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Just as Uzbekistan is the heart of the Cenral Asia, the Ferghana Valley id the heart of Uzbekistan. Over seven million people, about third of the population, live in this fertile flood plain of the Syr Darya. The river sweeps down from the Pamir’s into a Valley approximately 300 km long and 170 km wide, surrounded by spurs of the Tian Shan – Chatkal range to the North, Ferghana to the east, and Pamir-Altai to the South. The best approach for traders and conquerors was through the Khojent Gates to West, where the river leaves the valley before the hanger Steppe. Stock-breeding tribes came this way in the Bronze Age, mixing with local farming people. Rock-carving high in the mountains, such as Saimaly-Tash in the Ferghana range, reveal ancient scenes of hunting and agriculture. Independence has given internal borders a solidity never imaginate by the devisors. With its overlapping cultures and hopefully interacting economies, Ferghana is a microcosm of turkestan as it was and may be once more. Add to the intrinsic fascination stunning scenery, distinctive local architecture and traditional Crafts, from silk-weaving and wood-carving to pottery and knife-making, and the result, at the very least, makes for a worthwhile side-trip from Tashkent, to the place local proudly dub the “Golden Valley”.