|• Total||91 km2 (35 sq mi)|
|Elevation||476 m (1,562 ft)|
|Area code(s)||+998 6922|
|• Seongnam||South Korea|
Namangan (Uzbek: Namangan/Наманган; Russian: Наманган) is a city in Uzbekistan. It is the administrative, economic, and cultural center of Namangan Province. Namangan is located in the northern edge of the Fergana Valley in north-eastern Uzbekistan. The city is served by Namangan Airport.
The city takes its name from the local salt mines (in Persian نمککان (namak kan) — "a salt mine"). 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. The residents of the ancient city of Akhsikat, which was severely damaged by an earthquake, moved to the then-village of Namangan in 1610. Namangan became a city afterward. On the eve of the Russian invasion in 1867, the town had been a part of the Khanate of Kokand since the middle of the 18th century.
Namangan, like many other cities in the Fergana valley, was originally populated by the Sogdian people, later becoming a Persian 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 speaking city, albeit with a large Tajik minority.
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.
By road Namangan is 290 kilometres (180 mi) east of Tashkent, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) west of Andijan, and about 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Chust. The city is located 1476 feet (450 meters) above sea level. The Qoradaryo and Naryn Rivers join together to form the Syr Darya just outside the southern edge of the city.
Namangan has been an important craft and trade center in the Ferghana Valley since the 17th century. After annexation by the Russians in 1867, cotton production and food processing became the dominant economic activity, as it did in many places in the country. A large number of factories were built in the city during Soviet times. Currently Namangan is a center for light industry, especially in food. There are 36 joint companies and over 400 small and medium enterprises in the city.
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. The city is also home to ten colleges, two vocational schools, two academic lyceums, and 51 general education schools.
The Mulla Kyrgyz Madrasa (Uzbek: Mulla Qirgʻiz madrasasi) was built in 1910 by a local cotton magnate. The Mosque of Ota Valikhan Tura (Uzbek: Ota Valixon toʻra masjidi), built in 1915, is one of the largest in Central Asia, now home to local branch of the Wahabi sect. The Namangan Natural History Museum houses local archaeological finds. The Hadja Amin Kabri Architectural Complex (Uzbek: Xoʻja Amin maqbarasi) has an ornate terra-cotta facade dating from the 18th to 19th century.
About 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Namangan are the Akhsikat ruins, a 1st century settlement on the Syr-Darya River. Formerly capital of Fergana Valley, it was destroyed by the Mongols, rebuilt by the Timurids and abandoned in 1620 after an earthquake.
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