Fergana

Fergana, city in eastern Uzbekistan, at the southern edge of the Fergana Valley. Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and about 75 km west of Andijan. Fergana has been a center for oil production in the Fergana Valley since the region"s first oil refinery was built near the city in 1908. Since then more refineries have been added, and Fergana is one of the most important centers of oil production and refining in Uzbekistan. Natural gas from western Uzbekistan is transported by pipeline to the valley, where it is used to produce fertilizer. The Fergana Valley was the most important irrigated-cotton region of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Cotton growing and processing has been the dominant economic activity here for centuries, supplied by water from small streams flowing from the surrounding mountains. The Great Fergana Canal, built almost entirely by hand during the 1930s, passes through the northern part of the city. Fergana was founded as a garrison town by the Russians after they captured the khanate of Kokand. It was first named New Margelan (Margelan is an old Islamic town nearby), then renamed Skobelev in 1907 after the Russian in charge of the capture of Kokand. It has been called Fergana since 1924. Population (1994) 191,000 - Norbutabek Madrassah and Dasturkhanchi Madrassah-North from Khamza’s museum, turn down Nabiyev St. for the Norbutabek Madrassah, a plain but imposing seminary built under Khan Norbuta in 1796 and completed in 1799. Unique among Kokand’s religious institutions, the madrassah functioned in the Soviet era. Teachers of Arabic and the Koran inhabit eight rooms in the main façade. Only male Muslim visitors may enter the inner courtyard of 36 study cells for up to 200 male students, aged from 15 to 25. Female tourists (even non-Muslim) can experience a girl’s Islamic education at a nearby girl’s madrassah, the Dasturkhanchi. Built (for men) in 1833, it was restored this century and in 1992 opened its doors to 60 girls aged from 15 to 20. Traditional textual studies are augmented with lessons in domesticity and embroidery. Take the lane opposite Nabiyev St to 20 Tinchlik St. Follow the twisting paths on past mud-walled houses and small parish mosques, to return to Mukimi Park.

Jome mosque
South from Mukimi Park along Turkestan (ex-Lenin) Street, the road forks beside the Ghuldasta teahouse to cross the Kokand canal bridge once divided old and new Kokand. Khamza street runs through this former heart of Muslim learning. The chief survivor is the Jome Mosque, the khanate’s main mosque for Friday worship. Built by Omar Khan between 1809 and 1812 as a magnified version of the rural Fergana design, it was shut in Soviet times and reopened after restoration in 1989. Non-Muslims may request a gateway glimpse of the vast courtyard beyond, a 22-metre minaret and the mosque’s highlight, a 100-meter (30-foot) long iwan, supported by 98 wooden columns from India and decorated in diverse color and carving of traditional Fergana architecture. Nearby is the Amin Beg Madrassah, built for one of Madali’s sons in 1830, but often named after Khomol Khozi, the 1913 restorer responsible for the ornamental façade of colored tiles. The madrassah accepts 40 students a year since its religious revival in 1991. Among a host of neighbors were madrassah built by Omar’s mother, Modari Khan, and Khudayar’s brother, Murad Beg. The ornate wooden gate to Hakim Ayin’s madrassah lies within her son’s palace.

Khudayar khan"s palace
Khudayar Khan’s palace – the citadel palace of Khudayar Khan of Kokand called Urda, different from the Bukharan Ark, was built from 1863 to 1873 with 19 rooms that survived the original 113. The khanate’s main mosque for Friday worship is the Juma Mosque, built between 1809 and 1812 by Omar Khan and has a 100-meter long avian (verandah), supported by 98 wooden columns from India. Nearby is the Amin Beg Madrassah that can house 40 students. The Norbutabey Madrassah – the plain but imposing seminary built under Khan Norbuta in 1796 and completed in 1799 can be visited by male Muslim visitors only. Female tourists, even non-Muslim, can experience the Dasturkhanchi Madrassah for girls. The royal cemetery holds the Modari Khan mausoleum built in 1825 for the mother of Omar akhan and other female royals and the Dakhma-i-Shakhon (the Grave of kings) Mausoleum.

Kokand
The city Kokand is located in the western part of Fergana Valley and also is one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan. It is located on the altitude of 405m above the sea level in 100 km from the city Fergana. The population is 180 thousand people. It is the second largest city of Fergana Valley and one of the cultural and industrial centers. The great influence on the developing of the city had the Great Silk Road crossing the territory of Fergana Valley. The first written evidences of the city existence are met in the scrolls of 10th century. In 1706 - 1876 Kokand was the capital of Kokand Khanate. Except Bukhara and Khiva Khanates the territory of Kokand Khanate included a large part of the present Uzbekistan, part of southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan and southern China. It was a big and powerful empire, which was under the lots of rulers during the period of its existence. In 1876 due to the agreement with Russia the Khan of Kokand was given the equal writes with Russia. It was the end of Kokand Khanate existing nearly 170 years.

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