Official Name: Uzbekistan
Population: 32,970,000 million
Total area: 448,978 km2
Border countries: Afghanistan 137 km, Kazakhstan 2.203 km, Kyrgyzstan 1.099 km, Tajikistan 1.161 km, Turkmenistan 1.621 km
Languages: Uzbek, Russian
Religions: Muslim 88%, Christian 9%, 3% Others.
National currency: Uzbekistan So’m
The Republic of Uzbekistan is located in the center of Central Asia and shares boundaries with Kazakhstan on the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on the east, Afghanistan on the south, and Turkmenistan on the soth-west. Uzbekistan's boundary length totals 6,221 km. Capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent located in the eastern part of the country. Uzbekistan consists of mostly sandy desert with dunes. The Fergana Valley lies in the east surrounded by the Tian Shan mountains of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Alai mountains lie to the extreme southeast. The highest point in the country is Adelunga Toghi, at an elevation of 4,301 meters. The lowest point is Sariqarnish Kuli, which dips to 12 meters. The country is located in a seismically active region along the Eurasian Tectonic Plate, resulting in frequent earthquakes. The Kyzyl Kum desert covers most of the interior of the country. With an area of about 297,850 square kilometers, it is the largest desert region in Central Asia and the ninth-largest in the world. In the northwest, the Aral Sea is shared with Kazakhstan. Covering area of about 64,500 square kilometers, it is the largest lake in the country and the fourth-largest lake in the world. The longest river in the country is the Amu Dar'ya, which has a total length of 2,540 kilometers, only a portion of which runs through Uzbekistan.
The climate is mid-latitude climatic desert. Temperatures range from 28° to 36°c in the summer, with much higher figures in the desert. Average winter temperatures are between -8° and 3°c. There is very little rainfall in the country. The best watered areas only receive about 32 cm annually.
The history of our Motherland - Uzbekistan and Uzbek people is rich in events of global importance. The past of our country, known in the world under the name Turkestan and Maverannahr. In the IV - beginning of the XVI centuries, the historical stage under the leadership of the wise people's rulers, named among the Turkic clans "Uzbeks" and "Uzbeks", the freedom-loving and hard-working Uzbek people.
Some parts of present-day Uzbekistan have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. The first states in the region were Khwarazm, Bactria, Sogdiana, and the Parthian Empire, in the first millennium bc. The territory was consolidated under the Achaemenids in the 6th century bc, until it was conquered by Alexander the Great, 329–327 bc. The Greeks were displaced by the Tochari in the 3rd century bc. From the 1st century bc to the 4th century ad Uzbekistan was part of the Kushana Kingdom. This in turn was replaced by the Ephthalite state.
In the 6th century the area was part of the West Turkic Kaganate, a loose confederation of largely nomadic tribes. By the 8th century the region was conquered by the Arabs, who introduced Islam. The Ummayid dynasty was displaced by the Abbasids in 747–750. In the 9th century the Samanids took control of most of Central Asia, including Uzbekistan. Turkic tribes again began to push into the area from the east in the 10th century, eventually forming the Karakhanid state. A lesser part of that state, Khwarazm, grew more powerful in the 12th century and came to dominate most of Central Asia.
Genghiz Khan's Mongols invaded in 1219, conquering all of Central Asia by 1221. In 1224 Genghiz Khan's son Chagatai was made ruler of this area. As Chingisid influence waned, Timur (Tamerlane, 1336–1405) established an empire in Samarqand (Samarkand). Upon his death it split into Khorasan, ruled by his son Shah Rukh, and Maweranahr, ruled by his grandson, Ulgh Beg. Although Timur is now claimed as the father of the modern Uzbeks, more likely candidates are the Sheibanid, nomadic Uzbeks who fought to take the area in the early 16th century. They settled among the other populations and became farmers, making Bukhoro (Bukhara) their capital. In the 16th century Khwarazm, Balkh, and Khiva separated from Bukhara, becoming separate principalities. Bukhara was conquered by Persia in 1740, but sovereignty was retaken soon after by the Mangyt dynasty, which ruled until 1920. In the early 19th century the Kokand Khanate grew powerful in the eastern part of present-day Uzbekistan.
Russia had begun trading with Bukhara, Khiva, and Kokand in the 18th century. Concern about British expansion in India and Afghanistan led eventually to Russian conquest, which began in the 1860s and ended in the 1880s, when Uzbekistan became part of Turkestan guberniia, with Bukhara and Khiva administered as separate emirates under Russian protection.
In 1916 Tsar Nicholas II issued a call for Central Asian males to be drafted into labor battalions. This sparked resistance throughout the region, including in Uzbekistan, which was violently repressed. During the conflict from 1917–20, Uzbekistan was the site of competing attempts to create governments; the Bolsheviks announced a short-lived Turkestan Autonomous Republic, while a Muslim Congress also attempted an Autonomous Government of Turkestan. Red Army forces intervened savagely, but armed resistance continued as late as 1924, in the so-called Basmachi Rebellion.
The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created in 1925. In 1929, Tajikistan, which had been an administrative sub-unit, was elevated to full republic status, changing the boundaries. They were changed once again in 1936.
In March 1990, Karimov was elected to the newly created post of president by the Uzbek Supreme Soviet. Uzbekistan declared independence on 1 September 1991.
Tourism, travel and recreation
Uzbekistan is a country with potential for an expanded tourism industry. Many of its Central Asian cities were main points of trade on the Silk Road, linking Eastern and Western civilizations. Uzbekistan attracts tourists with its historical, archeological, architectural and natural treasures. Uzbekistan tourist attractions include the Islamic cities of Samarqand (Samarkand), Bukhoro (Bukhara), Khiva, and Kokand. Muslims from Pakistan, Iran, and the Middle East have been drawn to these sites with their palaces, mosques, madrasses (religious colleges), and pre-Islamic remains.
In an effort to increase tourism in recent years, several hotels have been built in Uzbekistan, and historical monuments were reconstructed. With each subsequent year, tourism in Uzbekistan began to grow rapidly.
The most visited cities of Uzbekistan which impress any tourist:
- Samarkand is the most famous city of Central Asia. With is on the list of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia. The major monuments include the Registan Square, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Necropolis Shakhi-Zinda, Tomb of Timurids - Gur-Emir, complex Imam al Bukhari, Ulugbek Observatory etc.
- Bukhara is one of the oldiest cities of Uzbekistan with a thousand years of history. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. Bukhara is a city-museum, with about 140 architectural monuments.
- Khiva is one of old cities of ancient Khorezm, friendly and welcoming Silk Road old town that's well set up for tourism. Itchan Kala in Khiva was the first in Uzbekistan to be included in the World Heritage List. The fortress hiding in itself the thousand-year history of the great Khorezm.