Nuratau Mountain villages
Nuratau Mountains are home to many ancient villages and the settlements. There are three main ethnic groups Uzbeks, Tajiks and Kazakhs that populate Nuratau Mountains and Kyzyl-Kum steppe. Being the biggest community in the area, Uzbeks arrived in the area in the 13th century from the north of present Kazakhstan. The second biggest ethnic group, the Tajiks have a more ancient settlement history dating back to the time of Alexander the Great’s reign in Central Asia. The third small ethnic group Kazaks before settling at the beginning of the 20th century were living nomadically in the yurts and moving permanently from place to place in Kyzyl-Kum desert.
For many centuries, some of the caravan routes between Bukhara and (Choch) Tashkent passed the Nuratau region. The trade route was used until the 19th century. During the long, hard, and dangerous trips, fortresses, and wells situated in the Nuratau Mountain valleys and the Kyzylkum plains were used as stop-over points by the traders.
The present development of ecotourism is concentrated in villages of Eski Forish, Asraf, Uhum, Hayat, and Sentyab inhabited by ethnic Tajik people.