Karakalpakstan is probably the last thing that comes to a traveler’s mind if one is asked about best sight-seeing places in Uzbekistan. It’s likely a traveler will wonder what is Karakalpakstan. Karakalpakstan is an extremely underrated travel destination, there’s nothing like that in Uzbekistan. Autonomous Republic Karakalpakstan is situated in north-western part of Uzbekistan.
Karakalpakstan is isolated, remoted with deserts encircling it from every side. There’s Karakum desert in the south-west, Yusturt Plateu in the north-west, Kyzylkum desert in the north-east. Karakalpakstan also includes a part of vanishing Aral Sea. What makes this place unique is that scientist, after examining soil concluded that territories of deserts used to be bottom of a large sea. Till these days, remnants of original sea world can be found in form of sea creatures.
Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan is also interesting due to rich history of the area. According to historical notes, in 5th century BC, saka tigraxaudas inhabited territory of Karakalpakstan. In 6th century, tribes from Altay and East Turkestan immigrated to territories of Karakalpakstan and created ethnic communities. These communities created ethnic base of the Karakalpaks.
Word “karakalpak” is translated as “black hat”. The name derives from the Pechenegs who inhabited Karakalpakstan and wore hats from black lamb’s wool.
Karakalpakstan is full of amazing tourist places. There is one of the most interesting museums in Uzbekistan – Savitsky Museum, fortresses Kyrk-Kyz, Djanbas –Kala and Toprak-Kala. Karakalpakstan used to be a land of breeders who raised goats and sheep. Soviet government turned this autonomous republic into a land of cotton producing.
Due to its remoteness, Karakalpakstan got to be the place for development secret biological and chemical weapons of USSR. Today Karakalpakstan is forgotten and tries to manage rapidly worsening ecological situation with vanishing Aral Sea.