Khiva, Uzbekistan

Khiva is located around 500km north-west of Bukara and situated almost on the Turkmenistan border. To get there from Bukara we caught a shared taxi, shared taxis are a great form of transport, the only negative is you need to wait for all four seats to fill up, and this time we waited over two hours for two passengers to fill the car.

A former capital of the Khwarezmian civilization in the ancient Khwarezmia region, the Itchan Kala is the main former walled city of Khiva and contains over fifty monuments, most tiled with blue mosaics.

One of the nicest of these monuments is the unfinished Kalta Minor Minaret, a beautiful fifteen metres in diameter and twenty-nine metres high. The one-third complete minaret is covered in blue mosaics.

We spent a day wandering the Itchan Kala before catching an overnight sleeper train to Samarkand.

West entrance gate to Khivas Ichon Qala with unfinished Kalta Minor Minaret visible behindBlue mosaics of the unfinished Kalta Minor MinaretMap of all the inner buildings with blue highlights indicating blue mosaics
Khiva map with minaret in the backgroundJuma MinaretIslom-Hoja Minaret
Mud brick buildings in Khivas Ichon QalaAlloquli Khan MedressaAlloquli Khan Medressa
Water channels on a mud brick wallThe western wall of Khivas Itchan KalaTravis and Sonya with the Khivas Itchan Kala in the background
Looking through Oq Shihbobo bastion towards Khivas Itchan KalaThe unfinished Kalta Minor Minaret and Muhammad Amin Khan MedressaOverlooking Khivas Itchan Kala from the west wall
Overlooking eastern Khivas Itchan Kala from the west wallMuhammad Amin Khan Medressalom-Hoja Minaret and Medressa
Mohammed Rakhim Khan MedressaNorth entrance gate to Ichon QalaInside one of the many Medressa inside the Itchan Kala
Uzbek family playing traditional musicMinarets on Mohammed Rakhim Khan MedressaOne of the many alleys in Khivas Itchan Kala
Looking past Mohammed Rakhim Khan Medressa towards the west entranceMohammed Rakhim Khan Medressa with Islom-Hoja Minaret visible in the backgroundThe bazaars in-between the historic buildings
The bazaars around the Kalta Minor Minaret selling local Uzbek handicraftsWooden carved walking sticks being soldOne of the many turquoise mosaic minarets
Wooden column base in Tosh-Hovli PalaceOne of the original wooden columns on display in Tosh-Hovli PalaceThe wooden columns in Juma Mosque
View of west Ichon Qala and unfinished Kalta Minor Minaret from Juma MinaretView of Islom-Hoja Minaret from Juma MinaretView of west Ichon Qala and unfinished Kalta Minor Minaret from Juma Minaret
Entrance to Islom-Hoja MedressaMinaret of Islom-Hoja MedressaInside Sherghozi Khan Medressa