View from inside the Ichan QalaView from inside the Ichan Qala
The old Bakcha DarvasaThe old Bakcha Darvasa
Situated at the northern approach to Khiva's Ichan Kala, the Bakcha Darvasa, or Garden Gate, was famous for the many nearby gardens belonging to the rich merchants who lived in this quarter of the city. During the time of the Silk Road, camel caravans coming from Urgench would pass through here and pay custom duties. Today it's the hangout for pool-playing Khivan teenagers.
The Gate's watchmen turrets offer a steep climb with a rewarding view of the city and access to the walls as far along as the Kunya Ark. Outside the Bakcha Darvasa, the salt marks from Khorezm's rising water table can be seen attacking the foundations.
The Gate is also Khiva's main transport stop, with Ticos (small shared taxis), Mashrootkas (shared vans) and trolley buses regularly travelling to and from Urgench.