Tashkent (Uzbek. Toshkent, Toshkent) is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan, a city of republican subordination. The largest city in Central Asia in terms of population (2 622 700 people) is the center of the Tashkent urban agglomeration, the […]
Tashkent (Uzbek. Toshkent, Toshkent) is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan, a city of republican subordination. The largest city in Central Asia in terms of population (2 622 700 people) is the center of the Tashkent urban agglomeration, the most important political, economic, cultural and scientific center of the country, as well as an aviation, railway and road junction. Located in the north-east of the country, near the border with Kazakhstan.
Tashkent is the 4th city in the CIS in terms of population. It is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia – in 2009 the 2200th anniversary of the city was celebrated.
State authorities, embassies of foreign states, headquarters of most of the largest Uzbek commercial organizations and public associations are located in Tashkent.
It is mentioned in written sources since the 4th-5th centuries AD under the names Judzh, Chachkent, Shashkent, Binkent. Only in the XI century, in the works of Central Asian scientists Al-Biruni and Mahmud Kashgari, the form Tashkent was first encountered. Al-Kashgari was the first to explain Tashkent as a “stone city” (Turkic tash – “stone”, Kent – “city”), and Biruni, supporting this interpretation, noted that Shashkent is a distorted form of Turkic Tashkent; it is obvious that Chachkent is another form of distortion of the same name. The Binkent variant is found in the writings of Arab geographers.
Tashkent is located in the north-eastern part of the republic, on a plain in the valley of the Chirchik River, at an altitude of 440-480 meters above sea level and covers an area of 30,000 hectares. To the east and northeast of Tashkent are the spurs of the western Tien Shan.
Tashkent in the IX-XIII centuries
The author of the 10th century, Ibn Haukal, reported the following information about the capital of Shash: “Binket is the capital of Shash. It has a shahristan and a citadel, the latter being outside the shahristan; nevertheless, the citadel and the shahristan are surrounded by the same wall. There is a rabad near the shakhristan, around which there is also a wall. In addition, outside this wall there is another rabad, as well as gardens and dwellings. This rabad is also surrounded by a wall. There are two gates in the citadel: one of them is facing rabad, the other is facing the shakhristan. There are 3 gates in shahristan. Some of them are called the gates of Abbas, others – Kish and the third – the gates of Juneyd. There are 10 gates in the first rabad: one of them is called the Rabat Hamdey gate, the second is called the Iron Inner Gate; the third is the Emir’s gate, the fourth is the Ferkhan gate, the fifth is the Surked gate, the sixth is the Kermanj gate, the seventh is the gate of Stepnaya Street, the eighth is the Rashdijak gate, the ninth is the gate of Khakan Street and the tenth gate of the Dihkan Castle. The ruler’s palace and prison are located in the citadel, and the cathedral mosque is next to the fortress wall. Some of the bazaars are located in shakhristan, while most of them are located in rabad. ”
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ali ash-Shashi, known as al-Kaffal ash-Shashi (904-975), was born in Tashkent, an Islamic theologian, scholar, jurist of the Shafi’i madhhab, hadith scholar and linguist.
At the end of the 10th century, Tashkent became part of the possessions of the Turkic state of the Karakhanids. In 998/99 the Tashkent oasis went to the Karakhanid Ahmad ibn Ali, who ruled the northeastern regions of Mavarannahr. In 1177/78 a separate khanate was formed in the Tashkent oasis. Its center was Banakat, where the dirhams of Mu’izz ad-dunya va-d-din Kilich-khan were minted, in 1195-1197 – Jalal ad-dunya va-d-din Tafgach-khakan, in 1197-1206 – ‘Imad ad-dunya va-d-din Ulug Egdish Chagry-khan.
At the beginning of the 13th century, Tashkent became part of the state of the Khorezmshahs-Anushteginids. In 1220 the city was destroyed by the hordes of Genghis Khan.
Tashkent in the era of Timur and Timurids
During the reign of Timur (1336-1405), Tashkent was restored and in the XIV-XV centuries Tashkent was a part of Timur’s empire.
For Timur, Tashkent was considered a strategic city. In 1391 Timur set off from Tashkent to Desht-i-Kipchak in the spring to fight the Khan of the Golden Horde Tokhtamysh Khan. Timur returned from this victorious campaign through Tashkent.
The most famous saint Sufi of Tashkent was Sheikh Khovendi at-Takhur (XIII – first half of the XIV century). According to legend, Amir Timur, who was treating his wounded leg in Tashkent with the help of the healing water of the Zem-Zem spring, ordered to build a mausoleum for the saint.
Tashkent as part of the Kokand Khanate
However, after the death of Yunus Khoja, under his successors, the country was subordinated to the Kokand Khanate (in 1807-1808). Under the Kokand domination, Tashkent was surrounded by a moat and an adobe battlement (about 20 kilometers long) with 12 gates. In the northeastern part there were Labzak and Kashgar, in the east – Kokand, Kaitmass and Semagach, in the southeast – Kamolon, in the south – Samarkand, in the west – Kukchinsk, Chigatay, Sagbansk, Karasuu and in the north – Takhtapul. The population was about 100 thousand. The city was famous for its numerous spinning and weaving workshops, wood and metalworking, leather, pottery and textile production. Up to 400 mosques and 10 madrassas functioned in Tashkent. At the head of the city was a bek who was appointed by the Kokand khan, subordinate to him were the Ming-Bashi, who governed four parts of the city: Kukcha, Beshagach, Sheikhantakhur, Sebzor.
In the middle of the 19th century, Tashkent was the largest center of internal, external and transit trade in the region. It played an especially large role as a junction of caravan routes connecting the Uzbek khanates with the Kazakh steppe, Russia and Western China. By the middle of the 19th century, Tashkent was one of the most important cultural and craft centers in Central Asia.
A well-known Tashkent historian of the second half of the 19th century was Muhammad-Salih Tashkandi. He traced his lineage to the famous Sheikh Khavand-i Tahur. He studied in Bukhara and returned to Tashkent in 1862. In 1864 and in 1865, he participated in the defense of Tashkent, defending the city from the attack of the troops of General M.G. Chernyaev, was a witness to the conclusion of a peace treaty between the inhabitants of Tashkent and the Russian military (1865). He is the author of “Tarikh-i jadida-yi Tashkent” (New history of Tashkent), written over 25 years (from May 1863 to 1886/87).
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