Varakhsha, also Varasha or Varahsha, was an ancient city in the Bukhara oasis in Sogdia, founded in the 1st century BCE. It is located 39 kilometers to the northwest of Bukhara. Varakhsha was the capital of the Sogdian dynasty of the kings of Bukhara, the Bukhar Khudahs. It ultimately never recovered from the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana.
Beautiful murals have been recovered from the palace area, dated to the 8th century CE. They show a king and his retinue riding elephants and fighting tigers and monstruous beasts.
Varahsha mural from the red room of the Palace. Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan.
Varahsha, Relief of a hunter, 5th-7th century CE. State Museum of History of Uzbekistan
- Azarpay, Guitty; Belenickij, Aleksandr M.; Maršak, Boris Il'ič; Dresden, Mark J. Sogdian Painting: The Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art. University of California Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-520-03765-6.
- Starr, S. Frederick. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-0-691-16585-1.
- Azarpay, Guitty; Belenickij, Aleksandr M.; Maršak, Boris Il'ič; Dresden, Mark J. Sogdian Painting: The Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art. University of California Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-520-03765-6.
- "A painting on the palace - wall at Varaksha shows a king hunting a tiger riding on elephant back along with his retenue" in Kumāra, Braja Bihārī. India and Central Asia: Classical to Contemporary Periods. Concept Publishing Company. p. 6. ISBN 978-81-8069-457-8.