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Namangan (~200 thousand people)
It is a Regional Centre of Fergana Valley that is far younger its neighbours - Margilan and Andijan. The first references on Namangan are applied to XVI century when a small settlement Namangankan - «salt mine» emerged on land by salt lake.
In 1758 Namangan was already the centre of administrative district (viloyat). In spite of its administrative position, Namangan remained the minor settlement that did not play an eminent role in life of Fergana Valley.
A lack of water significantly prevent economy from growth and development. The water of river Namangansai, flowing from flank of Chatkal ridge, was taken for irrigation and scarcely reached the town.
At the beginning of XIX century channel Yangi-arik was built higher to the north in order to irrigate flats in bell mouth of rivers Patshaata (Chartaksai), Namangansai and Kasansai. Consequently, agriculture, namely cotton-growing, received an impact to development and Namangan turned into important trading handicraft town.
After uniting with Russia Namangan became the main centre of processing the cotton in north part of Fergana Valley. At present Namangan progresses mainly as a centre of light and food industries. Educational establishments of the town are linked to light industry. The streets of the town are sunk in greenery and the Central park of Namangan is regarded to be the largest in Fergana Valley.
The mausoleum of Khodjamni-Kabry (XVIII century) is located close to the market. Uniqueness of mausoleum is its grand portal which has ornament on terracotta tiles and alabaster. The intricate ornament of carving combines well with colored glazed tiles, also the interior decoration is rich and beautiful. The walls are covered with carving and mosaic of colorful tiles. The stripes of different patterns and colour are interrupted by lines of conventionalized Arabic superscriptions, one of which reminds of sophisticated ornament.
On the right bank of river Syr-Darya, southward of road Pap-Chust, the ruins of ancient town Akhsiket rise by 50 metres above the river. In Õ century the town consisted of citadel with a palace and a jail, mosque, bazaar and other structures. It was surrounded by the wall that was not less than 6 kilometres in diameter. In XIII century Akhsiket was the capital of Fergana Valley that is testified by coins, minted in the town. In XVII century it was destroyed by earthquake and the inhabitants migrated to Namangan.
The town Pap is situated on the cone of ejection of river Gavasai. Diggings of numerous mounds in surroundings of the town allowed to find out that Bab (Pap) was a big handicraft centre in Middle Ages where lived substantially pot makers and smiths. Nowadays Pap is the centre of agricultural region. Cotton is grown everywhere and angora goats are bred in this region.