The magnetic force of Samarkand attracts tourists. Here you can find lots of sights shrouded in mystery and mysticism.

The figure of Amir Temur is still exciting both people of art and tourists. Many of them come to Samarkand to pay tribute to his ashes and touch his gravestone. This rite is believed to communicate the spellful influence of this great warlord and personality.

The Afrasiab hills are home for a remarkable shrine – the tomb of Saint Daniel, Holy Daniel or Khazret Daniyar. Three world religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – know him under these names and equally hold sacred the place of his everlasting rest. Nobody knows for sure what this huge 18-m sarcophagus contains: whether the ashes of Prophet Daniel, brought by Amir Temur from Susa, are here; or the body of Daniel, Darius’ strap of Sogdiana, lies in the grave; or Daniyar, an associate of Qusam ibn Abbas, is buried among the ruins of Afrasiab. The shrine is regarded with such great reverence that nobody dares to open the tomb. Alexis II, the late Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, visited the place in 1996.   At parting, he said a blessing over an old and dry pistachio tree in the mausoleum. His blessing acted like magic, and the tree returned to life. Its branches are decorated with ribbons for wishes come true.  The mausoleum attendants do not object to this rite, but they are sure that listening to prayer within the limits of the tomb will be quite enough.

The stream of pilgrims to Samarkand is endless. All made wishes are believed to come true here. “Kitab al-Kand fi Tarih Ulama Samarkand” (The Sugar Book on the History of Samarkand) by Abu Hafs an-Nasafi was one of the first city guides. According to the book, Allah considered two rakats (cycles) of prayers recited in Samarkand as 70 rakats; if prayers were recited throughout a night, they were reckoned as the 60-year cycle of praying. One-day fasting in Samarkand was accepted as a century-long fast.  And he who managed to feed one poor man of Samarkand would save his own home from poverty forever…

The names Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva sound like invocations. Many tourists confess that by traveling here they free themselves from the prosaicness of life and start feeling the essentials of human life in a new way. These ancient places have always been symbols of faith.

For many years Khoja Akhrar has been forming the minds of Samarkandians. Al-Maturidi has found his last habitation in Samarkand. Al-Bukhari was buried at the walls of the city.