TOURISM IN UZBEKISTAN
Uzbekistan— a rich tapestry of architectural wonders, diverse natural reserves and modern booming development attracts the attention of the whole world.
For centuries, Uzbekistan sat at the intersection of the Great trade routes along which merchants and discoverers, geographers and missionaries, invaders and conquerors passed cross each other on their journeys to east or west. In modern times, Uzbekistan is top on travel agenda for adventurous people interested in culture and history, traditions, natured exotic destinations.
Uzbekistan is gently proud of its traditionally classic architecture. The Ichan-Kala complex in Khiva, and the historical centers of Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Samarkand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Many unique monuments and architectural constructions in these towns still remain genuine and are samples of an era that played a significant role in history.
Tashkent is the Capital of the present-day Uzbekistan and one of the largest cities of Central Asia. An important international transport junction, both in ancient past and in the present, nowadays directly linked to many countries of the world by local carrier Uzbekistan Airways and international airlines.
Tashkent is one of the ancient cities of the world. In 2009 it celebrated its 2200th anniversary. No other Central Asian town has been studied so thoroughly by scientists as this modern capital of Uzbekistan. During the years of Independence more than 240 architectural and archeological monuments within the city boundary have been brought to light. Today the images of olden times such as mosques, madrassahs, and minarets stand in elegant grandeur among parks, museums, fountains, modern skyscrapers made of glass and metal, and highway flyovers.
Today in Uzbekistan there are about 100 museums with almost half of them being located in the capital of the country. Each of them reflects Uzbek land’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage. In the center of the Uzbek capital, the building crowned with the huge blue dome, which reminds ancient domes of Samarkand structures, accommodates the State Museum of Temurids. Its exhibits testify to the formation in the Middle ages of statehood within the territory of Uzbekistan, and highlight the development of science, culture and art fr om the time of Amir Temur.
Over the centuries, Uzbekistan’s cities played a major role in the life of the Great Silk Road, the ancient, transcontinental thoroughfare. But, one city stands out as being “the Heart of Great Silk Road”; that city is Samarkand.
“The Radiate Point of Globe”, “The Jewel of Islamic Architecture”, “The Mirror of the World” are oriental titles bestowed upon Samarkand fr om earliest times. A contemporary of Rome, Athens, and Babylon, this city has already celebrated its 2750th anniversary, who`s golden age occurred during the Temurid dynasty as this very city was chosen by Emir Temur, the greatest warlord and ruler of the Central Asia after Chingiz Khan, as the capital of his powerful Empire, Movarounnahr. Emir Temur carried out a vast program of town-planning during his rule. Here in Samarkand the great ruler gathered skillful architects and craftsmen whose works of art have outlasted the years. His grandson Ulughbek continued these construction traditions. Today the monuments of Samarkand are majestic and wonderful. In this town one can feel the breath of history itself. It can be traced in the ancient ruins as well as in the madrassahs, mausoleums, and minarets, which have been decorating the city until now.
The legendary Samarkand square of Reghistan ranks amongst the key architectural sights in Central Asia. Since ancient times, this square has been the trade and public center of Samarkand. Three grandiose madrassahs—Ulughbek madrassah, Sher Dor and Tillya Kari madrassahs—proudly dominate the square.
Gur-Emir Mausoleum – is another gem of ancient Samarkand. The remains of the Great sovereign, his two sons and two grandsons, including a prominent scientist and thinker of the East, Mirzo Ulughbek, rest in this mausoleum. Fr om a distance the dome of Gur Emir mausoleum looks like a blue tulip, with gently folded turquoise petals. The architectural décor of the monuments is grand, opulent and worthy of being the setting for any Scheherazade fairy tale.
Registan Square, Gur-Emir mausoleum, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, Shakhi-Zinda Ensemble, Ulugbek’s Observatory, this is not the complete list of all those monuments that fascinate the visitors of the ancient city.
Bukhara, the famous trading post on the Silk Road, stirs the romantic in many travelers.
With over 2500 years of history and a welcoming atmosphere, Bukhara is one of the tourists’ favorites. More than 140 monuments of ancient architecture, and these sights are located within a compact area and are best seen on foot.
Ismail Samani Mausoleum, the 9th-century monument whose exterior is an intricate pattern of delicate masonry resembling the lace; majestic Ark fortress, once a fortified residence of the rulers of Bukhara; Kalyan Minaret whose vertical lines mark the city skyline at about 50 metres; a living maze of numerous mosques and madrassahs, caravanserais, baths and multi-domed market buildings – all these monuments are inimitable gems of Holy Bukhara.
Khiva, “the museum in the open”, is the only town along the Great Silk Road, which has remained intact through centuries andhas retained the exotic flavour of a medieval town which time has not destroyed but has just frozen. Today Ichan Kala, the nucleus of ancient Khiva offers the visitors the most stunning homogeneous collection of architecture of the late 18th century – the first half of the 19th century.
Khiva is crammed with historic buildings. City’s ancient gates, a chain of minarets, including the 45-metre tall Islam-Hojja Minaret, the architectural complex of Pakhlavan-Makhmud, the patron saint of Khiva, congregational Juma Mosque with carved columns of astonishing beauty, the exquisite Tash-Hauli Palace built in the 19th century as a residence for the emir, his entourage and harem… You would need days rather than few hours to discover this ‘museum in the open’, to explore its tiny streets, to lose yourself hundreds of times and “find” yourself gazing at another splendour.
The multi-faceted history of Uzbekistan is undoubtedly a reflection of its geographical location particularly in the case of the city of Termez – the southernmost city of the country. Termez was founded on the right bank of the Amu Darya at the crossroads of Silk Road caravan routes, as a main port and for more than 2,500 years centuries it has retained this capacity.
At the beginning of our era, Termez acquired one more function, ideological, having become the main center of Buddhism in Central Asia from wh ere Buddhist spread to China and Japan. Such sites in the vicinity of modern Termez as Kara-Tepe rock-hewn Buddhist cave monastery, Fayaz-TepeBuddist temple, 16-meter-high brickZurmala Tower – the remnant of a large Buddhist stupa are very popular among tourists and Buddhist pilgrims.
But Termez is famous not only for its Buddhist antique relics. The historical monuments of early Middle Ages are no less fascinating. Among them we can name one of the greatly valued monuments of the Muslims world – the burial-vaultof Khakim at-Termezi, Sultan Saodat Ensemble (10th-17th centuries) and legendary Kyrk-Kyz fortress of the 9th century.
Today Karakalpakistan is an alive communication between the contemporary and ancient world. With its wonderful and unique sites it is ready to share its legends and secrets with you.
The ancient castles of “Kyrkkyz-Kala”, “Ayaz-Kala”, “Djanbas-Kala”, the mausoleums of “Ichan-Kala”, a beautiful town of “Toprak-Kala” and other historical and archeological statues, located in the territory of Karakalpakistan, present a great intellectual and cultural interest that attire a number of tourists from the other regions of the country as well as the foreign countries.
Traditions and customs of Uzbek people living on the crossroad of the Great Silk Road were taking shape within many centuries as a result of interaction of Zoroastrian rituals of the Sogdians and Bactrians and traditions of nomadic tribes, with certain impact of Islamic traditions and rites set by the Koran in later period.
Travelling in Uzbekistan tourists can both see the architectural gems of Uzbekistan and whenever possible take part in the celebration of the most cherished national and folk holiday of Uzbek people. (For example NAVRUZ- New Year festival of spring which falls on March 21st)
Each itinerary includes a visit to a national house wh ere tourists can learn about lifestyle of local people, taste the national Uzbek cuisine and enjoy the folklore show.
Uzbek national cuisine is rather delicious. Rich traditions and ancient culture of Uzbeks’ cooking have a history of many centuries. A wide assortment of products is used and each dish reflects the lifestyle and culture of the Uzbek people. The delicious Uzbek national cuisine is unlikely to leave indifferent even the most pernickety gourmet.
The traditional idea of an oriental bazaar as a place of abundant merchandise, brightness of colours and lively bustle finds its embodiment in Uzbekistan.
At all seasons the fruit and vegetable stalls impress with an abundance and diversity of the produce. But in summer and autumn the oriental bazaar is particularly impressing.
The bazaar’s active life starts early in the morning and ends when it gets dark. The unique atmosphere of the oriental bazaar is created by inviting shouts of the salespeople, automobile honks, sounds of national music, smells of spices and roasted meat, fruit and vegetables of all colors…
Where in the past there were caravanserais modern hotels appeared. First-class hotels with internationally famous names and excellent world-class service are available in the major cities of Uzbekistan: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench. A number of B&Bs have sprung up over the past several years, each with a style and character of its own. Altogether there are about 350 hotels in Uzbekistan with total capacity of 9000 rooms.
Uzbekistan today has a developed tourism infrastructure which meets the international standards. You don’t need to spend months in order to reach your destination, like it was in the times of the Silk Road.
Today Getting to Uzbekistan is quick and easy. As one of the main gateways to Asia, Uzbekistan has direct flights to the world’s major cities.
Travelling on horses and camels is no longer a reality. Instead tourists can delight in beautiful landscapes of the country, while traveling by speedy, comfortable, air-conditioned cars or coaches.
Uzbekistan is not only about history and fabled architecture. Enthusiasts of active tourism have always been very much attracted by Uzbekistan’s exotic nature with its contrasts, diverse flora and fauna, abundance of sunny weather all the year round, and friendly climate.
Uzbekistan embraces as diverse types of the environment as deserts with their sand-dunes, blossoming oases and riverside tugai woods, alpine meadows and mountains topped with eternal snow.
The charm of Uzbekistan’s unrivalled nature can be experienced during the trekking tours in the Western Tien-Shan, the Celestial mountains. In search of extreme adventures there come to Chimgan valley numerous mountaineers, avid to surmount the peak of the Big Chimgan, which is 3309 meters high (10850 feet).
Romantic appeal of horse riding attracts people of any age and temperament. Horseback ride tours are generally arranged in summertime, but Uzbekistan’s unique climatic conditions make horse riding possible all the year round. One of the most popular alluring horseback riding travels are through Ugham-Chatkal National Wild Park well-known for its rich flora and fauna.In some eighty kilometers off Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, at the foot of snow-covered spurs of the Western Tien Shan Mountains there exists“Chimghan Oromghohi” resort complex designed for horse ride enthusiasts. In the stables of the complex there are horses of local breeds, such as kurama and karabair, as well as akhal-teke breed and sturdy half-bred horses. From here the horseback tours head up through the wilderness areas of the National Park.
Impressions of your journey along the mountains wh ere fresh, clear air is filled with the superfine aroma of the numerous herbs and flowers, the squeak of a saddle, rhythmical clatter of hoofs and romantic evening meal round campfire under bottomless mountain sky with myriads of stars, will be long kept in your memory.
The ambience of the legendary Silk Road of our distant past can be experienced during camel safari through the Kyzyl-Kum Desert. Sand-dunes, merciless sun, sparse islands of saxaul, camel’s-thorn (alhagi) and sand, sand, sand… In early spring, thanks to the life-giving rains, the desert is covered with purple poppies and an emerald carpet of grass – sadly, these colours fade quickly. At the camel farm tourists change their comfortable cars to camels- the only suitable form of transport in the desert and start their exotic journey. Unforgettable impressions of riding on camelback; watching the beautiful sunset, its colours bleeding into the horison’s shimmering sands; overnight in yurtas (Kazakh collapsible tents); exotic national dishes and ceremonies — this is what makes this tour popular with tourists.
Heli-ski and snowboarding
Mountains of the Western Tien-Shan offer everything a snow enthusiast could ask for. Comparatively mild climate, almost windless weather, availability of three hundred sunny days a year, big choice of skiable terrain with tracks for cross-country skiing, slalom and downhill runs, create good conditions for winter recreation.
Over the last few years “Chimgan-Charvak-Beldersay” resort area has become a popular location for enthusiasts of heli-ski and free-ride, the youngest but fast developing types of extreme sports and recreation. Thus on the beautiful mountain slopes of Chimghan tract, located at the height of 1600 – 2400 meters above sea level, the blanket of snow lies from October till May and the local skiing routes meet the requirements of the International Mountain Skiing standards.
For the enthusiasts of heli-skiing many runs start from the heights up to 4000 m above sea level and finish in the valley. You can make up to 6 runs per day making the first tracks in virgin powder.
‘Asian Switzerland’ as Uzbekistan is sometimes called, is especially attractive for those who fancy extreme traveling, who become ecstatic about rafting down the rapid local rivers.
Rafting along the rapid Chatkal River is the favorite activity of extreme travelers. They are interested in many-day rafting along the route rated as the route of the fifth category of complexity, as well as in diverse landscapes and natural obstacles. Not less than fifty serious obstacles await the travelers on the river. Among the hardest ones are waterfalls, cascades of rapids, stony shallow areas with rapid current, whirlpools, rocky gorges and sharp stone cogs sticking out of waves.
Tashkent Lake Side Golf Club is a wonderfully organized golf club with first-rate golf fields. 108 hectares of land with 18 holes on evergreen lawns, with gently sloping hills and branchy crowns of trees, lakes and waterfalls that serve as natural barriers for the game, all this pertains to Tashkent Lake Side Golf Club. It also possesses a large recreational area with training lawns, tennis courts, swimming pool, sauna.
For all the flavours of its storied past, cultural mosaics and unique natural beauty, warmth, hospitality and enthusiasm of the people, Uzbekistan is the country to visit and marvel.
The sports team of the Republic of Uzbekistan every year expands the numerical structure, winning more and more strong and high positions on international scene. Achievements of athletes of the country convincingly promote strengthening of authority of young Republic on international scene. Protecting colors of a national flag young men and girls, professionals of individual and game disciplines, showing at representative forums exclusive preparation and phenomenal skill, eloquently confirm, that they represent the country with rich sport traditions.
It is symbolical, that Uzbekistan does not drop out of the category of the countries where the understanding importance of this truth takes place. The governmental structures, public organizations, sport departments of the country always make common efforts in the solution of such important problems, as forward development of material base of sphere of sports and physical training, achievement of mass character in their organizations, strengthening of base of professional sector and others.
Integrated and targeted measures to support the sport in the country have yielded positive results. During the years of Independence sports delegation of Uzbekistan took part in 5 Olympic and 9 Asian Games, where athletes of Uzbekistan adequately protected sporting honor their homeland. At the Olympics, the representatives of the republic won 6 gold, 5 silver, 11 bronze medals, at the Asian became the owners of 54 gold, 76 silver and 93 bronze medals. The results of our olympians indicate that Uzbekistan every year reinforces its place among the countries where the sport is progressing rapidly.
The main work on development of sport conducts the Ministry of Culuture and Sport of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Level of actions on the further development of Olympic and participation in it sportsmen of the Republic are provided with National Olympic Committee, since 1993 become with a member of the International Olympics.
Now in 32 kinds of sports national federations of Uzbekistan are members of the international federations, having secured with the right of participation at the various international competitions.
Preparation of experts on physical training and sports is carried out by the Uzbek State Institute of Physical Training. Annually about 2 thousand students are trained in it. The higher educational institution prepares the teachers of physical training and trainers-teachers on sport.
For last years in the Republic the separate kinds of sport which material base is modernized in view of the requirements accepted in the World are developing in accelerated rates. In this line the base of the Uzbek football where participation of 36 teams is recorded which is very indicative. At their order 231 stadium, 5231 football floor, and also numerous platforms for game in mini-football. By the most popular kind of sport in the Republic is conducting Championship and Contests of Uzbekistan, the Cup of Republic.
On mass character almost does not concede the sport “number one” the big tennis. Development of its base, no less than successes of tennis players of Uzbekistan, became regular by virtue of many reasons – to staginess, availability, between national popularity. Since 1994 in all large cities of the country the international tournaments with participation of the strongest tennis players of the world are annually carries out.
Uzbekistan periodically becomes a place of carrying out of such prestigious competitions and tournaments, as the Championship of Asia on boxing, the Championship of Asia and Ocenia on Taekvondo, the international tournaments on free-style wrestling, weightlifting, muaythai and etc.
Special attention is given development of paralympic sports in the Republic. Expansion of its base became a subject of the directed actions not only for corresponding departments and public structures, but also Ministry of Social Welfare RU, and also the Republican Society of invalids, Regional representation of the International Red Cross.
For many centuries, Uzbek nation has been famous for its strongest palvans (wrestlers) and legendary equestrians, which contributed to create national types of sports in Uzbekistan, such as Kurash, Belbogli-kurash, Turon, and Boyqurgan. The Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan created a great opportunity for national sports, which are some of cultural inheritance of Uzbekistan in the sphere of physical culture and sports, to be presented to the world.
Generally, each nation has its own national sports where the certain sport is initiated. Speaking of Japan, in the sports world, it associates as the country of judo, karate, sumo. China is the country of Wu-shu; Korea – taekwondo and sirim; USA – baseball and basketball. Like the other countries in the world, Uzbekistan associates as the country of kurash, belbogli kurash, turon, and boyqurgan. Today, national sports achieved a great popularity not only in Uzbekistan, but also all over the world. One of the initial achievements was that Kurash, Belbogli-kurash, Turon, and Boyqurgan received international status and being included to Asian Games.
Furthermore, there was established the International Kurash Association, and in as many as 50 countries across the world were established regional federations of Kurash. Today, Kurash is just about to be included to the list of Olympic sports. Since 1999, across the world, there have been being held a number of world championships in this type of sport.
Children’s sports development in Uzbekistan
Sport is a powerful tool for maintaining a healthy socio-political climate in the country, especially among youth. Today Uzbekistan sport has become an integral part of education.
Uzbekistan is considered to be a country with a young population – more than 40 percent of the republic’s residents are young people aged up to 18 years. It is important that they have grown fully developed and purposeful individuals both in the spiritual and the physical plane. Therefore, attention to children’s sport and healthy lifestyles of young people identified as one of the priorities of the state policy.
In order to fully support children and youth sports since 2002 operating in Uzbekistan Children’s Sports Development Fund, providing comprehensive promotion of all types of sports among children.
1113 modern children’s sports facilities, including 252 sports complexes, 861 gyms and 110 swimming pools were recently created in the country. Currently more than 1 million 800 thousand children on a regular basis are engaged in 30 types of sports. We attach particular importance to attract an early age to the sport for girls and youth in rural areas.
Along with this, in the Republic, a three-tier system of sports, which includes “Umid Nihollari”, “Barkamol avlod” and “Universiade”. In fact, the system is a national model of effective selection and training of elite athletes.
The result of this extensive work is that today ‘s weight and height more than 92 percent of our boys and girls are in compliance with the World Health Organization.
Culture of Uzbekistan is one of the brightest and original cultures of East. It is inimitable national music, dances and painting, unique national kitchen and clothes. The Uzbek national music is characterized as variety of subjects and genres. The songs and tool plays according to their functions and forms of usage can be divided into two groups: performed in the certain time and under the certain circumstances and performed at any time. The songs connected with customs and traditions, labor processes, various ceremonies, dramatized entertainment representations and games belong to the first group.
The Uzbek people is well-known for its songs. Koshuk — household song with a small diapason melody, covering one or two rows of the poetic text. The dancing character of a melody of this genre provides their performance in support of comic dances. «Lapar» is a dialogue-song. In some areas the term — lapar is applied to wedding songs «Ulan» (which is performed as a dialogue of man and women). Genre «yalla» includes two kinds of songs: a melody of a narrow range, and solo simultaneously with dance. National and professional poems of the poets of East are used as the texts for the songs. The special place in the Uzbek musical heritage occupy «dastans» (epic legends with lyric-heroic content). Also «Makoms»- are the basic classical fund of professional music of oral tradition.
The dances of uzbeks distinguish softness, smoothness and expressiveness of movements, easy sliding step, original movements on a place and on a circle.
The development of national painting began many centuries ago. At 16–17 centuries art of the manuscript and binding in Bukhara and some other urban centers has achieved significant success. The decorating of manuscript included refined calligraphy, performance by water paints and thin ornaments on fields. In Samarkand and especially in Bukhara the Central Asian school of a miniature has achieved a great success and were developed many different style directions. One of them, for example is connected with traditions of Behzod, which characterized with its gentle style of writing the letter and architectural elements.
The Uzbek national clothes of the end of XX centuries remain constant up these days. The men in that time carried a direct cover shirts, bottom and top dressing gowns. The dressing gowns were very light and made from cotton wool. There were cuts on each side of dressing gown for convenience at walking. The trousers were made wide, of direct breed lent from top to bottom. Female clothes: dressing gowns, dress.
Uzbek men’s clothing: The basis of national men’s suit is a chapan, the quilted robe, tied with a kerchief. Traditional men’s cap is tubeteika. Kuylak is the men’s straight cut undershirt. Ishton is men’s wide trousers, narrowed at ankles. Traditional footwear is high-boots, made of thin leather. Shirts were worn everywhere, but men from the Fergana Valley and Tashkent region wear a yakhtak, a wrap shirt. Both of these types were sewn from homespun cotton cloth and feature a moderate aesthetics in a form of a decorated miniature braiding- jiyak, stitched along the collar.
Belts for gala dresses were normally very smart, made of velvet or embroidered, with silver figured metal plates and buckles. Everyday shirts are tied with long sashes.
Women’s traditional dress consisted of a tunic, pants, a scarf, and a coat. The long, loose tunic had wide sleeves reaching to the wrists. Loose-cut pants were often made of the same fabric as the tunic, or out of complementary fabric. The bottom of the pants was gathered and decorated with embroidered braid. Women’s coats were similar to men’s khalat.
For centuries cotton has been used extensively for clothing in Uzbekistan. Home-woven striped and white cotton were the most common fabrics for everyday wear. Textile patterns often included up to six or seven different colors in the typical geometrical or stylized floral design. Fabrics were brightly colored, in shades of red, yellow, blue, green, violet, and orange. The color of the costume was an important signal of a person’s age or social status. Red and pink were common for girls and young women; middle-aged women were supposed to wear shades of light blue and gray. White was the most popular color and appropriate for all ages, especially for the elderly. Black, dark blue, and violet were colors of mourning.
Women and Men’s national headwear. Tubeteikas (Skull-caps):
Headdress is one of the main elements in the traditional Uzbek clothing. The national headwear in many countries of Central Asia, including Uzbekistan is a tubeteika (skull-cap). Tubeteika is derived from the Turkic word “tubé”, which means “top, peak”. Tubeteika is worn by everybody: men, women, and children. Only elder women do not wear tubeteikas.
Today it is uncommon to meet a man in the tubeteika in large cities, mainly it is an important element of holiday garments at family parties and religious celebrations. The common form of the Uzbek tubeteika is tetrahedral and slightly conical. Traditional men’s tubeteika is black and embroidered with a inwrought white pattern in a form of four “paprikas” and 16 miniature arches. An everyday tubeteika, “kalampir”, is one of the simplest and widely used cap, it’s importance must not be underestimated. This tubeteika is an essential attribute for some events even in the environment of a country-wide influence of the European culture. There are smart tubeteikas enriched with bright and colorful embroideries and patterns for special festival occasions.
Uzbek cuisine is one of the most colorful of Oriental Cuisines. You will get astounded to find some of Uzbek recipes to be centuries-old. They even have different traditional rituals and ways of cooking. There are about 1,000 different dishes including national drinks, cakes and confectionary products.
Uzbek «Pilaf» is a very solemn food. It can be considered as an everyday dish as well as a dish for solemn and great events like weddings, parties and holidays. Rice is the most important ingredient of pilaf and special spices, raisins, or peas will be added to give it extra flavor. However, locals believe that the best pilaf is always prepared by a man! Salads are also served along with pilaf.
Bread is holy for Uzbek people. This traditional belief started with a legend. As it goes, each new Governor would mint his own coins but the payment for local people who minted new coins were not the coins that were minted but…bread!
Traditionally Uzbek breads are baked inside the stoves made of clay called «Tandyr». These fragrant breads are known to be crispy and tasty. Even the greatest scientist of medicine, Avicenna used Uzbek bread to cure people of diseases.
A special importance is placed on soups. Uzbek soup is rich in vegetables and seasonings and contains lots of carrots, turnips, onions and greens. Two popular soups are Mastava and Shurpa.
TRADITIONAL UZBEK DANCE: ARTS AND SCHOOLS OF UZBEK DANCE
National Uzbek dance is very expressive. It presents all the beauty of nation. The main difference of Uzbek dance from dances of other Eastern nations is the accent on complicated and expressive hand gestures and animated facial expressions. Uzbek dance includes two categories: classic traditional dance and folklore dance.
Classic traditional Uzbek dance is the art, studied in choreographic schools and demonstrated on a stage. There are three schools of Uzbek dance: Ferghana, Bukhara and Khorezm. Ferghana dances are differed with softness, smoothness and expressiveness of gestures, light sliding step, original motions. Bukhara dance is distinguished with sharpness of gestures, leaned back shoulders and very beautiful goldwork costumes. Khorezm style differs with original and distinctive motions.
Folk Uzbek dance includes traditions of almost any region and displays wonderful variety. People dance them on weddings and family holidays, rural and urban events. These dances are handed over from generation to generation and preserve ancient dance traditions as well as today and past lifestyles.
Culture, handicrafts and tourism are rapidly becoming inseparable partners. Local crafts are important elements of culture, and people travel to see and experience other cultures, traditions and ways of living. Crafts products form an important element of the purchases made by tourists, providing an important economic input to the local economy.
Applied art of Uzbeks has a wealth of variety when it comes to style, materials and ornamentation. Silk, ceramics and cotton weaving, stone and wood carving, metal engraving, leather stamping, calligraphy and miniature painting are some genres passed down from ancient times. Back in the past, each region had its own cultural and ethnic traditions the unique features of which were established by local guilds that have strengthened these characteristics through their art.
Uzbek craftsmen nowadays still practice ancient jewellery making techniques for cutting gemstones, grain filigree, granular work, engraving and enameling, also they are trying to take into account fashion demands and styles.
Embroidery is one of the most popular trends of applied arts in Uzbekistan. Every city of Uzbekistan has its own unique features such as ornamentation, composition, color range and stitching. The finest kind of embroidery, gold embroidery is still practiced in Bukhara.
The art of carpet weaving is also a very ancient form of art throughout Asia and the East, and nowadays it can be found in some of the cities of Uzbekistan today. The art of wood carving is used and adapted in modern interior design. Carved and painted tables, stools, caskets, pencil boxes and bookstands are popular pieces of furniture among local people and tourists. The art of Miniature painting and calligraphy has been revived again in its traditional form as well as some modern variants. For example miniatures stamped on leather, painted on paper miniatures, small lacquered boxes, framed pictures, pencil boxes and many other ideas skillfully painted by masters can be found in Uzbekistan.
Education system of Uzbekistan consists of the following:
- state and private educational institutions implementing educational programs in accordance with state educational standards;
- research and teaching institutions performing research work required for the operation and development of the education system;
- Government administrative bodies in the field of education, as well as their subordinate enterprises, institutions and organizations.
The education system of the Republic of Uzbekistan is single and continuous.
Education in Uzbekistan is realized in the following ways:
- pre-school education;
- secondary education;
- specialized secondary and vocational education;
- Higher education;
- graduate education;
- personnel training and retraining;
- nonschool education.
The education system is generally supervised by the Cabinet of Ministers. It also directly controls some higher education institutions, which include the Tashkent Islamic University, as well as affiliates of international well-known foreign universities (Moscow State University, University of Westminster, etc.).
The tasks of the Cabinet of Ministers in the field of education include:
- implementation of a unified state policy in the field of education;
- overseeing the state educational bodies;
- development and implementation of education development programs;
- establishing the rules for creation, reorganization and liquidation of educational institutions;
- determining the rules for accreditation of educational institutions, certification of teaching and research staff;
- issuing permits for educational activities to educational institutions of other states on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
- determining the rules for recognizing and matching the equivalence of international documents on education according to the law;
- approval of state educational standards;
- approval of state specimens of educational documents and the procedure for their issuance;
- setting the number of government grants and admission rules to educational institutions;
- appointment of rectors of public higher education institutions;
- establishing the order of students transfer from one accredited educational institution to another;
- other powers in accordance with the law.
In Uzbekistan, the direct management of the educational institutions carried out by two sectoral ministries – the Ministry of Public Education (MPE) and the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education (MHSSE).
MPE is responsible for a preschool, nonschool educational institutions and secondary schools. MPE manages 5 universities and 16 institutes of teacher training. The Ministry has the provincial, district and municipal departments of public education, which shall perform the functions of the methodological guidance to the respective educational institutions on the ground.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE of MPE system
MHSSE is a government body that manages higher and secondary professional education in the country.
Ministry for its activity reports to the Cabinet of Ministers.
The system includes the Center of secondary specialized vocational education, Center for developing the higher and secondary specialized vocational education, and higher education institutions.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE of MHSSE system
Every citizen has the right to acquire knowledge , guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Education plays a significant role in educating the youth of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Homeland begins with the threshold , education of children begins in the family. This means that each of us is responsible for growing up full, healthy , educated, loyal to Homeland generation.
At a solemn meeting dedicated to the 21th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov noted that over the past ’22 our independent of our development Uzbekistan’s economy has grown 4.1 times within this period, and in per capita terms it multiplied at least threefold, taking into account at the same time that the population of the country increased for this period by nearly 9.7 million people to reach the current 30.5 million approximately.
Notwithstanding the grave repercussions of the still ongoing global financial and economic downturn, the annual growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) has exceeded 8 percent in 2008-2013, while this indicator is projected at 8.1 percent in the year 2014. Very few countries around the world have been able to boast similar economic growth rates.
The real aggregate per capita incomes have enlarged 8.2 times for the independent development years.
Macroeconomic indicators have been maintained in balanced terms, so has the annual surplus of the State Budget.
The public external debt of the country does not top 16 percent of the GDP, while the internal debt has a zero valuation, amid the mounting volumes of exports and gold and currency reserves.
During the independent development period, capital investments equaling more than 162 billion US dollars in dollar estimates, including in excess of 56 billion dollars of foreign investments, have been drawn in Uzbekistan’s economy.
The volume of capital investments in 2013 is to make up 14 billion dollars in dollar estimates, which is 23 percent of the GDP.
Within a historically brief span of time, Uzbekistan has turned from a land with a one-sided raw-material based economy with a destructive monopoly of cotton production into a dynamically growing country with a modern industry advancing with speedy rates.
This is backed expressively by the fact that the share of manufacturing industry in Uzbekistan’s GDP amounts currently to 24.3 percent in contrast to the 14.2 percent back in 1990. In the meanwhile, the proportion of agriculture in the GDP has reduced from 34 percent to 17 percent in 2013.
During independence years, such novel sectors have been established in Uzbekistan as automotive industry, home appliances manufacturing, hydrocarbon-chemical production, pharmaceuticals industry, while the food and light industries, chemical industry, manufacturing construction materials and other sectors have undergone complete modernization and reorientation to the production of competitive goods with higher added value.
The supreme state representative body shall be the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan that exercises legislative power.
The term of powers of the Legislative chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan — five years.
THE LEGISLATIVE CHAMBER
The Legislative Chamber is the lower chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall consist of one hundred fifty deputies elected by territorial constituencies on a multiparty basis.
The Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan (the upper chamber).
The Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be the chamber of territorial representation and consist of members of the Senate (senators).
Members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be elected in equal quantity — in six persons — from the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and the city of Tashkent by secret ballot at relevant joint sessions of deputies of Zhokarghy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, representative bodies of state authority of regions, districts, cities and towns from among these deputies. Sixteen members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan from among the most authoritative citizens with large practical experience and special merits in the sphere of science, art, literature, manufacture and other spheres of state and public activity.
CABINET OF MINISTERS
Cabinet of Ministers — The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the executive power body of the Republic of Uzbekistan, ensuring guidance over effective functioning of the economy, social and cultural development, execution of the laws, and other decisions of Oliy Majlis, as well as decrees and resolutions issued by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The activity of the Cabinet of Ministers is based on the law of the Republic of Uzbekistan № 818-XII «On Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan» dated May 6.
The Cabinet of Ministers heads the system of bodies of state management and established bodies for economic management, and ensures their coordinated activity.
The Cabinet of Ministers is competent to consider all issues concerning state and economic administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan, included in its competence according to the legislation.
The Cabinet of Ministers has a right of legislative initiative.
The Cabinet of Ministers in its activity is guided by principles collective leadership, democracy and legality, accounting of interests of all nations and nationalities inhabiting the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The Cabinet of Ministers shall issue resolutions and ordinances in accordance with the current legislation. This shall be binding on all bodies of administration, enterprises, institutions, organizations, officials and citizens throughout the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers having normative character, are published in the Collection of the Orders of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and it the event of necessity through mass media for a immediate and nationwide promulgation.
The Cabinet of Ministers is the founder of the newspaper «Pravda Vostoka», and also co-founder of the newspapers «Narodnoe Slovo» and «Khalq Suzi».
THE STATE SYMBOLS
The Republic of Uzbekistan has its own state symbols — the flag, the emblem, and the anthem sanctioned by law. The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Article 5.
THE STATE FLAG OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
The law about «The State Flag of the Republic of Uzbekistan» was adopted on November 18 in 1991 in the 8th session of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan.
The flag of our country is a symbol of the sovereignty of the Republic. The national flag of the Republic represents the country internationally when official delegations from Uzbekistan visit foreign countries, as well as at conferences, world exhibition, and sports competitions.
The national flag of the Republic is a right-angled colored cloth of three horizontal stripes: blue, white and green.
Blue is the symbol of the sky and water, which are the main source of life. Mainly blue was the color of the state flag of Temur.
White is the traditional symbol of peace and good luck, as Uzbek people say «Ok yul».
Green is the color of nature and new life and good harvest.
Two thin red stripes symbolize the power of life.
There is a new moon, which symbolizes the newly independent Republic.
There are twelve stars, which stand for spiritual sign. The stars also signify the historical traditions of the Uzbek people, as well as ancient solar calendar. A particular attention to twelve stars in the flag is explained yet by another suggestion, that in the states previously existed in the territory of modern Uzbekistan the scientific thought as «Astrology» had seen its rise. The stars in the Uzbek flag also point to the ancient roots of local culture, the aspirations of Uzbek people towards perfection and loyalty.
THE STATE EMBLEM
The law about «The State Emblem» was approved by the 10-th session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan on July 2, 1992.
The new state emblem of the Republic of Uzbekistan was created to reflect the many centuries of experience of the Uzbek people.
The state emblem of the Republic presents the image of the rising sun over a flourishing valley. Two rivers run through the valley, representing the Syrdarya and Amudarya. The emblem is bordered by wheat on the right side and branches of cotton with opened cotton bolls on the left side.
The eight-angle star is at the top of the emblem, symbolizing the unity and confirmation of the republic. The crescent and star inside the eight-pointedstar are the sacred symbols of Islam. The mythical bird Semurg with outstretched wings is placed in the center of the emblem as the symbol of the national Renaissance. The entire composition aims to express to desire of the Uzbek people for peace, happiness and prosperity. At the bottom of the emblem inscribed the word «Uzbekistan» written in Uzbek on a ribbon in the national colors of the flag.
The law «On national anthem of the Republic of Uzbekistan» was adopted on the December 10, 1992 at the 11th session of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan.
Poem by A. Aripov
Music by M. Burkhanov
My country, sunny and free, salvation to your people,
You are a warmhearted companion to the friends
Flourish eternally with knowledge and invention,
May your fame shine as long as the world exists!
These golden valleys-dear Uzbekistan,
Manly spirit of ancestors is companion to you!
When the great power of people became exuberant
You are the country that amazes the world!
Belief of generous Uzbek does not die out,
Free, young children are a strong wing for you!
The torch of independence, guardian of peace,
Just motherland be eternally prosperous!
These golden valleys-dear Uzbekistan,
Manly spirit of ancestors is companion to you!
When the great power of people became exuberant
You are the country that amazes the world!
POPULATION AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
POPULATION OF UZBEKISTAN
The population of the Republic of Uzbekistan is about 30 million people (as of 1 February 2013), of which 51% live in urban settlements. The average population density 65.8/km 2. In terms of population of Uzbekistan is the third largest in the CIS after Russia and Ukraine.Uzbekistan is a multi-ethnic society: more than 100 ethnic groups live on its territory. The native inhabitants are Uzbeks, which consist of about 80% population.
Day of defenders of the Native land (January, 14th)
This holiday in independent Uzbekistan is celebrated in honor of creation of own Armed forces. The parliament of the country on 14th January, 1992 has made a decision on transition of all parts and connections, military educational institutions and other military formations deployed in territory of the country, under jurisdiction of the Republic of Uzbekistan. So the beginning was necessary to creation of own Armed forces. On 29th December, 1993 January 14th has been declared by Day of defenders of the Native land.
Women’s day (March, 8th)
In Uzbekistan this holiday is celebrated as a holiday of love, kindness and beauty, as well as is known as “Mothers’ day”.
Navruz (March, 21st)
The most ancient national holiday Navruz (in translation with Persian Navruz designates “new day”) which is celebrated on March, 21st, is considered the beginning of new year. As is known, March 21st is a day a spring equinox. Day length and nights is identical – 12 hours. In the beginning of this holiday many Uzbek families prepare for national dishes such as Sumalak, Halim, Somsa from plant, Plov and others. These Uzbek dishes contain many vitamin substances which are useful to a human body.
With the obtaining of the country’s independence ancient customs and traditions of Uzbek people have revived, holiday Navruz also has been restored, and celebrating has got new scope and depth. It became a national holiday of friendship, unification, brotherhood of all people. In the bright dramatized representations of philosophic and poetic judgment of Navruz, it places in national history reveals. Now Navruz is celebrating annually in a grand manner.
Day of memory and honor (May, 9th)
In 1999 majestic Square of Memory has been opened in capital of Uzbekistan on 9th May and since then Day of memory and honor on May, 9th is celebrated. This holiday in independent Uzbekistan is celebrated in honor of memory of our compatriots which during centuries heroically, self-denyingly protected our native territory, its freedom and independence, a peace life of our people. Also this holiday is considered as a day of honoring human being, in this day people check up on their relatives and friends, particularly the elderly are honored and visited.
Day of independence (September, 1st)
The main national holiday of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the Day Independence. This holiday is celebrated annually on the 1st September, is ceremonial and colorful. This national holiday personifies all dreams and expectations of all Uzbek people which lean on main principles friendliness, solidarity, charity, mutual respect.
Representatives of the various nations living in Uzbekistan, despite of a nationality, religion, the social status all actively celebrate a holiday in each street, the area and the people living in mahallas and in regions.
Day of teachers and educators (October, 1st)
Annually the Day of Teachers and Instructors is solemnly celebrated in Uzbekistan. The deep respect for the teacher has taken roots in our territory during old times. “Domlo”, “Muallim”, “Ustoz” – these words during many centuries with gratitude and respect the pupils received from the teachers not only knowledge on subject matters said, but also lessons about the valid attitude to people, love to the Native land, about high morals and spirituality.
Pupils of schools and educational institutions deeply esteem all those who have given them the first vital knowledge. This day pupils with gratitude give flowers and gifts.
The Constitution Day (December, 8th)
The constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is accepted by the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) on 8th December, 1992. This holiday is celebrated across all Uzbekistan.
This holiday is known as Ruza Hayit, it coincides with 9-th month (Hidjriy) on a Muslim calendar. This holiday includes religious practice as Ruza which lasts 30 days and it is considered a ceremony of spiritual and moral purification. Conditions of the ceremony is the following: from sunrise up to decline not to eat food and also water; will be kept from evil thoughts, assumptions; with all surrounding to be in respect and make whenever possible more than goods to associates.
After performance of this ceremony last day the holiday which lasts three days – Ramadan Hayit begins. The first day of a holiday «Ramadan Hayit» is considered not working day.
Religious holiday Qurbon Hayit this is the one of the greatest holidays in the World which is celebrated by Moslems. Sources of this holiday are ancient histories which are connected with prophet Ibrohim who in honor of the belief wished to sacrifice to “Allah” of the own son, but kind spirits have stopped his actions and instead of this have told to him to sacrifice animals such as sheep, camels, etc. The holiday lasts three days and these days all Moslems celebrate this holiday with their family with natives and close. Especially in these holidays people visit native and close, and also sick and requiring in the help. The first day of «Qurbon Hayit» is considered not off day.
Tashkent — is one of the most biggest ancient city in Central Asia — the capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The first information about Tashkent as a city settlings is kept in the ancient east chronicles of the II century B.C., in the Chinese sources it’s called Yuni; in the inscriptions of 262 years B.C. of Pursian king Shapura I on «Kaabe Zoroastra» the oasis of Tashkent was called Chach. Chach was a crossroads on the way of gold export, precious stones, spices and splendid horses to another towns and states. Today Tashkent, in translation fr om uzbek standing for «Stone town» is a capital of modern Republic, keeping the evidence of future, the memory of many history events of Uzbekistan, — one of the biggest industrial center of Central Asia, with the population of over 2 million people.
Historical and architectural monuments of Tashkent:
· Medrese of Kukeldash (14th century).,
· Mausoleum of Kaffal-Shashi (15th century).,
· Architectural ensemble of Hazrati (Saint) Imom (16th century).,
· Medrese of Abul Kasim (19th century).,
· Medrese of Barak-han (16th century).
· The Mosque of Juma (Friday) (19th century).,
· The museum of Amir Temur — masterpiece of modern architecture,
· The Square of Amir Temur,
· The Square of Freedom,
· The Square of Friendship of Nations,
· The Monument of Courage,
· The Square of Hasti Imom,
· The Mosque of Tilla Sheyh,
· The Square of Hadra,
· МMausoleum of Sufi Ota.
The history of Samarkand — numbers of about 2750 years, and architectural monuments referring to the time of governing dynasty of Timurids’ has such as importance as architectural masterpiece of ancient Egypt, Chinese, India, Greece and Rim.
Historical and architectural monuments of Samarkand
· The ancient settling of Afrosiyab (8th century B.C.),
· The Observatory of Ulugbek (1428–1429),
· Architectural ensemble of Shohi Zinda,
· The Mosque of Hazrati (Saint) Hizr (in the middle of 19th century),
· The Mosque of Bibi — Hanum (1399–1404),
· Medres of Ulugbek (1417–1420),
· Medres of Sher -Dor (1619–1635/36),
· Medres of Tillya — Kori (1647–1659/60),
· Bazaar of Chorsu (four water)(end of 18th century),
· Mausoleum of Ruhabad (1380th),
· Mausoleum of Ak — Saray (white shed)(1470),
· Mausoleum of Gur — Emir (1404),
· The Mosque of Namozgoh (17th century),
· Mausoleum of Ishrat Xona (1464),
· Ensemble of Hoja Ahror (15–20 century),
· Mausoleum of Chulpan Ota (1430–1440),
· The Cemetery of Hoja Abdu Darun (15th -19th ctntury),
· Memorial complex of Imam Al’-Bukhari.
Historical and architectural monuments of Bukhara
· The Ark (11th -20th century),
· An Ensemble of Bola — Hauz (in the beginning of 18th -20th century),
· Mausoleum of Samani (9th -10th century),
· The Cemetery of Chashmoi — Ayub (1380 or 1384/85),
· Medres of Abdulla — han (1596/98),
· Medres of Madari — han (1556/57),
· The Mosque of Baland (High) (in the beginning of 16th century),
· An Ensemble of Gaukushon (the mosque, minaret, medrese (16th century)),
· Honaka of Zaynutdin Hodji (1555),
· An Ensemble of Poi — Kalon (12th — 14th century),
· An Ensemble of Labi -Houz (16th -17th century),
· Medres of Kukel’dash (1568/69),
· Hanaka of Nodir Divanbegi (1620),
· Medres of Ulugbek (1417),
· Medres of Abdulaziz Han (1652),
· The Mosque of Bola Hauz,
· Mausoleum of Sayfiddin Buharziy (the second half of 13th -14th century),
· Mausoleum of Buen Kuli Han (the second half of 14th -15th or 16th centuries),
· The Mosque of Namazgoh (12th -16th centuries),
· Hanaka of Fayzabad (1598/99),
· The Mosque of Chor-Minor (four column)(1807),
· The Palace of Emir of Bukhara «Sitorai Mohi Hossa» (in the end of 19th the beginning of 20th century),
· Chor-Bakr — the burial place of shih Jubaeri family (1560/63), .
Historical and architectural monuments of Khiva
· Ichan-Kala: The Mosque and Medrese of Said-bay (end of 18th -beginning of 19th centuries),
· It’s around the gate of Polvan Darboza,
· Medrese of Allakulihan (1834/35),
· Medrese of Kutlug-Murad-Inak (1804/12),
· Bridge and Caravansary of Allakulihan (19th century),
· Medres of Abdulla Han (1865),
· The Mosque and Palace of Anush Han (1657),
· Tosh-Hayli (the stone lot)(of Allakulihan) (1830/36),
· Ok mechet (the white mosque) (1832/42),
· The Mosque and Minaret of Juma (1788/89),
· Mausoleum of Said Alauddin (14th century),
· Medres of Muhammad Amin Han (1851/52),
· Minaret of Kalta Minor (1855),
· Kun’ya-Ark (1868/88),
· Minaret of Tura-Murat-Tur (1888),
· Medres of Muhammad Amin Han (1871),
· Medres of Shirgaziz han (1718/20),
· The Mosque of Boglandi (19th century),
· Medres of Arabhan (1838)
TERRITORY AND CLIMATE
Geographical Location: The Republic of Uzbekistan is situated between the rivers of Amudarya and Syrdarya and occupies 448,9 thousand square km. The span of the territory from the west to the east is 1,425 km and from the north to the south — 930 km.
The borders: The territory borders on Kazakhstan in the north, on Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the east and southeast, on Turkmenistan in the west, and on Afghanistan in the south. The length of the border with Afghanistan is 143 km, with Kazakhstan — 2356,31 km, with Kyrgyzstan — 1476,12 km, with Tajikistan — 1283,2 km, and with Turkmenistan — 1831,49 km.
Landscape (relief): Uzbekistan possesses some of the most favorable natural and geographic conditions in Central Asian region. The territory of Uzbekistan is a mixture of plain and mountainous lands. The greatest part of the territory (about four fifth) is covered by plains. One of the main plains is the Turan plain. In the east and northeast are situated the spurs of Tyan-Shan and Pamir with the highest point of the country at 4643 meters above the sea level. To the north and the central part of the territory of Uzbekistan situated is one of the largest deserts in the world — Kyzylkoum.
Subsurface geology and minerals: The bowels of the earth contain stocks of natural gas, lignite and coal, gold, copper, tungsten, bismuth, and oil.
Climate: The climate of Uzbekistan is sharply continental, characterized by high amplitude of day and night, summer and winter temperatures. The temperature varies rather considerably with respect to the seasons. Average temperature in January falls below -6 0 °C, while the average temperature in July may rise above +32 0 °C. Average annual atmospheric precipitation on the plains is 120–200 mm, in mountainous areas — 1000 mm. The amount of precipitations is low, which is why the agriculture relies on irrigation to a great degree.
Surface waters: The largest rivers are Amudarya and Syrdarya. The total length of Amudarya is 1437 km, that of Syrdarya — 2137 km. The majority of the rivers of Uzbekistan desiccate in their streams, only Amudarya and Syrdarya fall into the Aral Sea.
Soils and flora: Desert vegetation is prevalent on plains, while mountainous areas are covered with steppe, forests and mountain meadows.
Fauna: The country’s fauna is quite diverse: there are rare antelopes saygak and giant lizards that can reach 1.5 meters in length. In the mountains, there are snow leopards and rare species of mountain goats.
Mountain system: Mountains and foothills comprise 1/5 of the territory of the Republic. To the east, prevalent are medium- and high-altitude forms of landscape. Within the boundaries of the Republic, there are flanks of hills and verges of mountain ridges of the Western Tyan-Shan (ridges Ugam, Pskem, Chatkal, Kuramin) and Pamir-Alay (ridges Zeravshan, Turkestan, Hissar, Kougitangtau, Baysuntau). To the south and west, they gradually decline and transform into plains. Rather massive trough lay between the mountains: the troughs of Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Zaravshan, and Samarkand. The largest intermountain trough is the Ferghana Valley (370 km in length and 190 km in width). The valley is surrounded by mountain ridges on three sides and is open only in the West. On the border with Afghanistan there is the broad Amudarya trough.
Natural resources: The Republic of Uzbekistan possesses large production and mineral potential, unique agricultural resources, significant volumes of semi-finished products obtained through processing, rich natural resources, and developed infrastructure.
The contemporary level of exploration of minerals is related to opening up of rich deposits of precious, non-ferrous and rare metals, all types of organic fuel — oil, natural and condensed gas, brown and other type of coal, shale oil, uranium, many kinds of construction resources.
A large variety of minerals has been discovered on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan with almost 100 kinds of minerals, 60 of which are already employed in the national economy.
Uzbekistan secures leading positions in the world in confirmed stocks of such minerals as gold, uranium, copper, natural gas, tungsten, potassium salts, phosphorite, and kaolin. Hence, for example, the Republic occupies the fourth place in stocks of gold, and the seventh in gold mining, the tenth/eleventh place — in copper stocks, the eighth — in uranium stocks, and eleventh/twelfth place in uranium mining.
Not only do the rich stocks of minerals provide the existing mining complexes with a long perspective, but they also allow for increasing facilities and re-organization of the extraction of the most important minerals such as gold, uranium, copper, lead, silver, lithium, phosphorites, potassium salts, fluor-spar, wollastonite, agrochemical ores, and other.