From beautiful Bukhara to the Ferghana Valley

The beautiful city of Bukhara is located in the south of Uzbekistan. It is surrounded by the edges of the great Kyzylkum desert (red sand desert). Thanks to its location on the lower part of the Zarafshan river, Bukhara was able to get water supply. The origin of the word Bukhara is said to be Old Turkic and means “fortunate place” according to some historical sources. The Bukhara oasis has been active since ancient times due to its location at the heart of the Silk Road and provided a link between the city of Merv and Samarkand. Today, the old city of Bukhara is a Unesco World Heritage Site and has 277,000 inhabitants.

Another city of Uzbekistan with rich historical monuments is Samarkand. Situated at the crossroads of the worlds, Samarkand was an essential stop on the Silk Road and its geographical location would explain the origin of its name meaning “meeting place”.

The city was founded by the Sogdian people in the 8th and 7th centuries BC and was the capital of the country on several occasions. The Hellenic invasion strongly influenced the region with Greek culture. Samarkand had its golden age during the Timurid Empire.

The most populated region of Uzbekistan is the Ferghana Valley. Made up of three local regions, this valley is located in the east of the country and is surrounded by the Tian Shan mountain range.

Supplied by the Syr Darya river, the valley has no shortage of water and thanks to its fertile land, it produces delicious fruits. Grapevines decorate the sides of the roads that cross the valley.

Besides agriculture, the Ferghana Valley is famous for its silk garments, made in the town of Marguilan. This tradition is listed as a Unesco heritage.

The Ferghana Valley extends not only within the territory of Uzbekistan, but also into neighboring countries such as Kyrgyzstan to the east and Tajikistan to the south. That’s why the name Ferghana can be found beyond the borders of the country.

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