A world heritage town, the name Bukhara originates from Sanscrite word “vihara” meaning “Buddhist monastery”. The old town is a maze of narrow, twisting alleyways, artisan shops selling local handmade embroidered hangings and cloth, silk, carpets, pottery, woodwork, miniature paintings and jewellery which have taken hours of painstaking labour to create. Many of the merchants are the artists themselves. There are more than 140 historic landmarks mainly dating back to the Middle Age.
Of particular interest, is the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, an outstanding example of 10th-century Muslim architecture, and a large number of 17th-century madrasas. Lyabi Hauz, is a pool of water surrounded by ancient mulberry trees in the Old Town's centre. Visit the Ark royal fortress, Bukhara's oldest standing structure and an impressive architectural wonder. Over the centuries the building has borne witness to royal dynasties, Mongol conquerors and Bolshevik sieges. Inside is the Zindon jail where spies of the ‘Great Game Era’ were imprisoned.