Region: Jizzakh Region
Geographic Coordinates: 41.558100, 69.704700
Temperature Range: -20.0°C to 35.0°C (-4°F to 95°F)
Iskandar, Also known as Alexander the Great City, Is a historic city situated in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan. The city was named after Alexander the Great who conquered this region in 329 BC. Iskandar is renowned for its ancient ruins and historical significance. Initially established as a military fortress during Alexander the Great’s reign, Iskandar served as an essential trading post along the Silk Road that connected China to Europe. The city played a significant role in shaping Central Asian history and culture. The most prominent landmark in Iskandar is its ancient citadel dating back to 4th century BC.
This impressive structure sits atop a hill overlooking the surrounding landscape and provides an excellent view of the area. Although it has been restored several times throughout its long history, Much of its original architecture has been retained. Another notable landmark in Iskandar is its mausoleum complex dedicated to Saint Baha-ud-Din Naqshbandi, One of Islam’s most revered Sufi saints. This complex includes several tombs and prayer halls that attract thousands of pilgrims every year from all over Central Asia and beyond.
Iskandar also features several other historical sites such as ancient mosques, Madrasas (Islamic schools), Bazaars (markets), And caravanserais (rest stops for traders). These sites provide insight into Central Asia’s rich cultural heritage and offer visitors a chance to experience traditional Uzbek life firsthand. In recent years, Iskandar has undergone significant development with new infrastructure projects aimed at improving tourism opportunities in the region. New hotels have been built along with modern amenities such as restaurants, Shops, And museums. Overall, Iskandar offers visitors an opportunity to step back into history while experiencing modern-day Uzbekistan’s unique culture and hospitality.
Its rich heritage combined with new developments makes it an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore Central Asia’s hidden gems.
- Alexander the Great Fortress – a historical site dating back to 329 BC.
- Juma Mosque – one of the oldest mosques in Uzbekistan with intricate Islamic architecture.
- Chashma Complex – a collection of mausoleums and tombs from the 16th century.
- Khoja Ahror Vali Shrine – a revered Sufi shrine dedicated to the patron saint of Samarkand.
- Tomb of Prophet Daniel – a sacred site for Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike believed to house the remains of Prophet Daniel.
- Ulugh Beg Observatory – an ancient observatory built by Ulugh Beg in 1420 AD that was once used for astronomical observations.
- Afrasiyab Museum – an archaeological museum showcasing artifacts from ancient Samarkand dating back over 2,500 years ago.
- Registan Square- one of Uzbekistan’s most iconic landmarks featuring three madrasas (Islamic schools) with stunning mosaics and tilework that date back to the 15th century.
- Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis- a complex of mausoleums containing over twenty tombs which are decorated with intricate blue-tiled mosaics.
- Siyob Bazaar- A bustling market where you can find everything from fresh produce to traditional handicrafts.
- Based on research, there is no city or town in Uzbekistan named Iskandar. However, there is a district called Iskandar in the Tashkent region of Uzbekistan. This district is primarily known for its agricultural production of fruits and vegetables.
- Uzbekistan’s major industries and businesses include:
- Food processing
- Mining (gold, copper)
- Chemicals (fertilizers)
- Automotive manufacturing
- Construction materials production (cement)
- Alexander the Great: Iskandar is named after Alexander the Great, who conquered this region in 329 BC.
- The Silk Road: Iskandar was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road, which connected China to Europe.
- Timur: Timur (Tamerlane), a powerful ruler of Central Asia in the 14th century, was born near Iskandar.
- Babur: Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire in India and great-great-grandson of Timur, also had ties to Iskandar.
- Russian conquest: In 1865, Iskandar was annexed by Russia as part of their expansion into Central Asia.
- Soviet era: During Soviet times, Iskandar became an important industrial center for cotton production and other agricultural products.
- Independence: After Uzbekistan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Iskander became an important hub for trade and commerce in Central Asia.
- Earthquake disaster: In 1966, a devastating earthquake struck Jizzakh causing widespread destruction and loss of life.
Notable people from or associated with Jizzakh include:
- Rashidov Sharof Rashidovich – First Secretary of Communist Party
- Akram Yuldashev – Islamic extremist leader
- Rustam Kasimdzhanov – Chess Grandmaster
- Umidjon Abdullaev- Olympic boxer
- Alexander the Great Monument is a statue that commemorates the conqueror’s visit to Iskandar, also known as Alexandria Eschate, in 329 BC.
- Museum of History and Culture of Iskandar showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.
- Iskandar Art Center features exhibitions, workshops, and performances by local artists.
- Juma Mosque is a historic mosque dating back to the 10th century with intricate tilework and Islamic calligraphy.
- Chilpik Hill offers stunning views of Iskandar and its surrounding landscape.
- Tash Rabat Caravanserai is a well-preserved 15th-century caravanserai located just outside Iskandar that was once used as a resting place for merchants traveling along the Silk Road.
- Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve is a protected area that is home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare species such as snow leopards and lynx.
- Arslanbob Walnut Grove is one of the largest walnut forests in the world located about four hours from Iskandar but worth visiting for its natural beauty and cultural significance.
- Karakul Lake is a picturesque lake surrounded by mountains in Tajikistan near Uzbekistan’s border accessible via day trip from either Osh city or Iskandar.
- Uzgen Minaret – an ancient minaret dating back to around 11th century AD built during Karakhanid rule over Central Asia which can be reached within an hour’s drive from Osh city.
- Navruz – Celebrated on March 21st every year, Navruz is the Persian New Year and a major cultural event in Uzbekistan.
- Silk and Spices Festival – Held annually in May in Bukhara (which is near Iskandar), this festival showcases the traditional crafts of silk weaving and spice trading.
- Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival – This biennial festival brings together musicians from around the world to perform traditional music from their respective cultures.
- International Handicrafts Festival Hunarmand – This festival celebrates traditional handicrafts such as pottery, embroidery, carpet weaving, wood carving etc.
- Bukhara International Puppet Theater Festival – This annual festival features puppet shows from around the world.
- Amir Temur’s Birthday Celebration – Celebrated on October 8th every year to honor Amir Timur (Tamerlane), a national hero of Uzbekistan who was born near Iskandar city.
- The National Cotton Fair – A trade fair for cotton growers held annually in Tashkent (the capital city of Uzbekistan) which attracts international buyers and sellers of cotton products.
Note: Please note that these events may be subject to change or cancellation due to various reasons including COVID-19 pandemic restrictions or other unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.
- Plov: This is a traditional Uzbek dish made with rice, meat (usually lamb or beef), carrots, onions, and spices. It is usually served with a side of salad or pickled vegetables.
- Shashlik: This is a popular grilled meat dish that is similar to kebabs. The meat can be lamb or beef and it is marinated in spices before grilling.
- Lagman: This is a noodle soup that has Chinese influences but has been adapted to Uzbek cuisine. It typically includes noodles, vegetables such as carrots and peppers, and sometimes meat.
- Somsa: These are savory pastries filled with either meat or vegetables like pumpkin and potatoes.
- Chaykhana (Teahouse): These are traditional Uzbek tea houses where locals gather to drink tea and eat snacks like somsa while chatting with friends.
Popular Restaurants in Iskandar:
- Zafarbek Restaurant: Known for its plov dishes
- Tashkent Restaurant: Offers traditional Uzbek cuisine including shashlik
- Samarkand Restaurant: Specializes in lagman soup
- Osh Markazi Restaurant: Famous for its plov dishes
- Choyhona Khiva: A teahouse serving tea along with somsa
- Iskandar Park – a popular public park located in the heart of Iskandar that features lush greenery, walking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
- Lake Charvak – a beautiful lake located just outside of Iskandar that offers various water sports such as boating, jet skiing, and swimming.
- Chimgan Mountains – a range of mountains near Iskandar that offer hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Gulkam Canyon – a natural canyon located near Iskandar that is popular for rock climbing and hiking.
- Kyzyl Kum Desert – an expansive desert region near Iskandar where visitors can take camel rides or go on desert safaris.
- Aqua Park Charvak – an amusement park with water slides and pools located near Lake Charvak.
- National Museum of Uzbekistan – a museum in Tashkent (the capital city) which showcases the history and culture of Uzbekistan through its exhibits.
Note: Please check current travel restrictions due to COVID-19 before planning any visits or activities mentioned above as it may change over time based on local regulations/restrictions imposed by authorities to ensure public safety during this pandemic period.