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Tour "Fairy cities of Uzbekistan"


MargilanMargilan is one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan, which is located in the south - eastern part of the Ferghana valley, in a 15 kilometers distance to the north of Ferghana, and 85 kilometers from Kokand. The city lies at the foothills of the Alai Range at an altitude of 475 meters above a sea level. The area of Margilan is 50 square kilometers and the population is 200 thousand people.

What is the history of this amazing place?
For a very long time, scientists could not determine the age of Margilan even approximately. Everybody was misled by the Chinese and Arab chronicles, where the first mention of Margilan refers to the 7 th century. However, a later archaeological expedition undertaken by the Uzbek and foreign scientists found here the ruins of earlier settlements. And now it can be said with confidence that the city allegedly arose in 2-1 centuries BC.
There is not a reliable data on how, when and by whom the town was founded there, but one a beautiful legend about the origin of its name is extremely popular.
Very long time ago (in 4-th century BC), the great commander Alexander Macedon undertook a campaign into Central Asia. Local Margilanresidents, having known that Alexander is going to visit their city, decided to meet guests refreshments. Knowing that the Romans were partial to poultry, a baked chicken with bread was presented to the commander. A very pleased with the dinner Emperor asked what the name of the dish was, and he was replied: "Murgi non" - chicken with bread. It is still unaware what namely the king heard, but with its "light hand", since that time a settlement was called Margilan.
This glorious city has experienced a great deal during its history: the attacks of foreign invaders, the treacherous invasions of the Arabs, Tartar-Mongols and Genghis Khan, the Iranian invaders. There were here internecine wars during the reign of the Timurid dynasty, Sheybonids and other rulers. Then it was also a bloody accession to the imperial Russia, and no less brutal attempt to build socialism after 1919 year.
But as a result, the dashing times only strengthened Margilan inhabitants’ spirit. This city for centuries has been a home for great scientists, cultural workers and artists, as well as brilliant craftsmen. Margilan is widely known for the wonderful hand-embroidered (Suzanne and skullcaps), delicate carving and Ganj, but the special pride of the townspeople always was considered to be a production of silk fabrics.
Since immemorial time, the city became known as the “silk capital of the East ". The whole world is introduced to its iridescent khan-atlas, adras and bekasams. Along the Great Silk Road medieval merchants were bringing caravans loaded with famous Margilan silks into Baghdad, Khorasan, Kashgar, Greece and Egypt. Since ancient times, the city's population specialized at dressing of silk fabrics, and owing to it, earned a worldwide fame.
And today, ancient traditions are not forgotten, modern Margilan is used to be one of the largest centers of silk processing industry in Central Asia. There are several factories producing silk inside the city. The most famous of them are considered to be «Khan Atlas» and "Yodgorlik”. By the way, a great quantity of craftsmen works at home.
The «Khan Atlas» production association is the largest company on silk production on all post-Soviet space. Daily, as a rule, it produces up to 2.5 kilometers of the world famous fabric.
Souvenir Factory “Yodgorlik" is the only enterprise in Central Asia, where a manual mode of production of silk is totally retained. And although the production volume it makes is much more modest than the unification of «Khan Atlas», the factory production, wining at various exhibitions, also received a wide acclaim.
Unfortunately there are many monuments of antiquity preserved in the city until our days, but the survived ones, are certainly worthy of a close attention. This is complex of Pir Siddiq, the Mausoleum of Khoja Magiz, Chakar Mosque, Madrasah of Said Ahmad Khoja, Mosque of Toron - bazaar.

Historic landmarks and attractions of Margilan town.

Complex of Pir Siddiq (XVIII century)

The memorial where according to legend saint Pir Siddiq was buried, received a popular nickname of "Kaptarlik» which means "Pigeon", was built in the middle of XVIII century. Eventually, it turned into an ensemble that includes a mosque, courtyard with a tomb, a minaret, darvozahona and a dovecote.

With the name of Pir Siddiq associated a legend, which says that once the holy man, hiding from persecution infidels, took refuge in a cave, waiting for an inevitable death, but God, knowing the righteous of an old man, sent him pigeons to the aid. Clever birds platted their nests at the entrance to the cave, concealing completely that holy person from the eyes of pursuers. People, chasing him, run up to the entrance and saw nothing but sitting peacefully pigeons in their nests. Having decided that whether a man be here, none of the birds would behave so calmly, the pursuers retreated. Since then, the local population worships pigeons. Architectural design and construction of the complex is interesting a lot. There is a traditional aivan with four range dovecote above it behind the portal-dome darvozahona. Further, in the eastern part of the ensemble a mosque overlooking the street and minaret were built. Then, a little farther there is actually a mausoleum itself in the interior of courtyard. From the all of the art features, attention is drawn to the characteristic Ferghana portal of the mausoleum, representing a screen as a decorated wall, framed by slender columns. Columns are crowned with lightweight dome lights, towering far above the portal. There is the entrance doorway in the center of the portal decorated with a lancet niche. A skillful Ganj craving dominates in the decoration of the mausoleum.

Madrasa of Said Ahmad Khoja (XIX century)

Madrassah of Said Ahmad Khoja, built in Margilan in the late XIX century is a square yard of 32,5 x 32,5 meters, in depth of which a mosque with asymmetric aivan is constructed. Along the perimeter, the yard is surrounded by khujdras that are overlained by arched vaults. A dense shade of ancient plane trees and flowing through the yard a large ditch, give a cool to this place, even during the most intense heat.

An architectural structure of the mosque is also very interesting. The building, constructed of brick, erected by the people who were obviously familiar with Russian equipment. Thus, the ceiling in the mosque does not have the traditional vertical supports, as it is suspended to the wooden trusses, which is absolutely not typical architecture for such buildings. The decor of the building is also unusual. The mosque of Said Ahmad Khoja is one of the few in the Ferghana Valley which has non-traditional colors in decorating the ceiling of the hall and aivan. Today, in a remarkably preserved khujdras of Madrassah, settled master dealing with gold embroidery, satin carpet weaving, the manufacturing of jewelry, metal and wood products.

Souvenir Factory of “Yodgorlik”

Margilan silk factory was founded in 1972 year and at that time became the largest place of production in the Ferghana Valley, up to1993 year it remained in state ownership, and in 2000 year, it became a private enterprise of "Yodgorlik”. 450 people are involved into the process of production, most of whom are women. The company has a fairly simple structure of production: plant for silk thread production, winding shop, the department of the production of weaving basis, weaving department, carpet weaving and engineering department.

Each month the company produces up to 6000 meters of various fabrics, 60% of which is natural silk, 25% is semi-cotton and semi-silk fabrics and 15% of cotton fabrics. Natural silk fabrics - khan-atlas and shoyi are used to be divided into different types depending on the method of dyeing and manufacturing technology. Also a semi-silk fabrics are produced here: adras, snipe, jujincha, which have a cotton weft thread (cross thread weave), and silk thread only in basis.

Nowadays, the factory cooperates with foreign partners from Germany, Russia, India, Iran and South Korea.

Perhaps all this would not be so interesting without one fact - all the processes at the factory are made by hand, and many of them are by ancient technologies. A fascinating tour awaits for the visitors of this production, where you will be able to see the full cycle from the unwinding of the cocoon up to silk samples at the output.

Tourists if they desire, have the opportunity to buy a segment of fabrics or product they liked.

Tour "Fairy cities of Uzbekistan"