Sacred Bukhara is one of the most esteemed cities in Islamic civilization. It is situated in the center of the ancient agricultural oasis in the lower reaches of the Zarafshan River (39 ° 46 ‘N, 64 ° 25’ E). It is clear that Bukhara gained the status of a sacred town in pre-Arabian times. It was probably an ancient temple area, dating back to the II millennium B.C. The name of the city is related to the Sanskrit “vihara” – “shrine”, “monastery”. The same idea is rendered by medieval sources that report that the Zoroastrian Magi and idolaters translated the name “Bukhara” as a “temple”. “Bukhara”, as well as “vihara”, can be derived from the Sanskrit “varahi” – “the land of boar (varaha)”, which means “holy land”, as the boar was revered as a symbol of the priesthood.
Referring to the holiness of the land of Bukhara there was a saying: “If anywhere in the world the light comes from above, in Bukhara, it streams out of the earth.” In the Middle Ages Bukhara was the site of spiritual sermons of prominent religious figures such as Imam al-Bukhari, al-Gijduvani, Sayf al-Din Boharzi, Baha ad-Din Naqshband. In the 10th-11th centuries Bukhara was the capital of the Samanid state and since the 16th century the capital of Bukhara khanate. The last amir of Bukhara was dethroned in 1920 and Bukhara Republic was founded. In 1924 the land of Bukhara became part of the Uzbek SSR, and in 1991 – a part of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Historical Centre of Bukhara is a unique “open air” museum and is included in UNESCO’s list of the world heritage.