Dishan-Kala,Outer walls of the old city of Khiva

Dishan-Kala ( “outer city of Khiva”) is the name of the historical “outer” city of Khiva. In Khiva, a city in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan, a country in Central Asia.

Allakuli Khan erected an external defensive rampart in 1842 to protect against the raids of the Yomuds (one of the Turkmen tribes).More than 200 thousand people took part in the construction of the wall. The dimensions of the outer rampart were as follows: length – 5650 m, height – 6-8 meters, thickness at the base – 4-6 m. Studies have shown that the clay was mined two kilometers north of the city, in an area called Govuk-kul, now there is a large lake. The wall was surrounded by a moat with water around the entire perimeter. Every night the gates were closed so that no one entered or left the city until morning.
There were ten different gates in ancient Dishan-Kala.Unfortunately, the outer city wall was largely destroyed. Of the original ten gates, only three have survived.

Dishan-Kala is much worse preserved than The inner town or Itchan Kala. Initially, the wall served as a protective function, but over time its function was lost and the gate became part of the urban design. They were decorated with glazed tiles, “verses” from the Koran, sometimes the gates had inscriptions praising certain rulers (khans) or some excerpts from poems. Over time, some of the gates were converted into shops. All that remains of the once majestic defensive wall are several gates: Kosh-Darvaza, Gandimyan-Darvaza and Khazarasp-Darvaza.

Access : Coordinates: 41.383333, 60.366667 / Khiva can be reached from Urgengh in half an hour by collective taxi. Coming from other nearby locations such as Bukhara (6 hours). Shared taxis to Urgengh can be picked up just outside the 2nd east gate. /The border crossing to Turkmenistan is nearby, where the city of Daşoguz  is the starting point for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Konye-Urgench.
/ Dishan-Kala is located 1-3 km  from the Khiva railway station, From the station you can take a minibus with a corresponding sign or take a taxi./ The nearest train station is in Urgengh from where it is possible to take night trains to Tashkent.

Highlights :

  •  The wall was adobe, clay for which was brought from the northern part of the city, from the town of Govuk-Kul. The clay was of high quality, which is still used by local potters to make pottery today.This place with the lake is considered sacred.
  •  Only some of the gates remained from the outer defensive walls, in particular the Kosh-Darvaz gate, 500 meters from the North gate of Ichan-Kala (Bagcha-Darvaza).
  •  The length of the defensive wall is about 6 thousand meters, the height reaches 8 meters, and the thickness reaches 6 meters.
  •  Each gate had its own reservoir (hauz). The water from this reservoir was taken exclusively for washing the body, washing clothes and washing dishes.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / Admire oriental architecture / Daytime excursions / Ancient Culture Study / walk in town with its old districts.

Go next : Itchan Kala , The historic inner city of Khiva has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO./ Toprak Kala. Ruins of a Kushan-era city, flourishing from the 1st to 5th centuries AD.


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