Shakhrisabz is a city of 100,000 people (2014) in Qashkadarya, Uzbekistan. The Historic Centre of Shahrisabz was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.

Shakhrisabz is the hometown of Temur (also transliterated “Timur” and known as Tamerlane) and everything in Shakhrisabz is connected with his name. Temur was born in 1336 at the village of Hoja Ilghar, about 13 km south of Shakhrisabz. Temur’s father Amir Taragai, his spiritual adviser Shamsedin Kulyol, and his eldest sons Jahangir and Omar Sheikh were buried here. The name Shakhrisabz is Tajik and means “green city”.


Archaeological excavations have found traces of occupation by farming communities in the 1st millennium BC. In the Middle Ages the town was called Kesh. It became important in the 14th century. Temur (Tamerlane) was born in a village nearby and the tribe to which he belonged controlled the city. Temur was already governor of Kesh at the age of 25. He defeated the Turkish sultan Bayezid and the Golden Horde and led triumphant campaigns in Iran, the Caucasus, India and Asia Minor. At the height of his power his kingdom stretched from Egypt to Kashgar and Kiev and Moscow were its protectorates. Timur created the vast state of Movarounnahr and became its absolute emir. He made Samarkand his capital and Shakhrisabz his second capital.

Get in

Shakhrisabz is about 60 km from Samarkand over the 1,780 m high Takhzakaracha Pass. From January to March the pass may be closed, which makes a detour of about 3 hours necessary.

Shared taxis leave Samarkand from just outside the Registon Supermarket on So’zangaron ko’chasi (Suzangaran St), just south of the Registan. The cost of a seat in a shared taxi is about 20,000 som (2017) and the travel time is about 90 minutes. Taxis might go to Kitab only, so that you have to take another taxi for the last 10 km.

Shakhrisabz is about 280 km from Bukhara via Qarshi (Karhsi). At Bukhara shared taxis leave from across the Sharq Bus Station east of the city center. The trip takes about 4 hours and costs about 12,000 som (2007). Sometimes you will have to change taxis at Qarshi (Karhsi), 120 km from Shakhrisabz.