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Capital of Uzbekistan -Tashkent

Tashkent (1992 pop. 2,133,000)is the capital of Tashkent region and of Uzbekistan, in the foothills of the Tian Shan mts.; the name is also spelled Dashkent. The largest and one of the oldest cities of Central Asia, it is the economic heart of the region. It is also a major cultural center, a rail and highway junction, and an important air terminal. The city lies in a great oasis along the Chirchik River and on the Trans-Caspian RR . There is extensive trade in grain and raw cotton. Tashkent has one of the largest cotton textile mills in Asia. Other industries include railroad workshops, food- and tobacco-processing plants, and factories that manufacture agricultural machinery and consumer goods. The Tashkent oasis produces cotton and fruit. Irrigation canals on the Chirchik River supply power for several hydroelectric plants.

TashkentAmong the city's educational and cultural facilities are Tashkent State Univ. and the Uzbek Academy of Sciences. There are many museums and parks, a Muslim university, and several theater companies. Tashkent is also a military center. The modern section of the city coexists with the old quarter (partly reconstructed), with its narrow, twisting streets, numerous mosques, and bazaars; Tashkent lost most of the old town in a 1966 earthquake that heavily damaged the city. Once the preserve of Russian bureaucrats and settlers, the modern section filled with Uzbeks in the early 1990s, as Russians left for homes in Russia. 

First mentioned in the 1st cent. B.C. , Tashkent came under Arabic rule in the 7th cent. A.D. and passed to the Turkish shahs of Khwarazm in the 12th cent. It developed as a commercial center on the historic trade route from Samarkand to Beijing. Tashkent was captured in the 13th cent. by Jenghiz Khan and in the 14th cent. by Timur . With the breakup of the Timurid empire, the city passed to the khanate of Kokand. 

Captured by Russian forces in 1865, Tashkent became (1867) the administrative seat of Russian Turkistan. It remained active in the caravan trade between Central Asia and W Russia and gained new prosperity with the construction (1898) of the Trans-Caspian RR. From 1918 to 1924, Tashkent was the capital of the Turkistan Autonomous SSR, and in 1930 it replaced Samarkand as capital of the Uzbek SSR, subsequently becoming independent Uzbekistan's capital.

tashkent1In the centuries past, the present capital of Uzbekistan was called Chach, Shash, Binkent and finally Tashkent at various times. Each of the names is a part of the city's history. Tashkent has always been an important international transport junction. Unfortunately, only a small part of its architectural past is preserved, due to demolition of historical and religious buildings after the revolution of 1917 and a massive earthquake in 1966. Some old buildings lie in the old town to the west of the downtown. A myriad of narrow winding alleys, it stands in sharp contrast to the more modern Tashkent.Of interest among the older buildings are the 16 th century Kukeldash Madrassa, which is being restored as a museum, and the Kaffali-Shash Mausoleum.Many of the Islamic sites in Tashkent, like Khast-Imam structure, are not open to non-Muslims, and visitors should always ask permission before entering them. 

Kukeldash Madrassa (XVI century). Kukeldash Madrassa is one of the few remained monumental architectural monuments of Tashkent. It was built in the second half of the 16th century in the time of Abdullachan (1557-1598) under the Leadership of Kulbobo Kukeldash who was a vizier, a scientist and a poet. Madrassa Kukeldash is under the authority of Religious Board of Mawarannahr Moslems, and at present it is a regularly acting mosque. There is a primary school, which teaches the basis of Islam. 

Khast-Imam. An interesting ensemble was erected in a place called Khast-Imam. The ensemble comprises the Barak-Khana Madrassa of the 16th century, Teleshayakh Mosque, part of which houses an important religious library, the 16th century Kaffal-Shashi mausoleum, which was built over the grave of Abubekr Mukhmmad Kaffal-Shashi, and the Imam al-Bukhari Institute. 

sheihantahurZamgi-Ata Mausoleum. There is one of the sacred places now known as Zangi-ata nearly Tashkent on the caravan route. The beginning of the creation of architectural memorial at the sacred grave is connected with the name of famous Amir Temur. The idea of building the mausoleum on the grave of Zangi-ata, which was known as a healer, appeared near that time. His literature pseudonym is written with good calligraphic hand on the snowy marble gravestone inside the mausoleum. His name was Aihodja, the son of Tadhodja.

Tashkent houses many museums of Uzbek and pre-Uzbek culture. These include the State Art Museum, which houses a collection of paintings, ceramics and the Bukharian royal robes. The Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts exhibits embroidered wall hangings and reproduction antique jewelry. As important historical figures, such as Amir Temur “ better known as Tamerlane in the West “ are being given greater prominence, the exhibits and perspective of the museums are also changing.

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