What to see in Jiva (with detailed route by Aladdín)


The one who said that Samarkand catch Bujará evokes and Jiva falls in love was not wrong. We keep great memories of the Bukhara but it is Jiva (or Khiva) that leaves that city-museum feeling that seems taken from "The Thousand and One Nights" scenarios as we saw yesterday, although its monuments are much more modern since most date from the 19th century. We take you through the main attractions what to see in Jiva by the hand of Aladdin with all the routes and detailed map for you to organize your own trip and where we also tell you In how many days to do it.

We continue in the biblical lands of Paradise or Garden of Eden for many so surely Noah's son, Shem, has much to tell us

What to see in Jiva, route with detail and map to explore it

As we said yesterday, Jiva is divided into its walled old citadel called Ichan Qala, where we also stayed in the old madrassa of Muhamed Amin Khan now converted into a beautiful charming accommodation, the Orient Star Khiva, and the new or foreign city called Dishon Qala.

This historic center is possibly one of the places where we have seen more monuments per square meter although it is small and can be seen perfectly in half a day. How many days would be ideal? In 1 day, sleeping in Jiva, you could see everything with relative comfort but if you want to soak up its magic, a second day is indispensable. AND, What to see in Jiva by the hand of Aladdin (haha)? In the following map we place the essential…

Remember that, although we come from Turkmenistan, if you only plan to see Uzbekistan in a few days without the part of Karakalpakstan (which we loved), from Bukhara you could come immediately after the DAY 6 of this story (That is, it could be DIA8, being the 7th transfer, of a 10-day trip -or 11-12 if you add Nukus, Aral Sea and Strengths of Corasmia-). We will explain all this in the final summary guide.

After have breakfast in the courtyard of our beautiful madrasa where the Orient Star Khiva is staying, let's not get confused to approach Islam Khodja's set that opens at 9:00. We want to be the first to get on your minaret and see Jiva with the first sunrays of the day

A bit of the history of Jiva and essential visits

While Samarkand had its peak with Tamerlane from 1370, Bujará He dressed up with the Uzbek shaybanids from 1500 to 1598, Jiva plays a secondary role in all those stages of the story. Legend has it that Jiva, following the biblical story that we have learned these days with the Garden of Eden included, It was founded by Shem (the son of Noah) where he dug a water well called Keivah on the route that was going to the Merv of the current Turkmenistan that we met The region since the II millennium BC. He developed that irrigation system that allowed them to live in a relatively arid place but did not prevent successive Persian, Greek, Arab, Mongolian and Uzbek conquerors from occupying it.

Mentioned already in the S.X within the golden triangle of the Silk Road that formed with Bukhara and Samarkand, in 1511 the Uzbek nomadic tribes founded the Khoresem or Corasmia khanato, playing an important role in the slave trade that we will see later until in the 18th century it is devastated by the Persians.

General ticket or not ?:

We did NOT buy the ticket yesterday that gives us access to all the visits in Ichan Qala, except for some climb to the two minarets, the Kunya Ark terrace and the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum but It's really necessary? Eye! Anyone can walk through its streets without entering anything AND CANNOT DEMAND THE TICKET (don't fall for that scam because we did it yesterday and nobody asked us for anything). Another thing is that, like us, you are one of those who like not to miss anything and today if we agreed to buy it (36,000 UZS each - we cried the photo permit and they did not charge us-).

It is the constructions, as of this moment, that we see today in the city as we travel the streets still without tourist groups

That is, it could be said that Jiva's era of splendor is from the last quarter of the 18th century until the beginning of the 20th century, coinciding as the capital of Corasmia or Khoresem in the first half of the 19th century.

Islam Khodja set (1), including its minaret

If yesterday we said that Kunya Ark was a perfect place to watch the sunset, the Islam Khodja minaret belonging to the madrassa of the same name is for dawn, 112 steps that start very dark and take you up to 56.60 meters that allow an aerial view of the city. Its height exceeds Kalon minaret in Bukhara (although not to the Kutlug Timur minaret that we saw in Kunya Urgench in Turkmenistan with 60 meters) and its base is 9.5 meters in diameter.

Up I go! (5,000 USZ, is not included in the ticket but is legal without bribery). Paula prefers to wait for me downstairs because she has been told that the bottom is quite dark and narrow but nothing that can not solve a front that is never missing in the backpack.

The ascent is exhausting but once up, where there is no one yet, a ample space illuminated by large windows with bars allows a good and comfortable 360º view

Alleys, domes, mosques, madrasas and other minarets are perfectly identifiable from here, which almost allows us to make a map of the city, without the need for the previous drawing, with all the details

How many photos fell? LOL. Many until a mother and her girl, both barefoot, also come to keep me company. I already missed the photo request on duty, haha

Turn down where Paula awaits me looking more scarves! The madrasa, like almost all the visits that we will see today in this city-museum and that perhaps takes away some charm as it happened in other cities, it houses aMuseum of Applied Arts with a collection exhibited in 42 rooms

The set is considered one of the most beautiful places in the city. Nevertheless, Islam Khodja wanted to establish links with the Russian Empire and brought many influences from St. Petersburg.

Juma Mosque (2)

Very close to the previous one, after catching some waters (2,000 USZ), the Friday mosque exposes a true work of art very far from the traditional mosques of arches and entrance portals as well as the usual domes. The prayer room consists of a patio of 212 wooden columns (some that survive from S.X, others from S.XI to S.XIV) that support the structure, carved to the millimeter.

It dates from the 20th century and was rebuilt in the 18th century with the style of the old Arab mosques. Here you can also climb the dome of the minaret but after going to the previous one and seeing that they charge you for it, we did not find much sense

The special holes in the ceiling allow the entrance of luminonisdad creating a play of light in space very curious.

Possibly it is one of the monuments that have more history in the city.

Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud (3)

We get where we go, the minaret of Kalta Minor appears as if it were a lighthouse that watches you wherever you go. It is precisely in those narrow streets parallel to main street where that "Aladdin" atmosphere is located We started breathing yesterday since we arrived.

Here we arrive at the next point on our map. Between S. XIII and XIV, Pahlavan Mahmud distributed his occupations as a philosopher, poet, fur tanner and fighter, but perhaps the main veneration of this sacred place to which the pilgrimage arrives is that it was the founder of a branch of Sufism. By the way, they charge you 6,000 USZ per extra person.

Today, between mud and adobe domes, there is a large funeral complex with its mosque and madrasa included from the end of the 19th century

There we enjoyed the most religious part of Jiva which, as in the rest of the country, is not too much.

In front, although we do not have it pointed on the route because of its lack of interest after everything we have seen forSamarkand orBujará or previous visits, you will find the Madrassa Shergozixon

The most interesting of this area: a couple of craft centers They are a joy to visit.

Here, in addition to buying a carpet (we have not considered it, the truth), you can see every detail as they work on them.

Mausoleum of Said Alauddin (4)

He Sufi teacher Said Alauddin also find rest in one of the beautiful sarcophagi of the nineteenth century of Gourgandj ceramics found in this mausoleum

This master dates from 1310, in the middle of the Mongol Empire, but is still very revered today

Qozy Kalon Madrasa (5)

We headed back to the main street leaving Qozy-Kalon aside where we entered out of curiosity

Its interior houses a Music Museum since 1905 it doesn't wake us up too much interest

Madrasah of Mohamed Rakhmin Khan (6)

Where we will stop on the other side of the street, where a madrassa of 1871 right in front of Kunya Ark and which is accessed after bordering a wall, has inside an interesting museum on the Jiva story

Of course, like all madrassas in the country, its use for the sale of souvenirs and souvenirs cannot be missed.

This seems like a good time to make a stop at the same Farrukh tea shop that we did yesterday, what if Paulita? 10,000 USZ

!We love! The coolest we have seen in the whole trip. In fact, from here we have taken the opportunity to update the family after many days incommunicado (it has Wifi that goes pretty well)

Tash Havli Palace (7)

Built between 1832 and 1841, we are facing one of the most impressive buildings to see in Jiva. Tash Havli or Tash Khauli means "stone house" although what stands out is the decoration of polychrome wooden ceilings ... WONDERFUL!

It is said that the construction of this building required the use of more than 1000 slaves and was intended to rival Kunya Ark with tiled and ceramic walls from China, columns carved in marble and more than 150 units.

Undoubtedly, in our opinion, they succeeded, possibly resulting in one of the most beautiful buildings to visit. Ah, you should not miss the inner courtyard with your iwan (of the more than 5 that the Palace has) and the peace you breathe

Allakuli Khan set (8)

Although here is the Museum of the History of Medicine, Allakuli Kham's madrassa is one of the largest educational and religious institutions in Jiva. Built between 1834 and 1835 with money from Allakuli Khan, who at that time ruled in Jiva, is one of the best examples of Corasmia architecture from the last period of the Middle Ages.

Formerly housed here the city library

Allakuli also built a caravansar (which we like so much) between 1832 and 1833 where around the courtyard are the judjras (cells). On the ground floor were the warehouses and the houses above

The building was very well thought out since It was intended as a center for merchants from Persia or Russia serving as an inn, warehouse or even market

!!Time to eat!! And we will do it in the same Malika Kheivak (46,000 USZ) where we did it extraordinarily yesterday at dinner time (from Mirza Boshi we fled, haha, although tonight we may also try the Khorezm Art that Alexa talked about so well.

Some others minor visits for those who want to complete their journey arethe Ak mosque, what remains of the Anusha-khan baths or the Avesta museum

Jiva, the capital of the slave trade

Despite its beauty, don't have to be blinded at all. Within the short history of splendor of Jiva there is a sad and cruel part and that is that here was the largest slave trade center in all of Asia in the nineteenth century where the brave merchants arrived in a desert full of bandits. Of them, while we pass through a zone of commerce that there is towards the modern zone through the Pakhlavan-Darvaza gate, there is nothing left but the opposite ... !! How many times have we said it already in this newspaper? More purchases (54 USD), postcards and others (US $ 34,500)


If I had to choose a better ending for our trip, it would not change an iota of which we have lived. Jiva is, for me, that lovely city which makes you feel sheltered day and night, far from problems and the world we live in and full of charming corners. !Someday I'll back! (to buy more scarves too, haha)

Until the old man who sold us chess yesterday he comes back to greet us without any extra commercial interest. We take the opportunity to catch some waters (3,000 USZ)

We will talk more about his slaves in Kunya Ark where we can see a little of his history in the courtyard where the criminals were executed and the conditions in which the prisoners lived in their prisons.

Dishon Qala, the modern or outer city

Leaving the tourist route through the west gate of the city takes you to a more native Jiva, adobe houses, bazaars and less glamorous streets

However, the day-to-day life of the Uzbek who does not have a trade within the historic center is developed in this local market, important reference of the town and worth visiting

Nuts, vegetables, vegetables. Something more organized but reminds us a lot of Urgut market that we enjoyed so much in the first phase of our trip to Uzbekistan

Kunya Ark (9), the treasure of the city

However, there was a visit that we could not do yesterday and in which we had special interest in entering. Before we leave shopping at the hotel, we take another piscolabis (13,000 USZ) and go to the opposite door to take advantage of the good light with the sun already coming down over the city

This protected fortress from the end of the 18th century was a “city within the city” with double adobe walls of 6.5 meters wide and 10 meters high that gave shelter to the former residence of the Khanes although at present only the eastern door that gives access to the guard room, the reception room, the Ak-Sheikh Bobo bastion, the winter and summer mosque and the harem are preserved.

An advice, if you want to visit it, do it already with the sunset since it is from its heights where you appreciate the dimension of the city in which we are

On one side we leave the wall through which we walked yesterday on the rooftops of the Jiva of the Thousand and One Nights. The views from here are extraordinary

The terrace, which we have not said is paid separately (6,000 USZ each), gives you access to the bastion or, a little higher, the tower of Oq Shihbobo

Undoubtedly, an essential place to see in Jiva that you can not miss while passing through the beautiful city of the Silk Road

Kalta Minor Minaret (10)

We have mentioned it several times in our journey both yesterday and today but it has not been up to this point when we have stopped to talk about it. The "short minaret", which is its meaning, is the true symbol of the city since I dreamed of being an 80 meter high minaret, the largest in the world (honor that Qutub Minar has with 78 m in Delhi) but the murder of his dreamer Muhammad Amin Khan in the battle with turcomamos in the city of Serahs postponed him to never end

With such size, it is not surprising that Minaret foundations are sunk 15 meters to the ground but it is his legends that give some respect and it is said that his architect, for accepting the offer of the Khan of Bukhara, was launched from the top in retaliation.

But the Kalta Minor minaret is more than a majestic monument that guides Jiva since the colors of its tiles, the Arabic inscriptions and the printing patterns, they keep it alive centuries later

Jiva at night by the hand of Aladdin

Night comes and we have our entry paper quite well covered. We have booked the last night for another special place that we add to our favorite Malika chaikana and restaurant

We are in front of Allakuli Khan as the night starts to fall and everything starts to light up

RESTAURANTS IN UZBEKISTAN | JIVA: Khorezm Art Restaurantin the courtyard of the madrasa (it has an inner part for cold days)

One of those places where, whatever you ask, we would recommend only for the magic that emanates from the place and the tranquility it breathes.

Impossible not to be bewitched by this place. Total dinner, dessert and tea and coffee for 48,500 USZ

Wander around Jiva at night, as we enjoyed yesterday, is one of the best moments of the day.THE "UZBEKISTAN AND TURKMENISTAN" SERIES ALREADY IN YOUTUBE: Those who prefer the most complete AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCE have in our Youtube channel the COMPLETE SERIES OF UZBEKISTAN AND TURKMENISTAN and then the chapter of this day without leaving the article you are reading (Jiva, the city of One Thousand and One Nights)…

Without people, without tourists (it is not that there are too many during the day and the little there are disappear at noon), without shops ...

Jiva makes an end to our route that began 17 days ago in Tashkent where we will go back tomorrow and that has traveled the main "stations" of the Silk Road since Samarkand toBujará and to the very same Merv in Turkmenistan, but that has discovered us true jewels that we would never have imagined. We slept one more night in this sorceress madrassa, another Alexa tip that has turned out to be a Perfect icing for the city of Aladdin.

Isaac and Paula, from Jiva (Uzbekistan)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 223,500 UZS (approx. 34.38 EUR) and GIFTS: 54 USD (approx. 50.94 EUR) and 34,500 UZS (approx. 5.31 EUR)