Fergana Valley

The Fergana Valley stretches across central Asia forming a crucial part of the northern silk road which historically linked China to the west. With the Tien-Shan mountains to the north and the Gissar-Allai to the south, it is an area of stunning natural beauty and despite the relatively dry climate, the valley boasts green and fertile plains thanks to the Rivers Naryn and Kara Darya, which meet near Namangan to form the Syr Darya.

Throughout history, Fergana Valley has been the object of many territorial battles and its various areas have been occupied by the Achaemenid Empire, the Han Dynasty, the Bactrian Empire and the Samanids. Today it stretches across three former Soviet states, from eastern Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan. As such, it is an area of incomparable cultural and ethnic diversity as well as historical and environmental interest. From cities with stunning architecture to breathtaking scenery to fabulous handmade silks and ceramics, a visit to Fergana Valley is sure to intrigue the intrepid explorer.

The Fergana Valley stretches across central Asia forming a crucial part of the northern silk road which historically linked China to the west. With the Tien-Shan mountains to the north and the Gissar-Allai to the south, it is an area of stunning natural beauty and despite the relatively dry climate, the valley boasts green and fertile plains thanks to the Rivers Naryn and Kara Darya, which meet near Namangan to form the Syr Darya.

Throughout history, Fergana Valley has been the object of many territorial battles and its various areas have been occupied by the Achaemenid Empire, the Han Dynasty, the Bactrian Empire and the Samanids. Today it stretches across three former Soviet states, from eastern Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan. As such, it is an area of incomparable cultural and ethnic diversity as well as historical and environmental interest. From cities with stunning architecture to breathtaking scenery to fabulous handmade silks and ceramics, a visit to Fergana Valley is sure to intrigue the intrepid explorer.

Experiences

Juma Mosque, Kokand

In the city of Kokand stands the beautiful 19th century Juma Mosque. Its colorful minaret with arched portico stretches up more than twenty meters, supported by giant columns made from Indian redwood trees. Today, visitors can enjoy a tour of this mosque-museum, which includes historical artifacts from the city of Kokand and surrounding area.

Khan Palace, Kokand

Khudoyar Khan commissioned this elaborate and stunning architectural marvel in the 19th century to house himself and his family. They were able to enjoy its opulence for just two years before the Russians invaded Kokand and the Khanate fell. The palace boasts seven courtyards and 113 rooms, of which twelve are open to visitors today.

Pottery of Rishtan

The small town of Rishtan is famous around the world for its ceramics due to the high quality clay upon which it is built. In workshops throughout the city, traditional techniques and machinery are used by master craftsmen to produce beautiful, elaborate patterns and the distinctive blue-green glazed pottery which can be bought in the town’s bazaars and markets.

The Blue Lake of Shahimardan

In the south of the Fergana Valley lies the enclave of Shahimardan, in the hills of the Allai Mountains. This town is a shrine to Caliph Hazrat Ali and a popular spot for tourists and pilgrims who take the cable car from the center of town up to Kurbal Kul, a stunning blue alpine lake, set peacefully amidst the mountain peaks.

Yodgorlik Silk Factory, Margilan

Owing to its position on the silk road, silk production has long been a crucial enterprise and source of economy in the Fergana Valley. A visit to the Yodgorlik silk workshop reveals every step of the painstaking process involved in producing the beautiful handmade material, from the filament, which is spun, dyed and finally woven or knotted into yards of gorgeous silk.

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