Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan. The population of Osh is 218.8 thousand as for 2003. It is located in the eastern part of the Fergana Valley, on the river Ak-Buura. There is a debate regarding the etymology of the name of the city, the scholars are still unable to reach an agreement. Religious officials are trying to link the origin of Osh with legends, in particular those related to the biblical Solomon - King Solomon. One of versions says that Solomon led his army, and there were a pair of yoke of oxen with plow ahead of the army, when the oxen came to the famous mountain, Solomon said, "Hosh"("Enough"). But none of the legends can not explain either the fact of the origin of the city nor the etymology of its name.
Osh is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia. The exact date of its origin is unknown. Legends associate the origin of the city with name of Alexander of Macedon, and even the Prophet Solomon. The earliest mention of the city is in the chronicles of the IX.
The emergence of the city is connected with the settlement of the ancient farmers of the Bronze Age, found on the southern slope of Mount Solomon. Further development of the city was due to geographical location, which is in a fertile valley at the foot of the Pamir and Pamir-Alai. Because of its location in the intersection point of the trade caravan routes from India and China to Europe.
In 1876, Osh was annexed
to Russia (after the conquest of the Khanate of Kokand). Since
1876 it was a county town and since 1939 Osh
becam the center of Osh region.
Osh is one of the Muslim religious centers of Central Asia. It boasts with ancient mosques in the city center, as well as Mount Sulaiman (Takht-i-Sulaiman, Solomon's Throne) which is one of the places of pilgrimage for Central Asian Muslims.
Sights of Osh
The main attractions of Osh are the combined historical and cultural museum-reserve, where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the city, as well as many different wonderful exhposures, rock carvings and inscriptions of Sulaiman-Too; fortress Ak-Bura (I -XII ) monuments: Asaf ibn Burhiya (XI-XVII) mosque Rawat-Abdullahan (XVII-XVIII) Mosque Mohammed Yusuf Bayhodzhi-oglu (1909).
There are many parks,
historical and cultural monuments: the church of Archangel
Michael, the Mosque Sadykbay, Mosque Takht-i-Suleiman(Throne of
Solomon), Mosque Shahid-Tepa, a medieval bath, a memorial
complex "Night Fire", monuments to Lenin, Toktogul
Satylganov, Abdykadyrovu, Sultan Ibraimov, Orozobekov
Kurmanzhan-Datca, Alisher Navoi, Osh settlement: cave "Echoes of
Love" grotto "Swallow's Nest", the most beautiful places:
kyl-Kuprik, Beshik Tash, Chakka-Tamar, Max Tash, Sylyk- Tash, as
well as the ancient cemetery, the petroglyphs.