The country of Tāshkend lies along the north bank of the Sirr, having that river on the south, and the Ala-tāgh mountains, running parallel to it, on the greater part of its northern frontier; the hills near Akhsi bound it on the east, and the desert of the Kara Kilpāks on the west. The ancient Tūrkestān proper stretched considerably to the north and westward of this country. The range of Ala-tāgh mountains which extend along its northern boundary, run from east to west, at no great distance from the Sirr, and decline in height toward the western desert. The inferior range of hills that run from the Ala-tāgh, between Tāshkend and Akhsi, within eight miles of the latter place,* we find several times crossed by armies that marched from Tāshkend to Kāsān, Akhsi, and the northern provinces of Ferghāna. In this route lies the Julgeh Ahengerān, or Ironsmiths’ Dale, and Kundezlik and Amāni, so often mentioned in the Memoirs of Bābur. It was probably by this road that the caravan of Tāshkend proceeded to Uzkend, on the route to Kāshghar; though it appears sometimes to have gone to Kāshghar by keeping to the north of the Ala-tāgh hills. The road generally pursued from Tāshkend to Akhsi did not follow the course of the Sirr, but went eastward directly towards Akhsi, cutting off, to the south, the large tract of country surrounded on three sides by the river which runs south-west from Akhsi to Khojend, and north-west from Khojend to Tāshkend. The city of Shahrokhīa lay between Khojend and Tāshkend, on the Sirr, while Seirām lay north-west of Tāshkend, still lower down. Magnificent accounts of the wealth, cultivation, and populousness of Tāshkend, and the country along the rich banks of the Sirr, in the time of the Arabs, and of the Khwārizmian dynasty, are given by Ibn Haukal, Abulfida, and the historians of Chingiz Khan; and the many works of learning and science which issued from this country at that era sufficiently attest that these praises were not altogether gratuitous. The dynasty of Khwāriz­mian kings, destroyed by Chingiz Khan, were eminent encouragers of letters. In Bābur’s time, Tāshkend and Shahrokhīa were its chief towns. A considerable traffic has of late years been carried on at Tāshkend, between the Russians and the inhabitants of Bokhāra, but the country is not in a flourishing state. The range of the Great Horde of the Kirghiz extends from Tāshkend all round the Ala-tāgh mountains, through the western part of the country of Kāshghar and Yārkend, and even into Upper Kāshghar and Pamīr, close to Derwāz and Badakhshān. They are Tūrks, and speak a dialect of the Tūrki language, though probably mingled with Moghul words.