|• Total||91 km2 (35 sq mi)|
|Elevation||476 m (1,562 ft)|
|• Seongnam||South Korea|
Namangan (Uzbek: Namangan / Наманган; Russian: Наманган) is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan (2011 pop. 449,200). It is the capital of Namangan Province, in the northern edge of Fergana Valley of north-eastern Uzbekistan.
Namangan is about 300 km east of Tashkent, about 65 km west of Andijan, and about 75 km north of Fergana. It is located 1561 feet (476 meters) above sea level. The Qoradaryo and Naryn Rivers join together to form the Syr Darya just outside the southern edge of the city.
The city takes its name from the local salt mines (in Persian: نمککان namak kan).. Namangan, like other cities in the Fergana valley, was originally populated by the Sogdian people, later becoming a Persian/Tajik speaking city. The influx of the Turkic people into the region starting in late medieval times led to gradual turkification of the region and the city. However, until the middle of the 19th century, Namangan still had a Tajik majority. Today, the city is an Uzbek/Turkic speaking city, albeit with a large Persian speaking Tajik minority. To the immediate north of the city, in the valleys of Kasansai and the ancient town of Akhsikat/Akhsikath/Akhsi, the population is still Tajik and Persian speaking. In fact, Akhsikat is the most northerly Persian speaking town in the world. The rise of Namangan was due primarily to the hard earthquake that largely destroyed Akhsikat, leading to its surviving population moving down river to Namangan.
Politically, Namangan became a part of the Uyghur Empire of the Karakhanid State and was known to have been a settlement in the 15th century. On the eve of the Russian invasion in 1867, the town was a part of the Khanate of Kokand since the middle of the 18th century. At the time of the Russian occupation, Namangan was a center of Islamic learning, with 20 madrassahs and over 600 mosques. After annexation by the Russians in 1867, cotton production and food processing became the dominant economic activity. Namangan was hit by a destructive earthquake in 1926. The primary language of the people of the Namangan region is Uzbek; Tajik is dominant particularly in Chust, Akhsikat and Kasan-sai districts.
Since Uzbekistan's independence in 1991, Namangan has gained a reputation for Islamic revivalism, with many mosques and schools funded by charity organizations from Middle Eastern countries, including the conservative Wahhabi sect from Saudi Arabia. This has also translated into political opposition against the secular government of Uzbekistan. Some women have discarded traditional colorful scarves for large white veils or even the black paranja.
Higher education in Namangan
There are three higher education institutions in Namangan city - Namangan State University, Namangan Engineering Pedagogical Institute, and Namangan Engineering Technological Institute. Namangan State University is the largest, oldest and highest ranked of the three within the country.
Main tourist sites
- Mullo Kyrgyz Madrasseh – built in 1910
- Mosque of Ota Valikhan Tur – built in 1915, and one of the largest in Central Asia; now home to local branch of the Wahabi sect
- Namangan Natural History Museum – housing local archaeological discoveries
- Hadja Amin Kabri Architectural Complex – ornate terra-cotta facade from the 18th to 19th century
- Akhsykent ruins – 1st century settlement 25 km west of Namangan, on the Syr-Darya River. Formerly capital of Fergana Valley, it was destroyed by the Mongols, rebuilt by the Timurids and abandoned in the 17th century for Namangan after an earthquake.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2012)|