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The fertile Ferghana Valley is situated to the north - east of Uzbekistan, bordering on Kirgizstan and Tajikistan. The valley resembles that of an enormous bowl framed by mountain ridges. Having a milder climate gave Ferghana the edge to produce some very famous fruits and pomegranates. Besides the agricultural aspects, Ferghana valley is also famous for producing delicate hand painted pottery and glasses as gifts and souvenirs. It is also widely known for its local man - made fabric made of silk, like khon - atlas.
The city of Ferghana, formerly named as Skobelev, was founded slightly over a century ago. It is one of the modern centers in Uzbekistan. Ferghana is a green with streets lined with shady plane trees, poplars and acacias and numerous parks and gardens with flower beds and fountains. The monument to Ahmad Al - Fargani, a great 10th century astronomer, geographer and mathematician, best known in Europe as Alfraganus, is in the centre of the central park of the city.
Situated 12 km from Ferghana, is Margilan city. In 2007 the city celebrated its 2000 year anniversary. This city was very famous for producing silks and carpets in times unmemorable. Margilan caravans would carry the silks and carpets through the Great Silk Road, to Arab countries and Europe. Today, Margilan has one of the country’s largest silk factories targeted for the international market.
The ancient village of Rishtan on the way from Margilan to Kokand is famous for its hand painted blue pottery works. Their jugs, plates and teapots are made of a special kind of clay and it rings like a bell every time at the flick of a finger. Large plates called «lagans», deep cups called «shokosa», water - jugs, vessels for milk decorated with glaze ornament «ishkor» of unforgettable turquoise and ultramarine colors, have made the Rishtan’s masters famous at many international exhibitions, they decorate the expositions of many world museums and private collections.
One of the cultural centers of Ferghana Valley is the town of Kokand. Kokand has always been the major city of Fergana Valley. At first the town was known as “Khavokand”, which in translation stands for “beautiful” and also “the town of wind”, then it was called “Khukand, and later - “Kukon”.
According to historical data, Kokand was founded in the 10th century. In the 13th century it was destroyed by the Mongols and later it was restored again. In the 17th century Kokand was the capital city of the Kokand Khanate, one of the three Uzbek khanates. The Kokand Khanate had expanded its power to the most part of Uzbekistan’s current territory, including Tashkent city, and the territory of neighboring states. The khanate was the first to be eliminated by the tsarist army in1876. The city of Kokand was also a large religious center. In the years of prosperity there were thirty five madrasahs and one hundred mosques in the city.
City of Namangan, homeland of Mashrab, famous Uzbek poet has a unique place in the ring of cities and towns of Fergana Valley. Ruins of the ancient city of Aksikent are located not far from Namangan. Archeological researches showed that the city had citadel and strong fortress walls. Trade and handicraft production were well developed here. From X to XIII centuries Aksikent was the capital of Fergana Valley. But then it was destroyed by Mongols, and in XVII century - by strongest earthquake. In 1875 Namangan accessed to Russia. At the same time the new city was founded under regular plan. It was separated from the old city by the fortress, from which radial streets branched apart according to established order. In early XX century Namangan was the second biggest city by population and it was the center of cotton processing in Fergana Valley. At the same time the cult buildings such as Khodji Amin mausoleum, Mullo Kyrgyz madrasah and others were built and they are preserved to our days.
City of Andijan, homeland of Zahiriddin Babur, poet and author of famous «Baburname» epos, commander, statesman who conquered India and founded the Great Moguls’ Empire is situated near to Namangan. By age Andijan is one of the most ancient cities of Fergana Valley. Ancient city of Markhamat, capital of the ancient state of Davan - «Ershi», which was famous for fast horses, is located in 30 kilometers from the contemporary city. From this ancient city such horses were delivered to the courts of Chinese emperors as precious jewels. In IX and X centuries Andijan became the possession of Samanids. In XV century the Temurid Babur was Andijan’s ruler.
In 1902 Andijan suffered from strong earthquake, and the city was practically built anew. Among the monuments of past centuries only Djami madrasah was preserved. Today Andijan is one of the largest industrial centers of Uzbekistan. Joint Uzbek - Korean venture for production of cars, which has recently been purchased by general Motors, was built here. There is a machinery plant, cotton mill, textile factory in Andijan. The city is surrounded with fruit gardens, cotton and wheat fields.
Kuva is also one of the most ancient towns of Fergana Valley. Remains of city buildings of III century BC were found in the ancient town of Kuva. Buddha temple of VI - VIII AD were researched and excavated on the territory of ancient town.
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