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Uzbekistan: historic cities along the Silk Road

Uzbekistan (Uzbekiston Jumhuriyati) is a presidential republic located in Central Asia, bordered to the north and west with Kazakhstan, in the east with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, to the south by Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The state of Uzbekistan includes the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan.

The biggest cities, in addition to capital Taškent, are Samarkand, Nukus, Andižan, Namangan, Andijon, Bukhara, Fergana. The Uzbekistan territory consists largely of the Turan Depression plains, including desert areas like Ustjurt and Kyzylkum.

To the south-west instead rise the northern ramifications of Hindukush and Tien Shan where lies the highest mountain in the country, Mount Adelunga Toghi which reaches 4,301 meters. The most fertile area of Uzbekistan, is the Fergana Valley, an area of about 21,440 sq km east of the Kyzylkum desert, surrounded on three sides by mountains while to the west is the Syr Darya river. Syr Darya (2,200 km in length) along with Amudarja (2,400 km long), which runs along the southern border, are the main waterways through Uzbekistan, both of which are tributaries of the Aral Lake.

The Aral Lake, located at the border with Kazakhstan, was once the fourth largest inland sea of the world, the lake, in fact, was just wide around 68,000, but since 1960, it’s rapidly draining because of levies of water made from its two tributaries for agricultural purposes, mainly for cotton plantations, today its surface has fallen by about 75%. Agriculture is the main economic resource, 10% of the territory of the country is agricultural land, where it is cultivated mainly cotton, other products are rice, vines, wheat, barley, tobacco, vegetables and fruit. Approximately 46% of the land is suitable for farming, they raise sheep, cattle, pigs and goats. The subsoil is rich in natural gas, oil, coal, lignite, gold, uranium, copper.

  • Area: 447,400 sqkm. (Arable 10%, Pastures 46%, Forests and Woodlands 3%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 41%)
  • Population: 26,600,000 (2005 data) (Uzbeks 80%, Russians 5,5%, Tajiks 5%, Kazakhs 3%, Karakalpaks 2,5% and Tatars 1,5%).
  • State Capital: Tashkent.
  • Languages: Uzbek language is the only official state language. Spoken the Russian.
  • Religion: Muslim 88%, Orthodox Christian 9%.
  • Currency: Som (UZS)
  • Time: UTC +5 hours.

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