Fergana is the capital of Fergana Region in eastern Uzbekistan. Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, about 75 km west of Andijan, and less than 20 km from the Kyrgyzstan border.
While the area has been populated for thousands of years, the modern city was founded in 1876.
The fertile Fergana Valley was an important conduit on the Silk Roads (more precisely the North Silk Road), which connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xi’an to the west over the Wushao Ling Mountain Pass to Wuwei and emerging in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia, or on to the north of the Aral and Caspian Seas to ports on the Black Sea.
It used to be called ferghana, during the Kushan empire 180 – 630 ВС. The ancient kingdom referred to as Dayuan (Great Yuan”, literally “Great Ionians”) in the Chinese chronicles is now generally accepted as being in the Ferghana Valley. It is sometimes, though less commonly, written as Dawan. Dayuan were Greeks, the descendants of the Greek colonists that were settled by Alexander the Great in Ferghana in 329 BC, and prospered within the Hellenistic realm of the Seleucids and Greco-Bactrians, until they were isolated by the migrations of the Yuezhi around 160 BC.
Modern Fergana city was founded in 1876 as a garrison town and colonial appendage to Margelan (13.5 miles to the northwest) by the Russians. It was initially named New Margelan (Новый Маргелан), then renamed Skobelev (Скобелев) in 1907 after the first Russian military governor of Fergana Valley. In 1924, after the Bolshevik reconquest of the region from basmachi rebels, the name was changed to Fergana, after the province of which it was the centre.
The industrial base of Fergana was developed in the 20th century. Industry in the city included textile manufacturing and a nitric fertiliser plant. Some of the industrial development was a result of Evacuation in the Soviet Union during World War II.
The Great Fergana Canal, built almost entirely by hand during the 1930s, passes through the northern part of the city and completed in 1939