Rishtan is a small town in the Ferghana Valley near Ferghana. Like other cities of Uzbekistan that are recommended for tourists to visit, Rishtan has a difficult name. Guides can tell you many options for the origin of the name of the city. The most interesting and widespread is that the word Rishtan was formed from the words Rush (Red Land) and Mitan (city, settlement). It’s easy to guess what the ancestors wanted to convey – “City on the Red Land”. The fact is that only red clay is extracted there, the best for the manufacture of pottery.
Researchers believe that Rishtan was the first fortified city in the Ferghana region due to its very good location. It is located at the foot of the Alai mountain range near the Sokh River. The proximity of the water source and fertile soil contributed to the early development of agriculture and a settled lifestyle. Therefore, the first settlement on the territory of Rishtan dates back to the Bronze Age. Owing to the development of crafts, the village was an important link in the Great Silk Road.
In the 2 century BC, Rishtan was invaded by the Chinese, then in the 5 century BC, the Turks conquered it. Three hundred years later, the city defended itself against the Arabs, and in the 13th century, it was almost destroyed by the Mongols led by Genghis Khan.
Although ancient buildings of Rishtan were destroyed, it remains a favorite tourist destination. Like a thousand years ago, it is the center of pottery of Uzbekistan. All the water from the nearby river and unique red clay are the main components of the best Asian dishes.
The phenomenon is that the pottery art of antiquity is forgotten everywhere except Rishtan. In any other city of Uzbekistan visited by tourists, you can buy dishes and other examples of pottery handicrafts. But really, the original technological process is available only to Rishtan potters. Pottery from Rishtan is also distinguished by its design, as the glazing technique involves extracting paints from natural materials. Natural motifs, national ornaments, and even samples of the modern painting are found here. Only in Rishtan, you can see a fantastic variety of clay products. Museums, exhibitions, and numerous shops of craftsmen are open for tourists.
Besides, potters can share some secrets with inquisitive tourists. Masterclasses are available and anyone can make a souvenir for themselves from amazing red clay.