Urgut, Uzbekistan

Urgut, Uzbekistan

Geographical coordinates: 39°24′N 67°15′E
Former names: Gurgandj, New Urganch
Elevation: 1059 m
Popular languages Uzbek, Tajik
Time zone: UTC+5
Population: 51 462 (2018) - wiki2.org/en
Nationals: Uzbek, Tajik
Phone code: +998 366
Zip code: 1901XX
Automobile codes: 30

Urgutlik (also known as Urguti in Tajik) people are a subgroup of ethnic Uzbeks who track their ancestry to people from a town of Urgut. There are almost 500,000 people who describe themselves as Urgutlik. Urgutlik people frequently use Tajik words in their daily conversation.

Situated only 40 kilometers from Samarkand at the foot of Zarafshan Mountains at a height of 1000 metres, the traditional Central Asian handicrafts and market town of Urgut makes for a very interesting excursion for the visitor, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, which are the main market-days.

Urgut has the largest market in the Samarkand region selling traditional handicrafts, both old and new, particularly suzanne, carpets, jewels, metalwork and ceramics. The market also has smithies, tin workshops and stalls selling locally produced tea sets, clothes and traditional leather boots.

There are also food stalls serving plov and manti. The secrets of the production of traditional Urgut ceramics, with their characteristic streaky glazes of mustard-gold, brown, green and pale-citric colours, have been transmitted through seventeen generations by the Oblakulov family.

It is possible to see and buy these attractive traditional wares at the workshop and house of the Oblakulov family, who also produce traditional suzani embroideries with natural dyes.

Other interesting Urgut sights include the Chor Chinor garden with its fifty ancient plane trees, irrigated with waters from a sacred spring; it is said that a hollow in one of the plane trees was used as a school in the past.