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Shakhrisabz - birthplace of Timur, close to Samarkand
The birthplace of Timur is located at the foot of the Zaravshan and Gissar mountain ranges, in the Kashkadarya region. The well maintained road from Samarkand via Karshi or directly to Termez and hopefully again soon further south into Afghanistan passes through the city, along what used to be part of The Great Silk Road, its link to the sea. This is where Alexander the great’ legions and Timur’s troops moved through. The drive from Samarkand over the Takhtakaracha Pass, from where you get a breath-taking view over the oasis valley, is very picturesque.
Shakhrisabz is translated as “green hill” in reference to the lush nature generated by the area’s continental climate. The name was given by the conquering Arabs in the VIII century who renamed the ancient Kesh, first mentioned in Chinese sources as an important trading point of Baktria and the subsequent Kushanstate.
Initially, the center of anti-Arabic rebellion, later part of Chagatai Ulus under Genghis khan’s son, the city came to fame under Timur, who was born and raised not for from today’s city center. Shakhrisabz’s glory further blossomed when the city became a part of Bukhara Sheibanid Empire in the XVI century. Both court and bourgeoisie demanded the best in fabrics for clothing and interior design and Shakhrisabz’s masters were famed for their embroidery.
Sights of Shakhrisabz
Ak-Saray palace, 1380
Kok Gumbaz Mosque, XIV
Shamshiddin Kulol Mausoleum, XIVc.
Gumbazy-Selidan tomb, XV
Caravanserai Kobu, XV
Dorus-Siadat Complex, XIV
Timur burial vault
Malik Adjar mosque, XV
Chorsu covered marked, XIV
Medival public bath, XIV
For heliskiing or trekking, windsurfing or simply a lakeside barbecue, head to the capital’s resort, the foothills of the western Tian-Shan around Chimgan, 80 kilometers northwest of Tashkent. Once the tsarist general-governor had a house here, the social elite also built summer cottages. The Russian love of winter sports and the Soviet addiction to sanatoria guaranteed Chimgan’s growth.
Marghilan is one of the ancient city of Central Asia. Marghilan in fact came first by a couple of millennia (1st c. BC). Marghilan’s best known son is Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur founder of India’s Mogul Dynasty in the 16th century.
As legend says the name of Marghilan is linked with the invasion of Alexander the Great to Central Asia in the 4th c. BC. Alexander the Great had passed the way from Khojand to Uzgen and back. During that campaign he visited twice the future Marghilan. Local people having known about the Alexander’s visit to the town got prepared to that meeting. Due to the fact that Romans like chicken they met Alexander with bread and chicken. After that treating Alexander asked about this meal and was answered: “Murginon” which meant “Chicken and bread”. From this memorable day the town was named as “Marghilan”.
Since old days Marghilan was famous by its wonderful silk. Via the Great Silk Road traders brought Marghilanian silk to Baghdad, Egypt and Greece. One of the historians of the 10th c. wrote: “the Marghilanian silk costs all Bukhara’s land.
The population of Marghilan is 165000 people. The territory is about 50 sq. km. Marghilan sets 15 km to the north from Ferghana at an altitude 475 m above sea level. Marghilan is the third city in Ferghana region after Ferghana and Kokand. Marghilan is the silk center of Uzbekistan. There are two silk mills. The silk factory “Khan-Atlas” (“Silk for Kings”) is one of the largest enterprises in the CIS. Every day the factory manufactures more than 25 km of national fabric. The process of production is completely mechanized. More than one thousand employees work at this factory. The souvenir factory “Yodgorlik” is the only in Central Asia where original handmade methods of silk production are reminded. There are 270 employees working at that factory and 70% out of them are young women. This mill is famous for its activities outside Uzbekistan. Silk fabric that is manufactured here became one of the best at the international market. Annually over 2000 foreign tourists have their opportunities to be familiarized with the process of “Khan-Atlas” production.
From ancient times Rishtan was famous for its ceramics. There is a deposit of red clay, natural minerals, and mountainous vegetation that is needed for painting process. Rishtan artisans became famous all over the world for their technology of ceramic production. There were more than 30 ceramic workshops in 1900-1910 in Rishtan where 250 artisans worked.
In 1920 they united into a union of ceramic production and in 1970 the Rishtan Ceramic Plant started functioning.
The production of the ceramic plant was represented at international exhibitions and fairs.
Shakhimardan is a picturesque place of Uzbekistan that is situated 55 km to the south from Ferghana. This settlement sits at an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level in the Alay Mountain ridges. There are two mountain rivers Ok-Su and Kok-Su that merge “Shakhimardansay”. An interesting fact that in order to reach this settlement from Ferghana one have to across this river seven times.
In 1930, as a result of handing over the territory of Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan, Shakhimardan became the part of Uzbekistan. That’s why on the way to Shakhimardan one have to pass 12 km of Kadamjai district of Kyrgyzstan.
The history of Shakhimardan is linked with Hazrat Ali visited Shakhimardan settlement and one of his seven graves is possibly situated in this settlement. In Persian Shakhimardan stands for “The commander of People”, this coincides with the name of Hazrat Ali.
In 1920s there was Hazrat Ali Mosque and Mausoleum in the center of Shakhimardan. However, during Soviet Power period it was destroyed. Only after the independence of Uzbekistan in 1993 the Mausoleum of Hazrat Ali was built anew at the same place and its exterior had the same shape.
Shakhimardan during certain period was known as Khamza-Abad, named so in honor of Khamza Khakimzade Niyazi – the poet and the founder of the Uzbek dramatic art. Khamza made a large contribution to the development of the Uzbek poetry, and he devoted his live to the idea of public education. Because of his progressive opinion, Khamza have a lot of enemies among fundamental Islamists. In March of 1929 Khamza at age of 40 was killed in Shakhimardan settlement. In 1960s in his honor the Khamza mausoleum and the museum were built, and in 1989 during the celebration of his 100th birthday a new museum was built and the monument devoted to that talented man opened too.
7 km to the southeast from Shakhimardan, Kullikubon (or Blue Lake) is situated. It arose after a series of big magnitude earthquakes in 1766. The Lake is situated at an altitude of 1724 m above the sea level. The Lake is 170-m long, 60-m wide, and 5-10 m deep. In summer the water temperature rises up to +10+15 degrees Centigrade. A two-km funicular way leads to the Lake. Kullikubon Lake is a beautiful place of nature, and it is a favorite place for recreation of many inhabitants and guests of the Ferghana Valley.
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