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town in in the medieval Islamic province of Farḡāna, modern Russian Andizhan, in the easternmost part of the in the easternmost part of Uzbekistan.

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Volume II, Fascicle 1, pp. 24-25

ANDEJĀN, town in the medieval Islamic province of Farḡāna, modern Russian Andizhan, in the easternmost part of the Uzbekistan SSR (latitude 40° 43’ north and longitude 72° 25’ east). It lies in the fertile valley of Farḡāna, below the upper reaches of the Jaxartes (Syr Darya). It was apparently of little importance in early Islamic times: in any case Farḡāna was not brought under Muslim control until the 3rd/9th century. The geographers of the 4th/10th century indicate that Aḵsīkaṯ was the capital of the province: they mention Andeǰān in itineraries but do not describe it. Ebn Ḥawqal (p. 514; tr. Kramers, p. 491) states that Andokān (the early spelling) was one of the towns, together with Marḡīnān, Oštīqān and others, of the rostāq, or rural district, of Lower Nasyā (see Le Strange, Lands, pp. 477-78). As the Islamization of the region proceeded, various important tombs were located in the vicinity of Andeǰān, including those of the prophet Job (Ayyūb, already in Moqaddasī), of the Companions of the Prophet sent into Transoxania by the caliph ʿOṯmān, and of Qotayba b. Moslem; the last was still pointed out in the early 20th century.

In the 5th-6th/11th-12th centuries Andeǰān fell within the eastern khanate of the Turkish Qarakhanids and lay near its capital, Özgend, which exists now as a village of the district. Andeǰān must have enjoyed a modest prosperity, since Samʿānī records the names of numerous scholars and traditionists with the nesba “al-Andokānī” (Hyderabad, I, p. 364; cf. Yāqūt, Beirut, I, pp. 261-62). It suffered badly during the Mongol invasions but was rebuilt by the Mongol khan Qaydu, grandson of Ögedey, and by the Chaghatayid Duva b. Boraq. They seem to have appreciated the commercial potentialities of Andeǰān’s location; neither they nor their successors chose to live there (see Nozhat al-qolūb, p. 247, tr. p. 239; W. Barthold , Four Studies on theHistory of Central Asia, I. A Short History of Turkestan, Leiden, 1962, pp. 23, 50). An anonymous historian of the 9th/15th century (identified by Barthold as Moʿīn-al-dīn Naṭanzī) states that Duva settled various Turkish tribesmen in special quarters of the town (idem, III. MīrʿAlī Shīr, p. 7). It was now a purely Turkish town, with no traces of its Iranian origins. According to Bābor, himself a native of Farḡāna, the local speech of Andeǰān was particularly pure (qalam bile rāst “suitable for the pen,” i.e., close to the written form of Chaghatay Turkish) and had accordingly been used by Mīr ʿAlī Šīr Navāʾī for his writings, even though the poet was a native of Herat (The Bābur-nāma, tr. A. S. Beveridge, London, 1922, pp. 3-4).

Andeǰān was especially important in Timurid and Chaghatayid times and is mentioned as An-di-gan in the accounts of contemporary Chinese travelers to Transoxania (E. Bretschneider , Mediaeval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources, London, 1888, II, p. 255). It figures frequently in accounts of warfare in Turkestan between various contenders for power, such as those in Šaraf-al-dīn Yazdī’s Ẓafar-nāma and Mīrzā Moḥammad Ḥaydar Doḡlāt’s Tārīḵ-e Rašīdī. It was often assigned as a governorship to the sons of rulers; Tīmūr gave it to his son ʿOmar Shaikh in 778/1376, and in the middle years of the 9th/15th century, another ʿOmar Shaikh ruled it on behalf of his father, Sultan Abū Saʿīd b. Moḥammad of Samarqand. It had now replaced Aḵsīkaṯ as the capital of Farḡāna (the name Andeǰān being often used at this time for the whole province), and when Bābor succeeded his father ʿOmar Shaikh, he praised the fertility and the well-irrigated location of the town, which was famous for its nāšpātī melons ( pears ?). At this time, Andeǰān was the third strongest fortress in Transoxania after Samarqand and Kēš or Šahr-e Sabz, with a three-gated citadel (arg) within the walled town (qūrḡan, i.e., madīna, šahrestān; Bābor-nāma, loc. cit.). In 899/1493-94 Bābor was himself governor of Andeǰān; he lost possession to the Uzbeks, regained it in 904/1498-99, and lost it once again. By 916/1510-11 it was in the hands of the Chaghatayid Saʿīd Khan b. Aḥmad (d. 939/1533), who ruled as Bābor’s vassal.

Andeǰān continued to flourish under the subsequent Uzbek khans of Ḵoqand, and it was probably ʿOmar Khan b. Nārbūtā (d. 1237/1821-22) who founded the town of Šahr-e Ḵān to the west of Andeǰān and constructed a great canal to the Qara Darya. At the time of the Russian conquest of Ḵoqand in 1875, Andeǰān had 30,000 people, most of whom were engaged in agriculture. When the imperial Russian government built a railway into Farḡāna from Samarqand, Andeǰān became its eastern terminus. In 1898 it was the epicenter of the revolt of the īšān,or dervish shaikh, Moḥammad ʿAlī Ḵalīfa, who planned a general rising to liberate Ḵoqand from the Russians. The outbreak was bloodily suppressed at Andeǰān (see F. H. Skrine and E. D. Ross, The Heart of Asia. A History of RussianTurkestan and the Central Asian Khanates from theEarliest Times, London, 1899, pp. 260-61). In 1902 thousands of Andeǰān’s inhabitants were killed in a severe earth-quake. The area was disturbed after World War I by Basmačī (Muslim nationalist guerillas) activity but in 1924 was incorporated into the Uzbekistan republic; in 1939 the town had a population of 84,000.

Present-day Andizhan is a city of more than 200,000 inhabitants (133,000 in 1959; 188,000 in 1970) with a number of secondary and tertiary functions. A major center for the processing of foodstuffs and cotton from the intensively irrigated Farḡāna basin, it also has industries specializing in equipment for road construction and for irrigation and drainage systems. Oil and gas fields are exploited nearby, and north of the city a dam has been built on the Qara Darya to generate hydroelectric power. Andizhan is a major cultural center of the Uzbe g SSR, with colleges of medicine, teacher training, and engineering as well as theaters and museums. It is also a major traffic center for both highways (Leninabad and Chorog/Pamir) and railways.


For Chaghatayid, Timurid, and Shaibanid coins minted at Andeǰān, see E. von Zambaur, Die Münzprägungen des Islams zeitlichund örtlich geordnet I, Wiesbaden, 1968, p. 53.

See also Bol’shaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya II, pp. 423-26.

Cite this page
C. Edmund Bosworth, “ANDEJĀN”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica Online, © Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Consulted online on 19 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2330-4804_EIRO_COM_5436>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 19851215

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