The word "zindan" is the Persian word for "prison" or "dungeon". In Bukhara, there were only 2 prisons: first one was inside the fortress of Ark, and the second one was near Shahristan gate built in the XVIII century. There were cells, chambers and deep pits in the Bukhara zindan for prisoners who had debts or who did not exercise religious practices. The terrible fate was prepared for them - a deep pit full of scorpions and poisonous beetles. In such conditions, they could stay alive for about 3 days.
The famous prison had a small size and housed about forty people. It is rather low in view of the standards of that time, which demonstrate the low crime rate in the city. The local authorities were made considerable contribution to this by promoting the healthy social life and not a classical intimidation of the people by all the "adversities" of the prison. The rulers of Bukhara did not try to frighten, on the contrary they actively participated in the life of the people and tried to prevent the emergence of crimes.
Nowadays, there is a museum with imitated prison atmosphere in Bukhara zindan. It demonstrates the mannequins of prisoners, as well as instruments of torture. The museum has a full information on how the cases were conducted in Bukhara in the XIX century. Numerous tourists descend into the old dungeon with curiosity, inspect its contents, immerse in the ancient foundations, and come out surprised and touched by what they saw.