Khanate of Kokand

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Khanate of Kokand
خانات خوقند
Qo'qon Xonligi


Flag of Kokand

The Khanate of Kokand (green), c. 1850.
Capital Kokand
Languages Persian (official)[1]
Religion Allah-green.svg Sunni Islam
Government Monarchy
 -  1709-1721 Shahrukh Biy
 -  1875-1876 Nasr ad-Din Abdul Karin Khan
 -  Established 1709
 -  Disestablished 1876
Today part of  Kyrgyzstan
Khan's Palace, Kokand.

The Khanate of Kokand (Persian: خانات خوقند‎; Uzbek: Qo'qon Xonligi) was a state in Central Asia that existed from 1709–1876 within the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan, eastern Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and southeastern Kazakhstan. The name of the city and the khanate is also often spelled as Khoqand in modern scholarly literature.


The Khanate of Kokand was established in 1709 when the Shaybanid emir Shahrukh of the Minglar Uzbeks declared independence from the Khanate of Bukhara, establishing a state in the eastern part of the Fergana Valley. He built a citadel to be his capital in the small town of Kokand, thus starting the Khanate of Kokand.

His son Abd al-Karim and grandson Narbuta Beg enlarged the citadel. However, both Abd al-Karim and Narbuta Beg were forced to submit as protectorate and pay tribute to the Qing dynasty in China between 1774 and 1798.

From Kokand, Jahangir Khoja, with the support of Tajiks, Kyrgyz, and White Mountain fighters seized Kashgar in 1826 he captured several hundred Chinese Muslims, who were taken to the Kokand slave markets. Tajiks bought two Chinese slaves from Shaanxi, they enslaved for a year before being returned by the Tajik Beg Ku-bu-te to China.[2] All Chinese captured, both Muslim merchants and the 300 soldiers Janhangir captured in Kashgar had their queues cut off when brought to Kokand and Central Asia as prisoners.[3][4] It was reported that many of the Chinese Muslim (tungan or hui) taken prisoner became slaves, accounts of Chinese Muslim slaves in Central Asia increased.[5][6] The queues were removed from Chinese Muslim prisoners and then sold or given to various owners, one of them, Nian, ended up as a slave to Prince Batur Khan of Bukhara, Omar Khan ended up possessing Liu Qifeng and Wu Erqi, the others, Zhu, Tian Li, and Ma Tianxi ended up in various owners but plotted an escape.[7] The Russians record an incident where they rescued these Chinese Muslim merchants who escaped, after they were sold by Jahangir's Army in Central Asia, and sent them back to China.[8] Slave raiders from Khoqand did not distinguish between Hui Muslim and Han chinese, enslaving any Chinese they could in Xinjiang.[9]

Narbuta Beg’s son Alim was both ruthless and efficient. He hired a mercenary army of Tajik highlanders, and conquered the western half of the Fergana Valley, including Khujand and Tashkent. He was assassinated by his brother Omar in 1809. Omar’s son, Mohammed Ali (Madali Khan) ascended to the throne in 1821 at the age of 12. During his reign, the Khanate of Kokand reached its greatest territorial extent. In 1841, the British officer Captain Arthur Conolly failed in an effort to persuade the various khanates to put aside their differences, in an attempt to counter the growing penetration of the Russian Empire into the area. He left Kokand for Bukhara in an ill-fated attempt to rescue fellow officer Colonel Charles Stoddart in November 1841 and both were executed on June 24, 1842 by the order of Emir Nasrullah of Bukhara.[10]

Madali Khan, who had received Conolly in Kokand and who had also sought an alliance with Russia, had lost the trust of Emir Nasrullah Khan of Bukhara. Hence, Emir Nasrullah Khan, encouraged by the conspiratorial efforts of influential figures of Kokand (including the commander in chief of its army), invaded Kokand in 1842 and shortly thereafter executed Madali Khan, his brother, and Omar Khan's widow, the famed poetess Nadira. Madali Khan’s cousin, Shir Ali, was installed as the Khan of Kokand in June 1842.[11] Over the next two decades, the khanate was weakened by bitter civil war and further inflamed by Bukharan and Russian incursions. Shir Ali’s son Khudayar khan ruled from 1845 to 1858, and, after another interlude under Emir Nasrullah, again from 1865. In the meantime, Russia was continuing its advance. On June 28, 1865 Tashkent was taken by Russian troops of General Chernyayev; loss of Khujand followed in 1867.

Shortly before the fall of Tashkent, Kokand’s most famous son, Yakub Beg, former lord of Tashkent, was sent by the then ruler of Kokand, Alimgul, to Kashgar, then in rebellion against the Chinese. As Alimqul was killed in 1867, and Tashkent was lost, many other Kokandian soldiers fled to join Yaqub Beg, helping him establish his dominion throughout the Tarim Basin until 1877.

Entrance to the Palace of Khudayar Khan

In 1868, a commercial treaty turned Kokand into a Russian vassal state. The now powerless Khudayar Khan spent his energies improving his lavish palace. Western visitors were impressed by the city of 80,000 people, with some 600 mosques and 15 madrasahs. Insurrections against Russian rule and Khudayar’s oppressive taxes forced Khudayar into exile in 1875. He was succeeded by his son Nasir ad-din Abdul Karim Khan, whose anti-Russian stance provoked the annexation of Kokand (after fierce fighting for 6 months with Russian forces) by Generals Konstantin Petrovich Von Kaufman and Mikhail Skobelev. In March 1876 Tsar Alexander II stated that he had been forced to "yield to the wishes of the Kokandi people to become Russian subjects." The Khanate of Kokand was declared abolished, and incorporated into the Fergana Province of Russian Turkestan. Nasir ad-din Abdul Karim Khan fled to India through the Pamirs and Afghanistan. He died in 1893 in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan.[citation needed]

Altun Bishik[edit]

The Khans of Kokand had a connection with the Timurids (ruled 1370–1506). From the time of the last Timurids to that of the first Khans of Kokand there was a period of more than two hundred years. The Khans genealogy was connected with Babur through a legendary figure, “Altun Bishik”. In the legend, a baby of Babur's family was left in a bishik (cradle) when Babur fled prosecution, making for the limits of Transoxiana. The child was named Altun Bishik, after its imperial cradle, and in the legend he ostensibly lived from 918-952 AH / 1512-1545 AD. Even in historical sources, he has appeared as a historic figure. In the legend of this baby began the Khans of Kokand. The legend in various versions has resulted in manuscripts on Kokand historical writings, since the beginning of the 19th century.

Khans of Kokand (1709-1876)[edit]

The borders of the Russian imperial territories of Khiva, Bukhara and Kokand in the time period of 1902-1903.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chahryar Adle, Irfan Habib (2003), History of Civilizations of Central Asia: Development in contrast , p.81
  2. ^ James A. Millward (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-8047-2933-8. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  3. ^ James A. Millward (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-8047-2933-8. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  4. ^ James A. Millward (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-8047-2933-8. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  5. ^ Laura Newby (2005). The Empire and the Khanate: a political history of Qing relations with Khoqand c. 1760-1860. BRILL. p. 97. ISBN 978-90-04-14550-4. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  6. ^ John King Fairbank (1978). The Cambridge History of China: Late Chʻing, 1800-1911, pt. 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 371. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  7. ^ James A. Millward (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-8047-2933-8. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  8. ^ James A. Millward (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-8047-2933-8. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  9. ^ W. G. Clarence-Smith (2006). Islam and the abolition of slavery. Oxford University Press US. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-19-522151-0. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  10. ^ Howorth, p. 801
  11. ^ Dubavitski and Bababekov, pp. 31-33


  • "The Muslim World"; Part III, "The Last Great Muslim Empires": Translation and Adaptations by F.R.C. Bagley. (Originally published 1969). Brill Academic Publishers, ISBN 978-90-04-02104-4.
  • Beisembiev T. K. Kokandskaia istoriografiia : Issledovanie po istochnikovedeniiu Srednei Azii XVIII-XIX vekov. Almaty, TOO "PrintS", 2009, 1263 pp., ISBN 978-9965-482-84-7.
  • Beisembiev T. "Annotated indices to the Kokand Chronicles". Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Studia Culturae Islamica. № 91, 2008, 889 pp., ISBN 978-4-86337-001-2.
  • Beisembiev T. "The Life of Alimqul: A Native Chronicle of Nineteenth Century Central Asia". Published 2003. Routledge (UK), 280 pages, ISBN 978-0-7007-1114-7.
  • Beisembiev T.K. "Ta'rikh-i SHakhrukhi" kak istoricheskii istochnik. Alma Ata: Nauka, 1987. 200 p. Summaries in English and French.
  • Beisembiev T.K. "Legenda o proiskhozhdenii kokandskikh khanov kak istochnik po istorii ideologii v Srednei Azii (na materialakh sochinenii kokandskoi istoriografii)". Kazakhstan, Srednjaja i Tsentralnaia Azia v XVI-XVIII vv. Alma-ata, 1983, pp. 94–105
  • Dubavitski, Victor and Bababekov, Khaydarbek, in S. Frederick Starr, ed., Ferghana Valley: The Heart of Central Asia, pp. 31–33.
  • Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle. History of the Mongols: From the 9th to the 19th Century, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp. 795–801,816-845.
  • Nalivkine V. P. Histoire du Khanat de Khokand. Trad. A.Dozon. Paris, 1889.
  • Nalivkin V. "Kratkaia istoria kokandskogo khanstvа". Istoria Srednei Azii. A.I.Buldakov, S.A.Shumov, A.R.Andreev (eds.). Moskva, 2003, pp. 288–290.
  • Vakhidov Sh.Kh. ХIХ-ХХ asr bāshlarida Qoqān khānligida tarikhnavislikning rivājlanishi. Tarikh fanlari doktori dissertatsiyasi. Tāshkent, 1998, pp. 114–137.
  • Aftandil S.Erkinov. "Imitation of Timurids and Pseudo-Legitimation: On the origins of a manuscript anthology of poems dedicated to the Kokand ruler Muhammad Ali Khan (1822–1842)". <> GSAA Online Working Paper No. 5 [1]
  • Aftandil S.Erkinov. "Les timourides, modeles de legitimite et les recueils poetiques de Kokand". Ecrit et culture en Asie centrale et dans le monde Turko-iranien, XIVe-XIXe siècles // Writing and Culture in Central Asia and in the Turko-Iranian World, 14th-19th Centuries. F.Richard, M.Szuppe (eds.), [Cahiers de Studia Iranica. 40]. Paris: AAEI, 2009, pp. 285–330.
  • Scott Levi. "Babur’s Legacy and Political Legitimacy in the Khanate of Khoqand." to be submitted to the Journal of Asian Studies.

External links[edit]