Account of

IN the month of Ramzān,* in the year eight hundred and ninety-nine, and in the twelfth year of my age, I became King of Ferghāna.


The country of Ferghāna is situated in the fifth climate,* on the extreme boundary of the habitable world. On the east, it has Kāshgar; on the west, Samarkand; on the south, the hill-country on the confines of Badakhshān; on the north, although in former times there were cities such as Almāligh,* Almātu, and Yangi,* which is known in books of history by the name of Otrār; yet, at the present date, in consequence of the incursions of the Uzbeks, they are desolate, and no population remains.

Ferghāna is a country of small extent, but abounding in grain and fruits; and it is surrounded with hills on all sides except on the west, towards Samarkand and Khojend, where there are none; and on that side alone can it be entered by foreign enemies. The river Seihūn, which is generally known by the name of the river of Khojend, comes from the north-east, and after passing through this country, flows towards the west. It then runs on the north of Khojend and south of Finākat,* which is now better known as Shahrokhīa; and thence, inclining to the north, flows down towards Tūrkestān; and meeting with no other river in its course, is wholly swallowed up in the sandy desert consider­ably below Tūrkestān, and disappears.

In this country there are seven districts, five on the south of the Seihūn, and two on the north.

1. Andejān.

Of the districts on the south of the river, one is Andejān, which has a central position and is the capital of Ferghāna. It abounds in grain and fruits, its grapes and melons are excellent and plentiful. In the melon season it is not customary to sell them at the beds.* There are no better nāshpātis* produced than those of Andejān. In Māweral­naher, after the fortresses of Samarkand and Kēsh, none is equal in size to Andejān. It has three gates. The citadel is situated on the south of the city. The water-courses of the mills by which the water enters the city, are nine; and it is remarkable that of all the water that enters the city, none flows out of it. Around the fortress, on the edge of the stone-faced moat,* is a broad highway covered with pebbles. All round the fort are the suburbs, which are only separated from the moat by this highway that runs along its banks.

The district abounds in birds and beasts of game. Its pheasants* are so fat, that the report goes that four persons may dine on the broth* of one of them, and not be able to finish it. The inhabitants of the country are all Tūrks, and there is none in town or market who does not understand the Tūrki tongue. The common speech of the people of this country is the same as the correct language of composition, so that the works of Mīr Ali Sher, surnamed Nawāi, though he was bred and flourished at Heri,* are written in this dialect. The inhabitants are remarkable for their beauty. Khwājeh Yūsef, so famous for his science in music, was a native of Andejān. The air is unwholesome, and in the autumn agues are prevalent.

2. Ush.

Another district is Ush, which is situated to the south-east of Andejān, but more to the east, and distant from Andejān four farsangs* by the road. The air of Ush is excellent. It is abundantly supplied with running water, and is extremely pleasant in spring. The excellencies of Ush are celebrated even in the sacred traditions.** On the south-east of the fort is a mountain of a beautiful figure, named Barakoh, on the top of which Sultan Mahmūd Khan built a small summer house, beneath which, on the shoulder of the hill, in the year 902,* I built a larger palace and colonnade. Although the former is in the more elevated situation, yet that built by me is the more pleasant of the two; the whole town and suburbs are seen stretched out below. The river of Andejān, after passing through the suburbs of Ush, flows on towards Andejān.* On both of its banks there are gardens, all of which overlook the river. Its violets are particularly elegant. It abounds in streams of running water. In the spring its tulips and roses blow in great profusion. On the skirt of this same hill of Barakoh,* between the hill* and the town, there is a mosque, called the Mosque of Jouza;* and from the hill there comes a great and wide stream of water. Beneath the outer court of the mosque there is a meadow of clover, sheltered and pleasant, where every traveller and passenger loves to rest. It is a standing joke among the common people at Ush to carry across the three streams all such as fall asleep there.* On this hill, about the latter end of the reign of Omer-Sheikh Mirza, there was discovered a species of stone finely waved red and white, of which they make the handles of knives, the clasps of belts, and other things of that sort, and it is a very beautiful stone. In all Ferghāna for healthiness and beauty of situation, there is no place that equals Ush.

3. Marghi-

Another is Marghinān,* which lies on the west of Andejān, at the distance of seven farsangs, and is a fine district. It is noted for its pomegranates and apricots. There is one species of pomegranate named dana-kalān (or great seed), which, in its flavour, unites the sweet with a sweet acid, and may even be deemed to excel the pomegranate of Semnān.* They have a way of taking out the stones of the zerd-ālu (or apricot), and of putting in almonds in their place, after which the fruit is dried. When so prepared, it is termed seikkhāni,* and is very pleasant. The game and venison are here also excellent. The white deer* is found in its vicinity. All the inhabitants are Sarts;* the race are great boxers, noisy and turbulent, so that they are famous all over Māweralnaher for their blustering and fondness for boxing, and most of the celebrated bullies of Samarkand and Bokhāra are from Marghinān. The author* of the Hidāya was from a village named Rashdān, a dependency of Marghinān.

4. Asfera.

Asfera is another district. It is situated at the foot of the mountains, and possesses numerous streams and beautiful gardens. It lies south-west of Marghinān, at the distance of nine farsangs.* Many species of fruit-trees abound there; but, in the gardens, the almond trees are most numerous. The inhabitants are all mountaineers and Sarts. Among the small hills to the south-east of Asfera* is a slab of stone called sang aineh (the stone-mirror); its length is about ten gez. It is in some places as high as a man, in others not higher than his middle; everything is seen in it as in a glass.

The district of Asfera is separated into four divisions, all situated at the foot of the hills; one of them is Asfera, another Warūkh, another Sukh, and the fourth Hūshiār. When Muhammed Sheibani Khan defeated Sultan Mahmūd Khan and Ilcheh Khan,* and took Tāshkend and Shahrokhīa, I spent nearly a year in Sūkh and Hūshiār among the hills, in great distress; and it was from thence that I set out on my expedition to Kābul.


Khojend, another of the districts, is situated on the west of Andejān, at the distance of twenty-five farsangs, and it is also at the same distance from Samarkand. This is a very ancient city. Sheikh Maslehet and Khwājeh Kemāl* were of Khojend. Its fruits are very good, particularly its pomegranates, which are so celebrated, that the apples of Samarkand and the pomegranates of Khojend have passed into a proverb; but excellent as the latter are, they are greatly excelled at present by the pomegranates of Mar­ghinān. The fortress of Khojend is situated on an eminence, having on the north the river Seihūn, which flows past at the distance of about a bowshot. On the north of the fort and of the river Seihūn there is a hill, which is named Myoghil,** where they say that there are turquoise and other mines. In this hill there are many serpents. Khojend is a good sporting country; the white deer, the mountain goat,* the stag,* the fowl of the desert,* and the hare are found in great plenty; but the air is extremely noisome, and inflamma­tions of the eyes are common;* insomuch, that they say that even the very sparrows have inflammations in the eyes. This badness of the air they ascribe to the hill on the north. Kandbā-
Kandbādām is one of the districts belonging to Khojend. Though of no great extent, yet it is rather a fine little district, and its almonds, from which it derives its name,* are of excellent quality, and are exported to Hindustān, Hormuz, and other quarters. It is distant from Khojend five or six farsangs to the east. Between Kandbādām and Khojend there is a desert, named Ha-dervīsh, where a sharp wind prevails, and constantly blows from the desert in the direction of Marghinān, which lies to the east of the desert, or in the direction of Khojend, which lies to the west, and this wind is excessively keen. It is said that certain Dervishes having encountered the wind in this desert, and being separated, were unable to find each other again, and perished, calling out, ‘Ha, Dervīsh! Ha, Dervīsh!’* and that hence the desert is denominated Ha-dervīsh unto this day.

6. Akhsi.