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The Khanate of Khiva ( ) was the name of a Central Asian state that existed in the historical region of Khwarezm from 1511 to 1920, except for a period of Persian occupation by Nadir Shah between 1740–1746. Centered in the irrigated plains of the lower Amu Daryamarker, south of the Aral Seamarker, with the capital in Khivamarker City, the country was ruled over by the Kungrads, a branch of the Astrakhans, themselves a Genghisid dynasty.

In 1873, the Khanate of Khiva was much reduced in size and became a Russianmarker protectorate. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Khiva had a revolution too, and in 1920 the Khanate was replaced by the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic. In 1924, the area was formally incorporated into the Soviet Unionmarker and today is largely a part of Karakalpakstanmarker and Xorazm Provincemarker in Uzbekistanmarker.


William Griffith reports seeing Khivan tea "of good quality" for sale in the bazaar in Kandaharmarker in 1839.


See also Khwarezm, History of Uzbekistan
The region that would become the Khanate of Khiva was a part of the Chagatai Khanate with its capital at Old Urgenchmarker, one of the largest and most important trading centers in Central Asia. However, Timur regarded the state as a rival to Samarkandmarker, and over the course of 5 campaigns, he destroyed Old Urgench completely in 1388. In 1511, the Uzbek group the Yadigarid Shaybanids installed themselves as khans of the region. Once Old Urgench was finally abandoned due to a shift in the course of the Amu-Darya in 1576, the center of the region shifted southward, and, in 1619, the khan, Arab Muhammad I, chose Khivamarker as the capital of the khanate.

Much of Khiva's later history was framed against the khanate's relationship with the great powers Russia and Britain. The discovery of gold on the banks of the Amu Daryamarker during the reign of Russia's Peter the Great, together with the desire of the Russian Empiremarker to open a trade route to India, prompted an armed trade expedition to the region in 1717-18, led by Prince Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky and consisting of 750-4,000 men. Upon receiving the men, the Khivan khan, Shir Ghazi, set up camp under the pretense of goodwill, then ambushed and slaughtered the envoys, leaving ten alive to send back. Peter the Great, indebted after wars with the Ottoman Empire and Swedenmarker, did nothing. The khanate was dependent to Nadir Shah's Persiamarker between 1740-1747.

Tsar Paul I also attempted to conquer the khanate, but his expedition was woefully undermanned and undersupplied, and was recalled en route due to his assassination. Tsar Alexander I had no such ambitions, and it was under Tsars Nicholas I and Alexander II that serious efforts to annex Khiva started.

A notable episode during The Great Game involved a Russian expedition to Khiva in 1839. The nominal purpose of the mission was to free the slaves captured and sold by Turkmen raiders from the Russian frontiers on the Caspian Seamarker, but the expedition was also an attempt to extend Russia's borders while the British Empire entangled itself in the First Anglo-Afghan War. The expedition, led by General V.A. Perovsky, the commander of the Orenburgmarker garrison, consisted of 5,200 infantry, and ten thousand camels. Due to poor planning and a bit of bad luck, they set off in November 1839, into one of the worst winters in memory, and were forced to turn back on 1 February 1840, arriving back into Orenburgmarker in May, having suffered over a thousand casualties without having fired a single shot.

At the same time, Britain, anxious to remove the pretext for the Russian attempt to annex Khiva, launched its own effort to free the slaves - a lone officer stationed in Heratmarker, now in Afghanistanmarker. Captain James Abbott, disguised as an Afghan, set off on Christmas Eve, 1839, for Khiva. He arrived in late January 1840 and, although the khan was suspicious of his identity, he succeeded in talking the khan into allowing him to carry a letter for the tsar regarding the slave issue. He left on 7 March 1840, for Fort Alexandrovskmarker (Aqtau), and was subsequently betrayed by his guide, robbed, then released when the bandits realized the origin and destination of his letter. Yet his superiors in Heratmarker, not knowing of his fate, sent another officer, Lieutenant Richmond Shakespear, after him. Shakespear was evidently more successful than Abbott in that he somehow convinced the khan to not only free all Russian subjects under his control, but also make the ownership of Russian slaves a crime punishable by death. The freed slaves and Shakespear arrived in Fort Alexandrovsk on 15 August 1840, and Russia lost its primary motive for the conquest of Khiva, for the time being.

A permanent Russian presence in Khwarezm began in 1848 with the building of Fort Aralsk at the mouth of the Syr Daryamarker. The Empire's military superiority was such that Khiva and the other Central Asian principalities, Bukharamarker and Kokandmarker, had no chance of repelling the Russian advance, despite years of fighting. Khiva was gradually reduced in size by Russian expansion in Turkestan and, in 1873, after Russiamarker conquered the neighbouring cities of Tashkentmarker and Samarkandmarker, General Von Kaufman launched an attack on Khiva consisting of 13,000 infantry and cavalry. The city of Khiva fell on 28 May 1873 and, on 12 August 1873, a peace treaty was signed that established Khiva as a quasi-independent Russian protectorate.

After the 1918 Bolshevik seizure of power in the October Revolution, anti-monarchists and Turkmen tribesmen joined forces with the Bolsheviks at the end of 1919 to depose the khan. On 2 February 1920, Khiva's last Kungrad khan, Sayid Abdullah, abdicated and a short-lived Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic (later the Khorezm SSR) was created out of the territory of the old Khanate of Khiva, before in 1924 it was finally incorporated into the Soviet Unionmarker, with the former Khanate divided between the new Turkmen SSRmarker and Uzbek SSR. Following the collapse of the Soviet Unionmarker in 1991, these became Turkmenistanmarker and Uzbekistanmarker respectively. Today, the area that was the Khanate has a mixed population of Uzbeks, Karakalpaks, Turkmens, and Kazakhs.

Khans of Khiva (1511-1920)

Arabshahid Dynasty (Yadigarid Shabanid Dynasty, 1511-1804)

  • Ilbars I (1511–1518)
  • Sultan Haji (1518–1519)
  • Hasan Quli (1519–1524)
  • Bujugha (1524–1529)
  • Sufyan (1529–1535)
  • Avnik (1535–1538)
  • Qal (1539–1549)
  • Aqatay (1549–1557)
  • Dust Muhammad (1557–1558)
  • Haji Muhammad I (1558–1602)
  • Arab Muhammad I (1602–1623)
  • Isfandiyar (1623–1643)
  • Abu al-Ghazi I Bahadur (1643–1663)
  • Anusha (1663–1685)
  • Khudaydad (1685–1687)
  • Muhammad Awrang I (1687–1694)
  • Chuchaq (1694–1697)
  • Vali (1697–1698)
  • Ishaq Agha Shah Niyaz (1698–1701)
  • Awrang II (1701–1702)
  • Musa (1702–1712)
  • Yadigar I (1712–1713)
  • Awrang III (c. 1713 – c. 1714)
  • Haji Muhammad II (c. 1714)
  • Shir Ghazi (1714–1727)
  • Sarigh Ayghir (1727)
  • Bahadur (1727–1728)
  • Ilbars II (1728–1740)
  • Tahir (1740–1742)
  • Nurali I (1742)
  • Abu Muhammad (1742)
  • Abu al-Ghazi II Muhammad (1742–1747)
  • Ghaib (1747–1758)
  • Abdullah Qara Beg (1758)
  • Timur Ghazi (1758–1764)
  • Tawke (1764–1766)
  • Shah Ghazi (1766–1768)
  • Abu al-Ghazi III (1768–1769)
  • Nurali II (1769)
  • Jahangir (1769–1770)
  • Bölekey (1770)
  • Aqim (first time, 1770–1771)
  • Abd al-Aziz (c. 1771)
  • Artuq Ghazi (c. 1772)
  • Abdullah (c. 1772)
  • Aqim (second time, c. 1772 – c. 1773)
  • Yadigar II (first time, c. 1773–1775)
  • Abu'l Fayz (1775–1779)
  • Yadigar II (second time, 1779–1781)
  • Pulad Ghazi (1781–1783)
  • Yadigar II (third time, 1783–1790)
  • Abu al-Ghazi IV (1790–1802)
  • Abu al-Ghazi V ibn Gha'ib (1802–1804)

Qungrat Dynasty (1804–1920)

Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur circa 1911.
  • Iltazar Inaq ibn Iwaz Inaq Biy (1804–1806)
  • Abu al-Ghazi V ibn Gha'ib (1806)
  • Muhammad Rahim Bahadur (1806–1825)
  • Allah Quli Bahadur (1825–1842)
  • Muhammad Rahim Quli (1842–1846)
  • Abu al-Ghazi Muhammad Amin Bahadur (1846–1855)
  • Abdullah (1855)
  • Qutlugh Muhammad Murad Bahadur (1855–1856)
  • Mahmud (1856)
  • Sayyid Muhammad (1856 – September 1864)
  • Muhammad Rahim Bahadur (10 September 1864 – September 1910)
  • Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur (September 1910 – 1 October 1918)
  • Sayid Abdullah (1 October 1918 – 1 February 1920)

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