Despite the damage wrought by the earthquake that destroyed so much of Tashkent and the subsequent reconstruction that gives the city its modern appearance, if you look hard enough you can certainly find evidence of the city's long history. A short walk from Navoi metro stop will bring you to the new Islamic University where, tucked away in the grounds, you'll find three of the city's oldest monuments - the remnants of a 14th C complex built around the mausoleum of yet another local saint - Sheikh Khavandi Tahur, a direct descendant of the prohet. Step inside and you will see the ancient saur (a local conifer that is known to have become extinct before the tomb was built) tree trunk that has been supporting the interior for the last 600 years.
A descendant of Ghengis Khan and the grandfather of Babur, the founder of India's Moghul dynasty, Yunus Khan, is also buried here. His double-storeyed, double-domed mausoleum was built by his son in 1487.
The third mausoleum to survive here is that of Kaldigach Bey - a 15th C Moghul prince. Although small, his mausoleum is notable for its unusual pyramid-shaped dome.
Ask permission at the university to enter.
The circus-building is a very striking building with its blue cupola. It is located in the old part of Tashkent. It cannot be missed. I actually did not find much about it in internet and I did not visit it myself. When you do some sightseeing in Tashkent you'll see this building many times. The circus was build on the exact spot, where old trading routes crossed in ancient times. Its architecture should resemble a cotton capsule.
Most visitors of Tashkent see only the "post-Earthquake" city, with its big parks and the Soviet concrete but miss the remaining old part at the other banks of the Chirchik river separating old Tashkent form the new part. It can of course not be compared with the old part of Bukhara but those who only go to Tashkent should allow some hours to stroll through this really Central Asian looking part of the city
Behind Tashkent's Museum of Fine Arts there is a muralled wall backing a bust that looks not unlike Lenin and a small garden planted with little trees. It's all a bit scruffy and unkempt now , but here you will find the graves of the heroes of the Revolution who died fighting in the streets in 1917 and others who were killed in the years that followed. The bust is Yuldush Akhunbabayev, the first Uzbek president. The garden is known as the Communard's Garden or the Fidoliyar.
Abulkasym Madrassah is located near the Peoples Friendship square and behind the blue-domed Oliy Majlis, or Uzbek parliament building.
My friends in Tashkent took me to the madrassah. The artisans there are very eager to tell you about the ins and outs of their craft. There is a unique book stand for the Quran that is made of one peice of wood cut to unfold into up to 16 different settings.
I met an artisan who works on wood panels for Mosques he told me that some of his creations take up to a year to complete.
Some of the metro stations in Tashkent are really something to see. The Alisher station is especially beautiful with its frescos and multi-domed ceiling. The Cosmonaut station is very trippy with its space theme. I've never seen anything quite like that one. As you're often stranded in a given station for several minutes, take the time to look at the walls - some of them are amazing.
One way that Mari and I like to travel around cities is to jump on some sort of transport and either get off at the terminus or jump off if we see something good. The latter can be dangerous though if you get confused and can't get back to your hotel. A tram ride will only cost you 200 som.
This photo was taken while waiting for the tram outside the Tara Hotel. To the right of the mosque is where a very good Uighur restaurant is located.?@Mari preferred the Laghman but I couldn't go past the Shushlik and onions. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
this place is absolutely phenomenal and one of the true rare gems in tashkent - it is the tizzykafka bazaar. it's on saturdays and sundays (but on sundays it's a zoo and better to go on saturdays in my opinion) and you should get there by nine in the morning because everyone's gone by two or three. this bazaar only sells used stuff - old stoves, tons of soviet memorabilia, old underwear, gas masks, animals, etc. you can walk around for hours and still see maybe half of all the people selling their wares. it's a great place and you bargain for everything. it's also great for picking up some really strange/unusual souveniers. every taxi driver in town knows where it is (it's near the train station). definitely, definitely check this out.
outside of tashkent an hour or an hour and a half north is a place called chimgon. it's a great day trip if you need to avoid the oppressive heat of tashkent. it's at least a thousand meters higher and the air quality is infinitely better. it's uzbekistan's only ski resort in the winter and it's virtually deserted in the summer time except for the locals that live there. it's a great place to do some day trekking. there are some very easy to find trails in the middle of chimgon and on the weekends there will be other folks trekking around as well. there's also a huge lake created by a dam up there as well. if you go to the maxim gorky metro (now called buyuk ipak yul (great silk road) metro officially but the taxi drivers still call it maxim gorky) you can find a taxi to take you - shouldn't be more than $10.