ISSN 1991-3087 Rambler's Top100



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Towns and villages in the state of Khorezmian shahs


Madamin Eshmuradov, dots.

Urgench state university, Khorezm region, Uzbekistan.


This article reflects opinions about the towns and villages in the state of Khorezmian shahs.

Kewords: Khorezmian Shahs (King of Khorezm), culture, village, geographical position, inner city, source, handicraft, trade and commerce, industry.


Historians and scholars of topography came to reasonable conclusions as a result of archeological and ethnographic scientific investigations and studying the written sources about the towns belonging to the Khorezmian shahs state for instance Bukhara, Samarkand, Marv, Niso and etc. Archeologists collected sufficient data in order to study the town handicraft and history by searching towns ancient walls, some buildings, all city blocks, different handicraft workshops.

Especially, in the book Mujamal al-buldon(Encyclopedia of countries) by Yakut Hamaviy we can see several facts about Central Asia for instance the history and culture in Khorezm. In this work, the information on geography of Khorezm are significant, they include the names of towns and villages belonging to Khorezm, their geographical position, climate and water reservation in the area.

Besides, Hamaviy wrote about Khorezm and said: Khorezm is not the name of a particular town but also it is the name of oasis(region)(1, p 474).The scholar wrote that he had been to Khorezm in 1219-1220, and the region was very prosperous, there were many buildings and the villages were situated very close to each other. One couldnt find a place without buildings even there were a lot of trees which most of them were mulberry tree and abele. As the abele was used for construction of living apartments for people, the mulberry was food for the silk-wormOne could hardly find a village without a market in Khorezm.There was no place in the world with wast area and densely inhabited population as Kultorezm. , Also, he fulfilled his information by saying that there were peace and calmness in the region.(2, pages 475-476).We can understand from Hamaviys information that during Khorezmian shahs reign (XI-XIII century) there was peace, administrators post and abundance. And in its turn it created conditions for the science and culture flourish in the region.

Yakut Hamaviy wrote about the capital of Khorezm specifically, al-Jurjoniya(Urgench) which he had seen himself: Al Jurjoniya is a big city situated on the Jaykhun river. Native inhabitants of Khorezm call the city Gurgandg in their language but the arabic name for the city is al-Jurjoniya. In ancient times Khorezm was called as Fil then it was named as al-Mansura. It was situated on the eastern coast of Jaykhun and as a result of flood it was washed off. At that time al-Mansura was a small town situated in opposite to Fil on western coast of the Jaykhun river. As a result flood the city was ruined and nothing remained from flourishing city, Khorezmian people had to abandon their place and moved to Gurgandge. They established living apartments there and al-Jurjoniya turned into a flourishing city. (3, p79) . When Khamaviy came to Gurgandge it was one of the most cultural and richest cities of Islamic East. It was the capital of Khorezmian state , administrative city as the shah Muhammad of Khorezm and his palace representatives lived there, the center of attraction where most famous scholars, poets, writers of that time gathered and the city where science and education developed. Gurgandge , which was situated on both sides of the river, was bordered by water barriers in two sides.

Mongolian invaders destroyed the water barriers and the city was flooded by them. Of course the city was ruined during the arrest continued seven months. During the flood and war-battles only the mausoleum of Najmiddin Kubro and Sulton Taqish and the castle of Koshki Ohjukh (the daughter of Alauddin Mukhammad) and a small part of the market were remained. Sultan alauddin Mukhammad respected Abu Ali Alauddin Sadid ibn Muhammad Khorezmiy as he was the last superintendent of wise at that time in Gurgandge and in whole Khorezm. Tokhariya, Cardor and Marokhard districts of Khorezm region were mentioned in sources about towns and villages of the region and the district was named as nokhiya.

A lot of facts about the cities of Khorezm have been saved in different sources.For instance:

Ardakhushmisan (or Khushmisan) was a large tawn with crowdy markets and wealthy population. Yokut Khamaviy had been there (month Shavval, 616A.D or December 1219,)a year before the Mongolian invasion. He wrote that the winter was very cold and frosty. As a result the river was frozen and the ship which the tourists got on couldnt swim.

Khevak(Khiva)- the fortress city situated in 15 farsaqs distance (1 farsaq-6 kilometres) from Gurgandge. Only in Khiva, the shofiya sacked of Islamic religion was obeyed in Khiva while in other cities of Khorezm khanafia saced was obeyed. [4, p. 80].

Dargon (Dargom) was a town on hill near the desert. Yokut Khamaviy had been to the town while coming from Marv to Gurgandge on Ramadan in 616(it was November, 1219)

Govshfandge was another beautiful, densely inhabited town situated in 20 farsaqs from Gurgandge. Yokut Khamaviy had been there in 1219.

Kat (Kiyos or Kiyot) was situated from 20 farsaqs distance from Gurgandge. Khamaviy had been there in 1219.

Nuzkat was a small town near Gurgandge.

Kazorasp was a stable and beautiful city. There were a lot of markets and stores. Khamaviy had been there in 1219 too.

The scholar traveller called out the names of several towns of Khorezm such as Suburna(Water nose), Saraqusta, Mangqishlok. According to the source during the reign of the last two shahs (Takish and Mukhammad) there were a lot of villages and districts (nokhiya) with rural areasCotton, melon, watermelon, different fruits were grown there. Yokut Khamaviy who had been to Khorezm before Mongolian invasion wrote the followings: I have never seen a more beautiful and flourished place than Khorezm .

One of the largest cities in Khoresm was Bukhoroi-sharif. At that time as other cities of the country Bukhara and its inner city Kukhandiz were surrounded with stable fortresses. The outer walls of the city were rebuilt several times. Also Khorezmian shah Aladdin Muhammad ordered to rebuilt the walls after conquering Bukhara.

According to the sources, the weaving handicraft was developed greatly. Especially gold-brocaded zandonian fabric clothes were very famous and those cotton clothes had a lot of customers in distant countries too. .

Sughd region was famous with its fertile rural areas and flourished cities. Samarkand was described in Sughd written sources as the fourth paradise in the world. (The other three were Guta in Damask, Shuzub Bovand of Persian, Ubulla in Basra.(Z.Qazviniy)).There were inner fortresses in all cities of Sughd.

Samarkand was the administrative center in Sughd. It was as the most beautiful and richest city famous in the world. (Till the reign of Amir Temur). There were villages with fertile rural areas and properties within the walls of inner city and out of it. There were entrances to the city through four gates. Running water was served to the houses and yards in the inner city by lead pipelines. As the city was full of gardens, the apartments couldnt be seen from the hills also.

The names of gates of the city Samarkand: Boby Doston, Boby Kohak (Now the observatory of Ulughbek situated), Boby Tok, Namozgoh.

In the source the names of city blocks have been mentioned such as Usta Bezak, Banilakhon, Jokardiza (Chokardiza), Zaarimas, Sanj-aziza and others. Craftsmen of Samarkand especially paper workmen were famous all over the world. Only Chinese paper could compete the paper of Samarkand.

Chinese traveller El youy Chu Soy came to Samarkand in 1218 and devoted his poem to the glorious city.

Besides such regions as Balkh, Vakhsh, Jandrud, Jand, Kunduz, Khuttalon and some other cities were under control of Khorezmian shahs state.

During the flourishing period of Khorezmian state Khuroson, Mozandaron, Ghazna, Ghur, Bust, Takinaobod, Zamindevor, Kirmon, Sind, Kash, Mikron regions and all cities and villages belonged to the property of Khorezmian Shahs.




1.                   Yakut Khamaviy. Mujaam al buldon (in Arabic) 3 volumes.Egypt., 1906, p 474.

2.                   The same book, pages 475-476.

3.                   The same book, p 79.

4.                   Yakut Khamaviy. Mujaam al- buldon, p 80.


10.03.2015 .

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