Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Oct 19, 2013


Today, we got up at 7:30 a.m. After morning routines, and breakfast, with the help of Olga, the hotel receptionist, we hired a taxi, to show us around the city, and then to transport us about 30-miles to the seaside resort of Yalta.

Crimean Peninsula, located in southern Ukraine, juts into the Black Sea. Its mountainous terrain, warm-water coastline, and year-round unclouded, sunny skies have for a long time been attracting tourists from the colder regions of northern Europe and Russia. 

Simferopol (literally meaning “the city of common good”), is the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Its importance lies in it being the transportation hub between major places of tourist interest in Crimea and the rest of Ukraine, but has very few sights of its own. 

Populated largely by Russian people, with its wide boulevards and large parks, Simferopol is a delightful urban habitation. There are statues of Lenin everywhere. 


Our first stop was the Sovetsky Park. With its fountains, and large, neat grassy spaces, the park draws area families with children.

Sovetsky Park, Simferopol

Sovetsky Park, Simferopol

A large statue of Lenin at the center, overlooks the park.

We passed by Sts. Peter and Paul cathedral, which has a black onion-dome and a tall spired belfry.

Kebir-Jami Mosque, Simferopol

Our next and the last stop in Simferopol was Kebir-Jami Mosque, a prominent architectural monument. Although reconstructed several times, it dates back from 1508, when the Khanate dynasty ruled the area. Since the return of Tartars, after they had been forced to leave the area during the Russian rule, it has become the main Friday mosque of Crimea.

Upon our arrival at the Mosque, we found some people seated outside on a bench. They were looking at us, with curiosity. When I greeted them with the Muslim greeting “Salam Alekam” and told them about our Indian origin, they welcomed us with smiles and allowed me to take their picture. The man with black cap, probably the Imam or a caretaker, volunteered to give me a tour of the inside of the mosque.

As we were saying our goodbyes, some people brought a dead body in, for the final prayers.

Now we were ready to leave for our final destination of Yalta.



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