Margilan in Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan. According to European legend, Margilan was founded by Alexander the Great. On a lunch stop, he was given chicken (murgh; in Persian مرغ) and bread (nan; in Persian نان), 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. A simple majority of population in Margilan are ethnic Tajiks, who although primarily Persian speakers, use Uzbeki as easily.
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. The author of the Hidaya (Burhan ud-din Ali ben Abu Bakr al-Marghilani) was from a Margilan village called Rishtan”. This reputation for toughness extends to modern times. Margilan merchants were key players in Central Asian commerce, and were said to be a law unto themselves during Soviet days, when Margilan was the heart of Uzbekistan’s black market. Margilan today is also a stronghold of conservative Islam.
The origin of Margilan is closely related to the opening of the Silk Road. Even though the birth of city is not regarded to this ancient caravan route, then certainly the Silk Road made Margilan the center of silk and chief keeper of its secrets. As far back as in the 10th century Margilan - the largest city in the Ferghana Valley - was widely known for its silk products on far West and East. Since time immemorial, it is famous for great masters - craftsmen of silk fabrics such as adras khan-atlas, and many others. Beautiful silk, manufactured in the city and its surroundings, was exported to Europe and the East along the ancient Great Silk Road routes into Baghdad, Kashgar, Khurasan, Egypt and Greece. Even today Margilan considers as the silk capital of Uzbekistan. It produces the famous khan-atlas, woven and dyed by hand under the ancient technology. Amazing in beauty and originality Margilan embroidery - Suzanne and skullcaps say about the variety of beautiful Margilan atlas.
The town is the location of Uzbekistan’s largest traditional silk factory, the Yodgorlik Silk Factory. Employing over 2,000 workers, everything is done in the traditional manner, for an annual output of some 250,000 square meters of highly premium silk cloth.
Almost over 3 centuries - from 1598 to 1876 Margilan was in the structure of the Kokand Khanate. Later, when it was included in Russia, it became a district town. Back in the late 19th century the city was surrounded by adobe walls with towers and twelve fortified gates. The main streets led from the gate to the center of Margilan, where the palace of the governor - Urda and local market were situated. Residential areas were organically combined with religious buildings, very few of which have survived. The most famous ancient monuments in Margilan are the Complex Pir Siddiq, the architectural composition Pir Siddiq, the Mausoleum of Khoja Magiz and many others.