Zoroastrianism and Buddhism Tour

12 days | Tashkent, Termez, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Ayaz - Kala

Tour description

This complete 12-day tour will introduce you to the Zoroastrian and Buddhist cultural heritage of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan has long been a diverse region, with many religions coexisting side by side.

Some historians even think that Zoroastrianism originated in the oases of Khorezm, but no matter its origins, this religion has long been a spiritual center. Buddhism also played a vital role in the development no the Termez region, not far away. From the 1st through the 7th centuries AD, Termez was at the center of Buddhism in Central Asia, with a bustling monastery.

This tour will take you to all of the major sights in Uzbekistan, including Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand, plus some less-popular destinations and Termez.

The Zoroastrianism and Buddhism Tour is a great introduction to the spiritual history of Uzbekistan.

Tour itinerarygram

Arrive in Tashkent. You will be met by our driver and transferred to the hotel. Check in to the hotel.

Guided tour in Tashkent: visit History Museum to explore vast collection of artifacts related to Zoroastrian and Buddhist period in Uzbekistan. Continue to archaeological site of Ming Urik, visit Old City part of Tashkent with Chorsu Bazaar, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square in the center of Tashkent.

Overnight at the hotel.

Transfer to local airport for morning flight to Termez (661 km, 2 h.). Upon arrival you will be met by driver and guide.

Start sightseeing in ancient Buddhist center and one of the oldest cities in Central Asia – Termez. Visit Kokildor-Ota Khanaka, Fortress Kyrk-Kyz – a summer residence of Samani rulers, Sultan Saodat Ensemble, and Zurmala Tower – Buddha's stupa.

Continue to Buddhist archaeological sites of Kara-Tepe, Fayaz-Tepe and Mausoleum of Al-Hakim at-Termezi. Free time in the evening.

Overnight at the hotel.

Continue guided tour in Termez. Drive north-east to see Kampyr-Tepe – Greco-Bactrian Kingdom fortress (35 km, 1 h.). Then visit Jarkurgan Minaret (30 km, 50 min).

Drive back to Terms, on the way enjoy views of Surkhan oasis and Friendship Bridge, which connects Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Visit Archaeology Museum to explore exhibits discovered on the territory of Terms and its surroundings.

Overnight at the hotel.

In the morning depart Termez for Samarkand (375 km, 5h. 26 min). Arrive in Samarkand late in the afternoon. Check-in to the hotel. Free time.

Overnight at the hotel.

Visit the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the famous Registan Square and the Bibi Khanum Mosque.

Excursion to the archaeological excavations of the Afrasiab Museum – a hilly area of 212 hectares surrounded by a moat. Currently, archaeologists are excavating at this site. The Afrasiab Museum presents models of ancient city and fortress walls, ceramics, weapons, coinage, altars and, above all, wall paintings of the VII century.

Overnight at the hotel.

In the morning departure to Bukhara (280 km, 4 hours). Stop on the way to the Rabat-i-Malik caravanserai, built in the 11th century.

Arrival in Bukhara in the late afternoon, a trip to Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa, the summer residence of the last emir of Bukhara. Then we will go to the mausoleum of Bahauddin Naqshbandi.

Overnight at the hotel.

We will begin the tour of Bukhara: visit of the Mausoleum of the Samani, the holy Chashmai Ayub Spring, the Bolo Hauz Mosque, the Ark Citadel. In the afternoon we will continue visiting the Kalyan Minaret and the Poi Kalyan Mosque, the Miri Arab Madrasa, the Toki Zargaron Dome, the Ulughbek and Abdullazizkan Madrasas, the Toki Telpak Furushon Dome, the Magoki Attory Mosque, the Toki Sarafon Dome.

Overnight at the hotel.

In the morning we leave Bukhara and go to Khiva (480 km, 7-8 hours *). The Great Silk Road, which once passed through Bukhara and Khiva, passed through the Kyzyl kum desert, just like the current road today.

Stop along the way to admire the view of the Amu Darya River and the desert. Arrival in Khiva in the late afternoon, check-in at the hotel. Time for rest and overnight at the hotel.

* Since the cafes and restaurants along the way are the main ones and offer a limited menu, you can take a packed lunch with you on this trip (your hotel or guide can help you arrange this the day before).

The day will begin with the Ichan-Kala Fortress, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit to Mukhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahim Khan Madrasah, Kalta Minor, Jome Mosque, Tash-Hovli Palace, Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islam Khoja Minaret.

Free time in the afternoon.

Overnight at the hotel.

On this day, you will travel to Ancient Khorezm. Visit Toprak - Kala fortress – the residence of the ancient Khorezm rulers, and Giaur - Kala, which means the fortress of the infidels, Koikirilgan – Kala.

Then we will continue our way to one of the largest fortresses of Ancient Khorezm – Ayaz-Kala, II century AD, dating back to the heyday of the Kushan Empire. Ayaz - Kala was neither a city nor a settlement, it was a fortress complex, where border troops of the Kushan dynasty settled almost 19 centuries ago.

Meals: lunch, diner.

Transfer to the airport for a flight to Tashkent. Arrival in Tashkent.

Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Тransfer to the airport.

  • 11 nights of accommodation in planned or similar hotels (including early check-in upon arrival in the country)
  • Domestic flight Tashkent-Termez/Urgench-Tashkent
  • Lunch and dinner in the yurt
  • Lunch box (transfer Bukhara-Khiva)
  • Tickets to museums, monuments and historical sites indicated in the itinerary
  • Air-conditioned cars/bus along the entire route
  • Guide on all excursions
  • 1 liter of water per person every day

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