KHOKAND, or KOKAN, a town of Asiatic Russia, in the province of Ferghana, on the railway from Samarkand to Andijan, 85 m. by rail S.W. of the latter, and 20 m. S. of the Syr-darya. Pop. (1900), 86,704. Situated at an altitude of 1375 ft., it has a severe climate, the average temperatures being year, 56; January, 22; July, 65. Yearly rainfall, 3-6 in. It is the centre of a fertile irrigated oasis, and consists of a citadel, enclosed by a wall nearly 12 m. in circuit, and of suburbs containing luxuriant gardens. The town is modernized, has broad streets and large squares, and a particularly handsome bazaar. The former palace of the khans, which recalls by its architecture the mosques of Samarkand, is the best building in the town. Khokand is one of the most important centres of trade in Turkestan. Raw cotton and silk are the principal exports, while manufactured goods are imported from Russia. Coins bearing the inscription " Khokand the Charming," and known as khokands, have or had a wide currency.
The khanate of Khokand was a powerful state which grew up in the 18th century. Its early history is not well known, but the town was founded in 1732 by Abd-ur-Rahim under the name of Iski-kurgan, or Kali-i-Rahimbai. This must relate, however, to the fort only, because Arab travellers of the 10th century mention Hovakend or Hokand, the position of which has been identified with that of Khokand. Many other populous and wealthy towns existed in this region at the time of the Arab conquest of Ferghana. In 1758-1759 the Chinese conquered Dzungaria and East Turkestan, and the begs or rulers of Ferghana recognized Chinese suzerainty. In 1807 or 1808 Alim, son of Narbuta, brought all the begs of Ferghana under his authority, and conquered Tashkent and Chimkent. His attacks on the Bokharan fortress of Ura-tyube were however unsuccessful, and the country rose against him. He was killed in 1817 by the adherents of his brother Omar. Omar was a poet and patron of learning, but continued to enlarge his kingdom, taking the sacred town of Azret (Turkestan), and to protect Ferghana from the raids of the nomad Kirghiz built fortresses on the Syr-darya, which became a basis for raids of the Khokand people into Kirghiz land. This was the origin of a conflict with Russia. Several petty wars were undertaken by the Russians after 1847 to destroy the Khokand forts, and to secure possession, first, of the Hi (and so of Dzungaria), and next of the Syr-darya region, the result being that in 1866, after the occupation of Ura-tyube and Jizakh,the khanate of Khokand was separated from Bokhara. During the forty-five years after the death of Omar (he died in 1822) the khanate of Khokand was the seat of continuous wars between the settled Sarts and the nomad Kipchaks, the two parties securing the upper hand in turns, Khokand falling under the dominion or the suzerainty of Bokhara, which supported Khudayar-khan, the representative of the Kipchak party, in 1858-1866; while Alim-kul, the representative of the Sarts, put himself at the head of the gazawat (Holy War) proclaimed in 1860, and fought bravely against the Russians until killed at Tashkent in 1865. In 1868 Khudayar-khan, having secured independence from Bokhara, concluded a commercial treaty with the Russians, but was compelled to flee in 1875, when a new Holy War against Russia was proclaimed. It ended in the capture at the strong fort of Makhram, the occupation of Khokand and Marghelan (1875), and the recognition of Russian superiority by the amir of Bokhara, who conceded to Russia all the territory north of the Naryn river. War, however, was renewed in the following year. It ended, in February 1876, by the capture of Andijan and Khokand and the annexation of the Khokand khanate to Russia. Out of it was made the Russian province of Ferghana.
AUTHORITIES. The following publications are all in Russian: Kuhn, Sketch of the Khanate of Khokand (1876); V. Nalivkin, Short History of Khokand (French trans., Paris, 1889); Niazi Mohammed, Tarihi Shahrohi, or History of the Rulers of Ferghana, edited by Pantusov (Kazan, 1885); Makshe'ev, Historical Sketch of Turkestan and the Advance of the Russians (St Petersburg, 1890) ; N. Petrovskiy, Old Arabian Journals of Travel (Tashkent, 1894); Russian Encyclopaedic Dictionary, vol. xv. (1895). (P. A. K. ; J. T. BE.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)