In the most mountainous region of Navoi oblast, there’s a picturesque ancient city Nurata. Adminsitartive and cultursl center of Navoi oblst is surrounded by chain of mountains that stretches from Golodnaya steppe to Kyzylkum. The name of the city is translated as “beam of light”.
The legend says that people were desperate to find rescue in the middle of the desert, but a beam of light suddenly appeared and pointed them to Nurata. Historians believe that Nurata city was founded on the fprtres Nur. The fortress was built by the order of Alexander the Great in 4th century BC and served as a frontier building between wild steppes and agricultural lands. The ruins of the fortress are one of sightseeing places in Nurata.
This place is full of mysterious legend. One legend says that a meteorite fell near Nurata and revealed a spring of balmy water. Later, around the spring Juma Mosque was built. The mosque had a big number of colons, one of the biggest cupolas in Central Asia, and remains of prophet Nur-Ota. Today this complex is called Chashma. Water in the spring is considered holy.
Nurata is the only place in Uzbkeistan with preserved ancient system of qanat - system of underground channels, that are still being used by locals. Another sightseeing place is lake Aidarkul, 50 km away from Nurata, in Kyzylkum desert. Locals call it “Turquoise sea in sands”. It’s a perfect place for hiking lovers; there’re also guesthouses, where travelers can dive into village life with its craft-making lessons, weaving, and traditional cooking.
Today Nurata is a small town with population of 25,000 people. It’s remoted from tourist centers and industrial cities. Nurata live its simple Uzbek village life. Any traveler will be enchanted by how easy-going and hospitable people in Nurata are.