Khumsan, Uzbek village

1. Geographical position and climatic conditions The settlement of Khumsan is located in the Tashkent area, in the territory of the Bostanlyk district. It occupies 15 thousand hectares and sits on the river Ugam - at the western extremity of Ugasmskiy ridge and the southern slope of Karzhantau ridge in the Western Tian-Shan near the Kazakh border. Its population is 3.3 thousand, mostly Uzbeks, though Tatars also live there.

It is 10 km from Khumsan to Charvak reservoir, to Tashkent 80 km, and to the district center, Gazalkent - 35 km. The village is supplied with electricity and water. The settlement has a telephone connection and mobile communications are also effective, though Internet access is not available. Specialized services (mountain-rescue, forest rangers, frontier guards and police) use radio transmitters (Motorola) that raise the capability of their interaction.

The foothills and mountainous terrain predetermine climatic conditions, with cold and damp winters, summer heat softened by the river, and spring and autumn torrential rains that create landslides and mudflow danger. The temperature in summer rises to 40oC, and in winter falls to -15oC. Charvak reservoir, located nearby, particularly influences the sub regional climate.

Khumsan has landscape resources. There is a contrast of heights - hills, slopes of mountains, the picturesque gorge of the Ugam River, hills covered with bushes, and caves. The waterfall Pustaliksay is located here. Several water reservoirs are also accessible- the river Chirchik and Charvak reservoir. From the heights of Karzhantau it is possible to contemplate a significant part of the valley with settlements and natural landscape views. The Khumsan zone is a territory on which numerous shrubs, flowers, and trees grow, including those under the protection of the law. Plants with medicinal value, collecting of which is limited by the law, have special status.

Animals such as bears, wolves, foxes and mountain rams have been noted. Eagles, partridges and fish are also here in large variety.

2. Historical information The etymology of the word Khumsan is derived from two parts: "khum" - a jug; and "san" - a stone. It is assumed that here, any one of the stone mountaintops reminded the ancient people of a vessel. On the other hand, there is an supposition that the settlement got the name from a bend in the Ugam River, which takes the form of a jug, and the word "san" is the deformed word "say" - a river.

By some estimations, the settlement appeared 300 years ago, though the oldest structures are less than 100 years old. It has been determined, that due to landslides and mudflows, the location of the settlement has been continuously changing. It has caused constant transformation in the construction of habitation, and the distribution of land for gardening and animal herding.

Before the revolution, the inhabitants were engaged in the processing of metal, agriculture, and fine trade. In fact, in Khumsan, the community developed up to the middle of the last century practically under conditions of self-sufficiency, which has allowed them to keep their way of life, language, style of building and employment.

A fine landscape, wonderful climate, ethnic charm, lack of industry and a need for capital are the main reasons for the transformation of this territory into a recreational zone. Within several decades, children's camps and departmental boarding houses were constructed in the settlement, however, after independence many of them have been in decline as a result of the difficult economic situation caused by the transition to a market economy. Now, tourist services are mainly represented by the private Community Based Tourism sector.