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Kokand – City of Handicrafters

Kokand History

Kokand, one of the oldest towns of Fergana Valley, is situated in the eastern part of Uzbekistan. Early written sources about Kokand date back to the X century. The city was called with various names in different stages of history: “Huvokand”, “Havokand”, “Hokand” standing for “charming”, “lovely”, “scenic”, and “a city on a hillock”.

Firstly, Kokand was a leading trading center, until the Mongol invasion in the XIII century.

Secondly, Kokand, firstly built as a fortress in 1732, became the capital of Kokand Khanate after eight years. Moreover, it was quite powerful in the first half of the XIX century by covering most of today’s Uzbekistan, including Shymkent, Tashkent, part of South Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and partially China. As it had 12 regions in the 19th century, it had 12 gates. Most importantly, at that period Kokand Khanate became one of the religious and educational centers of Central Asian countries.  In fact, there were 15 madrasahs and 540 mosques.

However, by the middle of the XIX century, the Kokand khanate was already weak by internal wars and its opposition to Bukhara. As a result, the Tsar Russia’s invasion began in 1853; Kokand and Bukhara could not unite to fight against the Tsar Russian army. Thus, by 1866 Kokand and all main cities of the Khanate gave up. On 26th Nov 1917 a local administration founded the Turkestan Autonomy Republic to oppose the Soviet colonial government in Tashkent, but it collapsed by power after 73 days in 1918.

Nowadays Kokand has textile, food, engineering, and chemical plants and is the main transport junction in the Fergana Valley with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and China.

Handicrafts Festival in Kokand

Kokand handicraft also has its own history, methods, and traditions. Today, about 30 types of national handicrafts (copper chasing, weaving, painting, ornamental carving, etc.) have become widespread in the city. In our beautiful city, almost 400 craftsmen ensure the transfer of crafts – the heritage of fathers and grandfathers to the next generation.

The International Festival of Folk Applied Arts, which takes place every two years in Kokand starting from 2019, is also historic. Because, according to the decision of the World Crafts Council of July 23, 2019, Kokand received the status of the “World City of Craftsmen”. Until today, 36 cities in the world have gained this status. Kokand was the first among the cities of the CIS to get into this list.

Kokand tourist sights

Tourism in Kokand is developing. There are more than 10 hotels and 100 guesthouses functioning nowadays.

Kokand’s historical monuments mostly belong to XVIII and XIX centuries and they have survived well.

Main excursion sights of Kokand tour:

  • Khudayar Khan Palace (XIX century);
  • Jami Mosque – a Friday mosque (XIX centuries);
  • Modari Khan Mausoleum (XIX century);
  • Norbutabiy Madrasah (XVIII century);
  • Emir Madrasah (XVIII century);
  • Dakhma-i-Shokhon, a necropolis of the Kokand Khans (XIX century);
  • Khamza Museum;
  • Mukimiy Museum;
  • Kokand Regional Studies Museum;
  • Craft workshops;
  • Yangi-Chorsu Bazaar.