Shohimardon

Shohimardon
Шоҳимардон
Rural community
Shohimardon in 1871
Shohimardon in 1871
Nickname: 
The Switzerland of Ferghana valley
Shohimardon is located in Uzbekistan
Shohimardon
Shohimardon
Location within Uzbekistan
Shohimardon is located in Asia
Shohimardon
Shohimardon
Location within Asia
Coordinates: 39°59′N 71°48′E / 39.983°N 71.800°E / 39.983; 71.800
CountryFlag of Uzbekistan.svg Uzbekistan
RegionFergana Region
DistrictFergana District
VillagesShohimardon, Yardan
Area
 • Total90 km2 (30 sq mi)
Highest elevation
(Peak Almalik)
2,841 m (9,321 ft)
Lowest elevation
(Shohimardonsoy valley)
1,290 m (4,230 ft)
Population
 (2002)
 • Total10,100
 • Density110/km2 (290/sq mi)
DemonymShohimardonian
Time zoneUTC+5
Uzbekistan Postal code
150418
Area code+998
ISO 3166 codeUZ
Click on the map for a fullscreen view

Shohimardon (also Shakhimardan, Uzbek: Shohimardon / Шоҳимардон,[1] Russian: Шахимардан, romanizedShakhimardan) is a village and a subdivision (rural community) of Fergana District, Fergana Region in eastern Uzbekistan.[2] It is an exclave of Uzbekistan, surrounded by Kyrgyzstan, in a valley in the Pamiro-Alai mountains. The name means ‘King of Men’ in Persian.[3] The river Shohimardonsoy flows through the exclave.[1] There are two villages: Shohimardon and Yordon.

Shohimardon highlighted on the map of Uzbekistan

Shohimardon is a popular resort with several sanatoriums, and an active place of pilgrimage. According to one folk legend, the Caliph Ali was buried in Shohimardon.[4]

Shakhimardan City Resort is situated at 1975m above sea level, 155 km from Ferghana, in the picturesque mountainous district. The Kuliqurbon or Blue Lake is seven kilometers southeast of Shakhimardan. It was formed in 1766 after a series of extreme earthquakes. The lake is located at an altitude of 1,724 metres. It's 170 m long, 60 m tall, 5–10 m deep. The cableway continues to the lake for two kilometres.[5]

The Uzbek poet Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi lived and worked in Shohimardon until he was stoned to death there in 1929.[6]

Geography

Shohimardon is an exclave of Uzbekistan, surrounded by Kyrgyzstan's Batken region, Kadamjay district, in Eastern Central Asia. Its mountainous topography, with no substantial naturally flat ground, is part of the Alay mountains range.

It is one of 4 exclaves of Uzbekistan located in Kyrgyzstan, including Sokh, Chon-Qora (Qalacha), and Jani-Ayil. And the largest one with the area of 90 km2 (35 sq mi) after Sokh 325 km2 (125 sq mi).

Mountains and rivers

It is located in a valley on the northern slopes of the Ala mountains at an altitude of about 1550 meters.Highest points of exclave are summits Almalik 2841 m, Chivirgan 2465 m, and Qizil-Gaza 2568 m. On the western side of Shohimardon village located Kozdibel mountains.

Several rivers flow through the exclave, the largest being Koksu, Oqsu, and the Shohimardonsoy. After Koksu joins to Oqsu near to village park, river Shohimardonsoy starts, which flows down to Margilan. Main source of rivers are glaciers in Kyrgyzstan. Oqsu's flow starts from glaciers Northern Alauddin, Archa-Bashy, and Western Karakazyk. At the beginning river called Alauddin, after Alauddin comes together with Archa-Bashy stream it gets name Oqsu. The stream Dugoba joins it in Yordon village.

Climate

Lowest temperature in January -23.0 °C. Highest temperature in July +42.0 °C. The average amount of moisture falling as rain and snow is 350–400 mm. The average temperature in July is 22 °C, in January from -3 to 3 °C.

Flora and Fauna

In the water of Shohimardonsoy lives Triplophysa ferganaensis, an endemic fish species to the Shohimardonsoy river. Mountains are covered with wood. Most part of flat land is in use for agricultural plants.

Demographics

The population of the exclave in 1993 was about 5,100 people, of which 91% were Uzbeks, and 9% were Kyrgyz. Today around 10,000 people live in exclave, mostly ethnic Uzbeks. Statistical information about the population of Shohimardon (and Yardan) at the end of 19th century and at the first two decades of 20th century:

Shohimardon-Yardan 1890 1909 1917 1925 1926
Population 461 1818 1151 721 424
Ethnicity Tajiks Sarts Uzbeks Uzbeks Uzbeks

Education

One preschool establishment and one public school in Shohimardon town and one preschool establishment and one public school in Yordon village are all public educational establishments in subdivision.[7] In addition to public education, private tutoring courses in language training, and preparing for university exams are available.

Health

There are two hospital in subdivision. Government continuously subsidies most educational and health services, to keep better life quality in isolated Shohimardon.

Religion

Islam is main religion in all villages of exclave. Sunni Islam of Hanafi school is denomination. There is one mosque in use.

Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi was stoned to death in the town of Shohimardon, by Islamic fundamentalists on the accusation of anti-religious activities.

Transport

Shohimardon is connected to mainland Uzbekistan via highway Ferghana-Shohimardon 4R-144. From Shohimardon town center local road R-144a leads to Qurbonkul (Blue lake) and R-144b to Dugoba mount camp.[8]

There are no public airports in Shohimardon. Most tourists from abroad or other parts of Uzbekistan who arrive by air land at Ferghana International airport, then make the transfer by car. It is proposed to build small airport for light aircraft to develop tourism in subdivision and directly connect it with Uzbekistan without crossing Kyrgyzstan's border, as it was built in another isolated exclave - Sokh.

Today there is no railway in Shohimardon. The closest railway station is located in Ferghana city.

Two rivers and several streams flow through Shohimardon, but there is no major water transport, and no port or harbour.

Public transport

Bus service on the route "Fergana - Shohimardon" was stopped in August 2013. From April 25, 2017 the service in this direction has been restarted. There are 2 Isuzu buses on the route and it is served by "Fergana Golden Valley Navkari" LLC.[9] Also there is cableway to Qurbonkul for 2 kilometers, mainly located in Kyrgyzstan territory.

Economy

Agriculture

Mountainous territory and lower average temperature compared to mainland Uzbekistan, agriculture in Shohimardon is tough and not suitable for most agriculture plants like wheat or cotton that popular on Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan's flat lands.

Apple, apricot and peach tree gardens are common in farmlands.

Livestock, dairy products, meat, vegetable production are enough for only internal consumption and satisfies only domestic demand.

Tourism

During the Soviet time Shohimardon was one of the main destinations of Fergana valley's people to travel. After Independence of former Soviet Republics border issues between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan significantly decreased flow of tourists into Shohimardon. Today most of camps, tourist bases and sanatoriums are abandoned. But local people are opening new guest houses to attract more tourists.

The Shrine of Ali at Shahimardan

There is one museum in Shohimardon, located in Shohimardon town park, at the crossing of Koksu and Oqsu rivers. Museum is named after the Uzbek author and scholar Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi. It was opened in 1989 by UNESCO for the 100th anniversary of Niyazi. The collection of museum consists of lifetime stories and books of Niyazi and materials regarding to Shohimardon's history. The museum's mission is to promote the culture, history, and nature of little exclave Shohimardon and its people.

Shohimardon is developing as the destination of pilgrimage tourism as well as eco tourism. It is home for three famous figures of history, and two of them are religious characters that Central Asian people give a lot respect. And there are 3 tombs in shrine complex:

  • Hazret Ali's tomb
  • Shahi Talib (4th generation of Hazret Ali)'s tomb
  • Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi's tomb

The tourist season is from June to September. Season creates jobs for hundreds of locals. Seasonal restaurants, hotels, stores, souvenir shops open to service tourists.

Medical tourism is the another prospect for Shohimardon for its fresh air, clear nature and water.

Labour migration

High rate of unemployment in exclave's villages results in fleeing to mainland Uzbekistan or foreign countries. Most youth men travels to Russia for labour immigration. Fergana is the first location inside of Uzbekistan.

Energy

Shohimardon is rich to hydroelectric energy recources. Rivers that flow through high mountains are great potential to build small hydroelectric power stations.

Uzbekhydroenergo and the Hydro4U consortium receive a €1 million buyout for the purchase of equipment for a new hydroelectric power station. The parties signed the agreement on June 21, 2022, at the annual meeting of the participants of the Hydro4U small power plant construction project. The projected small hydroelectric power station has capacity of 2.2 MW near the village of Shakhimardan.

The power plant, after launching in 2023, will annually generate 12.8 million kWh of electricity. The project to supply 2,100 households with a population of 7,000 also includes additional capacity for production.

The implementation of the project is estimated at 2 million euros. Of these, half will be allocated by the EU in the form of a grant for the purchase of technological equipment. Another 12 billion soums came from the Uzbek side.

Uzbekhydroenergo has also negotiated a micro hydropower stand with the Austrian company Global Hydro. It is noted that the installation of block-modular systems can reduce construction costs by about 500 thousand euros.[10]

Culture

The culture of Shohimardon is the part of Uzbek traditional customs in Ferghana valley. People of Shohimardon celebrates traditional holidays as same as in Uzbekistan, including Nowruz, Islamic holidays, Independence Day of Uzbekistan and New Year's Day.

The beautiful nature of Shohimardon attracts painters from different locations, mainly from former Soviet republics. That's why it is easy to see paintings of Shohimardon among the artworks of Uzbekistan and Central Asia's most famous painters.

Shohimardon is famous among singers and poets of Uzbekistan too. Several songs has created regarding to the mountains and people of Shohimardon. Poets like National poet of Uzbekistan Muhammad Yusuf made Shohimardon even more famous around country by poems.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Шоҳимардонсой" [Shohimardonsoy] (PDF). National Encyclopedia of Uzbekistan (in Uzbek). Tashkent. 2000–2005. p. 215.
  2. ^ "Classification system of territorial units of the Republic of Uzbekistan" (in Uzbek and Russian). The State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on statistics. July 2020.
  3. ^ Everett-Heath, John, "Shakhimardan", The Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acref/9780199580897.001.0001/acref-9780199580897-e-6764;jsessionid=370b78c72a79927900484941683c8af3, retrieved 2023-01-19
  4. ^ "Ferghana Valley enclaves: a travel guide". Caravanistan. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  5. ^ "Shakhimardan". Retrieved March 2, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Scott Malcolmson, Empire's Edge: Travels in South-Eastern Europe, Turkey and Central Asia, Verso, 1995, pp 212-219.
  7. ^ "MTTlar xaritasi".
  8. ^ "Highways in Ferghana region" (PDF). uzavtoyul.uz.
  9. ^ "Bus service from Fergana to Shahimardon has been restored". Kun.uz (in Uzbek). May 10, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "The European Union will give 1 million euros for the construction of a mini-hydroelectric power station in the Fergana region". spot.uz. 21 June 2022.

Coordinates: 39°59′N 71°48′E / 39.983°N 71.800°E / 39.983; 71.800

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