What to do in Nukus, Uzbekistan, sights, local landmarks
Nukus is a comparatively new city in Uzbekistan, which was built from a small village near the Aral Sea and the great Central Asian river Amu Darya. People used to live in this area since Neolithic. An ancient archaeological complex of Mizdakhan is what is left of a settlement Ghyaur-kala, located on three hills, destroyed by invasion of Chengiz Khan from Mongolia in the 13th century.
In the 20th century, the area received a new momentum in development, and the city started to grow. In mid 20th century Uzbekistan, as part of the Soviet Union, became a major producer of cotton, and due to ineffective use of water resources the two main rivers supplying the Aral Sea with water stopped to deliver water in the basin. Over the past forty years the fourth largest inland lake reduced twice in surface, and currently it consists of two separate parts. The region and its people are affected by the dessication of the sea in many ways, including pollution and lack of potable water. Once a profitable business, fishering has disappeared, and the only remnants are the old fishing boats in sandy dunes, some as far as 30 km from the current sea shore.
One of the most interesting sights which attracts visitors from all over the world, is the Art Museum of Savitskiy, world-known for its collection of early 20th century Russian and Turkestani art, including the world's second largest collection of Russian avangardist paintings. See more about history and personality of Igor Savitskiy in more details.
Moynak - fisheries village
The fishermen village of Moynak is located at the southern end of what once used to be the Aral sea, the largest water body in Central Asia and fourth largest in the world. In a tour to Moynak, you will be able to see how the local people survive the environmental crysis, what is left of the fisheries industry and the abandoned boats in the desert.