Ichan-qala Xiva Reviews
Oct 06, 2007
Ichan-qala is the walled part of Khiva. The area outside the wall, on the other hand, is caled Dishan-qala. Most of the attractions in Khiva are conveniently located inside Ichan-qala.
To enter Ichan-qala, one has to pay the entrance fee, which is 50,000 soum as of October 2007 (subject to change). For photography, an additional fee of 50,000 soum must be paid. In exchange of the entrance fee, you get a small paper slip. This is the admission ticket to most of the sights in Ichan-qala (except, notably, the minarets), so you must keep it with you.
Some of the higlights in Ichan-qala are: Juma Mosque, the city gates, Tash Khauli, Kalta-Minar, Kunya-Ark (the Citadel), Pakhlavan Makhmut Mausoleum, Islam Khodja Madrasah and Minaret, etc.
Juma Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Central Asia because of its wooden columns. Each of the columns differs from each other, in design and in age. The absence of tiles in the interior makes it a very simple but serene place of worship. Right next to it is a minaret that is 42m-tall. You have to pay a separate admission fee to climb the minaret.
Tash Khauli is the former residence of the khans of Khiva. It is noted for its profusion of colourful tiles and the halem. There is also a yurt, a traditional Uzbek nomadic tent.
Pakhlavan Makhmut Mausoleum is dedicated to Pakhlavan Makhmut, who is a popular figure in Khiva. There is a picture of him just outside the mausoleum, which depicts him as a muscular figure. Pakhlavan Makhmut was apparently a wrestler, who liberated much of Khorezmian slaves (natives of Khiva) from India. This is one of the more religious sights in Khiva, as there is an imam who prays regularly. You have to take off your shoes before entering the mausoleum.
Islam-Khodja Minaret is probably the highest structure in Khiva. You have to pay a separate 4,000 soum admission fee to climb this minaret. Although the view from the top is spectacular, this minaret is not for the faint-hearted. Climbing up is easy, but climbing down is not.
Kalta-Minar is the colourful and big column that is located right in front of Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah and near the west gate (the Ota Darvasa). It is actually supposed to be a minaret but is incomplete. With its turquoise-blue and emerald tiles, this unfinished minare will leave a lasting impression to the visitor.
You can see some photos of these attractions in my journal from Khiva.
Part of the Uzbekistan travel blog
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