Istaravshan is a city in the Sughd region. It is located in the northern part of the Republic of Tajikistan, in the foothills of the Turkestan Mountains, 78 km from the city of Khujand, at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. The city borders Uzbekistan to the north and west, Gancha region to the east, Ayni region in Tajikistan to the south and a small corner of Kyrgyzstan to the southeast. The climate here is quite favorable, mild, winters are snowy, summers are hot and dry. According to the data for the year 2000 the population of the city was 80,500 people.
Istaravshan is an open-air museum, an old center of trade and crafts, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. In 2002 Istaravshan celebrated its honorable anniversary – 2500 years.
Until November 10, 2000, the city was known to everyone as Ura Tube, but was then renamed Istaravshan.
The inhabitants of Ura-Tube have long been known as unsurpassed craftsmen. Their products – fabrics, shoes, carved knives, tableware and elaborate embroidery – were highly valued in Central Asia. In modern Istaravshan the fruit and wine industry was created and successfully developed. The city became an important centre of wholesale trade.