For its picturesque landscape, Ferghana Valley is rightly called one of the pearls of Central Asia. The valley is mainly surrounded by the Tyan-Shan, Hissar and Alay Mountains and only open to the Syr Darya River in the west. The Ferghana Valley has always been of great importance in the history and culture of Central Asia. The state of Davan in Ferghana was first mentioned in the Chinese chronicles, while in the Middle Ages it was leading powers of Movarounnakhr. The traces of ancient settlements and medieval monuments serve as evidence that in ancient times this valley was the habitat of many civilizations. Today Ferghana Valley is one of the most prosperous regions of Uzbekistan. Fertile oases surround the region. Along the northern border of the valley flows the Syr Darya River, which is formed by the confluence of two smaller rivers, the Karadarya and Naryn. There are three main canals of its waters: the Great Ferghana Canal, the Southern Ferghana Canal, and the North Ferghana Canal, which were among the first nationwide constructions of the 20th century count. The big cities - Andijan, Ferghana, Kokand and Namangan - lie in the oases of the valley. In the rural area, the cultural landscape dominates with wide cotton fields, green patches of gardens, melons and pumpkin plantations as well as vineyards with the lines of countless irrigation ditches. Rows of poplar and mulberry trees, plane trees and elms stretch along the highways.