Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million. During its long history, Tashkent has had various changes in names and political and religious affiliations. Tashkent started as an oasis on the Chirchik River, near the foothills of the West Tian Shan Mountains. In ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer 'capital' of the Kangju confederacy. In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times the town and the province were known as 'Chach'. The Shahnameh of Ferdowsi also refers to the city as Chach. Later the town came to be known as Chachkand/Chashkand, meaning 'Chach City'.
Contributions by Atilin, 18.104.22.168, and Azizjon.