A former soviet republic in Central Asia, Uzbekistan is a country that ought to make its way to your travel itineraries for its architecture, history, unique culture and the lure of the unexplored. Let us give you five grand reasons why your next big trip should be to Uzbekistan. By Shubhanjana Das

1. Samarkand:

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Sharing with you some of my favourite photos and travel moments from this year ✨ . From discovering the majestic architecture of Uzbekistan to witnessing hot air balloon mornings in Cappadocia; from exploring the colorful cities of Stockholm and Riga to reconnecting with London, this year’s adventures were more than memorable. . I was also blessed to share some amazing moments with truly special people this year. In no particular order, some highlights are: . ❋ Reuniting with my college/uni besties @xbrittanyee @carmenoxide @rosiethewriterer @dichas in London 💙 Love these inspiring boss ladies and can’t wait to see what they’ll achieve in 2019! 👯‍♀️👯‍♀️💪🏼 . ❋ Seeing the @thestrollingshutter achieve wonders in his life and career ✨ Few people have a heart as kind and genuine as his and I feel so lucky I get to drag him around the world with me 😀🌍 . ❋ The most fun I’ve ever had during weekends exploring the fascinating world of virtual reality games with the fantastic @siningyeoh and VR king @michaltusnio 🎮 . ❋ Meeting so many of YOU in real life! It’s amazing how this platform can bring together so many of us simply based on our shared passions ❤️ I’ve met up and travelled with so many of you, and have connected so deeply with some of you that I feel like we’ve met already even though we haven’t yet! 😀 I love you all, and I’m so blessed to be a part of this amazing community. I so look forward to meeting up with even more of you next year! 😍 . Finally, a big, big thank you for all your love & support throughout the year❣️ I cannot put into words how much it means to me. Your encouraging messages always motivate me to keep pushing, and I truly would not have been able to do what I do without your support 😘 . Now let’s spread the love!👇🏼Tag someone who made your year special and tell them why below! 💛 . Happy 2019, my dears 💫 . . . . #travellingthroughtheworld #bestplacestogo #travelawesome #dametraveler #lonelyplanet #sheisnotlost #youmustsee #awesomeearth #beautifuldestinations #tlpicks #passionpassport #backpackwithme #bbctravel #lovetheworld #wonderful_places #agameoftones #lifeofadventure #stayandwander #voyaged #theglobewanderer #gltlove

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The potpourri of cultures, Samarkand is known for its diversity and is almost synonymous with Uzbekistan itself. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was conquered by Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan and was once the minted capital of the Timurid Empire. One glance at this centuries-old city and you will know why it is considered pivotal in the development of Islamic architecture and arts. The city is located on the famous trade route between China and India, the Silk Road. Registan square, the Bibi Khanum and Gur Emir Mausoleums, the Shah-i-Zinda complex, Afrosiab  and the Ulughbek Observatory are sites not to be missed. 

2. Tashkent:

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ISLAM IN UZBEKISTAN 1.  According to CIA World Factbook, Muslims make up 88 percent of the population of Uzbekistan. According to the U.S. Department of State: “Local statistics indicate that approximately 93 percent is Muslim; approximately 1 percent is Shia, concentrated in the provinces of Bukhara and Samarkand.” The great majority of Uzbeks are Sunnite Muslims of the Hanafi rite. 2.  Uzbeks are regarded as the most devout and traditional Muslims in Central Asia. 3.  In an obscure corner of the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, lies one of Islam's most sacred relics — Othman Koran, the world's oldest Koran 4.  In the Soviet era, The madrasah in Bukhara was the only working madrassah in the Soviet Union. It graduated only 30 students a year. 5.  Islam, traditionally practiced in individualized forms in Uzbekistan, and has experienced a rebirth and resurgence in the post-Soviet era. “The expectation was that an Islamic country long denied freedom of religious practice would undergo a very rapid increase in the expression of its dominant faith.” we hope that someday, we can witness the true facts in Uzbekistan. Doc:google.images Source :factsanddetails.Com #uzbekistan🇺🇿 #iloveuzbekistan #islamicstoryinubekiztan #uzbekistanmuslim #historyofislam #islamichistory #islam

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Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, is a glorious example of this erstwhile Soviet Republic nation and its muscle in pulling an almost-destroyed city from an earthquake whose disasters included deaths of over 300,00 people in 1966. The construction, which is said to have started a day after the earthquake, now shows a fascinating jumble of 12th century mosques of classical Russian architecture, which stand in peace alongside the new-age high, glass buildings. Tashkent is the largest city in Central Asia. You wouldn’t want to miss the experience at Chorsu Bazaar, Kukeldash Madrasah, Amir Timur Museum and Tashkent Tower. 

3. Bukhara:

Your Uzbek experience will lack the most tasteful spice if you miss out on Bukhara. It is a city, which used to be a prominent stop back in the days when merchants and traders used to frequent the Silk trade route. It is a prominent centre of medieval centre for Islamic theology and culture. If Uzbekistan is known for its sumptuous architecture that is reflected in the mosques, mausoleums, and madrassahs, a considerable number will be here in Bukhara along with old-school bazaars which go back to the 9th-17th centuries. Ark of Bukhara, Po-i-Kalyan and Samanid mausoleum are must-visits in Uzbekistan. The city center of Bukhara is a UNESCO site noted as a medieval city. 

4. Khiva:

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Welcome to my city 🕌

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Uzbekistan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site was inscribed in 1990 for the historical importance it preserved of the old Silk route trade traditions. That was the Itchan Kala in Khiva, which acts like an open air museum with 51 monuments under the borders of thick mud walls. The hometown of Al-Biruni and Al-Khoresmi, Khiva will take you back in time for it gets hard to believe looking at this ancient, well-preserved city that it is the 21st century. 

5. Chimgan:

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Chimgan is Uzbekistan’s answer to all the western ski destinations. Perfect for both winter as well as summer getaways, it is located at a meager distance of 80km from the capital city of Tashkent. The Chimgan mountain is a part of the Chatkal range and the Chimgan Valley is perched at an altitude of 12-00-1600 meters. Often referred to as ‘Uzbek Switzerland’, Chimgan’s eco-diversity is fascinating as it is the most ecologically abundant place in the country. Downhill skiing, toboggan, snowboarding, and free-ride season starts in December and lasts till March. Winter plans much? 

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