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The first "Sogd Route"

"Kokand-Isfara-Kanibadam-Khodgent-Ura -Tube-Budginant (Shakhristan)-Varzminor(Aini)-Pendgikent-Zeravshan-Dushanbe"

  Our route begins with western end of Fergana valley which chiness called Davan .The famous "sky"racer were supplied from here to the western and eastern countries .Traditional black and white scullp-cap chusti was widely spread from Fergan town Chust all over Central Asia.The numerous towns,such as Kashgar, Osh,Andigian,Fergana,Kokand,surrounded by green apricot gardens,can be met along this way .

 
Isfara had been mentioned in the Babur's remois (XV c).In the mountain suburbs of Isfara people were settled even during the stone age.During the 1millenium B.C the nomads who spoke Iranien-Sacks lived there.They left a lot of tombs and kurgans.There is also a great number of fortified rock castles ,constructed during the IV-VII c.A.D.One of the earliest castle Kalai Zumrad was situated on the modern sanotorium "Zumrad" territory. There are a lot of archeologic,architectural and art monuments in Isfara and adjoint settlements.One of the famous achichectural monument is situated in the Nav gilem settlement.It is the mosque-medrese of Abdulahan The II, who ruled in 1583-1586.    The time of its building was mentioned in chronogram of 1585- 1586.In 1909 the center of eastern part of its yard Said Alibai built the high minaret .To the south from Isfara in the settlement of Chorku, surrounded by the buildings of the later period there is mazar Khazrarti Shokh .The only wooden mausoleum of X-XI c. preserved. Ancient mausoleum that is located inside of the later construction made of clay, as a pearl in the conch and has 7columns friezes with cuffic Arabic inscription set up ceilling ,eight consoles and set up boards ,trimmed with the elegant ornament carving.The side and the front of the beam reminds the birds sitting on the trees.The style of the carved wood is close to the architectural details ,found on up Zerafshan.During the XIX century the mazar Langari Mokhien appeared near Chorku. It is the tomb (kadamgio) of the famous scientist-theologist imam Umar ibn Abdulaziz(Sadri Shakhid) ,who lived in the XIII century. 
Modern Isfara and its suburbs are famous for its ceramists (culolgarams), skilled masters in artistic frescoes on the mosque ceillings and dwellings,the wood carvers.The next town on our way is Kanibadham ( Town of Almond tree). In the written sources , Kanibadham or Kand was mentioned in sogd documents found in the upper Zeravshan castle on the mountain Moog (712- 714c).In X-XI centuries Kanibadam was considered to be the Khogent district and was situated in 5-6 farsakhs distance from it .There is the original for its architecture and interiors medresse Mirradzab-Dodho( XVI-XVII c) modern historical museum.It is built from the burnt bricks .The building of medresse is decorated by the triumphal portal,leading to the large yard which is built over with the 15 khugramies and summer mosk ,trimmed by the bright ornament on the columns and the ceilling .In the center of kannibadham the re is the high minaret of the beginning of the XX century that imitates the the levels of the bricklaying of the architectural style of IX-XII centuries .In the northern-eastern part of Kanibadham the medresse Oim (XVII-XVIII c) is situated .It also has classical composition ,natural for such constructions,with hudgerasa built along the yard.
The road from Kanibadham to the main town on the traffic of the Great Silk Route now runs along the south bank of the Sir-Daria Kairakum water resorvoir ,built in 1956(the square of the lake is 520 km'2 .In Aheminid period Khodgent was the eastern forepost of Persian Empire .The ancient greek and roman authors considered Khodgent to be the border .2500 years ago Alexander Macedonsky stopped at this place which he called the settlement "Alexsandria Ashata"( The Edge Alecsandria).The ancient author Arian mentiones that in 329 year B.C. the town was fortified by the fortress walls.In 1975 on the cut of the wall archeologist discovered the fragment of the ancient bricklaying which is regarded to the V century B.C.Ancient Khodgent was supplied with the water by the 5cannals,had the fortress wall, with 10,5 km length and 7 gates from which the main roads led to the center of the town .Arab speaking geographers of the X-XIII centuries had called the town- "Tirozi dzahon"-"The Bride of world" .At the beginning of the XX century it has still preserved its eastern appearance and consisted of 146 was united round the public-cultural centers on the relation and professional indicators: 33 mosques , working on Fridays and 121 mahalian mosques, over 100 hauses ,37 caravan-sarais and 300 choikhonas .Being the main trading center, including the silk production ,the town had ancient scientific and cultural traditions .The number of medresses in Khhodgent was less than only in Bukhara and Samarkand,and was the native town of more than 300 scientists ,musicians ,and poets.The skilled Khodzent artist,craftsmen and carvers (Mirfaes ,Mirbarot,Umurzuc)decorated houses mosques and choikhonas in the town and its areas.The dominating center of Khodzent is situated near the Panjshambe bazaar, the large architectural complex of sheikh Musliddin built in different times .It consists of mausoleum,the mosque and the minaret.The mausoleum was founded in the XI-XII centuries,but the construction which had preserved up to the present times was built in the 1394 according the Timur's order-mutida of sheikh Musliddin and was rebuilt in 16 century.the mausoleum is the monumental construction ,consisting of the mourning hall of the mosque -zierat khona-with the cupola ending opened on the three sides and monumental portals and the gurlhona where the elegant wooden tomb with mosaic entwines is situated.The built in the eastern wall carved friz with the Arabic inscription and spiral ornament is worthy one's attention. The mosque (XVIII-XIX centuries) of thesheikh Muslikhiddin complex is situated to the south from the mausoleum and it is the large hall with the multi columns ceiling -aivan.In the north -west corner of the mosque the 21 m. minaret was built in 1895.Khodgent craftsmen(usto Khodgi Rakhmat and his pupils) took part in its construction and decoration .
The road goes to the south west direction to the Ura-tube.To the 30 km from Khodgent ,and in 4 km from the Kurkat settlement the large archeological object is situated-the Shirin settlement(the second half of the I millenium B.C.-VIII century A.D.)The settlement occupies the edge rocks of the mountain range Shirin,the very same Shirin for whom Farkhad had made the heroic deed.There is the ancient tombnear the town.It consisted of the vaults cut in the rocks where according to zoroastrism tradition the deads were placed.On the territory of the settlement there was found the golden locket with the profile of the man's head entwined on it;the silver figure of the camel.
To 22 km. From Kurkat the ruins of the temple of the fire Ak-tepa were found(IV-VI centuries A.D.)The construction consists of the central dwelling,where the sacred fire was burning ,surrounded by the corridors from 4 sides and fortified with the four large edging towers.
To 20 km. To the north-west of the Ura-tube ,in the Khavatag locality there is the Nur-tepa settlement (the hills with the rays),which consists of the citadel and the town itself(VII-V centuries B.C.) Ura-tube that is situated in the hill locality near the Kata-sai river ,is one of the most ancient cities of the Central Asia,it was founded more than 2500 years ago.It is equaled to the Kiropol(Kurushata) at the walls of which ,as the legend says the Persian king Kir had died and after 200 years the legions of the Alexander the great invade the town.This is the only townin Tajikistan where the traditional way of life and picturesque planning of the inhabited quarters were preserved,and that helped to understand  the monumental 
constructions  of XV-XIX centuries , such as :the medresse-mosque Kok-gumbaz,the mausoleums Bobo Tago and Chor-gumbaz,the Sari Mazor and Khazrati Shokh complexies.Ura-Tube is famous for its folk craftsmen who made the famous knives and musical instruments karnais.A lot of monuments of architecture were preserved at the edges of the town :the Abdukoddir Geloni mausoleum in Tutka (XV century),the mosques with the bright ornament and elegant carved columns in Rugunda,Daliyoni-bolo,Gazantarak.
To 25 km. From Ura-Tube near the Shakhristan settlement the capital of the ancient Ustrushana - the archeologists under the leadership of professor N.Negmatov.I studied Budgikant.In the palace dwellings the large carved wooden timpan with the the pictures taken from myphologyand the religion of ancient ustrushans : the pictures of the goddesses with four hands on the lions,and the gods with three heads.The discovered inscription on the wall with the symbol of rome -the Capitol she-wolf ,feeding two children,witnesses obviously thecontacts with western countries and the spreading of the "roaming plots" from east to west and visa-versa.At the confluence of two rivers
 

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