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Karakum Corridor


Spanning across two dazzling oasis cities lie a vast stretch of scorched land devoid of water. It was well traversed though, harboring caravanserai and mausoleums from its long past.

For a span of nearly 2,000 years, from the 2nd century BC to the 16th century AD, this corridor saw a large number of goods, merchants and ideas passing through. At nearly 300 kilometers from Bukhara to Samarkand, it’s most well known stretch, the Karakum Corridor no doubt has stories to tell. Take for instance the grand Rabati Malik Caravanserai built strategically at the half way mark, an inn for the weary travelers to rest and fill their water jugs. Imagine the stories and tales that passed through those stones daily, finding respite from either the sweltering heat of summer or the freezing temperatures of winter. Today, only the front portal remains of this 1,000 year old hotel, but it is still nonetheless a great site to behold.

Scattered along the corridor are also mausoleums of past rulers and minarets dedicated to significant events. Though the road was long, knowing what lies ahead propelled the merchants and explorers forward. West led to Bukhara and East to Samarkand, two of the greatest cities founded along the ancient, vein-like routes. A modern road today follows the same route, passing by just crumbling ruins of its long history. Some things remain the same though - the barren landscape and the memories formed.

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How We Got Here

The Karakum Corridor is a stretegic route through Central Asia, with its most well-known stretch between Samarkand and Bukhara.

The Highlight

We negotiated with a driver to take us 300 km along the route, with a few stop offs along the way. Watching the desolate landscape and imagining caravans traversing it was unique.

Our Treasure

Standing on the side of the road was the Rabati Malik Caravanserai, a once massive silk road inn. It was a treasure walking among the rubble and imaging life there.

Explore More

     ➨  Rabati Malik Caravanserai

     ➨  Mir-Sayid Bakhrom Mausoleum

S N A P S H O T S   O N   T H E   R O A D

W H E R E   W I L L   Y O U R   J O U R N E Y   T A K E   Y O U   N E X T ?

Traversing the heart of the Silk Roads, this corridor between oasis cities still challenges due to its arid terrain. However, the much-needed rest among the caravanserai, conversing with fellow merchants, and filling your water jugs, was much needed. The next few days will require long treks, as the splendid city of Samarkand gets ever closer and closer...


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