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Bukhara in Uzbekistan is an ancient oasis city along the fabled Silk Route and it is said that the sun shines up from the city for it is so noble. For centuries it was a centre of trade and Islam, earning the title Bukhoro-i-Sharif, or "Noble Bukhara" among Muslims (one of the seven holy cities of Islam). The city itself boasts impressive architecture and history. It is one of the few places in Central Asia where one can feel the heartbeat of ancient Central Asia. Most of the city remains intact and most of the 250,000 inhabitants are members of families who have lived there for generations upon generations.

Central Asia’s holiest city, Bukhara, which is more than 2,000 years old, has buildings spanning a thousand years of history, and a thoroughly lived-in old centre that probably hasn’t changed much in two centuries. It is one of the best places in Central Asia for a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan.

Most of the centre is an architectural preserve, full of madressas, a massive royal fortress and the remnants of a once-vast market complex.

The early 16th century Mir-i-Arab Medrassa (school) is part of the Kalon mosque complex and stands opposite the Kalon Mosque in the historic center of Bukhara. It is noted for some of the most exquisite and intricate arabesque tile mosaics in Central Asia. Founded in the 16th century, the Islamic school features two distinctive blue domes and other tilework.

The medrassa is off-limits to tourists, but its facade can be enjoyed from Kalon Square.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7750 W: 324 N: 15578] (54921)
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