Kokand

Kokand  is a city in Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan, at the southwestern edge of the Fergana Valley. It has a population of 192,500 (1999 census estimate). Kokand is 228 km southeast of Tashkent, 115 km west of Andijan, and 88 km west of Fergana. It is nicknamed “City of Winds”, or sometimes “Town of the Boar".

Kokand is on the crossroads of the ancient trade routes, at the junction of two main routes into the Fergana Valley, one leading northwest over the mountains to Tashkent, and the other west through Khujand. As a result, Kokand is the main transportation junction in the Fergana ValleyHistoryKokand has existed since at least the 10th century, under the name of Khavakend and was frequently mentioned in traveler’s accounts of the caravan route between India and China. The Mongols destroyed Kokand in the 13th century.

The present city began as a fort in 1732 on the site of another older fortress called Eski-Kurgan. In 1740, it became the capital of an Uzbek kingdom, the Khanate of Kokand, which reached as far as Qyzylorda to the west and Bishkek to the northeast. Kokand was also the major religious center of the Fergana Valley, boasting more than 300 mosques.Russian imperial forces under Mikhail Skobelev captured the city in 1876 which then became part of Russian Turkistan. It was the capital of the short-lived (1917–18) anti-Bolshevik Provisional Government of Autonomous Turkistan (also known as Kokand Autonomy).

Tourist sights - Palace of Khudayar Khan – built 1863-1873, one of the largest & most opulent palaces in Central Asia. 19 of  the original 113 rooms survive, and are now a museum.  - Jummi Mosque – a Friday mosque built in 1800-1812, and reopened in 198, it can hold 10,000 worshippers.  - Amin Beg Madrassah – built in 1813  - Dakhma-I-Shokhon – necropolis of the Kokand Khans from the 1830s  - Khamza Museum – dedicated to Kokand’s foremost Soviet hero, Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi (1889-1929), Bolshevik propagandist, first national poet of Soviet Uzbekistan and founder of Soviet Uzbek literature.  

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