Thursday, January 19, 2012


Flag of Karakalpakstan

Coat of Arms of Karakalpakstan

The northwestern third of Uzbekistan constitutes the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. Karakalpakstan (Kara-Kalpakstan) is known as Qaraqalpaqstan in Karakalpak, Qoraqalpoghistan in Uzbek and Karakalpakiya in Russian. It is an autonomous republic within Uzbekistan, situated southeast and southwest of the Aral Sea and extends across roughly 164,900 square kilometers.

It is bordered on the east by the rest of Uzbekistan and to the north and east by Kazakhstan, and to the south by Turkmenistan. The Aral Sea extends from Kazakhstan into the northeastern corner of the republic. On the east Karakalpakstan occupies the western half of the Kyzylkum Desert, a vast plain covered with shifting sands. The central part consists of the valley and delta of the Amu Darya (river), a low-lying area intersected by watercourses and canals. The west the republic includes the southeastern part of the Ustyurt Plateau, a slightly undulating area characterized by flat summits rising to some 958 feet (292 m) above sea level. The climate is marked by cool winters and hot summers. Average rainfall is only 75 to 100 mm (3-4 inches).

Karakalpaks are Turkic-speaking people who live mostly within the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. Politically the Republic is part of Uzbekistan, and occupies the arid and sparsely inhabited northwest region of the country. Karakalpakstan’s total population is around 1.5 million, of which just over a third identify themselves as ethnically Karakalpak. Uzbeks and Kazakhs comprise most of the remaining 60% of the population along with small numbers of Turkmens and Russians.  Like many other Turkic peoples, Karkalpaks are of obscure origin. However what is known is that contemporary Karakalpaks are the descendants of Turkic tribes—Kytai, Kongyrat, Kipchak, Keneges, Mangyt, Muyten—that formed a confederacy at the end of the 15th century and settled along the lower part of the Syr Darya River, in what is now Kazakhstan. Later they migrated south toward the Aral Sea, following the delta of the Amu Darya to reach their current territory.The first historical reference to them dates from the end of the 16th century. During the 18th century they settled in the Amu Darya region, came partly under Russian rule in 1873, and by 1920 were totally incorporated into the Soviet Union.

Established as an autonomous oblast (province) of the Kazakh A.S.S.R. in 1925, Karakalpakstan came under the administration of the Russian S.F.S.R. in 1930 and two years later was constituted as an autonomous republic. In 1936, while retaining its status, it was made a part of the Uzbek S.S.R. and became part of Uzbekistan with that country’s independence in 1991.

About one-half of the population is urban. Nukus, the capital, Xojeli, Beruniy, Takhiatosh, Chimbay, Turtkul, and Altykyl are the chief settlements. Total Pop. (2007 est.) 1,678,191.

Photo: Nukus City

Map of Karakalpakstan : District / District capital
1 Amudarya District Man'g'it
2 Beruniy District Beruniy
3 Shimbay District Shimbay
4 Ellikqala District Bostan
5 Kegeyli District Kegeyli
6 Moynaq District Moynaq
7 No'kis District Aqman'g'it
8 Qonliko‘l District Qanliko‘l
9 Qon'irat District Qon'irat
10 Qarao'zek District Qarao'zek
11 Shomanay District Shomanay
12 Taxtako‘pir District Taxtako‘pir
13 To'rtko‘l District To‘rtko‘l
14 Xojeli District Xojeli
Republican Capital : Nukus

Districts in Uzbek, Karakalpak and Russian and Capital in Russian

1 Amudaryo A’muda’rya Амударьинский (Мангит)
2 Beruniy Beruniy Берунийский (Беруни)
3 Chimboy Shimbay Чимбайский (Чимбай)
4 Elliqala Ellikqala лликкалинский (Бустан)
5 Kegeyli Kegeyli Кегейлийский (Кегейли)
6 Mo’ynoq Moynaq Муйнакский (Муйнак)
7 Nukus No’kis Нукусский (Акмангит)
8 Qanliko’l Qanliko’l Канлыкульский (Канлыкуль)
9 Qo’ng’irot Qon’irat Кунградский (Кунград)
10 Qorao’zak Qarao’zek Караузякский (Караузяк)
11 Shumanay Shomanay Шуманайский (Шуманай)
12 Taxtako’pir Taxtako’pir Тахтакупырский (Тахтакупыр)
13 To’rtko’l To’rtko’l Турткульский (Турткуль)
14 Xo’jayli Xojeli Ходжейлийский (Ходжейли)
capital Nukus No’kis г. Нукус

The economy is predominantly agricultural. The industrial sector, while limited, includes light manufacturing, refineries that process oil from nearby petroleum fields, several building-materials plants that utilize the abundant limestone, gypsum, asbestos, marble, and quartzite of the area, and a power station in Takhiatosh. Cotton is cultivated along the Amu Darya and in its delta and is processed in mills located in Chimbay, Kungrad, Beruni, Takhtakupyr, Xojeli, and Mangit.

A well-developed system of irrigation canals supplies water from the Amu Darya to the crops. Besides cotton, crops include alfalfa, rice, and corn (maize) are grown in the delta. Cattle and Karakul sheep are raised in the Kyzylkum Desert.

Agricultural farmlands particularly those lands in the lower Amu Darya and near the Aral Sea have become salinized owing to the effects of over-irrigation. The shrinkage of the Aral Sea has also eliminated most of the republic’s fisheries and resulted in a much harsher climate and a shorter growing season.

Transport facilities in the republic include a railway from Kungrad to Turkmenabat in Turkmenistan, motor roads that link several cities of the republic, and air connections with Moscow, Tashkent and other cities.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica

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