Serving as the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent is also the largest city in the country and a major seat of the government of Uzbekistan. Before the advent of Islam, the city was under the rule of Sogdian and Turkic dynasties. The city was completely destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1219, and was rebuilt and profited from the Silk Road. Russian took control over the city in 1865 and the city became the capital of an independent Uzbekistan on 1st September 1991. Sprawling on a land area of 334.8 km², the city is located at an elevation of 500 m above sea level and a population of 2,309,600 resides here. While Uzbek is the official language of the city, Russian continues to be spoken as a native language. English is not a very commonly spoken language in Tashkent.
All flights coming to Tashkent land at the Tashkent International Airport, which is the largest in the country and is directly connected to many cities across Europe, Asia and North American continents. Located at a distance of 12 km from the city airport, Tashkent International Airport is currently served by more than 20 flight operators. Featuring a Mediterranean type of climate that has strong influence of continental climate as well, the city has long, hot and dry summers and cold snowy winters. On average, the city receives a total snowfall of 28 inches and 32 days with snow cover. The months from March to May and from September to November are the best time to plan holiday in Tashkent as during these months, the weather is most favourable. Festival of National Dishes 'Taste of the Silk Road' in April, Ranking Tournament “Star of Turkestan” in May, Asia Open Horse Championship “Star of Turkestan” in May, International music festival Sharq Taronalari in August and Show Jumping Uzbekistan Championships in April are among the major cultural festivals celebrated here.
The city of Tashkent is filled various heritage, cultural and natural attractions. Abdulkasim Medressah is a major attraction which was built in honor of the great thinker Abdulkhasim Khan. Khavendi Takhur Sheikh Mausoleum (belonging to the 14th century), Kaldyrgach-bly Mausoleum (most ancient monument in Tashkent), Yunus Khan Mausoleum (Musaoleum of Yunus Khan, the grandfather of mogul king Babar), Mausoleum of Abubakr Muhammad Kaffal Shashi (mausoleum of one of the first Imams who died in 976/97) and Mausoleum of Zainuddin-bobo Sheikh (mausoleum of the son of the founder of a famous Sufi order) are among the famous heritage sites in the city.
History Museum of the People of Usbekistan, Fine Arts Museum of Usbekistan, Museum of Applied Arts, Amur Timur Museum, Navoy Literary Museum, Art Gallery of Uzbekistan and Tashkent Galley of Modern Art at eh top museums in Tashkent which tourists should not miss. The old part of Tashkent is the most charming part of the city and is filled with numerous sightseeing places including - Chorsu Bazaar, Kukeldash Medress, Ensemble Khazret Imam,Tellya Sheikh Mosque, Moyie Mubarek Library Museum, Architectural Complex Zengi-Ata and Barrak-Khan Madrassah. Tashkentland, Monument of Courage, Amir Temur Monument and museum, Japanese Garden, Boghi Eram Recreation Park, War memorial and Independence Monument are among the lesser known attractions in the city.
Eating and Shopping
The Uzbekistan cuisine has been largely influenced by the Central Asia countries. Pastry and sour-milk dishes along with meat, mutton, beef and horse meat take an important place in Uzbek food and some of the local delicacies which you should not miss in Tashkent are - Plov, Borsch, Shashlik, Samsa, Non and Sumalyak. There are many high end restaurants in the city along with small restaurants serving simple meals at good prices. Milli Plov near TV Tower, Bravissimo at junction of Shahrisabz Street and Movarounnakhr Street, Neft i Gaz kitchen near Amir Temur boulevard and Cafe Bukhara which is close to the railway station are the places to enjoy a budget meal. Al Delfin is a great place to savor excellent Arabic food, while Amfora Greek Rastaurant is famous for its Greek meals. Jumanji, located at the intersection of Yunus Khos Khodjib St and K. Jalilov St is another hot spot serving big portions of high quality Chinese, central Asian and European cuisines.
While there are few malls and high end shopping destinations in Tashkent, but most of the local prefer to shop at the local bazaars which offers every imaginable thing. The largest shopping bazar is the Chorsu Bazaar, where you can buy locally-made furniture, hardware, rugs, handmade home wares and local produce. Alayskiy Bazaar, horsu (Eski Juva) Bazaar, Hippodrome bazaar, Parkentsky bazaar, Saligokh Street, Turkuaz Hypermart, Tashkent Department Store and Kontinent are major shopping destinations. Hand-painted tea sets, lacquer paintings with oriental motives, leather good, clothes, shoes, metal decorations and embroidered suzanes along with beautiful lace are some of the popular things that the city is famous for.
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