The home of Tashkent the foreboder of the silk route, the key of the Islamic Golden age, Uzbekistan, once a soviet country is ridden with gorgeous architecture, deep-rooted culture and a bounty of the earth, yes am talking about the fruits of the land quite literally. Most of the Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims, they comprise of a wide mix of ethnic groups and cultures including in minority Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Tatars and Karakalpaks. The country has an extremely high literacy rate with 99.9 percent of adults above the age of 15 being able to read and write. That’s a win for any country isn’t it. It is also one of the only countries to declare the International Women’s Day as a holiday. While soups are a popular meal, green tea is the national hot beverage consumed throughout the day unless it’s summer then it’s Ayran to the rescue. It is also home to Samarkand, the region that produces a range of dessert wines from local grape varieties. Their post-Soviet inheritance greatly emboldens their Armed forces. A very lesser known location, tourists who foray into this Central Asian country are treated to a beauty like no other. The doubly landlocked country presents architecture, nature, landscape, people and food like no other. It is artful, soulful and sometimes wistful. The music of the region is called Shashmaqam which took form in Bukhara, translates to six maqams containing six sections.
And it is not everyday when one spins the globe and randomly decides on a place to go late in the middle of the night, then spending time till the wee hours of the morning to research about the place, before convincing the better half to accompany her on a trip to bang in the middle of Asia. I am talking of Chetna Ramachandra who followed a rather rare epiphany and got family along with friends like family including little kids to a pre-Soviet country that is not just hidden away but also was the mainframe of the Silk-Route. Listen in as she recounts a trip like no other, with kids eating up luscious fruits, never have to be told twice about it, or the domes in Tashkent that could have any architect drooling. A beautiful account about a trip to a faraway land. Chetna is an astute traveller if not an astute person and can be found globe-trotting or getting the average-joe to globe-trot. I for one have been on a couple of trips she planned and absolutely loved them. She can be contacted @rebootescortedtours