National Yurt camps

A yurt is a portable, bent dwelling structure traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia as their home. The structure comprises a crown or compression wheel, usually steam bent, supported by roof ribs which are bent down at the end where they meet the lattice wall (again, steam bent). The top of the wall is prevented from spreading by means of a tension band which opposes the force of the roof ribs. The structure is usually covered by layers of fabric and sheep's wool felt for insulation and weatherproofing.

Djanbas Kala Yurt camp - located on a hill close to the ancient fortress Djanbas – Kala. Djambas – Kala Fortress was built in the 4th century BC and 5 centuries later was destroyed under the pressure of nomads, who managed to break throughout defense. Today you can see well-preserved double walls of the Fortress, the height of which is around 8-10 meters. There is also the Temple of Fire and Sun, the inhabitants of which, professed Zoroastrianism - one of the oldest religions of the world. During two thousands years, the appearance of the Fortress was changed under the influence of water and wind: loopholes seriously eroded after the rainy season, and part of the walls is almost covered by sand.

Yurt Camp in Ayaz-Kala - Ayaz-Kala camp is situated in the Elikkalinsky district of the Republic of Karakalpakistan. It lies on a picturesque steppe hill near the ruins of the ancient fortress of Ayaz-Kala. Distance from Khiva is 100 km, from Urgench - 70 km, from Bukhara - 450 km, from Nukus - 150 km. Arrival from Khiva and Urgench is across the Beruniy pontoon bridge on the Amudarya River.

The Aydar Yurt Camp - The yurt camp Aidar is located 10 km from the western bank of the Aidarkul lake. It was reconstructed in 2009. The camp offers 15 yurts, decorated with hand made carpets and sherdaks (felt rugs) of local craftsmen. Coloured patterns and chandeliers create unusual and festive atmosphere in yurts. Yurt camp is also equipped with fixed toilets, shower cubicles and a company yurt, where tourists can taste various dishes. Amenities of the camp Aidar include electricity.

Construction

Traditional yurts consist of an expanding wooden circular frame carrying a felt cover. The felt is made from the wool of the flocks of sheep that accompany the pastoralists. The timber to make the external structure is not to be found on the treeless steppes, and must be obtained by trade in the valleys below. The frame consists of one or more expanding lattice wall-sections, a door-frame, bent roof poles and a crown. The Mongolian Ger has one or more columns to support the crown and straight roof poles. The (self-supporting) wood frame is covered with pieces of felt. Depending on availability, the felt is additionally covered with canvas and/or sun-covers. The frame is held together with one or more ropes or ribbons. The structure is kept under compression by the weight of the covers, sometimes supplemented by a heavy weight hung from the center of the roof. They vary with different sizes, and relative weight. A yurt is designed to be dismantled and the parts carried compactly on camels or yaks to be rebuilt on another site. Complete construction takes around 2 hours.