You may have heard about the central Asian country of Uzbekistan and about its cultural and architectural heritage. But many may not be aware of how the country is undergoing a remarkable transformation, which is making Uzbekistan an enticing destination for Indian travellers. The country has taken significant strides in recent years to enhance its tourism infrastructure, offering a blend of historical charm and contemporary conveniences. Uzbekistan’s cities, like Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara have witnessed tremendous development making them more accessible and accommodating for tourists. Here’s are 10 reasons why Indian travellers must explore this hidden Asian gem.
1. Rising India connection: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Uzbekistan was gaining popularity among Indian tourists, with nearly 28,000 visitors setting foot in the country. One reason behind the rise in Indian travellers is the strong bilateral relations between the two countries that spans politics, defense, trade, and education. The Uzbek government has made travel hassle-free by introducing e-Visa facilities for Indian tourists. Medical tourism to India from Uzbekistan is also on the rise.
2. Visa made easy: Indian nationals can apply for an Uzbekistan e-visa that allows travellers to visit the country for a 30-day duration. Travellers can complete the application online and do not need to visit an embassy or submit passports.
3. Proximity and accessibility: Uzbekistan is a short two-and-a-half-hour flight from major Indian cities, with 12 direct flights per week. This accessibility makes it a convenient and time-efficient getaway for Indian travellers.
4. Recommended Duration: You can explore the main attractions in Uzbekistan within a week. Here are some recommended durations for key destinations: Samarkand two-three days; Bukhara two to three days; Khiva: one or two days and Tashkent is good to explore for two days. Mentioned below are some of the best attractions in Uzbekistan.
5. Best time to explore: When it comes to the best time to visit Uzbekistan, Indian travellers have wide range to opt from. Uzbekistan has four clearly defined seasons — cold winters, wonderful spring, summers are hot and lively, and pleasant autumn. However, late March to mid-April and mid-September to mid-November offer pleasant weather but remember that the time when there is an influx of tourists.
6. Unique place to visit – Samarkand: Explore this ancient Silk Road city with architectural marvels like the Registan Square, Shah-i-Zinda, and the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum. It is also known for its renowned bread, considered some of the best in the world.
7. Best place to visit – Bukhara: An Architectural Wonderland, where you can admire 140 architectural monuments, including medressas and minarets. Do not miss out on visiting the 14th-century Bozori Kord Hammam for a relaxing bath or a soothing massage.
8. Visit the modern oasis of Tashkent: This cosmopolitan capital city, offers a vibrant mix of modernity and tradition. Explore its ancient and modern architecture, lush parks, and bustling bazaars for a unique and vibrant experience.
9. Adventure Sports: Thrills in Uzbek Nature- Uzbekistan caters to adventure seekers with a wide range of adventure sports, including hiking, paragliding, rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, and even extreme sports like motorcycle racing, motocross, and skateboarding. Whether you crave the thrill of heights or the rush of speed, Uzbekistan has something for every adrenaline junkie.
10. Uzbeki Cuisine: Food in Uzbekistan is a gastronomic delight, where Indian travellers can savour a fusion of flavours, like the national favorite “Plov”, which is reminiscent of Indian Pulao. Relish other culinary delights such as manti (dumplings), obi non (Uzbek flatbread), samsas (baked pastries) and succulent kebabs like Kazan Kabob and Shashlik.