The city was founded in the 13th c. B.C. during reign of Siyavushids who came to power 980 years before Alexander the Great. The name of Bukhara originates from the word "vihara" which means "monastery" in Sanskrit. The city was once a large commercial center on the Great Silk Road.
The founder of the city was the Persian prince Siyavush who built a citadel here shortly after marrying the daughter of Afrosiyab in Samarkand, but its growth has for centuries depended largely upon its strategic location, uniquely placed on the crossroads to Merv, Gurganj, Herat, Kabul and Samarkand.
In Bukhara there are more than 350 mosques and 100 religious colleges. Its fortunes waxed and waned through succeeding empires until it became one of the great Central Asian Khanates in the 17th century.
Bukhara with more than 140 architectural monuments is a "town museum" dating back to the Middle Ages. 2,500 years later.