The town of Kuva which is situated in the northeast region of Fergana Valley definitely qualifies for being titled as a unique tourist destination as it meet the requirement of having something unique and different under its belt. That unique offering is the fair number of remains of the ancient Buddhist temples that paint a compelling picture of the Buddhist settlement in Uzbekistan which are kind of a rare entity in this Muslim dominated country.
While the exact founding date and year of Kuva are still uncertain, but continuous and rigorous studies conducted by archaeologists led to a tenuous conclusion that the first settlements in this land sprung up around 3rd to 4th BC. Turkic tribal and nomads were reportedly the earliest known inhabitants who named the region “Kuva.” It was a prominent town in ancient Uzbekistan right from the Middle Ages when it used to host one of the largest craft market in Central Asia. During that time some of the best craftsmen lived in Kuva or came to this city to exhibit their work, which turned Kuva into a large craft and trade settlement. Metal working, pottery, and jewelry especially were highly developed during this period. Historically, it was located on the route that joined Fergana Valley with Kashgar in China that facilitated transcontinental trade. Thus it was a major political, economic, and commercial center too. This attracted the attention of rulers of various dynasties and during Mongol invasion in around 13th Century CE under the leadership of Genghis Khan, much of the city got destroyed.
The main historical significance that this town holds is perhaps the excavations of numerous Buddhist relics and Buddhist religious complexes. Kuva is now an important site of active archeological excavations which started as early as the construction of the Great Fergana Canal in 1939. But it was in the year of 1956-57 that the archeologists saw massive success where they discovered an entire residential block and remains of a cultic Buddhist temple. Fragments of sculptures, Godhood statues and clay statues of Buddha were accommodated in this temple which confirmed the dissemination of Buddhism in the territorial land of Fergana Valley.
Today Kuva is a nice, beautiful city covered with green gardens and vineyard with a peaceful tranquil atmosphere. The fruits, especially pomegranates, cultivated in this region are deemed the tastiest and are exported to other part of Uzbekistan.
Because of the colossal amount of architectural monuments that have been (and are being) unearthed in this region, a cultural and historical tour through Kuva is a perfect option for anyone with even slightest interest in history. Excursion tours and picnics are also popular among locals and tourists alike in the mountainous region of Fergana.