Fergana valley — Asia Travel

ferganaFerghana Valley is considered to be a unique and relict site in Central Asia. Nearly completely closed by mountains, a vast tectonic depression in shape which resembles an ellipse, has an area of more than 22 thousand square kilometers and lies at an altitude of 300 meters in the west and up to 1000 meters in the east towards to a sea level. Surrounded by mountains of Tien Shan and the Hissar-Alai Range, only in the west it has a narrow passage (which is now occupied by Karakkum reservoir), that leads to the Hunger Steppe.
The height of mountain ranges, which like the guards stand up at the boundaries of the Ferghana valley is up to 6 thousand miles in some places.
Two major waterways (the Syr Darya and Naryn) crossing this land of plenty and many creeks that feed on snow and glaciers of the Alai Range, are in a hurry to share the life-giving moisture with a beautiful oasis. Nature generously endowed this region. Ferghana Valley is able to boast with all kinds of landscapes, from semi-desert, riparian systems, and cultural farming on the plains, up to alpine meadows and snow caps the mountain peaks.
It is the namely place where the mildest climate in Uzbekistan is used to be. An average July temperature ranges from + 23 to +28 degrees Celsius and January from — 1 to -2.5 degrees. After a brief winter, cherry, peach, plum, apricot trees are in the whole blossom already in March.
Bowels of the earth of the valley are a real depository of the minerals.
On the outskirts of the oasis and in the surrounding mountains rich deposits of oil, coal and gas, iron, copper and polymetallic ores, antimony, sulfur, mercury, building sand, limestone, rock salt were found.
It is impossible to overestimate the role of the Ferghana valley in the history and culture of Central Asia. It is known that information about the state of Davan, located in this oasis, was already included in the very first Chinese chronicles. From them it becomes clear that this was a rich, economically strong country with a highly developed agriculture, livestock and crafts. Relatively little number of population living in cities and towns (about 70), was actually managed by a board of elders, at its discretion, displacing older and appointed new governors.
Inhabitants, living in the country, were mainly engaged in agriculture, specializing in the cultivation of wheat, rice and alfalfa. Viticulture and Winemaking of the locals of the valley were famous far beyond its borders too. A special point of the economy was horse breeding, the well-known Davan «argamaks” were very in a great demand at the court of the Emperor of China.
Later, in the Middle Ages, the valley became one of the leading region of Movarounnahr.
The traces of the ancient settlements and medieval monuments still keep reminding to the descendants of the glorious past of the Ferghana Valley.
In the XVIII-XIX-th centuries the oasis was the core of the Kokand Khanate. In 1876 year it was annexed by the Russian Empire.
Since 1924 year Ferghana region became the part of the Uzbek SSR.
The Ferghana Valley of nowadays consists of three regions of Uzbekistan: Andijan, Ferghana and Namangan, as well as small areas of neighboring countries — Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
In Uzbekistan, it is considered to be the most populous district, the territory of which is a home to nearly a third of the total population of the whole country.
The bulk of the inhabitants, as it was before, is engaged in agriculture. Irrigated lands are cultivated for crops of cotton and rice. A great demand of arable crops, abundant gardens, orchards, plantations and vineyards are located in the foothills. The desert plains are used for a whole year-round grazing of livestock.
Ferghana valley is rightly proud of its famous cities, even the names of which sound like a magical music from the «Thousand and One Nights”: Andijan, Ferghana, Margilan, Namangan, Kokand, Shakhimardan etc.
And despite the glaring signs of civilization, the grateful people still honor the customs and traditions of their ancestors of the outgoing centuries, carefully preserving the memory of the history and culture of cities and regions, disintegrated throughout the Ferghana valley like precious pearls on a warm hand of the blessed region.