Sunday market in Urgut

At 40 km from Samarkand at the foot of the Zeravshan  mountains at about 1000 m is located an ancient city Urgut of great interest to tourists as a major center for traditional crafts. In Urgut area is located also extraordinary number of sights, historical monuments, sacred, revered, or just a very beautiful place.

The picturesque mountain gorges and passes, swift mountain streams with crystal clear waters attract many tourists. Almost every one of the many hundreds springs out from under stones, at the steppe foothills from Urgut up Agalyk, if not revered as a sacred source, then certainly is surprisingly clean water.

Abu Qasim Muhammad ibn Haukal - Arab geographer who visited Samarkand in the IX century, describes this place in his "Book of Ways and Countries": "No district near Samarkand healthier climate, abundant crops and fruit better than this ... This is the most healthy and prosperous mountainous terrain, it is not cut and available. "

In Urgut is located the largest bazaar in Samarkand for the sale of old and modern handicraft products. The main market days - Saturday and Sunday. Here you can buy rugs, hand embroidery (“Suzanne”), a national clothing and footwear, “chapans” (men's robes), women's and men's skullcaps, holiday turbans, leather shoes, jewelry, art objects made of metal, ceramic ware, wooden chests.

Nearby are the smithy, tin shops, stores of clothing. Secrets of the production of traditional ceramics of Urgut mustard gold and pale lemon-colored store local dynasty of pottery, numbering up to seventeen generations, such as Oblakulov’s family. Their house is available to the production of ceramics in the kiln and pottery with traditional embroidery thread, dyed with natural dyes.

Among the attractions of Urgutancient Chinars (Sycamore, plane trees) grove "Chor Chinor" ("The four sycamore"), where the old sycamores age up to 1800 years irrigated by waters from the holy spring. The oldest sycamores are in the coverage of up to 16 m. Here if you wish can organize a picnic for the tourists.

In the vast hollow of one of the sacred sycamores, is now a museum, in ancient times, one time going up to forty people - members of secret dervish societies. Later, here was carried out clandestine gatherings Bolshevik revolutionaries. At one time even housed in the hollow of the school.

Urgut - a unique place. For centuries, gathered here, and, side by side with each other, professed his teachings representatives of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. The recently discovered ruins of a medieval Christian monastery of IX c. This monastery, according to Ibn Haukal was across Sogdiana main center of the Church of the East (Nestorian Christians). Hence, Christianity spread far to the east, up to Mongolia and Tibet. The fact that somewhere in Urgut must be the remains of the medieval Christian church there was also other information that were artifacts such as bronze censer, now stored at the St. Petersburg Hermitage. This monastery is looking for many leading figures of history and archeology, including V.V. Bartold, V.L. Vyatkin and M.E. Masson, and discovered and investigated it was a Ukrainian archeologist A.V.Savchenko in East Sughd archaeological expedition.

Here, in the vicinity of Urgut, archaeologists discovered a Buddhist and Zoroastrian temples.

Pilgrims worshiped Sufien - a place associated with the founder of the Islamic mystical order Kadiriyya -Sheikh Govsuli Azam Abdul Kadir.

Near the pass Takhtakaracha, connecting Samarkand and Kashkadarya region in the Takalik-say valley archaeologist D.N.Lev in 1966, discovered a cave with lots of artifacts, the so-called Mousterian (100-40 thousand years ago). Today, locals call this attraction simply "Lion Cave" because not only the name of the archaeologist («Лев» [lev], in russ. “Lion”), but also bizarre statues around inevitably impel to such comparisons.

From the villages Amankutan or Agalyk mountain trails lead away towards the Granite plateau of the ridge Karatepa. This whole country is granitic rocks of fantastic fancy shapes, like frozen in stone fabulous animals and giants.