Karshi (Uzbek: Qarshi,) is a city in southern Uzbekistan. It is the capital of Qashqadaryo Province and has a population of 197,600 (1999 census estimate). It is about 520 km south-southwest of Tashkent, and about 335 km north of Uzbekistan’s border with Afghanistan.
It is located at latitude 38° 51′ 48N; longitude 65° 47′ 52E at an altitude of 374 meters.
Originally the Sogdian city of Nakhshab, and the Islamic Persian city of Nasaf, Karshi was the second city of the Emirate of Bukhara. It is in the center of a fertile oasis that produces wheat, cotton, and silk and was a stop on the 11 day caravan route between Balkh and Bukhara. The Chagatai Mongol khans Kebek and Qazan built palaces here on the site of Genghis Khan’s summer pasture.
In 1364, Timur also built a fortified palace with moats in what is now the southern part of the city. The modern name “Karshi” means fort.
With the decline of Shahrisabz in the 18th century, Karshi grew in importance, and was the seat of the Crown Prince to the Emirate of Bukhara. The city had a double set of walls, 10 caravanserais and 4 madrassahs during this time.
In the early 1970s the first section of a major irrigation project was completed to divert water from the Amu Darya River in Turkmenistan eastward into Uzbekistan to irrigate the land surrounding Karshi. Almost all of the irrigated lands around Karshi are planted with cotton. The city is important in natural gas production.
Karshi is also famous for its production of woven flat carpets.