Tash (A rock)
("Strength is in Justice!")
|Settled||5th to 3rd centuries BC|
|o Type||City Administration|
|o Hakim (Mayor)||Jahongir Ortiqhojaev|
|o Total||334.8 km2 (129.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||455 m (1,493 ft)|
(1 January 2020)
|Time zone||UTC+5 ( )|
Tashkent (, ), or Toshkent (; Uzbek: Toshkent/?/, IPA: [t'kent]), and also historically known as Chach (Persian: ), is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan, as well as the most populous city in Central Asia, with a population in 2018 of 2,485,900. It is in northeastern Uzbekistan, near the border with Kazakhstan.
Before Islamic influence started in the mid 8th century AD, Tashkent was influenced by the Sogdian and Turkic cultures. After Genghis Khan destroyed it in 1219, it was rebuilt and profited from the Silk Road. From the 18th to the 19th century, the city became an independent city-state, before being re-conquered by the Khanate of Kokand. In 1865, Tashkent fell to the Russian Empire, and became the capital of Russian Turkestan. In Soviet times, it witnessed major growth and demographic changes due to forced deportations from throughout the Soviet Union. Much of Tashkent was destroyed in the 1966 Tashkent earthquake, but it was rebuilt as a model Soviet city. It was the fourth-largest city in the Soviet Union at the time, after Moscow, Leningrad and Kyiv.
During its long history, Tashkent has had various changes in names and political and religious affiliations. Abu Rayhan Biruni wrote that the city of Shash comes from the Turkic name Tash - outer, kand - town, that is, "outer town".
Tashkent was founded 2,200 years ago. Tashkent was settled by ancient people as an oasis on the Chirchik River, near the foothills of the West Tian Shan Mountains. In ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer "capital" of the Kangju confederacy. Some scholars believe that a "Stone Tower" mentioned by Ptolemy and by other early accounts of travel on the Silk Road referred to this settlement ("Tashkent" means "stone city"). This tower is said to have marked the midway point between Europe and China. Other scholars, however, disagree with this identification, though it remains one of four most probable sites for the Stone Tower.
The principality of Chach had a square citadel built around the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, some 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the Syr Darya River. By the 7th century AD, Chach had more than 30 towns and a network of over 50 canals, forming a trade center between the Sogdians and Turkic nomads. The Buddhist monk Xuanzang (602/603? - 664 AD), who travelled from China to India through Central Asia, mentioned the name of the city as Zh?shí (). The Chinese chronicles History of Northern Dynasties, Book of Sui, and Old Book of Tang mention a possession called Shí ? ("stone") or Zh?shí with a capital of the same name since the fifth century AD.
In 558-603, Chach was part of the Turkic Kaganate. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Turkic Kaganate, as a result of internecine wars and wars with its neighbors, disintegrated into the Western and Eastern Kaganates. The Western Turkic ruler Tong Yabghu Qaghan (618-630) set up his headquarters in the Ming-bulak area to the north of Chach. Here he received embassies from the emperors of the Tang Empire and Byzantium. In 626, the Indian preacher Prabhakaramitra arrived with ten companions to the kagan. In 628, a Buddhist Chinese monk Xuanzang arrived in Ming Bulak.
The Turkic rulers of Chach minted their coins with the inscription on the obverse side of the "lord of the Khakan money" (mid-8th century); with an inscription in the ruler Turk (VII century), in Nudjket in the middle of the VIII century, coins were issued with the obverse inscription "Nanchu (Banchu) Ertegin sovereign".
Tashkent was conquered by the Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century.
According to the descriptions of the authors of the X century. Shash was structurally divided into a citadel, an inner city (madina) and two suburbs - an inner (rabad-dahil) and an outer (rabad-harij). The citadel, surrounded by a special wall with two gates, contained the ruler's palace and the prison.
Under the Samanid Empire (819-999), whose founder Saman Khuda was a Persian Zoroastrian convert to Islam, the city came to be known as Binkath. However, the Arabs retained the old name of Chach for the surrounding region, pronouncing it ash-Shash () instead. Kand, qand, kent, kad, kath, kud--all meaning a city--are derived from the Persian/Sogdian ? kanda, meaning a town or a city. They are found in city names such as Samarkand, Yarkand, Panjakent, Khujand etc.). Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ali ash-Shashi, known as al-Kaffal ash-Shashi (904-975), was born in Tashkent - an Islamic theologian, scholar, jurist of the Shafi'i madhhab, hadith scholar and linguist.
After the 11th century, the name evolved from Chachkand/Chashkand to Tashkand. The modern spelling of "Tashkent" reflects Russian orthography and 20th-century Soviet influence.
At the end of the 10th century, Tashkent became part of the possessions of the Turkic state of the Karakhanids. In 998/99 the Tashkent oasis went to the Karakhanid Ahmad ibn Ali, who ruled the north-eastern regions of Mavarannahr. In 1177/78, a separate khanate was formed in the Tashkent oasis. Its center was Banakat, where dirhams Mu'izz ad-dunya wa-d-din Qilich-khan were minted, in 1195-1197 - Jalal ad-dunya wa-d-din Tafgach-khakan, in 1197-1206 - 'Imad ad-dunya va-d-din Ulug Egdish Chagry-khan.
Under the Timurid and subsequent Shaybanid dynasties, the city's population and culture gradually revived as a prominent strategic center of scholarship, commerce and trade along the Silk Road. During the reign of Amir Timur (1336-1405), Tashkent was restored and in the 14th-15th centuries Tashkent was part of Timur's empire. For Timur, Tashkent was considered a strategic city. In 1391 Timur set out in the spring from Tashkent to Desht-i-Kipchak to fight the Khan of the Golden Horde Tokhtamysh Khan. Timur returned from this victorious campaign through Tashkent.
The most famous saint Sufi of Tashkent was Sheikh Khovendi at-Takhur (13th - first half of the 14th century). According to legend, Amir Timur, who was treating his wounded leg in Tashkent with the healing water of the Zem-Zem spring, ordered to build a mausoleum for the saint. By order of Timur, the Zangiata mausoleum was built.
Shaybanid Suyunchkhoja Khan was an enlightened Uzbek ruler and, following the traditions of his ancestors Mirzo Ulugbek and Abul Khair Khan, gathered famous scientists, writers and poets at his court, among them: Vasifi, Abdullah Nasrullahi, Masud bin Osmani Kuhistani. Since 1518 Vasifi was the educator of the son of Suyunchhoja Khan Keldi Muhammad, with whom, after the death of his father in 1525, he moved to Tashkent. And after the death of his former pupil, he became the educator of his son - Abu-l-Muzaffar Hasan-Sultan.
Later the city was subordinated to Shaybanid Abdullah Khan II (the ruler actually from 1557, officially in 1583-1598), who issued his coins here From 1598 to 1604 Tashkent was ruled by the Shaybanid Keldi Muhammad, who issued silver and copper coins on his behalf.
In 1598, Kazakh Taukeel Khan was at war with the Khanate of Bukhara. The Bukhara troops sent against him were defeated by Kazakhs in the battle between Tashkent and Samarkand. During the reign of Yesim-Khan, a peace treaty was concluded between Bukhara and Kazakhs, according to which Kazakhs abandoned Samarkand, but left behind Tashkent, Turkestan and a number of Syr Darya cities. Yesim-Khan ruled the Kazakh khanate from 1598 to 1628, his main merit was that he managed to unite the Kazakh khanate.Under him, the city of Tashkent became the capital of the Kazakh khanate. Maslikhat remained the highest representative-legislative power of the khanate, which included all representatives, leaders of Kazakh communities and influential sultans. Maslikhat gathered once a year, mostly in the autumn at the place of "Khanabad" in the tract of Kul-Tobe (near Tashkent) and solved state affairs. Tole-bi Alibekuly (1663-1756), judge of the Senior Juz, who was the ruler of Tashkent for 6 years from 1743 to 1749, is buried in the mausoleum on the territory of Sheikhontaur cemetery.
In 1784, Yunus Khoja, the ruler of the dakha (district) Shayhantahur, united the entire city under his rule and created an independent Tashkent state (1784-1807), which by the beginning of the 19th century seized vast lands.
Under the Kokand domination, Tashkent was surrounded by a moat and an adobe battlement (about 20 kilometers long) with 12 gates.
It prospered greatly through trade with Russia but chafed under Kokand's high taxes. The Tashkent clergy also favored the clergy of Bukhara over that of Kokand. However, before the Emir of Bukhara could capitalize on this discontent, the Russian army arrived.
In May 1865, Mikhail Grigorevich Chernyayev (Cherniaev), acting against the direct orders of the tsar and outnumbered at least 15-1, staged a daring night attack against a city with a wall 25 kilometres (16 mi) long with 11 gates and 30,000 defenders. While a small contingent staged a diversionary attack, the main force penetrated the walls, led by a Russian Orthodox priest. Although the defense was stiff, the Russians captured the city after two days of heavy fighting and the loss of only 25 dead as opposed to several thousand of the defenders (including Alimqul, the ruler of the Kokand Khanate). Chernyayev, dubbed the "Lion of Tashkent" by city elders, staged a "hearts-and-minds" campaign to win the population over. He abolished taxes for a year, rode unarmed through the streets and bazaars meeting common people, and appointed himself "Military Governor of Tashkent", recommending to Tsar Alexander II that the city become an independent khanate under Russian protection.
The Tsar liberally rewarded Chernyayev and his men with medals and bonuses, but regarded the impulsive general as a "loose cannon", and soon replaced him with General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman. Far from being granted independence, Tashkent became the capital of the new territory of Russian Turkistan, with Kaufman as first Governor-General. A cantonment and Russian settlement were built across the Ankhor Canal from the old city, and Russian settlers and merchants poured in. Tashkent was a center of espionage in the Great Game rivalry between Russia and the United Kingdom over Central Asia. The Turkestan Military District was established as part of the military reforms of 1874. The Trans-Caspian Railway arrived in 1889, and the railway workers who built it settled in Tashkent as well, bringing with them the seeds of Bolshevik Revolution.
With the fall of the Russian Empire, the Russian Provisional Government removed all civil restrictions based on religion and nationality, contributing to local enthusiasm for the February Revolution. The Tashkent Soviet of Soldiers' and Workers' Deputies was soon set up, but primarily represented Russian residents, who made up about a fifth of the Tashkent population. Muslim leaders quickly set up the Tashkent Muslim Council (Tashkand Shura-yi-Islamiya) based in the old city. On 10 March 1917, there was a parade with Russian workers marching with red flags, Russian soldiers singing La Marseillaise and thousands of local Central Asians. Following various speeches, Governor-General Aleksey Kuropatkin closed the events with words "Long Live a great free Russia".
The First Turkestan Muslim Conference was held in Tashkent 16-20 April 1917. Like the Muslim Council, it was dominated by the Jadid, Muslim reformers. A more conservative faction emerged in Tashkent centered around the Ulema. This faction proved more successful during the local elections of July 1917. They formed an alliance with Russian conservatives, while the Soviet became more radical. The Soviet attempt to seize power in September 1917 proved unsuccessful.
In April 1918, Tashkent became the capital of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkestan ASSR). The new regime was threatened by White forces, basmachi; revolts from within, and purges ordered from Moscow.
The city began to industrialize in the 1920s and 1930s.
Violating the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The government worked to relocate factories from western Russia and Ukraine to Tashkent to preserve the Soviet industrial capacity. This led to great increase in industry during World War II.
It also evacuated most of the German communist emigres to Tashkent. The Russian population increased dramatically; evacuees from the war zones increased the total population of Tashkent to well over a million. Russians and Ukrainians eventually comprised more than half of the total residents of Tashkent. Many of the former refugees stayed in Tashkent to live after the war, rather than return to former homes.
During the postwar period, the Soviet Union established numerous scientific and engineering facilities in Tashkent.
On 10 January 1966, then Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistan President Ayub Khan signed a pact in Tashkent with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin as the mediator to resolve the terms of peace after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. On the next day, Shastri died suddenly, reportedly due to a heart attack. It is widely speculated that Shastri was killed by poisoning the water he drank.
Much of Tashkent's old city was destroyed by a powerful earthquake on 26 April 1966. More than 300,000 residents were left homeless, and some 78,000 poorly engineered homes were destroyed, mainly in the densely populated areas of the old city where traditional adobe housing predominated. The Soviet republics, and some other countries such as Finland, sent "battalions of fraternal peoples" and urban planners to help rebuild devastated Tashkent.
Tashkent was rebuilt as a model Soviet city with wide streets planted with shade trees, parks, immense plazas for parades, fountains, monuments, and acres of apartment blocks. The Tashkent Metro was also built during this time. About 100,000 new homes were built by 1970, but the builders occupied many, rather than the homeless residents of Tashkent. Further development in the following years increased the size of the city with major new developments in the Chilonzor area, north-east and south-east of the city.
At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tashkent was the fourth-largest city in the USSR and a center of learning in the fields of science and engineering.
Due to the 1966 earthquake and the Soviet redevelopment, little architectural heritage has survived of Tashkent's ancient history. Few structures mark its significance as a trading point on the historic Silk Road.
Tashkent is the capital of and the most cosmopolitan city in Uzbekistan. It was noted for its tree-lined streets, numerous fountains, and pleasant parks, at least until the tree-cutting campaigns initiated in 2009 by the local government.
Since 1991, the city has changed economically, culturally, and architecturally. New development has superseded or replaced icons of the Soviet era. The largest statue ever erected for Lenin was replaced with a globe, featuring a geographic map of Uzbekistan. Buildings from the Soviet era have been replaced with new modern buildings. The "Downtown Tashkent" district includes the 22-story NBU Bank building, international hotels, the International Business Center, and the Plaza Building.
The Tashkent Business district is a special district, established for the development of small, medium and large businesses in Uzbekistan. In 2018, was started to build a Tashkent city (new Downtown) which would include a new business district with skyscrapers of local and foreign companies, world hotels such as Hilton Tashkent Hotel, apartments, biggest malls, shops and other entertainments. The construction of the International Business Center is planned to be completed by the end of 2021.  Fitch assigns "BB-" rating to Tashkent city, "Stable" forecast. 
In 2007, Tashkent was named a "cultural capital of the Islamic world" by Moscow News, as the city has numerous historic mosques and significant Islamic sites, including the Islamic University. Tashkent holds the Samarkand Kufic Quran, one of the earliest written copies of the Quran, which has been located in the city since 1924.
Tashkent is the most visited city in the country, and has greatly benefited from increasing tourism as a result of reforms under president Shavkat Mirziyoyev and opening up by abolishing visas for visitors from the European Union and other developing countries or making visas easier for foreigners.
1966: earthquake and subsequent redevelopment
The first demonstration of a fully electronic TV set to the public was made in Tashkent in summer 1928 by Boris Grabovsky and his team. In his method that had been patented in Saratov in 1925, Boris Grabovsky proposed a new principle of TV imaging based on the vertical and horizontal electron beam sweeping under high voltage. Nowadays this principle of the TV imaging is used practically in all modern cathode-ray tubes. Historian and ethnographer Boris Golender ( in Russian), in a video lecture, described this event. This date of demonstration of the fully electronic TV set is the earliest known so far. Despite this fact, most modern historians disputably consider Vladimir Zworykin and Philo Farnsworth as inventors of the first fully electronic TV set. In 1964, the contribution made to the development of early television by Grabovsky was officially acknowledged by the Uzbek government and he was awarded the prestigious degree "Honorable Inventor of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic".
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Closest geographic cities with populations of over 1 million are: Shymkent (Kazakhstan), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Kashgar (China), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Kabul (Afghanistan) and Peshawar (Pakistan).
Tashkent sits at the confluence of the Chirchiq River and several of its tributaries and is built on deep alluvial deposits up to 15 metres (49 ft). The city is located in an active tectonic area suffering large numbers of tremors and some earthquakes.
The local time in Tashkent is UTC/GMT +5 hours.
Tashkent features a Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa) bordering a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dsa). As a result, Tashkent experiences cold and often snowy winters not typically associated with most Mediterranean climates and long, hot and dry summers. Most precipitation occurs during winter, which frequently falls as snow. The city experiences two peaks of precipitation in the early winter and spring. The slightly unusual precipitation pattern is partially due to its 500 m (roughly 1600 feet) altitude. Summers are long in Tashkent, usually lasting from May to September. Tashkent can be extremely hot during the months of July and August. The city also sees very little precipitation during the summer, particularly from June through September.
|Climate data for Tashkent (1981-2010, extremes 1881-present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.6
|Average high °C (°F)||6.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.9
|Average low °C (°F)||-1.5
|Record low °C (°F)||-28
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||53.3
|Average precipitation days||14||13||14||12||11||7||4||3||3||7||10||12||110|
|Average snowy days||9||7||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||6||27|
|Average relative humidity (%)||73||68||61||60||53||40||39||42||45||57||66||73||56|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||117.3||125.3||165.1||216.8||303.4||361.8||383.7||365.8||300.9||224.8||149.5||105.9||2,820.3|
|Source 1: Centre of Hydrometeorological Service of Uzbekistan|
|Source 2: Pogoda.ru.net (mean temperatures/humidity/snow days 1981-2010, record low and record high temperatures), NOAA (mean monthly sunshine hours, 1961-1990)OGIMET|
In 1983, the population of Tashkent amounted to 1,902,000 people living in a municipal area of 256 km2 (99 sq mi). By 1991, (Dissolution of the Soviet Union) the number of permanent residents of the capital had grown to approximately 2,136,600. Tashkent was the fourth most populated city in the former USSR, after Moscow, Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and Kyiv. Nowadays, Tashkent remains the fourth most populous city in the CIS and Baltic countries. The population of the city was 2,295,300 people in 2004.
As of 2008, the demographic structure of Tashkent was as follows:
Tashkent is divided into the following districts (Uzbek: Tuman):
At the time of the Tsarist take over it had four districts (Uzbek daha):
In 1940 it had the following districts (Russian ):
By 1981 they were reorganized into:
Due to the destruction of most of the ancient city during the 1917 revolution and, later, the 1966 earthquake, little remains of Tashkent's traditional architectural heritage. Tashkent is, however, rich in museums and Soviet-era monuments. They include:
The Russian Orthodox church in Amir Temur Square, built in 1898, was demolished in 2009. The building had not been allowed to be used for religious purposes since the 1920s due to the anti-religious campaign conducted across the former Soviet Union by the Bolshevik (communist) government in Moscow. During the Soviet period the building was used for different non-religious purposes; after independence it was a bank.
Most important scientific institutions of Uzbekistan, such as the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, are located in Tashkent. There are several universities and institutions of higher education:
There are several shopping malls in Tashkent. These include Next, Samarqand Darvoza and Kontinent shopping malls.
Football is the most popular sport in Tashkent, with the most prominent football clubs being Pakhtakor Tashkent FK, FC Bunyodkor, and PFC Lokomotiv Tashkent, all three of which compete in the Uzbekistan Super League. Footballers Maksim Shatskikh, Peter Odemwingie and Vasilis Hatzipanagis were born in the city.
Humo Tashkent, a professional ice hockey team was established in 2019 with the aim of joining Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), a top level Eurasian league in future. Humo will join the second-tier Supreme Hockey League (VHL) for the 2019-20 season. Humo play their games at the Humo Ice Dome; both the team and arena derive their name from the mythical Huma bird.
Humo Tashkent was a member of the reformed Uzbekistan Ice Hockey League which began play in February 2019. Humo finished in first place at the end of the regular season.