Rishtan (“the first” from ancient Hebrew) is deservedly called “The main pottery workroom of Central Asia”. This city is located in the Fergana Valley, 50 km away from Fergana. By its age, it is also considered one of the oldest Central Asian cities located in the territory of the Silk Road.
How to get there
It is possible to get to the city from Tashkent by car (230 km). There is no airport here, the nearest one is in Fergana. The nearest train station, to which trains run from Tashkent, is in Margilan. So, guests from other countries will also have to make a small trip by car.
The climate in the city is rather dry. A small amount of precipitation falls only in March. The average annual temperature here is 15 degrees. For studying and walking around the city it is recommended to choose spring and summer months.
What to see
The first place worth seeing in Rishtan is the local ceramic center. You will not see anywhere else such a skillful painting, as well as the manner of making dishes mastered during the centuries.
Not all fans of this art know that the technology of lead painting appeared here. It is performed using a special glaze based on lead. In addition, local craftsmen developed, and perfected the technique of making the “chini”, or, more simply, semi-faience dishes.
The main raw material for manufacturing is unique red clay. It is possible to obtain only in Rishtan.
When painting finished products, local ceramists use mostly light blue and blue colors. Blue glaze, used in the process of work, is made of special plants and minerals. It’s called “ishkor”.
Fans of history and archeology are advised to visit the Sohibi Hidoya cemetery. The remains of an ancient settlement have been preserved here.
The most wide-known religious attractions (ziyarat) located in the territory of Rishtan are the following:
- Khoja Ilgor Mosque (XIX century). The only korichona of all that were once built in Central Asia is preserved here.
Tours that include Rishtan
Things to do
In the spare time it is recommended to visit the local chaikhana (tea-house). By the way, the number of tea-houses here exceeds the number of tea-houses in any other city of the country. It should be noted that the local chaikhanas maintained their medieval identity. Here, tourists can try different types of tea and get acquainted with the tradition of making the most popular drink in the world.
In addition, there are two cinemas in the city.
What to buy
What to buy while being in Rishtan? Of course, strong and unique ceramic dishes made in the national style. In particular, tea pots, painted soup dishes, lyagans (a large dish for pilaw), etc., are in demand among tourists.
Where to stay
Various accommodation options can be found in Rishtan. Those who look for comfort will appreciate local hotels (the average level is 3-stars) more. But more budget tourists are advised to look for accommodation in the private sector. By the way, there are quite enough potential owners of housing for rent in Rishtan.
Where and what to eat
Only in Rishtan you can try a unique pilaw, made from special kind of rice called “Chungara”. You can find this dish in any chaikhana.
It is noteworthy that here chaikhanas and cafes are hardly used for celebrating weddings. For this purpose, there are separate institutions - so-called “toy-khona”. By the way, if possible, it is recommended to visit an Uzbek wedding in any city. You will definitely get positive emotions of what you’ve seen!
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