15 JULY 2019 Y.
Khorezm is often called “Egypt of Central Asia”. Unknown architects built majestic fortresses on its territory which continue to amaze travelers. But unlike Egypt, which was dug over back and forth and which shared its mysteries with explorers, Khorezm is Terra Incognita for now and it is waiting for its Schliemann.
Surrounding oasis, a mysterious Red Desert of Kyzylkum, is the kingdom of lizards, snakes, and monitor lizards these days, yet there are traces of human vital activity everywhere. Canals, ruins of towns and villages are white spots in the history of Khorezm which does not haste to reveal its secrets.
The journey from Khorezm to Tashkent will wear travelers out, beat legs into blood, stir up emotions which you did not know about, will raise genetic memory from the depth of a soul, will stun and stay in your memory forever.
If in the schedule there is time to overnight in Khiva, to spend it a hotel means to offend esthetic feelings and to deprive oneself of wonderful adventure. By right or wrong, find a local guide to take you tonight Ichan-Kala and enjoy marvelous impressions. In the last resort, overcome all your fears, dress into Cloak of Curiosity, ask for intercession from holy protector of Khiva Pakhlavan Makhmud, a poet and philosopher, (let the Allah be glad for him), and go there alone.
Ichan-Kala is completely different at night compared to daytime. It is the music of spheres, the discovery of Seven Gates, a dialogue with the highest and inconceivable. The most musical silence in the world sounds in Ichan-Kala. Only light echo from footsteps is reflected from ancient walls, the only silent song of night wind sounds in ears. At night, the fortress is a rotation of light and deep shadows where you will not see your own hand. And imagination draws queer inhabitants of these shadows.
Being left face to face with starry sky, you can suddenly feel universal loneliness. An experienced guide will not break this silence – excursion will take place tomorrow. While at night there should be only feelings.
In the morning, Ichan-Kala will be talking in persons and shock will be completely different. This will be a city of Individuals, Persons, and Masters. It will welcome you with seven meters high castellate walls of the formidable fortress and huge gates commanding respect. There are four gates leading to town and they are oriented according to parts of the world to make it comfortable for caravans. Nothern – Bakhcha-Darwaza, Southern – Tash-Darwaza, Western – Ata-Darwaza, Eastern – Palvan-Darwaza.
All historic building inside Ichan-Kala is concentrated on a comparatively small territory, quite close to each other. Each of them has a unique wonderful history enough for writing a whole book. In Khiva, questions are asked with each step. For instance, why the construction of Kalta-Minor was not finished?
Having looked at its fourteen meters foundation you can imagine how high it should have been! May be, ancient architects of Khiva wanted to reach the sky?
Khiva architecture could be called contradictory architecture – ascetic luxury. Between desert gravel color there is suddenly rich decoration, delicate carving, and exquisite adornments. It is not known if ancient decorators had the idea of the laws of the color circle, but a combination of desert-gravel and sky-blue colors is considered to be perfect in fine arts.
Khiva gates can tell you a lot of wonderful stories. Khiva is the most ancient center of all Central Asian wood carving. Every carved detail, column or door is a piece of art made by unknown talented masters. You can feel a strict canon of artistic skill and mastery of the material.
You definitely need to see Khiva – the many faces of this unusual city leaves no one indifferent, giving each guest a piece of a medieval mystery.