Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

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Travel Features >> Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

July 26, 2011

The twin disasters of an earthquake and Soviet architecture stripped Tashkent, the capital of the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan, of much of its traditional Islamic buildings. However, some of it has survived in the old part of the city where sixteenth century madarsas, mausoleums and mosques still stand. No traveller to Tashkent leaves this part of the town, called eski shakhar for ‘Old City’, unvisited.

For it is here that Central Asia still inhabits Tashkent, otherwise a city that is largely unremarkable. In the older area, which lies in the northwest section of the city, not very far from the 16th century Kukkeldash Madarsa and the Kaffal Shashi Museum is Chorsu Bazaar, ‘the market at the crossroad’.

Chorsu is a vast open-air market where you’ll find all the juicy wares that dreams of Central Asia are made of. Carefully woven carpets sit next to glistening ceramics, which in turn are neighbours of shiny watermelons, plump raisins and juicy apricots. Chorsu also has a large number of spice vendors from whom you can pick up an unusual but guaranteed-to-please gift for friends back home. There are shoe stores and handicraft shops, stalls that sell traditional clothes and row after row of stalls selling dopys, the traditional Uzbek men’s cap. You’ll also find many choykhana or ‘tea stalls’ where you can sit down to hot tea and juicy shashlyk kebabs.

Chorsu stands at the junction of Navoi Street and Samarkand Darvoza Street. Like most markets in Tashkent it is open every day of the week between 9 in the morning and 7 in the evening.

More information on Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

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