For centuries, Chimbay has been known as a major center of trade famous for its craftsmen and artisans. The incredibly talented people of Chimbay managed to preserve the ancient Karakalpak traditions, customs and craftsmanship till this day. We will take you to Chimbay to experience the true spirit of medieval Karakalpakstan.
Highlights of the Tour:
- Visit the abandoned city Itchan-kala – a cultural and religious center of the 19th century Sufism.
- Visit the place where yurts are made.
- Learn about the process of making the Karakalpak yurts, the dwellings of nomadic people.
- Visit the carpetmakers’ house.
- Meet the artist/sculptor and his son who create the traditional jewelry.
- Taste the unusual and delicious Karakalpak cuisine.
- Learn the intricacies of the Karakalpak etiquette.
Beginning of tour: After breakfast, you will leave modern Nukus and drive to Khalkabad where you will visit Ishan-Kala, one of the well-preserved monuments dating back to the 19th century. Ishan-Kala was the religious and educational center built by the descendants of Ataulla Ishan, the son of Imam Ishan (1801-1877). A mosque built by their descendants still stands in the middle of a beautiful alley. The mosque is still functioning.
Visiting Chimbay: An hour-long drive through desolate and salt-covered areas, agricultural lands and small villages will take us to Chimbay. While driving through the wide modern streets and ancient narrow lanes, you will hear about the history of the city that has been an artisan and spiritual center for the nomadic tribes for centuries. You will visit a vibrant market located in the very heart of the city.
A place where yurts are made: You will visit an old factory where yurts are being made using the process that hasn’t changed for centuries. You will hear about the making of various components that have to be put together in a certain order to make a yurt.
The mystical significance of the Karakalpak yurt: You will visit an actual guest yurt and have a crash course on the yurt etiquette. You will learn how to enter a yurt without disturbing the spirits that protect it, discover the mysteries of the yurt doors and find out which parts of the doors shouldn’t be touched. You will be taught how to interpret many signs and symbols of the yurt.
Photoshoot in Karakalpak national costumes: You will discover the meaning and symbolism of various parts and details of the national costume. You will learn about the strict tradition of the design and color of women’s outfits for various age groups. We will explain how to wear a "tubeteika" (special traditional hat) so that people know that you are single. The language of the national Karakalpak costume is very powerful. Looking at the costume, you can learn everything about the person that wears it. During a unique masterclass, you will learn how to put on the Karakalpak headdress.
Visiting a family: You will visit a Karakalpak house and learn about Karakalpak customs and traditions.
House of carpetmakers: You will visit a traditional Karakalpak family. Women of that family have been making carpets for several centuries. You will see all the parts of the house and learn about the traditional way of living.
Return to Nukus: You will travel along the scenic route to Nukus with your hands full of wonderful national crafts and your mind full of unforgettable memories. Upon arrival in Nukus, you will have a chance to relax in the hotel and enjoy a delicious dinner.
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