history of andijan

Since the 3rd century B.C., the Fergana Valley has been home to a rich and densely populated country called Dawan, which consisted of 70 cities led by the capital Ershi. Ershi is about 30km from the modern Andijan and has been renamed Mingtepa (derived from Uzbek for “thousand hills”) over time. It was an important trading town through which the Silk Road passed.

In the 2nd century B.C., the Chinese diplomat Zhang Qian visited Dawan and wrote a detailed report about his journey. The main focus of the Chinese was on the local horse breed Argamak. This elegant and persistent breed “sweated” blood; this was proof of the horses’ heavenly origin for the Chinese. Due to frequent wars with their neighbours, the Chinese had a shortage of horses and were very interested in new horses. Modern scientists have found that this bloody sweat was caused by parasites living under the horses’ skin.

According to archaeological data, Andijan was inhabited more than 2,500 years ago. There are different versions of the origin of the name. It probably goes back to the Uzbek tribe of the “Andi”.

The city is closely connected with the name Zakhiriddin Babur. The great-grandson of Amir Timur and founder of the Mughal Empire in India was born in Andijan.

Andijan was part of the Kokand Khanate. With the railway construction at the beginning of the 20th century, the city became the economic centre of the entire Fergana Valley.

In December 1902, the earth quaked in Andijan. The quake had a magnitude of 6.7 to 9 on the Richter scale, and even a month later, there were still aftershocks. Approximately 4,500 people were killed, and 30,000 houses were destroyed.

Today Andijan is one of the largest cities in Uzbekistan, with well-developed agriculture and industry. Asaka, a city in Andijan province, is home to a General Motors automobile plant with a capacity of around 250,000 cars per year. Many Ravon cars are exported to Russia and under the Chevrolet brand to other former CIS countries.

Climate in Andijan

Andijan is surrounded by the foothills of the Tian Shan and the Pamir Mountains. Winters are usually mild and short. The winds are weak compared to the western part of the Fergana Valley. Summers are less hot than in central, western and southern Uzbekistan. The average annual rainfall is 232mm. Due to the climate and the fertile soils, many warmth-loving plants grow in Andijan.

Traditional dish in Andijan

Dimlama is a pearl of Andijan cuisine. The term comes from the Uzbek word “dimlamok”, which means stew. The Dimlama dish is stewed lamb with seasonal vegetables.

Interesting facts about Andijan

  • During the Soviet era, the population in Andijan tripled. The region was considered the most densely populated province in the USSR. The reason lies in the province’s small size, which accounts for only about 1% of the total area of Uzbekistan, although 10% of the Uzbek population live here.
  • The population of the city of Andijan: approx. 500,000 (as of 2019)
  • The population including agglomeration: approx. 675.000 (as of 2019)
  • Population density of the city of Andijan: 5,750 people per km2
  • Elevation: 500 m
  • Area of the region Andijan: 4,240 km2
  • The population of the province of Andijan: approx. 3 millions (as of 2019)
  • The population density in the province of Andijan: 703,3 persons per km2

Flight connections: Andijan has its airport. Local flights are to Tashkent, international flights – to Russia.

Railway connections: There is a direct railway connection to Tashkent. The journey takes 6 hours: the train stops in Margilan, Kokand and Pap. The journey by car takes almost the same time; travelling by train might be the more comfortable choice.  

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