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KHOQAND KHANATE. This Central Asian state of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries took its name from its capital, the city of Khoqand (locally pronounced Kukon or Kokan, and in Russian and Western literature rendered Kokand) in the central part of the Ferghana valley. During the post-Mongol period, before the eighteenth century, Ferghana had been only a province of the khanates, whose centers were elsewhere, mostly in Transoxania. With the political and economic decline of the Khanate of Bukhara by the end of the seventeenth century and its disintegration into a number of independent Uzbek tribal chiefdoms, several such chiefdoms emerged in Ferghana, but most of the region was dominated first by Nagshband-1 shaykhs (khojas) from the village of Chadak in the northern part of the valley. The leaders (biys) of the Uzbek Ming tribe, which had its yurt (tribal territory) in the central part of Ferghana, gradually gained strength. One such leader, Shahrukh Biy, eliminated the Chadak khojas in 1709171o; his son `Abd al-Karim Biy founded the city of Khoqand in 1740. During most of the eighteenth century the Ming chiefdom was only one of four competing principalities in Ferghana. During the rule of Narbuta Biy (c.1770-1798) most of Ferghana was united under the Mings, and his son `Alim (1798-1810) was proclaimed khan, thus founding a new reigning dynasty in Central Asia that had a status equal to those of Bukhara and Khiva. A genealogical legend was created according to which the Ming dynasty traced its origin back to the Timurids and the Chingisids.


In the first half of the nineteenth century the Ming khans embarked on a policy of vigorous expansion beyond the Ferghana valley. `Alim Khan conquered Khojand (1805) and Tashkent (1809); his son and successor `Umar Khan captured the city of Turkestan (1816) and expanded the possessions of Khoqand in the southern parts of the Kazakh steppes. Muhammad `Ali (“Madali”) Khan (1823-1842) annexed vast areas in the Zheti Su (Semirech’e) and central Tian Shan and subdued Kirghiz tribes in this region; his troops invaded Kashgar twice (1826 and 1830), but without lasting result. During the first decades of the nineteenth century the khanate also experienced fast economic growth owing to the influx of population from Transoxania, the expansion of irrigation systems undertaken by the government, and especially the rapidly growing trade with Russia via Tashkent. In cultural life this period was marked by intensive building activity in the cities of the Ferghana valley and by the flourishing of literature and poetry, in both Persian and Turkic, especially under `Umar Khan, who was a poet himself.

In the early 1840s, however, the khanate entered a period of almost uninterrupted political turmoil-civil wars and rebellions, caused by sharp conflicts between the major ethnic groups of its heterogeneous population (sedentary Uzbeks, Sarts, and Tajiks, and nomadic Kipchaks, Kirghiz, and Kazakhs), coupled with frequent wars with the neighboring Khanate of Bukhara. The authority of the central government weakened considerably, and the khanate was unable to offer effective resistance to Russia, which began its military advance into the territory of the khanate in 1853. In 1865 the Russians captured Tashkent and in 1866 Khojand. By 1868 the territory of the khanate was reduced to the Ferghana valley, and it had to sign a commercial convention with Russia that established a de facto Russian protectorate. In 1875 a popular uprising began against the oppressive rule of Khudayar Khan and had to be put down by Russian troops. The khanate was abolished in 1876, and its territory was annexed to the Russian Governorate-General of Turkestan.

[See also Bukhara Khanate; Khiva Khanate.]


Barthold, Wilhelm. “Khokand.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 2, pp. 963-965. Leiden, 1913-.

Bregel, Yuri. Bibliography of Islamic Central Asia. Vol. 1. Bloomington, 1994. Works cited are almost all Russian; see pages 85-91 for pertinent citations.

Nalivkin, Vladimir Petrovich. Histoire du khanat de Khokand. Paris, 1889. Originally published in Russian as Kratkaia istoriia Kokandskogo khanstva. Kazan, 1886. The only existing general history of the khanate, but inadequate (no references to the sources) and outdated.

Nettleton, Susanna. “Ruler, Patron, Poet: Umar Khan and the Blossoming of the Khanate of Qoqan, 1800-1820.” International Journal of Turkish Studies 2.2 (1981-1982): 127-140.

Saguchi, Toro. “The Eastern Trade of the Khoqand Khanate.” Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko (Tokyo) 24 (1965): 47-114.


Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/khoqand-khanate/

  • writerPosted On: July 26, 2014
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