The city is especially famous for the mausoleum of the famous Sufi Abdukholik Gijduvani, who founded the Sufi Brotherhood of Khojagon in the 12th century. Sufism was widespread in Central Asia and the Sufi orders played an important role in the development of society. Gijduvani is one of the 7 saints of Bukhara, called “Pir”, whose mausoleums can be visited; a pilgrimage very popular with locals. One of the three madrasahs of Ulugbek was built near his tomb in the 15th century.
GIJDUVAN – THE CENTRE OF CERAMICS AND EMBROIDERY
Gijduvan is considered the centre of embroidery (Suzani) and ceramics. Embroideries are basically found throughout Uzbekistan, but the Gijduvan embroidery school has its own distinctive ornaments and natural colours used in the region.
Thanks to the efforts of Ibodullo Narzullaev, Gijduvan’s ceramic art did not disappear during Soviet industrialism. The traditional colours of this school are brown, yellow and green. The patterns that decorate the products have a centuries-old tradition and are passed down from generation to generation. The task of ceramic artisans is not only to produce but also to pass on the experience gained over the years to the next generation.
Today, the sons of Ibodullo Narzullaev, Abdullo and Alisher run two large ceramic workshops in the city. Both workshops have their own free ceramics museum, where you can see products with different decorations such as ornaments and flowers from different regions of Uzbekistan. Furthermore, the process of ceramics production is explained and illustrated in detail. Of course, there are also galleries where tourists can buy souvenirs.
The brothers have also acquired an old technique in which the glaze of the products is made purely from plants. This process ensures that food can be consumed without hesitation from ceramic plates.
In addition to the Narzullaev brothers, other potters in the city specialize in household items such as tandoor (clay oven) and flowerpots and sell their products mainly to the local population.
In Uzbekistan, you will find a large amount of blue ceramics from the Fergana Valley in the bazaars and souvenir shops, while Gijduvan products are not so widespread. The reason for this is that today there are only two potteries in Gijduvan, while there are several hundred in the Fergana Valley.
Gijduvan is known for its shashlik skewers. Small pieces of meat are marinated in a special spice mixture. Afterward, pieces of meat are skewered together with pieces of fat, which gives the shashlik even a better taste. Locals who happen to be in Gijduvan will definitely order a portion here.
Air connections: Gijduvan does not have its own airport. The nearest airports are Bukhara (50 km away) or Navoi (70 km away).
Railway connection: there is no railway station in Gijduvan. The nearest railway stations are in Kagan (next to Bukhara, 60 km away) or in Navoi (70 km away).