Timur (1336-1405) was for Uzbekistan what Genghis Khan (1162-1227) was for Mongolia. Timur was born in Shakhrisabz and grew up to be a blood-thirsty ruler who conquered great parts of Arabia, Persia, Caucasus and northern India, not to mention Central Asia. Like Genghis Khan, his campaigns resulted in the death of more than a million people. Under Timur rule, Shakhrisabz was said to be more splendid than even Samarkand. Today Shakhrisabz is just a small town with a few historical reminders of a bygone era, but is nonetheless an interesting destination. Besides obvious sights, like the intended tomb for Timur which he built himself (Timur's real mausoleum is in Samarkand), the town has a great small-town feel with a buzzing main street carrying the fitting name Ipak Yoli, Uzbek for Silk Road. The drive from Samarkand is equally lovely and goes over the Takhtakaracha Pass (1788 m) with views of snow-covered mountains in the distance. The ride only takes two hours, making Shakhrisabz a possible day trip from Samarkand.