Tashkent ( Russian: Ташкент , literally "Stone City") is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan.
It is an ancient city on the Great Silk Road from China to Europe. Little remains of the ancient city after the 1966 earthquake and earlier modernisation work following the 1917 revolution. Tashkent remains a Soviet-era city that has little remaining from its ancient Central Asian past. The city has a mixture of modern new office buildings, hotels, parks, and crumbling Soviet-style apartment blocks. The streets are generally clean and there are not too many potholes in the city centre. Further out, the infrastructure is not so good.
Over the last few years the Uzbek government has embarked on a major reconstruction program in the centre of the city. Roads, government buildings and parks are all being reconstructed (many historical buildings and sites are bulldozed in process). To the visitor, the new city looks very impressive, although many of the local residents have yet to see any improvement in their residential areas.
Tashkent is waiting for a boom. The infrastructure, hotels, and shops are there but the influx of people and business has failed to materialise. This is caused in part by a combination of government policy and bad publicity.
Tashkent has a population of 2.3 million people (2012).
|POPULATION :||City: 2,309,600|
|TIME ZONE :||(UTC+5)|
|LANGUAGE :||Uzbek , Russian|
|RELIGION :||Muslim 72% (mostly Sunnis), Eastern Orthodox 25%, other 3%|
|AREA :||334.8 km2 (129.3 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||41°16′N 69°13′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.74% |
• Female: 50.26%
|ETHNIC :||Uzbeks 63%, Russians 20%, Tatars 4.5%, Koreans 2.2%, Tajiks 2.1%, Uighurs 1.2%, Other 7%|
|AREA CODE :||71|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+998 71|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Due to the destruction of most of the ancient city during the 1917 revolution and, later, to the 1966 earthquake, little remains of Tashkent's traditional architectural heritage. Tashkent is, however, rich in museums and Soviet-era monuments. They include:
Kukeldash Madrasah. Dating back to the reign of Abdullah Khan II (1557–1598) it is currently being restored by the provincial Religious Board of Mawarannahr Moslems. There is talk of making it into a museum, but it is currently being used as a madrassah.
Chorsu Bazaar, located near the Kukeldash Madrassa. This huge open air bazaar is the center of the old town of Tashkent. Everything imaginable is for sale.
Telyashayakh Mosque (Khast Imam Mosque). It Contains the Uthman Qur'an, considered to be the oldest extant Qur'an in the world. Dating from 655 and stained with the blood of murdered caliph, Uthman, it was brought by Timur to Samarkand, seized by the Russians as a war trophy and taken to Saint Petersburg. It was returned to Uzbekistan in 1924.
Yunus Khan Mausoleum. It is a group of three 15th-century mausoleums, restored in the 19th century. The biggest is the grave of Yunus Khan, grandfather of Mughal Empire founder Babur.
Palace of Prince Romanov. During the 19th century Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich, a first cousin of Alexander III of Russia was banished to Tashkent for some shady deals involving the Russian Crown Jewels. His palace still survives in the centre of the city. Once a museum, it has been appropriated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre, built by the same architect who designed Lenin's Tomb in Moscow, Aleksey Shchusev, with Japanese prisoner of war labor in World War II. It hosts Russian ballet and opera.
Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan. It contains a major collection of art from the pre-Russian period, including Sogdian murals, Buddhist statues and Zoroastrian art, along with a more modern collection of 19th and 20th century applied art, such as suzani embroidered hangings. Of more interest is the large collection of paintings "borrowed" from the Hermitage by Grand Duke Romanov to decorate his palace in exile in Tashkent, and never returned. Behind the museum is a small park, containing the neglected graves of the Bolsheviks who died in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and to Ossipov's treachery in 1919, along with first Uzbekistani President Yuldosh Akhunbabayev.
Most local residents do their primary shopping in bazaars. Local produce, such as fruit, nuts, vegetables can be very good, especially when they are in season. In the late summer, local melons appear on the streets and in the bazaars and are tasty and very cheap.
Chorsu Bazaar (Eski Juva) (Heart of Old Town, next to Chorsu Sq.- Metro station Chorsu is right there). The biggest and the most exiting oriental market in Tashkent. Eski Juva Bazaar is the biggest and oldest bazaar in Central Asia, operating on the same spot for over 2,000 years. The stalls of the bazaar stand under seven huge domes covered with colored glazed tiles. In the biggest domed building you will find all kinds of spices and cooking herbs: saffron, brown tree bark, red and black pepper, thyme and cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, as well as raisins, and dried apricots, almonds and pistachios, walnuts and peanuts. The bazaar is famous for peanuts boiled in sugar or honey, covered with sesame seeds. Under the small domes are the workshops. Here craftsmen make and sell jewelry, painted cradles (beshik); gold embroidery; Uzbek chests with metal decorations; embroidered suzanes (thin tapestries), jiyak (lace for trimming the lower edges of women's trousers); quilted men's (chapan) and women's (yashmak) caftans; kurpacha quilts, and pichok knives in leather or brass sheaths, and national musical instruments. Potters offer lyagan dishes and kosa bowls with blue and turquoise painted patterns. You will also find carpets from Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara, Afghanistan, and Turkey.
Central Market (Oloy Bozori, known to most locals as the Alayskee Bazaar), Amir Timur St (Metro station Abdulla Qodirii five mins walk, near to Dedeman Hotel). Beautifully laid out displays of local produce, dried fruit, and nuts. Every Friday and Saturday there is a wholesale dried fruit bazaar. The least noisy and crowded bazaar in Tashkent. Only here can you can buy button and oyster mushrooms, Caspian sturgeon, and Far Eastern salmon.
Farkhatsky Bazaar. Selling only melons, especially in Sep-Oct.
Hippodrome Bazaar, Chilanzar District (Two km SW of Metro station Olmazar, take a tram from there). Daily except M. Best for (leather) clothing, shoes. Very crowded.
Parkentsky Bazaar. Best for beer, biscuits, cigarettes, coffee, cookies, cooking oil, soft drinks, liquor in large quantities.
During its long history, Tashkent has had various changes in names and political and religious affiliations. Tashkent was settled by ancient people as an oasis on the Chirchik River, near the foothills of the West Tian Shan Mountains. In ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer "capital" of the Kangju confederacy.In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, the town and the province were known as Chach. The Shahnameh of Ferdowsi also refers to the city as Chach. Later the town came to be known as Chachkand/Chashkand, meaning "Chach City". The principality of Chach had a square citadel built here around the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, some 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the Syr Darya River. By the 7th century AD, Chach had more than 30 towns and a network of over 50 canals, forming a trade center between the Sogdians and Turkic nomads.
The modern Turkic name of Tashkent (City of Stone) comes from Kara-Khanid rule in the 10th century ("Tash" in Turkic languages means stone). After the 16th century, the name evolved from Chachkand/Chashkand to Tashkand. The modern spelling of "Tashkent" reflects Russian orthography and 20th-century Soviet influence.
Mongol conquest and aftermath
The city was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1219 and lost much of its population as a result of the Mongols' destruction of the Khwarezmid Empire in 1220. Under the Timurid and subsequent Shaybanid dynasties the city's population and culture gradually revived as a prominent strategic center of scholarship, commerce and trade along the Silk Road.
In 1809, Tashkent was annexed to the Khanate of Kokand. At the time, Tashkent had a population of around 100,000 and was considered the richest city in Central Asia. It prospered greatly through trade with Russia, but chafed under Kokand’s high taxes. The Tashkent clergy also favored the clergy of Bukhara over that of Kokand. However, before the Emir of Bukhara could capitalize on this discontent, the Russian army arrived.
In May, 1865, Mikhail Grigorevich Chernyayev (Cherniaev), acting against the direct orders of the tsar, and outnumbered at least 15-1, staged a daring night attack against a city with a wall 25 kilometres (16 mi) long with 11 gates and 30,000 defenders. While a small contingent staged a diversionary attack, the main force penetrated the walls, led by a Russian Orthodox priest armed only with a crucifix. Although defense was stiff, the Russians captured the city after two days of heavy fighting and the loss of only 25 dead as opposed to several thousand of the defenders (including Alimqul, the ruler of the Kokand Khanate).
Chernyayev, dubbed the "Lion of Tashkent" by city elders, staged a "hearts-and-minds" campaign to win the population over. He abolished taxes for a year, rode unarmed through the streets and bazaars meeting common people, and appointed himself "Military Governor of Tashkent", recommending to Tsar Alexander II that the city be made an independent khanate under Russian protection.
Effect of the Russian revolution
With the fall of the Russian Empire, the Russian Provisional Government removed all civil restrictions based on religion and nationality, contributing to local enthusiasm for the February Revolution. The Tashkent Soviet of Soldiers' and Workers' Deputies was soon set up, but primarily represented Russian residents, who made up about a fifth of the Tashkent population. Muslim leaders quickly set up the Tashkent Muslim Council (Tashkand Shura-yi-Islamiya) based in the old city. On 10 March 1917, there was a parade with Russian workers marching with red flags, Russian soldiers singing La Marseillaise and thousands of local Central Asians. Following various speeches, Governor-General Aleksey Kuropatkin closed the events with words "Long Live a great free Russia".
The First Turkestan Muslim Conference was held in Tashkent 16–20 April 1917. Like the Muslim Council, it was dominated by the Jadid, Muslim reformers. A more conservative faction emerged in Tashkent centered around the Ulema. This faction proved more successful during the local elections of July 1917. They formed an alliance with Russian conservatives, while the Soviet became more radical. The Soviet attempt to seize power in September 1917 proved unsuccessful.
In April 1918, Tashkent became the capital of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkestan ASSR). The new regime was threatened by White forces, basmachi; revolts from within, and purges ordered from Moscow. In 1930 Tashkent fell within the borders of the Uzbek SSR, and became the capital of the Uzbek SSR, displacing Samarkand.
The city began to industrialize in the 1920s and 1930s.
Violating the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The government worked to relocate factories from western Russia and Ukraine to Tashkent to preserve the Soviet industrial capacity. This led to great increase in industry during World War II.The Russian population increased dramatically; evacuees from the war zones increased the total population of Tashkent to well over a million. Russians and Ukrainians eventually comprised more than half of the total residents of Tashkent.
During the postwar period, the Soviet Union established numerous scientific and engineering facilities in Tashkent.
On 26 April 1966, much of the old city was destroyed by a huge earthquake (7.5 on the Richter scale). More than 300,000 residents were left homeless. Some 78,000 poorly engineered homes were destroyed, mainly in the densely packed areas of the old city, where traditional adobe housing predominated. The Soviet republics, and some other countries such as Finland, sent "battalions of fraternal peoples" and urban planners to help rebuild devastated Tashkent. They created a model Soviet city of wide streets planted with shade trees, parks, immense plazas for parades, fountains, monuments, and acres of apartment blocks. About 100,000 new homes were built by 1970.
At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tashkent was the fourth-largest city in the USSR and a center of learning in the fields of science and engineering.
Tashkent features a Mediterranean climate with strong continental climate influences.
As a result, Tashkent experiences cold and often snowy winters not typically associated with most Mediterranean climates and long, hot and dry summers.
Winters are cold and often snowy, covering the months of December, January and February.Most precipitation occurs during these months which frequently falls as snow.
The city experiences two peaks of precipitation in the early winter and spring.
Summers are long in Tashkent, usually lasting from May to September. Tashkent can be extremely hot during the months of July and August. The city also sees very little precipitation during the summer, particularly from June through September.
|Daily highs (°C)||6||8||14||22||27||33||36||34||29||21||14||9|
|Nightly lows (°C)||-3||-2||4||10||14||18||19||17||12||7||3||-1|
Tashkent has a typical continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The best seasons for travel to Tashkent are Apr-May and Sep-Oct.
Tashkent 41°18′N 69°16′E is situated in a well-watered plain to the west of the last Altai mountains on the road between Shymkent and Samarkand. Tashkent sits at the confluence of the Chirchik river and several of its tributaries and is built on deep alluvial deposits up to 15 metres (49 ft). The city is located in an active tectonic area suffering large numbers of tremors and some earthquakes. One earthquake in 1966 measured 7.5 on the Richter scale. The local time in Tashkent is UTC/GMT +5 hours.
Tashkent is divided into the following districts:
5 Mirzo Ulugbek
- Beeline Mobil Office, 1 Buxoro ko'chasi.
- East Telekom Office, Chehov ko'chasi (From Metro station Oybek SW ten mins walk).
- Central Post Office(Pochtamti), 7 Shahrisabz ko'chasi (Metro station Abdulla Qodirii), .