Preparing a tour in Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan: what to do?
Fergana city is the capital of Fergana province of Uzbekistan, located in Fergana Valley. The Uzbek part of the valley has two other provinces, Namangan and Andijan. Other parts of the valley belong to Kyrgyzstan (Osh) and Tajikistan (Khujand ). This area was described in Chinese chronicles in 3rd century BC as a prosperous and florishing valley, through which caravans were carrying goods along the Great Silk Road.
Now, it is a European-style city, with broad tree-shaded streets, busy avenues and colonial buildings, mainly of Soviet time. In recent years of Independence, many new parks and squares emerged in Fergana, a popular place of entertainment for locals and youth.
Rishtan is a small traditional Uzbek rural city, with a major portion of Tajik population, located 50 km away from Fergana. Since ancient times, it is known as a center of ceramic production, and secrets of the craft are kept carefully in families of Rishtan. The local ceramics features blue, green and turquoise colors, which are derived from natural components, such as minerals from nearby mountains, local herbs and plants, and the famous red clay that is produced locally.
Kokand is an ancient city, which had different names during its history, such as Khavakend, and was destroyed by the Mongol invasion. It is favourably located at the foot of the mountain Alay range separating Fergana Valley from the rest of Maverannahr, and was the entrance city for all Silk Road caravans. Same geographic location was the reason for all invaders to come through this city to reach wealthy plains in the West. An opulent palace of Khudayar Khan is the most outstanding monument to see in Kokand.