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GURU NANAK IN CENTRAL ASIA

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by dalvindersingh grewal, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    GURU NANAK IN CENTRAL ASIA
    Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal
    upload_2017-2-25_20-30-58.png
    Central Asiais the core region of the Asian continentand stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russiain the north. It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the' stans" (as the six countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of") [1] and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent. These republics and their vital statistics are in the table
    Chronicles show that Guru Nanak travelled almost all the Central Asia after his visit to Europe.
    Country Area Km2 Population (2016)) Density Capital Official language
    Kazakstan 2,724,900 17,067,216 6.3 Astana Kazakh
    Kyrgyzstan 199,950 5,940,743 29.7 Bishkek Kyrgyz
    Tajikistan 142,550 8,628,742 60.4 Dushanbe Tajik
    Turkmenistan 488,100 5,417,285 11.1 Ashgabad Turkmen
    Uzbekistan 447,400 30,932,878 69.1 Tashkent Uzbek

    Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic people and the Silk Road.[2] As a result, it has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe, Western Asia, South Asia, and East Asia.[3] During pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Central Asia was a predominantly Iranian [4][5]region that included the sedentary Eastern Iranian speaking Bactrians, Sogdians and Chorasmians, and the semi-nomadic Scythians and Parthians. The ancient sedentary population played an important role in the history of Central Asia. After expansion by Turkic people, Central Asia also became the homeland for many Turkic peoples, including the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Uyghursand other extinct Turkic nations. Central Asia is sometimes referred to as Turkestan. [6][7][8] During the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongols conquered and ruled the largest contiguous empire in recorded history. Most of Central Asia fell under the control of the Chagtai Khanate. The dominance of the nomads ended in the 16th century, as firearms allowed settled peoples to gain control of the region. Russia, China, and other powers expanded into the region and had captured the bulk of Central Asia by the end of the 19th century. Islam is the religion most common in the Central Asian Republics.Most Central Asian Muslims are Sunni, although there are sizable Shia minorities in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Buddhism and Zoroastrianism were the major faiths in Central Asia prior to the arrival of Islam. Zoroastrian influence is still felt today in such celebrations as Nowruz, held in all five of the Central Asian states.

    Since the earliest of times, Central Asia has been a crossroads between different civilizations. The Silk Road connected Muslim lands with the people of Europe, India, and China.[9]This crossroads position has intensified the conflict between tribalism and traditionalism and modernization.[10] From the mid-19th century, up to the end of the 20th century, most of Central Asia was part of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union,
    The languages of the majority of the inhabitants of the former Soviet Central Asian Republics come from the Turkic language group.[33] Turkmen, is mainly spoken in Turkmenistan, and as a minority language in Afghanistan, Russia, Iran and Turkey. Kazakh and Kyrgyzs are related languages of Turkic l languages and are spoken throughout Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Uzbek and Uighur are spoken in Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and , Kyrgyzstan.
    The Central Asia or Turkestan contains five Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kirghizia. From Mashhad in Iran (Persia) the Guru proceeded towards Uzbekistan and passed through Turkmenistan. [1] Turkmenistan is a country in central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west between 400 N, 600 E in an area of 488,100 sq km and having a population of 5,231,422 (July 2015 est.) 85% whom are of Turkmenistan and Turkmen language is spoken by ¾ population. The area was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times, Mervwas one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the silk Road, a caravan route used for trade with Chinauntil the mid-15th century. [2] Turkmenistan possesses the world's fourth largest reserve of natural gas resources. [3] Since 1993, citizens have received government-provided electricity, water and natural gas free of charge.[4] The country is virtually closed to independent scrutiny, media and religious freedoms are subject to draconian restrictions, and human rights defenders and other activists face the constant threat of government reprisal." President Berdimuhamedow promotes a personality cult in which he, his relatives, and associates enjoy unlimited power and total control over all aspects of public life. [5]
    Dr Kohli mentions that Guru Nanak seemed to have travelled on the banks of Amu Darya and reached Urgench via Khiva….From Urgench the Guru continued his journey and reached Bukhara. From Bukhara he went to Vakand and then Karmine and Karshi reaching Samarkand [6]

    Turkmenistan

    Turkmenistanis a country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west. Turkmenistan has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times, Merv was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road, a caravan route used for trade with China until the mid-15th century.[7] Muslims constitute 89% of the population and is spread in 488,100 km2(188,500 sq mi). [7] Turkmenistan possesses the world's fourth largest reserves of natural gas resources. [8]Most Since 1993, citizens have received government-provided electricity, water and natural gas free of charge.[9] President Berdimuhamedow promotes a personality cult in which he, his relatives, and associates enjoy unlimited power and total control over all aspects of public life.[10] The sixteenth and eighteenth centuries saw a series of splits and confederations among the nomadic Turkmen tribes, who remained staunchly independent and inspired fear in their neighbors [5]By the 16th century, most of those tribes were under the nominal control of two sedentary Uzbek Khanates, Khiva and Bukhara [11] Turkmen soldiers were an important element of the Uzbek military of this period.[11]

    Uzbekistan


    The Republic of Uzbekistan is an important link on the ancient Silk Road. Many centuries ago, the civilization that existed here gave life to many famous scientists, philosophers, poets and doctors, many of whose output is still used by many intellectuals around the world. Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. It is now a democratic secular, unitary, constitutional republic, [12] comprising 12 provinces, 1 autonomous republic, and 1 capital city. The state is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north; Tajikistan to the southeast; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest. It is spread in area 448,978 km2 with a population of 31,576,400. [13][14] Uzbek constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians (5.4%), Tajiks (4.0%), Kazakhs (3.0%), and others (6.5%). A majority of Uzbek are non-denominational Muslims. [2] With a diverse cultural heritage, the country's official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population; however, Russian too remains in widespread use.The region now known as the Republic of Uzbekistan was once part of the Turkic Khanate and later Timurid Empire. In the early 16th century it was conquered by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads. Following the Breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991. Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium and natural gas.
    Timur initiated the last flowering of Transoxiana by gathering together numerous artisans and scholars from the vast lands he had conquered into his capital, Samarkand. By supporting such people, he imbued his empire with a rich Perso-Islamic culture. During his reign and the reigns of his immediate descendants, a wide range of religious and palatial construction masterpieces were undertaken in Samarqand and other population centres. [15][8] Amir Timur initiated an exchange of medical discoveries and patronized physicians, scientists and artists from the neighbouring countries such as India; [16][9]His grandson Ulugh Beg was one of the world's first great astronomers. It was during the Timurid dynasty that Turkic, in the form of the Changhtai dialect, became a literary language in its own right in Transoxiana, although the Timurids were Persianate in nature. The greatest Chaghatai writer was Ali-Shir-Nava’i. of Herat in the 15th century.[17]

    The Timurid state quickly split in half after the death of Timur. The chronic internal fighting of the Timurids attracted the attention of the Uzbek nomadic tribes living to the north of the Aral Sea. In 1501 the Uzbek forces began a wholesale invasion of Transoxiana.[17]The slave trade in the Khannate of Bukhara became prominent and was firmly established [18] here were between 25,000 and 60,000 Tajik slaves in Bukhara alone in 1821. [19]It is most probable that Guru Nanak sold himself as a slave boy many times to teach the slave traders a lesson.

    Before the arrival of the Russians, present Uzbekistan was divided between Emirate of Bukhara and khanates of Khivaand Kokand. One can travel to Uzbekistan using many different airlines and motor ways. The journey to Russia is found only in Pandit Arjan Muni’s account published by Partap Hari Press on 20 June 1923. [20] Pandit Arjan Muni’s account is as heard from Sant Atma Singh of Budail second hand source. Details of visit of Guru Nanak to various places in Arab and Russia included in Pandit Arjan Muni’s account are f:rom serial 40 to 72 on pages from 92-96 in Punjab Past and Present commemorative Volume on Guru Nanak, Vol. III, 1969 edited by Dr. Ganda Singh and Published by Punjabi University Patiala. The same is attached with due scientific analysis at annexure 5. Giani Gian Singh [21], Giani Lal Singh [22] and Dr Surinder Singh Kohli [34] have used this source ‘as it is’.

    Sant Atma Singh is stated to have visited the places to Guru Nanak for six years. He mentions of the Dharamsals in Uzbekistan to commemorate Guru Nanak’s visit existing at 1. Jawehi City 2. Bakun 3. Andijan 4. Nimangan 5. Samarkand 6. Karmina 7. Bukhara 8. Maumana 9. Karki Bandar 10. Akcha. Makan existed at Samarkand; Platform existed at Panj Shambha and Springs existed at Namrata Village and Shivbhalang and a cold water spring at Suleiman Takhat. [20]

    Places visited and the Route:

    Basing on the details given by Pandit Arjan Muni’s [20] account the outline of the route followed by Guru Nanak is drawn on the map below. From Iran’s city of Mashhad, Guru Nanak visited Ashkabad in Turkmenistan and reached Khiva and Urganj (Urgench). From there he entered Uzbekistan visiting Bukhara. He visited Bukhara and then moved to Samarkand. From Samarkand he moved to Tashkent. Moving ahead he entered Kokand region and visited Namangan, Andijan, Osh, Fergana, Kokon (Kokand). Khujaid and Syr Darya before he returned to Samarkand via Jizzakh. From Samarkand he came to Mazhar Sharif in Afghanistan and reached Kabul for return journey to India.

    Period of visit:

    The time of visit of Kabul is given as Samvat 1576 (1519-1520 AD) by Pandit Arjan Muni. [20]
    Giani Gian Singh in Twareekh Guru Khalsa [21], Giani Lal Singh Sangrur, Guru Khalsa Twareekh [22] and Dr Surinder Singh Kohli in Travels of Guru Nanak (pp. 160-163) [23] give generally the same route and events related to Guru in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan but Dr Kirpal Singh in Atlas of Travels of Guru Nanak, 1976 states “This view is unacceptable, being somewhat farfetched. The dharmasals which have been mentioned in this connection were the creation of the Sindhi and Multani traders who traded in these areas and were the followers and admirers of Guru Nanak.” (p. 37).[24]

    However there are certain legends in these areas connected to the visit of the areas which include springs at Namrata village and Shivbhalang to which certain local legends are attached which are still popular among the local people.

    Guru Nanak entered Turkmenistan from Mashhad and reached Ashqabad through Jawehi City. From there he proceeded to Khiva and Urganj. He visited almost all the major cities of Uzbekistan a brief of which is given in the table below:


    Jawehi City (46):

    There used to be a Siddh named Sriraj. Guru Nanak broke hisprideandgaveDivineknowledge (brahmgyan) to him. There is a place commemorating Guru’s visit. From this city (Jawehi City) the Guru came to Kokan lands. [25]

    Khiva
    Khiva is best known as a museum city. The age of this city is approximately 900 years. It developed as a modern city in the 19th century. The city museum in the open sky, is unique in its beauty known as 'The Pearl of the Khorezm Oases". Important spiritual and cultural values came from the large scientific centers of astronomy, mathematics and medicine that operated in this area centuries ago. A valuable heritage of knowledge was left here by internationally famous scholars such as Beruni, Agakhi and Nadjmiddin. One can stroll through the narrow streets of Khiva, peeking into the small courtyards through the wooden carved doors. The life inside the gardens assures the visitor that it is not just a museum, but also a living city. Guru Nanak came here from Ashkabad, stayed here for some time and then proceeded to Urgench. According to Dr Kohli he seemed to have travelled on the bank of Amu River and reached Urgench via Khiva. The Syr Darya and Amu Darya flow from Tien Shan and Pamir mountains. The country, through which they flow, is mostly dry and desert, but there are fertile upper valleys.[23] p. 160. From Urgench, the Guru continued his journey and reached Bukhara. [23]

    Bukhara Sharif (57):
    Bukhara was established in the 8th century. Originally it was center of an expanding Islamic kingdom and gradually became the core region for trade and education center well known in Central Asia. Bukhara is replete with fine Islamic architecture. "Bukhara-and-sharif" - "noble and sacred" - is one of the numerous epithets, which was awarded to this ancient city. The Great Silk Road connecting China with Iran, India and Europe, and passed through.Bukhara is one of few cities in the world which had been continuously developing on the same place since the V century BC. Bukhara has remained the capital of an Emirate for about seven and a half centuries.

    Guru Nanak went and sat in the stable of king of Bukhara. People present asked them not to be seated there. Guru Nanak said, “The land belongs to the God. What belongs to you? You are mere visitors and will soon go giving place to the new. Having heard the news of occupation of land by Guru Nanak, the king ordered: “Capture and bring the person to me.” The minister went to capture but became blind. He then went with a clean heart and was able to capture him. The king too became blind. He too realized the truth and requested for forgiveness. When he prayed with a clean heart he too was able to see him. The king became Guru’s follower. (It is nearly the same story as that of King Devloot stated in Janamsakhi Bhai Bala.) Now at the place of stable there is a magnanimous dharamsal. Hundred shops belong to Hindus. The place is six stages from Karmina. The city belongs to Bali Raja. The state is called Balik. Muslims call it the country of demons. A stone on the top of the fort placed by Bali’s men cannot be picked even by hundreds of persons. It appears that India had better sources than the British as such heavy stones could be taken to the top of the fort even by them when tried. The throne of Bali is seven yards long and five yards broad. It does not appear to be of stone; what material it is still under research. The grains of the art in this stone are magnanimous. Two hundred steps from this place is the cave of Bavan Bhgwan. Route through the cave is stated to be taking one to nether world. The cave is apparently too deep. [27] Since no one could find the end of the cave. Now a stone has been put to cover the mouth of the cave. Fruits in this area are extra large; guava fruits here are of ½ seer and Kaunkcha melon is 10 seer and water melon is of 4 maunds. The almonds have so soft skin that even if you move a bit their skin is peeled off.[28]

    Arjan Muni states further: Guru Nanak’s memorial is near King’s capital in Bukhara. The place is also called Lord Brahma’s Throne. It is 32 kos in length. It has 1-1/4 lakh mosques in it. These people consider Prophet Mohammed sitting next to God in the seventh sky where from he gets his followers salvaged from all sins. Guru Nanak removed this superstition and said that ‘one’s own good deeds can save one from sins’. There is a Makan (dharamsal commemorating Guru Nanak’s visit) [29] Hindus have 6 shops at the place. It is four stoppages from Nimagan.[30]

    Dr Surinder Singh Kohli [9] mentions of Guru Nanak visiting Vakand and Karmine close to Bukhara though there is no name Vakand or Karmin found near Bukhara but both are in Iran hence the episode has been related to Iran already.

    At Bukhara, there is a memorial of the Guru Nanak by the side of a spring which is said to have been dug out with his blessings. It is said that Mardana felt thirsty and he went to drink water at the place where a fakir named Afzal Qadri lived and requested for water. Afzal Qadri refused water to Mardana. Guru Nanak gave his staff to Bhai Bala, and to go to the river and draw a line from the river from there to the city of Bukhara. It is said that the river followed Bhai Bala. The water of the river now flows through the spring mentioned above. A dharmasal was constructed to commemorate the event. It is also said that the Sikhs installed Sri Guru Granth Sahib in this dharamsal in 1858 AD. Before partition of india in 1947 AD several Sikhs were found up to Bukhara but beyond this there were only a few. There from Guru Nanak came along the River and showed Sabaz city to Mardana. Next he crossed Seekan Parbat and passed through Argooz city (48) [31] and KattaKurgan (49) [32]

    Kattakurgan
    Along the Zeravshan River valley, in the Samarkand Region of east-central Uzbekistan Kattakurgan is a thickly populated oasis located on the road and railway between Bukhara and Samarkand. The name is Turkic that means "large town or Kurgan ". Being close to Samarkand during the attack of Alexander the Great on the centre of cultural life of the Zeravshan valley briefly shifted west around Katta-Kurgan. According to F.F. Pospelov a fortress was built on the current site by the local saint Sufi Allahyar and his two brothers, Farhat-Atalyk and Allah-Nazar-bii, in 1095 AH/1684 AD, and the town subsequently grew up around it. It is currently the second largest city in Samarkand Region. Population of Kattakurgan is of Uzbek nationality. Its coordinates are 39053’56” E 66015’22” N population is 76,562 (2009). [33] Guru Nanak passed through Arguz and Katta Kurgan while proceeding to Samarkand. [34]

    From Kattakurgan Guru Nanak reached Panj Shamba city (50)[35] . Here Peer Jala Mardan Qazi Maulvi was considered to be enjoying with fairies and had set the dreamy life like heaven. The Guru stopped him from this apostasy as well as from offering sweets to achieve this and directed them to Divine name, truth and truthful living. This city is on the border of Russian and Bukhara. A platform commemorating Guru’s visit to the place exists at the place. [35]

    From Panj Shamba Guru Nanak visited Katarzai and Karmeena cities (51)[36] and went to hill where a Naurata fakir was meditating. He was troubled because of non-availability of water. Guruji created a spring at the place. Now Naurata village came up at the place. A fair is held on each Poornmashi (Full Moon night). The spring commemorating Nanak Peer is worshiped. No one kills the fish in the spring.[36]

    Samarkand
    The Guru continued his journey and reached Samarkand, the great cultural center as mentioned above. Samarkand is one of the ancient cities of the world with its 2750 year history. Located on the left bank of the middle course of the Zarafshan River, it is in the center of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In ancient times it was the capital of the powerful stateSogd. At the entrance to the city the forking of Afrasiab remained, where old Marakand, with the name of which Central Asian campaigns of Alexander of Macedonia are associated. It reached the prosperity and grandeur in the time of Timur the great. The city had an advantageous geographical situation; it was an important crossroad on the Great Silk Road. Timor was the one who cared about the beauty of the city and its strength as a major capital city in the region. The numerous monuments of Samarkand and its suburbs impress tourists with their beauty and splendor. The caravan used to stop and rest here.re was an evolution of the composite Greco-Buddhist Gandhara art, Bhagavat and Mahayana Buddhism though the contacts along the overland routes in Gandhara, Samarkand and Turkestan. This area was Buddhist oasis and its important centres were Khotan, Kashgar, Garghana and Samarkand. He is said to have discussions with the Qadis of the city. The visit of Guru Nanak furthered this cultural link between India and Turkestan. [37]

    Sarsabz:
    From Samarkand Guru Nanak went to the town of Sarsabz where the people thought of fairies than anything else. According to the old legends, the fairies lived in this area and the giants on Koh Kaaf or Kaaf Mountain. The Guru forbade the people of the area from believing in such old legends and put them on the path of devotion for the Lord. The people of this area still hold him in veneration and worship the Asa (staff) of Nanak Qalander.

    Tashkent
    From Kokan region Guru Nanak went to Tashkent. The Uzbek word "Tashkent" means "stone village". In fact, the city grew up on the site of the village with the same title, which was located at the intersection of the mountain roads, and therefore played an important role in trade between East and West. Tashkent was a mighty fortress, reflecting the raids of the nomadic tribes. Tashkent was founded more than 2000 years ago and was situated on the crossroad of the Great Silk Road, which helped to connect economical and cultural relations with other countries. The remained monuments of the past have been reflecting the art and culture of the building of different. Now Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan. It has a population of over 3 million people. The city is lined with a grid of straight and wide streets and avenues, decorated with emerald green parks, gardens, fountains imbued with crystal strands. The ruins on the hill Minguryuk and remaining feudal castles, double-fortified walls and huge towers indicate its considerable age. It is now the capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the Middle Ages Tashkent became the center of the oasis of agriculture, the city of fine craftsmen. Modern Tashkent– is a large railway junction, the center of a dense network of motor and air routes. There is an underground railway with its beautiful, artistically decorated stations. In the city there are the monuments of the past.

    He visited the city and the areas around. Khojand and Nimagan cities are located in this country. Visiting all these cities he proceeded to Uratapa (Uratyube) city on the bank of Seer River and is on the boundary of Bukhara and Kokund.

    Kokand
    is a city in Fergana region in eastern Uzbekistan, at the southwestern edge of the Fergana valley. The population of Kokand on April 24, 2014 was approximately 187,477. The city lies 228 km (142 mi) southeast of Tashkent, 115 km (71 mi) west of Andijan, and 88 km (55 mi) west of Fergana. It is nicknamed "City of Winds", or sometimes "Town of the Boar". Kokand's name derives from the well-known tribal family group of "Kokand" who belong to the Kongrat tribe of Uzbeks. [38] Kokand is at the crossroads of the two main ancient trade routes into the Fergana Valley, one leading northwest over the mountains to Tashkent, and the other west through Khujand. As a result, Kokand is the main transportation junction in the Fergana Valley.

    Namangan
    Namanganis a city in eastern Uzbekistan. It is the administrative, economic, and cultural center of Namagan region. Namangan is located in the northern edge of the Fergana Valley. The city is served by Namagan Airport. Namangan has been an important craft and trade center in the Fergana Valley since the 17th century. A large number of factories were built in the city during Soviet rule. Namangan is Uzbekistan's third-largest city by population. The officially registered population of the city was 475,700 in 2014. Uzbeksand Tajiks are the largest ethnic groups. Nimagan (54) is capital of Bukhara. It is 200 kos from Andijan. There is no priest in dharamsal (of Guru Nanak), it has only a place. [39]

    Andijan
    Andijan (53) has a dharamsal commemorating Guru’s visit to the place. It has a park attached to it. 35 shops belong to Hindus. This is on the border of China and Russia. After 7 stoppages/stages from Suleiman comes Andijan. Each stoppage is of 24 kos. People there consider it equal to 12 kos each. Our (Indian) two kos are equal to one of theirs. [40]

    Fergana
    Fergana is a city (population: 187,100),[41] the capital of Fergana region in eastern Uzbekistan, at the southern edge of the Fergana valley in southern Central Asia, cutting across the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It is about 420 km east of Tashkent, and about 75 km west of Andijan.

    The fertile Fergana Valley was an important conduit on the North Silk Road which connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xi’anto the west over the Wushao Ling pass to Wuwei and emerging in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia [42] or on to the north of the Araland Caspian Seas to ports on the Black Sea. It used to be called Fergana, during the Kushan Empire. Fergana, was the father of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur(1483–1530), founder of the Mughal dynasty in India. At Mirza's death in 1498, Babur became chief, although he was still a minor.

    Osh
    Osh
    is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located in the Fergana Valley in the south of the country It is more than 3000 years old, and has served as the administrative center of Osh region since 1939. The city has an ethnically mixed population of about 255,800 in 2012, comprising Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Russians, Tajiks, and other smaller ethnic groups. It was a major market along the Silk Roadand is now named the Great Silk Road Bazar in reference to its historical importance. 16th-century Rabat Abdul Khan Mosque can be found here. The Suleiman Mountain, offers a splendid view of Osh and its environs. It marked the midpoint on the ancient Silk Road, the overland trade route taken by caravans between Europe and Asia.[43] The city is among the oldest settlements in central Asia. Osh was known as early as the 8th century as a center for silk production along the Silk Road. The famous trading route crossed Alay Mountains to reach Kashgar to the east. Babur, was born in nearby Andijan, in the Fergana Valley, pondered his future on Suleiman Mountain and even constructed a mosque atop of the mountain. Babur somehow concludes that the confines of the Fergana would cramp his aspirations as a descendant of famous conquering warrior princes. He wrote of the city: "There are many sayings about the excellence of Osh. On the southeastern side of the Osh fortress is a well-proportioned mountain called Bara-Koh, where, on its summit, Sultan Mahmud Khan built a pavilion. Farther down, on a spur of the same mountain, I had a porticoes pavilion built in 902 (1496-7)" [44]

    Margilan
    Margilanis a city (2009 pop 197,000) in Fergana region in eastern Uzbekistan. It is located at latitude 40°28' 16 N: longitude 71°43' 29 E. at an altitude of 487 meters. According to European legend, Margilan was founded by Alexander the Great. On a lunch stop, he was given chicken and bread, from which the town took its name. More reliable records indicate that Margilan was an important stop on the Silk Roadby the 9th century AD, along the route going across the Alay Mountains to Kashgar. Writing in the early 16th century, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babur, mentioned that “the pomegranates and apricots are superb .... the game in Margilan is good; white deer may be found nearby. The people are Sarts. They are a feisty people, ready with their fists. The custom of exorcism is widespread throughout Transoxiana and most of the renowned exorcists of Samarkand and Bukhara are Margilanis. This reputation for toughness extends to modern times. Margilan today is also a stronghold of conservative Islam.[45][46]

    Syr Darya (UraTyube)
    It is said that in the area around Ura Tyube the Guru Nanak benefited the people greatly through his religious discourses. They had been the followers of Guru Nanak and none else and do not talk of any other preceptor except Wali Hind.[47] People here are followers (Murids) of Guru Nanak. They do not go to Mecca. [47] Having visited Fergana area Guru Nanak returned to Samarkand and Bukhara. From Bukhara he visited Qarshi.

    Qarshi
    Qarshiin southern Uzbekistan is the capital of Qashqa daryo Region and has a population of 197,600 (1999 census estimate). The population of Qarshi on April 24, 2014 is approximately 222,898. It is about 520 km south-southwest of Tashkent, and about 335 km north of Uzbekistan's border with Afghanistan. It is located at latitude 38° 51' 48N; longitude 65° 47' 52E at an altitude of 374 meters. The city is important in natural gas production, but Qarshi is also famous for its production of woven Originally the Sogdian city of Nakhshab and the IslamicUzbek (Turkic) city of Nasaf, and the Mongol city of Qarshi (pronounced Kharsh), Qarshi was the second city of the Emirate of Bukhara. It is in the center of a fertile oasisthat produces wheat, cotton and silkand was a stop on the 11-day caravan route between Balkh and Bukhara. The Mongols Khan’s built palaces here on the site of Changez Khan's 's summer pasture. [48]In 1364, Timur also built a fortified palace with moats in what is now the southern part of the city. The modern name "Qarshi" means fort. With the decline of Shahir sabz in the 18th century, Qarshi grew in importance, and was the seat of the Crown Prince to the Emirate of Bukhara. The city had a double set of walls, 10 caravan sarais and 4 madrassas during this time. [49][50]

    Guru Nanak visited Qarshi while returning from Samarkand to Afghanistan, The memorial of Nanak Qalandar is situated to the south of the town.

    Shirabad
    Shirabadis a town in Surkhi daryo Region of Uzbekistan. The European route E60 passes through the town. The name is of Persian/Tajkiorigin, standing for 'Lion's Lair' ("sher/shir" for lion, and "abad/obod" for English term, abode). The city has a mixed Tajikand Uzbek population, with the former boasting a slim majority. [51] Guru Nanak returned to Afghanistan from Uzbekistan through Shirabad and crossed Amu Darya at Karki Bandar before entering Afghanistan.

    References

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    [21] Giani Gian Singh, 1891, Twareekh Guru Khalsa, Guru 1, part 1
    [22] Giani Lal Singh Sangrur, Guru Khalsa Twareekh
    [23] Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, 1969, Travels of Guru Nanak Punjab University.
    [24] Dr Kirpal Singh in Atlas of Travels of Guru Nanak, 1976
    [25] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 93 Sr. 46
    [26] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 93 Sr. 47
    [27] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 93 Sr. 47
    [28] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 93 Sr. 57
    [29] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 93 Sr. 57.
    [30] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 94 Sr. 55.
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    [32] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 94 Sr. 49.
    [33] Kattakurgan, Uzbekistan - Wikipedia
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    [36]Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 93 Sr. 51).
    [37] Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, Travels of Guru Nanak, p.150-161
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    [45] The Babur-namaTrans. & Ed. Wheeler M. Thackston (New York) 2002 p5
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    [48] Arjan Muni, 1923, p. 94
    [49] Grousset rene.The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia.Trans. Naomi Walford. New Jersey: Rutgers, 1970.ISBN 0- 8135-1304-9
    [50] Grousset, pp. 341-2 states that both khans used Qarshi as a capital
    [51] List of cities in Uzbekistan - Wikipedia
     
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