According to another legend, Afaq Khoja (a famous Muslim saint who lived in the 17th century) once crossed the place where Margilan is today. He was hungry and asked an older woman for food. She brought him chicken and bread. From the name of this dish (in Persian “murg u-non”) developed the city’s name.
Archaeological excavations have confirmed that the city was founded two thousand years ago; in 2007, the city’s anniversary was celebrated. Margilan, like other medieval cities, was probably divided into three parts: the citadel of the ruler (Ark), the Shakhristan (i.e. the town itself) with fortified walls and gates, and the Rabat (suburb) in front of the city. Over time, Margilan was conquered several times and belonged to the Kokand Khanate from 1710 to 1876.
silk in margilan
Margilan was already a well-known craft centre in early times and was known for its silk fabrics. Since ancient times, the town’s population has been involved in producing Atlas fabrics (a unique silk fabric), which made the city famous. Traders from various countries bought Margilan’s silk fabrics. The city is also known for its metal embossing and traditional headwear.
Today, the city is known for its assortment of fabrics, which differs by raw materials, variety of ornaments and applied technology. One of the techniques is called Ikat: its unique feature is that the pattern is applied to the warp thread and not to the fabric.
In Margilan, you can visit the Yodgorlik factory and learn the entire labour-intensive process of handmade silk. Guided tours are usually available in English or Russian. The souvenir shop offers a good selection of fabrics, scarves, dresses and other memorabilia.
- Population: 215, 000 (2014)
- Elevation: 487 m
Air connections: the city does not have an airport. The closest airport is in Fergana city, 12 km from Margilan.
Rail connections: Margilan has a train station with connections to the other cities of the Fergana Valley and Tashkent and from there to the other cities of Uzbekistan.