Hub for traders and travellers since 2000 years... Built on a crossroads of ancient trade routes, vital stopping point for merchants on the edge of the Kyzyl Kum (Red Sand) and Kara Kum (Black Sand) deserts, the city grew up nourished by the merchants that arrived from Persia, India, China, and Russia as well as those travelling east from the Caspian Sea and beyond. 

One of the most prosperous cities in Central Asia throughout the Middle Ages, it also became a  node for culture, scholarship and religious studies, reaching the peak of its fame in the 16th century. 

Source: UNESCO

Photos June 2009

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