Since ancient times, people have called the Valley of Fergana the “Golden Valley”, not because there are gold placers here, but because it is a fertile land with favorable climatic conditions, fertile soils, and powerful water streams flowing from mountain ranges.
The bowl-shaped valley is surrounded by spurs of the Tien Shan from the north and the Pamir-Alai mountain system from the south.
One of the largest rivers in Central Asia – the Syrdarya, is formed as a result of the confluence of two rivers: Karadarya and Naryn, rolling their waters through the valley, the area of which is 77.9 thousand square kilometers.
First folks began to inhabit the region as early as the 6th-5th centuries BC. The ancient Persian and ancient Greek chronicles speak of a high culture of development of the region and the chroniclers call it the “Garden of Eden” because of the abundance of flowering gardens.
The ancient Ferghans grew mainly grapes and alfalfa. It was these cultures and horses of special breed that were popular in neighboring countries, especially in China. In turn, the ancient valley inhabitants borrowed sericulture from the Chinese.
The Great Silk Road from China to the countries of the Mediterranean passed through the Ferghana Valley up until the sea route to India was opened in XV century. Since then a gradual decline in the economy and culture began. The final desolation of the region came after the invasion of the hordes of Genghis Khan.
Only in the 16th century did trade relations resume with nomadic peoples. From the 17th century, Ferghana began to trade with the Muscovite state, and as early as 18th century, trade relations began with China, Afghanistan, Khiva and Bukhara.
In 1875, the Ferghana region – the last stronghold of the Kokand Khanate was colonized by the troops of tsarist Russia.
Along with the Russians, the railroad “came” to the region and also cotton growing, horticulture, viticulture and sericulture are becoming highly marketable.
At that period the Fergana Valley, like the entire Central Asia, is becoming a raw material appendage to the Russian textile industry. Only after the civil war were opportunities opened up for the development of production forces as well as the region’s economy.
In connection with the national demarcation carried out in 1924, the territory of the Ferghana Valley was divided between newly formed republics: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The central – most flat part, where the Uzbek population predominates, is attributed to Uzbekistan.
In our time, the agriculture of the Ferghana Valley stands out among other regions of the republic with high culture, productivity and profitability (the basis is cotton growing). The enterprises of the region carry out a full cycle of cotton processing – from cleaning to the production of textile, knitwear and garments. A large section belongs to the mining and metalworking industries.
The Fergana Valley is well known for its oil and gas fields, and Fergana’s oil refinery is the largest in Central Asia.
Early mentions of Kokand date back to the 10th century. Arab travelers-geographers wrote about the small city of Khokand or Khovakand, which was located on the site of present-day Kokand.
Later, it apparently fell into decay and disappeared.
The city arose for the second time in 1732 on the site of the Iski-Kurgan fortress, which appeared in the 18th century.
Having become the capital of the Kokand Khanate, the city became a major commercial and political center not only of the Valley, but of the whole of Central Asia.
Kokand remained an administrative center for some time after the annexation of the khanate to Russia. Part of the city was built up in a European way: the correct layout of the streets, their landscaping, comfortable well-degigned houses. More than 300 mosques and madrasahs (spiritual parochial schools) towered majestically over the bunch of shacks of the poor, and the palace of one of the last Kokand rulers – Khudoyarkhan sparkled with its magnificent luxury.
Rishtan (34km). This ancient settlement is known since the Middle Ages, has always been famous for its pottery. From generation to generation, the secrets of handicraft production of dishes, jugs, vases, etc. are passed on. Products of Rishtan ceramics have been demonstrated more than once at international exhibitions and also exhibited in many museums – wonderful souvenir of the Ferghana Valley.
Tour tour to the Ferghana Valley along the Ferghana Valley.
The city of Fergana is the administrative center of its corresponding Valley (50 km). The city began to build up in 1877 after the annexation of the valley to Russia and was then called “New Margilan”. Then it was renamed to “Skobelev” and became the military-administrative center of the Fergana region.
From the very beginning, the city was properly planned and beautifully landscaped.
Its current name – Fergana it obtained in 1919.
Historical architectural objects
- Madrasah “Norbutai-Biy” (XVIII century);
- Juma Mosque (1st half of the 19th century);
- Mausoleum of “Madarikhan” and “Dahmai – Shakhon” (1st half of the 19th century);
- “Urda” – the palace of the last Kokand Khan Khudoyarkhan (2nd half of the 19th century);
- Visit to the exhibition-sale of ceramic products;
- Museum of local history;
- “Shoda” Mosque (XIX c);
- “Jami” Madrasah (2nd half of the 19th century);
- Mausoleum of “Khojamna – Kabra” or “Khoja Amin” (XVIII century);
- Madrasah “Mulla-Kyrgyz” (XVIII century)
The tour along the Ferghana Valley
The Ferghana Region (viloyat):
Foundation year – 1938
Area – 6.76 thousand km2
Administrative center – the city of Fergana (419 km from Tashkent)
The Valley of Ferghana is unique in its landscape types: here are the dark gray sands of the Central part and the emerald green cotton fields bordered by mulberry trees, high-mountain alpine meadows and snow-covered mountain peaks. Viloyat is located in the south of the Ferghana Valley. In terms of the population density, the area comes second only to Andijan region. A large number of rivers and grandiose irrigation facilities (Southern Fergana, Big Fergana canals and several reservoirs) turned the valley into a heavenly land – the “pearl” of Uzbekistan.
The climate here is the mildest within the region of the republic. Summers with moderate heat (+400С +420С), severe winters usually don’t occur and there is little atmospheric precipitation.
The leading role in agriculture here belongs to cotton growing, but other cultures like beekeeping, sericulture, vegetable growing, and melon growing are also well developed. Animal husbandry specializes in growing meat and dairy cattle. Sheep breeding is developed in the foothill areas.
From the bowels of the region, gas and oil are extracted as well as building sands, limestone, gravel-sand mixtures and cement raw materials.
Industrial enterprises for production of mineral fertilizers and oil refining are widely operating in the region, as well as branches of the national economy such as engineering, chemical, building materials, textile, food, consumer goods.
Higher educational institutions of the region are represented by the State University, branches of some Tashkent universities, and a pedagogical institute.
The Fergana is a “garden-city”. Picturesque alleys of centuries-old plane trees, huge willows and poplars create a semblance of covered galleries with woven crowns on the city streets, supporting the microclimate during the summer heat.
Ferghana was founded in 1877 under the name “New Margilan”. Then in 1907 it was renamed Skobelev, and only in 1919 it began to be called Fergana.
There are no ancient historical monuments here, but its suburbs are known for picturesque places not only in Uzbekistan. Thus in the valley of the Shakhimardansay River on the slopes of the Alai Range, there is a mountain climatic resort (mild climatic conditions, healthy clean air) called “Khamzaabad”.
In the central part of the Altyaryksay river valley, in the foothills of the Alai Range, there is a small town of Chimion, surrounded by greenery of vineyards and orchards. It houses the balneological sanatorium “Chimion” – a well-known health resort in Central Asia (healing mineral springs).
Only 6 km separate Fergana from the ancient city of Margilan. Many centuries ago, the population of the city was engaged in cotton growing and sericulture, which ensured its stable development. Mulberry cocoons processing and silk fabrics production been going on here for a long time. No wonder Margilan is called the “city of silk”. Created by skilled craftsmen, silk fabrics are known all over the world and are in great demand.