After getting stunned by the astonishing view of Kalyan Minaret, we walked thru the by lanes of Bukhara to our hotel. Not even for a moment, did I feel unsafe on those lanes. Many ladies were walking home, at that time (maybe after work) and they were at ease. I wonder, how many cities, in the world can be like these.
Our next stop was the memorial complex of Khoja Bakhautdin Naqshbandi. This is an important shrine for Muslim people. Khoja Bakhautdin Naqshbandi was a great theologian of the 14th century and also founder of the sufi order, “Naqshbandia”.
He was spiritual guru of Amir Temur and had been to Mecca 32 times. His philosophy “Dil ba joru, dast ba kor” (meaning, The heart with the God and hands busy with work) seems relevant even today.
This is a very large complex and is considered as Mecca of central Asia. It has a museum, a pond etc. The omnipresent Uzbeki craftsmanship, can be seen here too. The apple trees, grape vines were waiting for spring to set in. I wish I could revisit.
Our next stop was Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace. Emir of Bukhara, Mir Sayyd Muhammed Alim khan, constructed a palace for his wife Sitora. ( Meaning Sitara, the star). The oriental and western styles were combined in this design.
This place is also unique. Though not on any hill or elevation, it is cooler than surrounding places and it remains so, during hot summer months too. As soon as you enter you see many peacocks around. The exterior of the palace is also beautiful. The construction of this palace was completed around year 1920. (Hence, it is almost a century old.)
The palace consists of many reception halls and emir’s private rooms. The “white hall” aws decorated by Usto Shirin Muradov. (Whose monument is installed in the yard there.) This white hall was decorated with ganch and the walls are beautifully decorated.
It has many mirrors from Japan, and the glass panels are very tastefully designed.
After the fall of Emirate of Bukhara in 1927, this palace was converted into a museum of Arts & Crafts. Apart from palace furniture, it has silverwares, jewellery and gold embroidered products, hand woven carpets. Everything is so beautiful that it is difficult to move away from this place.
But then it was time to move to another wonderful place, Samarkand !
To be continued..