Tashkent is not only the capital city of Uzbekistan, it is also the gateway to the Silk Road tourist trail of the country. For Indians, it has a special connect as one of the most popular Prime Ministers of the country Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri died here suddenly when on a diplomatic tour. I visited the city briefly while flying in and out on my Uzbekistan travels and explored as much as I could. Sharing my – City Guide to Tashkent Uzbekistan.
Tashkent would seem to be a very modern city in comparison to the ancient cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. Indeed, most of Tashkent is characterised by beautiful modern promenades, soviet style building complexes as well as many Malls. However, there is lot of history found in the corners and many spaces, once a traveller explores underneath the surface. Personally, I found the city character dominated by ‘Russian’ architectural and town planning influences with new modern influences slowly integrating into it. Ofcourse, the Islamic heritage of the city is very much visible in the mosques and madrassas. However, they do not dominate the character of the city.
Recommended Read : Travelling to the heart of Silk Road legacy in Uzbekistan
Some of the attractions in Tashkent for travellers
· Telyashayakh Mosque (Khast Imam Mosque) – This mosque is renowned for having what is considered the Uthman Qur’an, considered to be the oldest extant Qur’an in the world, written in Persian.
· Kukeldash Madrasah – This Madrasah dates back to the reign of Abdullah Khan II (1557–1598).
· Yunus Khan Mausoleum – It is a group of three 15th-century mausoleums, restored in the 19th century. The biggest is the grave of Yunus Khan, grandfather of Mughal Empire founder Babur.
· Palace of Prince Romanov – During the 19th century Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich, a first cousin of Alexander III of Russia was banished to Tashkent for some shady deals involving the Russian Crown Jewels.
· Statue of Lal Bahadur Shastri – This is a must visit for Indian travellers and is located in main centre of Tashkent city.
· Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre – It hosts Russian ballet and opera.
· Chorsu Bazaar – This is one of the most popular bazaars in Tashkent city, located near the Kukeldash Madrassa in old town of Tashkent city.
· Parliament of Uzbekistan – A modern post Russian era building, located in the heart of the main (new city).
· Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan – It has a vast collection of art which includes pre-Russian period such as Sogdian murals, Buddhist statues and Zoroastrian art, along with modern collections.
· State Museum of History of Uzbekistan – It is the largest museum in Tashkent city.
· Amir Timur Museum – Amir Timur is considered the father of Uzbekistan and his museum is housed in a building with brilliant blue dome and ornate interior. It houses exhibits of Timur and of President Islam Karimov.
Tashkent also has many interesting restaurants and coffee shops. Unfortunately, I could not visit most of them. However, I had two dinners on different days and had a wonderful time in both the restaurants I visited (don’t remember the names now though!).
I recommend travellers to take out more time in Tashkent, rather than flying in and out (like me). It is a lovely city with a vibrant youthful character with a rich historic past.
You may want to read my other articles on the Uzbekistan trip :