Urganch / گرگانج
|• Total||70 km2 (30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||91 m (299 ft)|
|• Density||2,700/km2 (7,000/sq mi)|
|Area code(s)||(+998) 62|
Urgench (Uzbek : Urganch/Ургeнч/ئۇرگەنج, pronounced [urgæntʃ] ; Persian : گرگانج, Gorgånch/Gorgānč/Gorgânc/Gurganj) is a city in western Uzbekistan. The population of Urgench on April 24, 2014 was approximately 150,110, an increase from 139,100 in 1999. It is the capital of the Khorezm Region, on the Amu Darya River and the Shavat canal. The city is situated 450 km (280 mi) west of Bukhara across the Kyzylkum Desert.
The history of the city goes back to the second half of the 19th century. The city should not be confused with the similarly-named city of Konye-Urgench (also known as "Old Urgench" or "Gurgench") in Turkmenistan. The city of Old Urgench was left after the Amu Darya river changed its course in the 16th century, leaving the old town high and dry and without water. New Urgench was founded by Russians in the second half of the 19th century at the site of a little trade station of the Khanate of Khiva.
Modern Urgench is a Soviet-style city with cotton motifs adorning many objects, from street lights to apartment houses. Of note is a monument to the twenty Komsomol members killed by Tekke basmachi on the banks of the Syr Darya in 1922, and a large statue to Muhammad al-Khwarizmi, the 9th century local mathematician who revolutionised algebra, outside the Hotel Urgench. A flat, drab place, Urgench is the main gateway for tourists to Khiva 35 kilometres (22 mi) to the southeast, whose old city, known as Itchan Kala, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Polish singer Anna German was born in Urgench in 1936.
|Climate data for Urgench (1981–2010, extremes 1948–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.7|
|Record low °C (°F)||−26.1|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||11.7|
|Average precipitation days||12||9||9||8||8||5||3||2||3||5||8||11||83|
|Average relative humidity (%)||80||74||68||51||41||39||41||46||51||56||65||77||57|
|Source 1: Centre of Hydrometeorological Service of Uzbekistan|
|Source 2: Pogoda.ru.net (mean temperatures 1981–2010, record low and record high temperatures 1948–present), Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity)|
The Amu Darya is a major river in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Rising in the Pamir Mountains, north of the Hindu Kush, the Amu Darya is formed by the confluence of the Vakhsh and Panj rivers, in the Tigrovaya Balka Nature Reserve on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and flows from there north-westwards into the southern remnants of the Aral Sea. In its upper course, the river forms part of Afghanistan's northern border with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. In ancient history, the river was regarded as the boundary of Greater Iran with "Turan", which roughly corresponded to present-day Central Asia.
Turkmenistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea to the west, Iran and Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the north-east, and Kazakhstan to the north-west. It is the southernmost republic of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the loose federation created at the end of 1991 by most of the Post-Soviet states.
The Syr Darya, historically known as the Jaxartes, is a river in Central Asia. The name, a borrowing from the Persian language, literally means Syr Sea or Syr River, and sometimes it is referred to in this way. It originates in the Tian Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan and eastern Uzbekistan and flows for 2,256.25 kilometres (1,401.97 mi) west and north-west through Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan to the northern remnants of the Aral Sea. It is the northern and eastern of the two main rivers in the endorheic basin of the Aral Sea, the other being the Amu Darya (Jayhun). In the Soviet era, extensive irrigation projects were constructed around both rivers, diverting their water into farmland and causing, during the post-Soviet era, the virtual disappearance of the Aral Sea, once the world's fourth-largest lake. The point at which the river flows from Tajikistan into Uzbekistan is, at 300 m (980 ft) above sea level, the lowest elevation in Tajikistan.
Khwarazm, or Chorasmia, is a large oasis region on the Amu Darya river delta in western Central Asia, bordered on the north by the (former) Aral Sea, on the east by the Kyzylkum Desert, on the south by the Karakum Desert, and on the west by the Ustyurt Plateau. It was the center of the Iranian Khwarazmian civilization, and a series of kingdoms such as the Khwarazmian dynasty and the Afrighid dynasty, whose capitals were Kath, Gurganj and – from the 16th century on – Khiva. Today Khwarazm belongs partly to Uzbekistan and partly to Turkmenistan.
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Konye-Urgench – Old Gurgānj also known as Old Urgench or Urganj, is a city of about 30,000 inhabitants in north Turkmenistan, just south from its border with Uzbekistan. It is the site of the ancient town of Ürgenç (Urgench), which contains the ruins of the capital of Khwarazm, a part of the Achaemenid Empire. Its inhabitants deserted the town in the 1700s in order to develop a new settlement, and Kunya-Urgench has remained undisturbed ever since. In 2005, the ruins of Old Urgench were inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.
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Gurlen or Gurlan is a town and seat of Gurlen District in Xorazm Region in Uzbekistan. It is located near the border with Turkmenistan in western Uzbekistan, 42 kilometres (26 mi) north-west of Urgench, north of Shovot, and south of the Amu Darya river. Gurlen is a major centre for cotton production, and rice and yams are also significant other crops.
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