 that he gave his compliments declaring that in all his travels through the Russian domains in Central Asia nowhere had he tasted meals as good. ...read more
Flora
The wide variety of flora found in the country is due to the different landscapes, the various altitudes, the mountain ridges and the hollows formed between them which in many cases form isolated micro-environments. In the low-lying valleys and in the low foothills, steppes prevail. In the middle mountainous zone are widespread meadows, forests, and shrubs, whilst in the high mountainous zones alpine meadows, “kriofill”-cushion areas and mountain tundra can be found. “Thorny-cushion” vegetation covers the stone-detritus mountain areas. ...read more
Bishkek Museums
A city tour can include a visit to one or more of the museums. The most commonly visited ones are the Historical Museum (formerly the Lenin Museum) in the main square and the Museum of Fine Arts. ...read more
FESTIVALS AND FUN IN CENTRAL ASIA:
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY DIMENTION
Family celebrations -- tois -- are important events in the personal lives of all people of all ages in the region. People usually celebrate all possible events, such as marriages, the birth of a first child, first grandchild, circumcisions, building of a new home and many others. The tois are usually quite large -- it is not un. ...read more

Discovery Central Asia #19

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