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Khorezm and Karakalpakstan
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Khiva Skyline Photograph: Mark & Michelle  
Khorezm and Karakalpakstan


"Khiva's name, redolent of slave caravans, barbaric cruelty and terrible journeys across deserts and steppes infested with wild tribesmen, struck fear into all but the boldest 19th century hearts."
Lonely Planet


Shortly after the great flood; Shem the son of Noah was wandering through Central Asia with his tribes. One night when he was in the area near the Aral sea in the region of the Kyzylkum and Karakum deserts he had a dream. In the dream he saw men marching across the dunes with blazing torches. The dream moved him greatly.

When he woke up he told his men to build a mound to commemorate the place where the dream had come to him, the region even then was dry, and as the day drew on they became thirsty. As the nearest water source was a days travel away they decided to dig for water. After much digging they found water and exclaimed, "KHEI' VAKH" - "What wonderful water is in the well".

In these regions water is essential to life, and the absence of water can quickly bring death to those who are unprepared. So the well quickly drew settlers to the area and the town which arose around it became known as Khiva. The town is still there today and has been through many incarnations since the time of Shem. In the region of modern day Uzbekistan it is known as Khorezm.

Continue reading about Khiva!
Khiva City
Urgench City
Nukus City
Nukus Arts Collection
Moynaq - The Aral Sea
Bustan Ruins
Badai Tugay Reserve
Turtkul Ruins
© 2001-2010 STANtours last modified June 9, 2003