• 7th–6th century BC, Samarkand was the capital of the ancient state of Sogdiana and was called Afrosiab.
  • Ruled by the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC).
  • In 329 BC Alexander the Great conquered the surrounding region, known as Sogdia. . After the capture by Alexander the Great, the Greco-Bactrian state was formed in Bukhara. (The Hellenistic era)
  • The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom collapsed (2nd century BC)
  • The nomadic Kushan tribe founded the Kushan state.
  • the Parthian Empire, Kangju, the Hephthalites Empire, and the Turkic Khaganate.
  • In 712, the Arabs, led by Kuteiba ibn Muslim, captured the city and Samarkand became the centre of Mawarannahr and Greater Khorasan.
  • the Arabs consolidated their victory in the year 751, after a big battle between the Arabs and the Chinese (Tang Dynasty).
  • At the end of the 9th century, Bukhara became one of the most significant Islamic and cultural centres in Central Asia.
  • 12th century: Samarkand became the part of the state of Khorezm Shahs.
  • 13th century: Genghis Khan conquered this territory and founded the Chagatai ulus. Khorezm was conquered by the Mongol.
  • 14th century: Amir Temur came to power. Samarkand became the capital of the state.
  • After Samarkand was conquered by the nomadic tribes Dasht-I-Kipchak. The new state of the Shaybanids dynasty was founded.
  • Invasion of the Russian Empire in the 60s of the 19th century, the Governor-General of Turkestan.
  • 1924, Uzbekistan became the Soviet Republic.
  • 1991, Uzbekistan gained its independence.

Notable Cities

  • Tashkent: the capital of Uzbekistan.
  • Samarkand: The name "Samarkand" dates back to the Sogdian "Smr’kand" that means "Stone Fort" or "Stone City".
  • Bukhara: the capital of the Samanid Empire, Khanate of Bukhara, and Emirate of Bukhara and was the birthplace of scholar Imam Bukhari.
  • Khiva: the former capital of Khwarezmia, the Khanate of Khiva, and the Khorezm People's Soviet Republic.
  • Andijan: the birthplace of Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire; terminal of China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railroad.
  • Termez: the site of Alexander the Great's city Alexandria on the Oxus.
  • Kokand



  • High-speed rail: Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara
    • fastest train:
      • Tashkent - Samarkand: 2:08
      • Samarkand - Bukhara: 1:41
  • High-speed rail is extending to Khiva, but now only slow trains, ~8 hr between Khiva and Bukhara.
    • Overnight train: Bukhara 00:37 - Khiva 07:10
  • Book tickets online:
  • Tashkent has 2 stations, slow trains stop at south, fast trains stop at north


  • TAS airport: international and domestic terminals are one different sides of the runway; a free shuttle bus runs between the terminals but hourly.
  • No flight among Bukhara, Samarkand and Shiva; all domestic flights go to Tashkent (TAS).
  • New Terminal at Samarkand Airport (SKD) in 2023.
  • Bukhara: airport is closer to point of interests than train!


Closely related to Kazakh, Tatar, Uyghur; a lot Persian and Russian influence. (Uzbek is one of the most Farsi related Turkish language.)