THE FERGANA VALLEY SPREADS over Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan as well as Uzbekistan, and has played a vital role in the merchant trade and historical conquest of the silk roads, joining two legendary cities, Kashgar and Samarkand.
Civilizations pre-date Alexander, who made conquests in 4th century BC. Other visitors, armed or otherwise, include Chinese, Bactrian, Sogdian, Persian, Parthian, Russian, Jews, Romani, Mongols. Founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babur, great-grandson of Timur, hailed from the region.
The historical monuments are not on the scale and splendour of cities further west, but the bazaars of Fergana are hard to beat. Throw in some warm and welcoming towns folk, the freshest fruit, good eating, and more, and Fergana is one great place to visit.