Kokand — Asia Travel

kokandKokand is considered to be one of the most iconic cities in Uzbekistan. It is located in the southwest of the Fergana valley, 100 kilometers from the administrative center of the city of Fergana . Being situated in the lower reaches of the Soh River at an altitude of 405 meters above a sea level, Kokand is the second largest city in the Ferghana Valley, with an area at 65 square kilometers and a population of 260 thousand people.
Being based on the fertile lands of the floodplain Syr Darya oasis, Kokand from the ancient times had a huge economic and political significance, as it put together two paths towards the Fergana Valley. The first one was through the mountains into Tashkent (northwest) and the another was through Khujand (western).
There is not a reliable information about when and by whom the town was founded there. However it is broadly known that in the first century AD, several villages were located on the territory of modern Kokand, which having expanded throughout the Silk Road, eventually formed the city.
The first chronicles information telling about Hukand or Havokand, namely this way Kokand city was called those days, are dated X century AD and talk about the rich fertile lands, comfortable caravanserais and beautifully developed crafts of this city.
A very rich history stretching back deep into centuries belongs to Kokand. The city has gone through ups and downs, victories and defeats. Everything happened here: the Arab conquerors, and the Mongol yoke and the endless internecine strife.
The flowering of Kokand began only in the XVIII century, when it became the capital of a powerful khanate, expanded its power to the largest part of the modern Uzbekistan, as well as areas of southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China. During this period the city became the political, cultural and religious center, averaging in its territory within 35 madrassas and 300 mosques. Unfortunately, up to date, the majority of them are already destroyed by the time, devastating earthquake and the Soviet government.
During the existence of the Kokand Khanate, 29 rulers were replaced by, but the last one named Hudoyarhan left the most interesting and remarkable trace in history. He became the ruler in 1845 year at the age of twelve years old. During the period of his reign which was up to 1875 year, he loses his power four times but each time he restores due to his the cunning and cruelty. But in 1975 year, due to economic decline and frequent commotions Hudoyarhan was forced to seek asylum in Russia that had already annexed the part of Turkestan by 1868 year.
Being accompanied by the palace servants, wives and harem, the ruler went to Tashkent, where he could pass state seal and the other trappings of power to the general — governor of Turkestan, thereby he was considered to be resigned. Therefore, in 1876 year the history of the Kokand Khanate that existed during almost 170 years, was finished. And its last Khan fled the revolution of 1917 year, squandered the state treasury and finally died in one of the villages of Afghanistan in poverty and misery.
After the accession of Kokand to the Russian, the city started its fast and rapid development. The European buildings of baked «Nikolaev» bricks formed in the shape of the oriental city. Very soon, Kokand became one of the largest business and financial canters of Turkestan, surpassing even Tashkent city by the number of banks in it.
Today Kokand is a dynamic modern city. It is used to be the centre of chemical, machine building, food and cotton processing industry, with a well-developed social and economic infrastructure. Thus, it all allows us to hope that an increasing number of tourists and visitors will be capable to familiarize themselves with its rich history and wonderful landmarks that survived until our days.