Namangan

Namangan is a city in eastern Uzbekistan, on the northern edge of the Fergana Valley, about 430 km east of Tashkent, about 65 km west of Andijan, and about 75 km north of Fergana. The Koradaryo and Naryn rivers join together to form the Syr Darya just outside the southern edge of the city.

The city of Namangan ranks third largest in Uzbekistan, after Tashkent and Samarkand, yet it appears a relative newcomer to this eastern cradle of Ferghana civilization. It takes its name from local salt mines, namak kan, longtime suppliers to the kitchens of Tashkent.

At the time of the Russian occupation, the Namangan district had developed into a bastion of Islam, with over 20 madrassah and 600 mosques. The tsarist and Soviet eras Russified the center and industrialized he suburbs, spawning a rise in population to 330,000, but never tamed the people...

Namangan has recently become a center for oil exploration and production in Uzbekistan and has a few oil refineries.

There is an important antimony mine (an important steel alloy used to make batteries) just outside the city. Cotton growing and processing remains a major economic activity. Fruits and vegetables are grown in the foothills surrounding Namangan.

The North Fergana Canal diverts water from the Syr Darya to supply most of Namangan's water needs. To the north, in the mountains just inside Kyrgyzstan, is a nature preserve called Sary-Chelek.

 

Namangan was known to have been a settlement by the 15th century and a part of the khanate (state) of Kokand (present-day Kokand) by the middle of the 18th century. After annexation by the Russians in 1876, cotton production and processing became the increasingly dominant economic activity. Namangan suffered a destructive earthquake in 1926. Population (1994) 341,000.

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