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Qo‘qon / Қўқон
|Elevation||409 m (1,342 ft)|
Kokand (Uzbek: Qo‘qon / Қўқон;Persian: خوقند; Chagatai: خوقند; Russian: Коканд) is a city in Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan, at the southwestern edge of the Fergana Valley. The population of Kokand on April 24, 2014[update] was approximately 187,477. The city lies 228 km (142 mi) southeast of Tashkent, 115 km (71 mi) west of Andijan, and 88 km (55 mi) west of Fergana. It is nicknamed "City of Winds", or sometimes "Town of the Boar". Kokand's name derives from the well-known tribal family group of "Kokan" who belong to the Kongrat tribe of Uzbeks.
Kokand is at the crossroads of the two main ancient trade 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 Valley.
Kokand 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 Han Dynasty of China conquered the entire city in the 1st Century B.C. Later, the Tang Empire reconquered the region from Arab Abassids. 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 Kyzylorda 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 1883 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). They sought co-operation from Ataman Dutov and Alash Orda. However their emissary to the Amir of Bukhara achieved little.
- The Palace of Khudayar Khan was built between 1863 and 1874. Upon completion, it was one of the largest and most opulent palaces in Central Asia. Nineteen of its original one hundred and thirteen rooms survive and now host a museum.
- Jummi Mosque (right), a Friday mosque built in 1800-1812, and reopened in 1989, it can hold 10,000 worshipers.
- Amin Beg Madrassah, built in 1813.
- Dakhma-I-Shokhon, a necropolis of the Kokand Khans from the 1830s.
- Khamza Museum, dedicated to Kokand’s Soviet hero Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi.
Education and culture
Islam plays large role in the cultural life of Kokand. A number of madrasah can be found with the city. It is also home to a number of notable hanafi scholars, such as Abdulhafiz Al-Quqoniy and Yorqinjon Qori Al-Quqoniy.
The black market provides nearly 75% of the income generated in the borders of the city. This includes retail, groceries, employment, money exchange, agriculture and manufacturing of many goods. A large part of the population works as small business owners in outdoor markets.
Kokand is a center for the manufacture of fertilizers, chemicals, machinery, and cotton and food products. Over the last two decades, new districts and public buildings have been created in the city as well as many houses, shops, cafes, restaurants and other private sector ventures. Kokand is an education center with one institute, nine colleges and lyceums, and numerous museums.