Located in the foothills of Nurata Mountains, the small town of Nurata stretching out hundred kilometers from Jizzakh to Navoi is a major pilgrimage place in Uzbekistan. Seemingly located far away from the tourist and industrial centers of Uzbekistan, Nurata leads an unhurried balanced life where warm and hospitable people live in harmony.
Naruta translates to “Ray of Father” which is connected to the legend of a fire rock which fell from the sky and created this spring of healing water. But as per the archaeological records, it was founded by Alexander the Great in around 327 BC who set up his fort “Nur” whose ruins can still be found in the southern part of the town. The fortress had an inner town which was guarded by large walls and towers. It was strategically built on purpose at the border between an agricultural land and a steppe. The water supply system that supported this fortress is partially still in use.
Muhammad Narshakhi, a renowned Uzbek historian, in his book about history of Bukhara details about an early settlement in Nur which is located at the foothills of the mountain. He also stated that the people who’re buried here have seen Prophet Muhammad which drew pilgrims from far land. Today the Chashma Complex is one of the most prominent religious centers in Uzbekistan.
Nurata is exemplary of an Islamic religious center where the holiness is palpable in the air you breathe. With numerous monuments dedicated to religious. Apart from that there are also handful number of recreational places where you can relax and enjoy with your family after a tiring day.
It’s a religious cult complex with a centered holy spring which draws pilgrims from neighboring cities and countries. This complex accommodates various Islamic monuments like mosques, mazars, and bath houses. The water of the spring mentioned above contains many minerals and has healing properties.
This fortress was built by Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC and is considered one of the most ancient monuments still surviving in Uzbekistan. The water supply system of this place is marvelous which fascinates scientists to this day.
This plateau lying between the water bodies of Aral Sea and Amu Darya River preserves rare flora and fauna. The notable ones include Afghan red sheep and Saiga antelope.
About 50 Km from Nurata in the KyzylKum region liesAydarkul Lake which is a famous picnicking spot. It’s an almost uninhabited area where the shores of this turquoise lake provide excellent campfire or evening strolling opportunity. That being said, the atmosphere is extremely quiet.
Located 10 Km from the western coast of Aidarkul Lake, it is a yurt complex with providing traditional accommodation to tourists. These yurt camps are equipped with fixed toilets, shower system, and a dining camp where local cuisine is served. Along with that, you can enjoy camel rides through the plains.
The Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biosphere Reserve which is part of the Nuratau Mountains is an excellent hiking and bird watching site. It is a community based tourism project, which is one of its kind in entire Uzbekistan. The mountains itself provide surplus opportunity for outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, camping, and picnicking.