Kuva is a little town located in the north-west of the Fergana Valley. As many other cities in the valley its age dates dozens of centuries back. The exact date of foundation is unknown. The first sights of settlements that were found date from 3rd century BC. Kuva is one of the most ancient Fergana cities. The original name of this city is unknown, yet, the Arabs called it “Kubo”, which translates as “hill”.
As many other Central Asian cities, Kuva was built on the remains of another city, whose thatched mud houses were slowly turning into dust. This Fergana city had typical oriental structure: citadel, shahristan or the inner part of the city, and rabada or resident part of the city. According to historical notes, Kuva was a flourishing city, maybe bigger and more developed than ancient capital of the Fergana Valley – Ahsikent.
Kuva was the center of political and economic power. The city was known for its talented craftsmen and had a lot of settlements of traders and craftsmen outside city walls. What makes Khiva unlike any other Fergana city is that during archeological excavations remnants of Buddhist temple were found. Inside the temple there were fragments of monumental sculpture, sculptures of different deities, and ruins of clay Buddha. The most interesting among all findings is head of goddess Shri Devi. Hindu deity is pictured as enraged women with a crown made of skulls. These findings proved that Buddhism was spread throughout the Fergana Valley and that Kuva might have been the center of Buddhism in Central Asia.
Kuva was also a hometown to one of the biggest Persian scientist of 9th century – Alfraganus. He was a Central Asian astronomer, geographer, and mathematician. Today Kuva is modern city with plenty of gardens; it’s also a warehouse of Buddhist religion in the Fergana Valley.