A brief historical information. Khovaling is one of the most beautiful and fresh air destinations of Tajikistan. Its center is located on the ruins of ancient Munk city (6-9 centuries), and has long been known for its captivating natural beauty, fresh springs, proud history, hospitable people, skilled craftsmen, brave athletes, and distinguished writers both in Tajikistan and abroad.

In this paragraph, it is essential to describe the meanings of the toponym of “Khovaling”. Because the fact that for today’s people it recalls the words «khov» (sleep) and «ling» (limb), ordinary people are oftentimes misled by this. Some of the etymologists presume that the part «khov» refers to «khur, khvar, khovar» which means the sun, whereas the part «ling» refers to the grassland. As a proof, scholars express that in Polish, Serbian, and Croatian dialects the words «lug» and «lung» mean places where there are many trees, large flat, and grassy grounds. Particularly, it is called Lengva in Icelandic, Langondis in Prussian, Lung in Danish, Lenge in Lithuanian, Lokas in ancient Indian, and Lug in Russian. In this interpretation, the meaning of “Khovaling” is a «Sunny green fields». There are several locations in Khovaling which are named with   the word «Dasht» (plain). Like Dashti bed, Dashti Kavak, Dashti Mesh.

It has been proven that Khovaling was one of the commercial and cultural centers of Eastern Bukhara, where the great Silk Road used to pass. According to the researchers of archaeologists, including academician A.A.Ranov, Khovaling is the oldest province in Tajikistan and Central Asia and has a million centuries old stone age human encampments history and serves as an archaeological source for global science. Khovaling is located at the height of 1500 to 2500 meters above sea level, and is at a distance of 283 km to the center of the Republic, 265 km to the region center – city of Bokhtar, and 70 km to Kulob city. Total district area is 178,8 thousand hectares and its population is 50 thousand. Khovaling neighbors with the cities and districts of Kulob, Baljuvon, Muminobod, and Tavildara. The waters of the rivers Obi Mazor, Obi Tira, and Yakhsu (Bakhshu) take their origin from the Khovaling highlands and take their way to the valley of Kulob.

Khovaling has a mild continental climate, and the air temperature in summer ranges from +25 to +33, in winter -0 to -9, and in high lands up to -23 degrees Celsius. The annual rainfall is 700 to 900 mm. The population of Khovaling is more than 52 thousand, and the population increase rate is equal to 2.5%. Annual seasons in Khovaling start in different manners depending on the location of the place. For instance, when the spring flowers cover the center of the district, in Siyohfark, Dashti Mesh and Oshturch sites still one can find himself in winter, and in these places the spring comes almost one month later then to Khovaling.

Khovaling district was founded on November 23, 1930 by the decree of LEC of SSR of Tajikistan. On June 6, 1958 Khovaling district is dissolved, and the population of the villages and the center are sent to the valleys to cultivate the non-irrigated lands.

On March of 1983 the district is reestablished. The inhabitants of the district are traditionally distinguished from the other people across the country with their ethical manners and traditions as politeness, hospitality, beautiful handicrafts, generosity for orphans and homeless people, gardenery, conservation and preservation of historical and cultural monuments, high poetic tastes, and other wises.

Attractive travelling areas. There are many historical, cultural and natural areas in the region that attract attention of tourists. Among them are the beauty of landscapes of gardens, springs, glory of the old Chilchanor, cultural and historical monuments like house and museum of the hero of Tajik nation Vose’, Darai Mukhtor, encampments of the Stone Age people in the villages of Kuldara, Khonakohi Sevodara, Sangtuda, the ancient monuments of Munk city, Buddhist temple of Chepi vol village (Chapol village), Begim citadel.

In the land of the district a number of religious men have devoted themselves to the religion in the past, whose tombs are nowadays are made places of religious visits by both the locals and foreign guests. In particular, the tomb of Sulton Uvays Karani, tomb of Hoja Ayub Ansori, tomb of Avliyoi Zelolak, residence of Mavlono Hodja Charkhi. Since Khovaling is a land of running waters, a series of its villages and towns are named with the word «Chashma» (spring). Like Chashmai Qazoghan, Surkhsakova (a place where the Hero of the Tajik nation Vose’ has set the bonfire, and has invited Tajik nation to rise in rebellion against oppression and cruelty of Manghit tribes),  Chashmai Zardparvyn, Chashmai Sangi rama, Chashmai Shur, Chashmai Kurushak, Chashmai Zamburak, Chashmai  Churak, Chashmai Hikmat, Chashmai Maghfirat, Chashmai Rahmat, Chashmai Murod, Chashmai Shifo. Crystal clean waters of from springs of these villages are believed by the locals to heal from numerous illnesses.

Alongside with those unique treasures gifted by god, it was also known that famous archaeologist, academician V.A.Ranov has discovered ancient encampments of lower stone age people (paleolithic era) in 1968, which refers to one million year old history. Along with his historical findings, the scholar has also discovered other ancient encampments of lower stone age people as in today’s Lohuti site (500 thousand years), in Obi Mazor (400 thousand years), Khonakoh (200 thousand years). Apart from that, other Russian scholars A.M. Belenitski and geologist A.Dadonov, have discovered valuable findings during their archaeological researches.

This land has interesting historical places, when heard stories about which, every Tajiks can look with pride and honor into his homeland’s past. Because the stories told by the people of Khovaling, when studied for their etymology, place and time of emergence, have revealed lots of information related to the selflessness of the heroes of this land for the sake of preserving their borders, their national identity, Aryan and Tajik nobility, and national dignity. Of course, it is possible that some of these stories may not be authentic, and may be the product of imagination of the ancestors of this land. But it’s exactly due to these most interesting stories telling about selfless heroes that this land in times has brought up devoted heroes like Vose’, Davlatmand, Saidahmad Karimov, that have chosen rather to die than to see their homeland captive.

         In this way people tell tales about places like Sangtuda and Chil chanor: According to a legend that has reached our days passing from one heart to another, as the countless and merciless army of Mongolians has passed the waters of the river Obi Mazor and reached Sangtuda settlement, one of the commanders gives an order to the soldiers to take one stone each from the river before attacking the citadel (which was seen from the distance of about 1,5–2 km from Sangtuda; contour of the citadel could be seen with naked eye), and place their stones on the place they were standing. After taking the citadel and occupying Khovaling each soldier was about to throw back its stone to the river. Mongols have done so, and after the battles, the remainder of mongol soldiers each threw a stone to the river while going back from Khovaling. This hill of stones witnesses from the number of enemy soldiers, that have been killed during the resilience of the local population, and have not returned to their army tents.

In the Chilchanor area of Khovaling, the tall plane trees and their branches dry from the days passed, certainly make wonder everyone that has a look at them about how old these trees might be. As the legend goes: The moment the Mongols have had their forty day long merciless attack and broke the wall of the citadel almost all of the defenders of the city were dead. Only forty brave heroes, that were responsible for taking the women and children to the secure mountains of Sangdara and Sangvor, after finishing their tasks, returned to the battle field, and attacked the brigades of the enemy. Those forty men, descendants of Kayoumars, fight for forty days and the enemy does not succeed in taking them captive, and reveal the place where the women and children are hidden. Out of anger, the enemy soldiers have cut the bodies of those brave men into pieces. When the spring comes, women and children plant forty plane trees for the memory of those forty brave men. People believe that the number of the trees hides some secret in it, because no one was able to count forty trees yet, as always, the count of the trees gives either ending number of 41 or 39.

Infrastructure service. The district has a passenger terminal, hotels (in the center of the district and by the museum of Darai Mukhtor), several markets and trade centers, one cultural and recreational building and other necessary conditions ready for travelers and tourists. Khovaling is connected with the center of the country, Kulob city and other cities and districts in general, via asphalted modern roads.

Folk craftsmanship and skills. The district locals have carefully preserved many traditional crafts up to these days, and have mastered them to improve their techniques. The handicrafts of the locals, made with high taste, have always attracted tourists’ attention to the history and culture of the Tajik nation, and brought back to their homes as souvenirs. The crafts as mentioned are jewelry, dutor making (musical instrument), carving wooden dishes, tanning, horsewhip splicing, felt making, raphide sewing, embroidery, chakan embroidery, basket splicing, sock knitting, molding, carpet weaving and others.

The particularities of the district. Fırstly, Khovaling is incomparable with its one-million-year history, which is determined by the historians. In this regard the serious studies of well-known Soviet historians like academician А.А.Ranov. Prof. E. Mullokandov have the highest value, which have found the encampments of stone age humans, the rare findings if that time is kept in the district central museum and historical museum of the Republic of Tajikistan. Khovaling is the homeland of Vose’, the national Tajik hero, who has defended his homeland against Mongolians, and as we have mentioned above, his house-museum is located in his birth place Darai Mukhtor. It shouldn’t also be forgotten that, Khovaling is called “the district where poets come from”, because this land is the birth place to a group of well-known poets, writers, and scholars of Republic of Tajikistan. The following litterateurs are from this land: poet of the end of 18th century and beginning of 19th century Khotirii Khatloni, poet and people’s singer of Republic of Tajikistan Saidali Valizoda, well known writers Khol Islom, Ghaffor Mirzo, Habibullo Fayzullo, Ghoib Safarzoda, Shohmuzaffar Yodgori, Abdulhamid Samad, Odil Islomi, Zafar Mirzoyon, Yakub Hikmatullo and others.

Khovaling is known with its big gold reserves, which as we know from the past was the reason Genghis Khan attacked these lands, and has washed the gold for some years. Now in the area of Shuknov and Siyohfarak of the district a state prospecting company carries its activities, and plays its worthy role in enriching the gold reserves of the republic. Khovaling may be known as the reserve of herbs and wild animals registered in the red books of both the world and the republic. As we can read from the book of Russian historian and botanist А.Semenov, he has made a trip to Central Asia in 1912, and after conducting botanical researches in the area known as Ushturcharo, which is located on the altitude of 2500 m above sea level, has found Mujah flower (mountain peony) which is registered in the book of dead herbs of the world.

Women of the district are best at preparing such local dishes as oshi burida, alafjushak, dalda, moshkichiri, kurutob, tarhalvo, shirbat, kashk, oshi burida, oshi tuppai sarovi, turushhalvo, kochi, which have a special way of preparation and cooking.

Another peculiarity of this district is preserving the names related to the crafts of people living there. For instance, the community (or as locals name it guzar) related to the jewelers of the past is up to know being names Zargaron (jewelers). Or the descendants of the famous old craftsmen are nowadays remembered by the names of the crafts of their grandfathers, like Usto Yokub kafshduz (shoe maker), Usto Saidkodir gahvoratarosh (cradle maker), Usto Temur snagiosiyobtarosh (grinding mill maker), Usto Kodir the maker of dutor (musical instrument), Usto Dovud the blacksmith, Usto Olucha the barber, Usto Muso the tanner, Davlatmoh the potter and others.