"A Russian city ...." Fergana Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Fergana Things to Do: 17 reviews and 63 photos

by TheWanderingCamel
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      An aple a day ....
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...named for a 9th century astronomer (al-Farghani - or to give him his full title - Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathir al-Farghani), Fergana (or as the Uzbeks spell it - Farg'ona) was founded in 1876 to be the regional centre for the Tsarist regime that had annexed the Khanates of Turkestan (Bukhara, Khiva and Kokhand) one by one as Russia and Great Britain played out the tactical battles of brinkmanship known now as The Great Game. The collapse of the Soviet empire a century later saw the Russians move out, leaving behind a city built on a Russian model of broad tree-lined streets dotted with Russian-style buildings, some of which have been put to new uses whilst others are left empty and abandoned.

There's not much in Fergana for tourists to see or do but, as the airport is here along with most of the hotels catering to tourist groups, this is where you'll probably end up staying, using the town as a base for exploring this part of the Fergana Valley. Margilan is nominally 11 km away - in reality the two towns are all but conjoined. Kokhand and Rishtan are a comfortable day-long excursion. These three towns together take up most of the time allocated to the area for those on an organised tour - independent travellers can make their own decisions about how long to stay and how to spend their time - even so, in all likelihood, Fergana will only earn itself a few hours of all but the keenest sightseer's time.

Having said that, the centre of town is a pleasant place for a stroll before dinner. Al-Fargani himself has pride of place in the huge park that bears his name, the gardens and fountains around his statue are popular with wedding parties and families out for an evening outing. The grand green building near the park entrance on Mustakillik Kushasi was built in 1877 as the residence of the Russian military governor - now it's the regional theatre. Across the street, the Tsum department store has a style all its own and, if you are a total bazaar-junkie, you could double-dose by visiting both Fergana and Margilan's on the one day.

I don't know what we missed by not visiting the Museum of Local Studies, not a lot if Wanderboy43's comments are anything to go by.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 19, 2012
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