Khanate of Kokand

Khanate of Kokand

Infobox Former Country
native_name = Qo'qon Xonligi
conventional_long_name = Khanate of Kokand
common_name = Kokand
continent = moved from Category:Asia to Central Asia
region = Central Asia
country = Uzbekistan
government_type = Monarchy
year_start = 1709
year_end = 1876
s1 = Russian Empire
flag_s1 = Romanov_Flag.svg
flag_type = Flag of the Khanate of Kokand
capital = Kokand
latd=40 |latm=31 |latNS=N |longd=70 |longm=56 |longEW=E
common_languages = Uzbek, Tajik
religion = Sunni Islam
leader1 = Shahrukh Boi
year_leader1 = 1709-1721
leader2 = Nasr al-Din Khan
year_leader2 = 1875-1876
title_leader = Khan
The Khanate of Kokand (Uzbek: "Qo'qon Xonligi") was a state in Central Asia that existed from 1709–1876 within the territory of modern Uzbekistan, southern Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The name of the city and the khanate is also often spelled as Khoqand in modern scholarly literature.


The Khanate of Kokand was established in 1709 when the Shaybanid emir Shahrukh of the Minglar Uzbeks declared independence from the Khanate of Bukhara, establishing a principality in the western part of the Fergana Valley. He built a citadel to be his capital in the small town of Kokand, thus starting the Khanate of Kokand.

His son Abd al-Karim and grandson Narbuta Beg enlarged the citadel. However, both Abd al-Karim and Narbuta Beg were forced to summit as protectorate and pay tribute to the Qing dynasty in China between 1774 and 1798, which to this day forms the basis for occasional Chinese claims of sovereignty over the Fergana Valley.

Narbuta Beg’s son Alim was both ruthless and efficient. He hired a mercenary army of Tajik highlanders, and conquered the western half of the Fergana Valley, including Khujand and Tashkent. He was assassinated by his brother Omar in 1809. Omar’s son, Mohammed Ali (Madali Khan) ascended to the throne in 1821 at the age of 12. During his reign, the Khanate of Kokand reached its greatest territorial extent. In 1841, the British officer Captain Arthur Conolly failed in an effort to persuade the various khanates to put aside their differences, in an attempt to counter the growing penetration of the Russian Empire into the area. He left Kokand for Bukhara in an ill-fated attempt to rescue fellow officer Colonel Charles Stoddart in November 1841 and both were executed in 1842.

Despite the best efforts of Omar’s widow, the famed poetess Nadira, Madali Khan excelled at cruelty and debauchery, giving Emir Nasrullah Khan of Bukhara an excuse to invade Kokand in 1842. Preferring their own cruel and debauched despots over outsiders, the people of Kokand soon rebelled, and installed Madali Khan’s cousin Shir Ali on the throne. Over the next two decades, the khanate was weakened by bitter civil war and ethnic conflicts, further inflamed by Bukharan and Russian incursions. Shir Ali’s son Khudayar ruled from 1845 to 1858, and, after another interlude under Emir Nasrullah, again from 1865. In the meantime, Russia was continuing its advance. On June 28, 1865 Tashkent was taken by Russian troops of General Chernyayev; loss of Khujand followed in 1867.

Shortly before the fall of Tashkent, Kokand’s most famous son, Yakub Beg, former lord of Tashkent, was sent by the then ruler of Kokand, Alimqul, to Kashgar, then in rebellion against the Chinese. As Alimqul was killed in 1865, and Tashkent was lost, many other Kokandian soldiers fled to join Yaqub Beg, helping him establish his dominion throughout the Tarim Basin until 1877.

In 1868, a commercial treaty turned Kokand into a Russian vassal state. The now powerless Khudayar Khan spent his energies improving his lavish palace. Western visitors were impressed by the city of 80,000 people, with some 600 mosques and 15 madrasahs. Insurrections against Russian rule and Khudayar’s oppressive taxes forced Khudayar into exile in 1875. He was succeeded by kinsman Pulad Khan, whose anti-Russian stance provoked the annexation of Kokand (after fierce fighting) by Generals Konstantin Petrovich Von Kaufman and Mikhail Skobelev in March 1876. Tsar Alexander II stated that he had been forced to "yield to the wishes of the Kokandi people to become Russian subjects." The Khanate of Kokand was declared abolished, and incorporated into the Fergana Province of Russian Turkestan.

Altun Bishik

The Khans of Kokand wished to legitimize their rule of the khanate through a connection with the Timurids (ruled 1370–1506). From the time of the last Timurids to that of the first Khans of Kokand there was a period of more than two hundred years. Faced with this situation, the Khans connected their genealogy with Babur through a legendary figure, “Altun Bishik”. In the legend, a baby of Babur's family was left in a "bishik" (cradle) when Babur fled prosecution, making for the limits of Transoxiana. The child was named Altun Bishik, after its imperial cradle, and in the legend he ostensibly lived from 918 AH/1512 CE – 952 AH/1545 CE. Even in historical sources, he has appeared as a historic figure. In the legend of this baby began the Khans of Kokand. The legend in various versions has resulted in manuscripts on Kokand historical writtings, since the beginning of the 19th century. Despite it, Altun Bishik and the legend connected with him are not the historical truth.

Khans of Kokand (1800-1876)

*Alim Khan (1800 - 1809)
*Muhammad Umar Khan (1809 - 1822) (styled Amir al-Muslimin from 1814)
*Muhammad Ali Khan (1822 - 1841)
*Shir 'Ali Khan (June 1842 - 1845)
*Murad Beg Khan (1845)
*Muhammad Khudayar Khan (1845 - 1852) (1st time)
*Muhammad Khudayar Khan (1853 - 1858) (2nd time)
*Muhammad Malla Beg Khan (1858 - 1 March 1862)
*Shah Murad Khan (1862)
*Muhammad Khudayar Khan (1862 - 1865) (3rd time)
*Muhammad Sultah Khan (1863 - March 1865) (1st time) (with Alimqul as the regent)
*Bil Bahchi Khan (1865)
*Muhammad Sultah Khan (1865 - 1866) (2nd time)
*Muhammad Khudayar Khan (1866 - 22 July 1875) (4th time)
*Nasir ad-Din Khan (1875) (1st time)
*Muhammad Pulad Beg Khan (1875 - December 1875)
*Nasir ad-Din Khan (December 1875 - 19 February 1876) (2nd time)


* "The Muslim World"; Part III, "The Last Great Muslim Empires": Translation and Adaptations by F.R.C. Bagley. (Originally published 1969). Brill Academic Publishers, ISBN 9004021043.
* Timur Beisembiev, "The Life of Alimqul: A Native Chronicle of Nineteenth Century Central Asia". Published 2003. Routledge (UK), 280 pages, ISBN 0700711147.
* Beisembiev T.K. "Legenda o proiskhozhdenii kokandskikh khanov kak istochnik po istorii ideologii v Srednei Azii (na materialakh sochinenii kokandskoi istoriografii)". Kazakhstan, Srednjaja i Tsentralnaia Azia v XVI-XVIII vv. Alma-ata, 1983, pp.94-105
* Nalivkine V. P. Histoire du Khanat de Khokand. Trad. A.Dozon. Paris, 1889.
* Nalivkin V. "Kratkaia istoria kokandskogo khanstvа". Istoria Srednei Azii. A.I.Buldakov, S.A.Shumov, A.R.Andreev (eds.). Moskva, 2003, pp.288-290.
* Shadmon.Kh.Vakhidov ХIХ-ХХ asr bāshlarida Qoqān khānligida tarikhnavislikning rivājlanishi. Tarikh fanlari doktori dissertatsiyasi. Tāshkent, 1998, pp.114-137.
* Aftandil S.Erkinov. "Imitation of Timurids and Pseudo-Legitimation: On the origins of a manuscript anthology of poems dedicated to the Kokand ruler Muhammad Ali Khan (1822–1842)". ( GSAA Online Working Paper No. 5 [1]
* Scott Levi. "Babur’s Legacy and Political Legitimacy in the Khanate of Khoqand." to be submitted to the Journal of Asian Studies.

External links

* [ Uzbek tourist site]

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