Termez is located on the left bank of the Amudarya river and is one of the ancient cities of Central Asia. This is a land of old trade traditions and brave warriors. The first signs of culture appeared in the place of modern Termez in the Stone Age. Archeological discoveries proved that the origin of agricultural civilization on this territory dates further before the 5thc. BC.
There were several dynasties during all historical period and each of them introduced something new into the culture of modern Uzbekistan.
Alexander the Great annexed the state of the Akheamenids and then Bactria to his empire. It happened in the 4thc. BC, after victory over an enemy – the military forces of Darius the 3rd.
Greek-Macedonian rule over Bactria lasted 180 years. So elements of Hellinism penetrated the culture of Bactria. Alexander the Great tried to control the religion cults. After the Seleukids’s collapse the new Kingdom of Bactria appeared on that place. With time Hellenistic, Buddhism and Indian religions mixed on this land. In the 3rdc. BC Termez town emerged on the cross of the roads running to India and China. In the ancient times the Nephrite Road started here. During period from 1st to the 4thc. AD the Buddhism became widespread in the Eastern Turkestan and Central Asia, especially in Termez, because of Kushan rule. So, in the territory of modern Termez were discovered Buddhist architectural complexes Kara-Tepa and Fayaz-Tepa.
In the beginning of 4thc. Eftalits replaced the Kushans,so the period of the 4thc. – 5thc. is called the era of the Samanids. During 6thc. – 7thc there was the Turk Khanate rule. In the 8thc. Bactria with Termez became the part of Arab Caliphate. The Samanids ruled in the 9thc.-10thc. During the period of the Karakhanids and Seljukids feudal economic system developed in the territory of modern Termez. In 13th c. the area was conquered by the Mongols of Chinghiz-khan. The Temurids ruled in the 14thc. – 15thc.
And in 19th c. Termez became the main frontier town of the south border of Russia. As you see, Termez is a town of the interesting centuries-old history. Besides, nowadays Termez is one of the major economic centers of Uzbekistan.
Karatepa is one of the most famous sights in Termez. It is one of the most often attended sights during Uzbekistan tours. This is a Buddhist place of worship built on three hills situated in the north-west part of Old Termez. It includes a number of temples and monasteries that appeared in the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. It is a great historical monument you should visit during your Uzbekistan tour. The architecture of Karatepa is a combination of caves cut in quaternary sandstone, and surface buildings made of pahsa and unbaked brick. Interiors of the shrines were decorated with topical and ornamental paintings on stucco plaster and sculptures made of loess and clay.
Walls of Karatepa caves still carry numerous graffiti drawings and visitor’s inscriptions (Bactrian, Middle Persian, Brahmi, Soghdian, Syrian, and Arabic).
The “Kirk Kiz” building located in Termez(“forty girls”) is one of the most famous local attractions. It’s a unique building which has attracted the attention of researchers for a long time. It has been variously considered as a palace, an abbey, a caravanserai, Hanaqoh, or just simply a civil construction. Local tradition connects it with the well-known national legend in which the princess Gulaim and her forty girls bravely struggled against raiding nomads.
Building of “Kirk Kiz” is a square of about 54m each side of raw brick construction. There is an inside arched aperture, and also some large windows cut through each facade. There are two in intersections in the hallways placed on the two axes of the building dividing it into four equal parts. It is covered by a dome (to the mind some scholars, but according to another there was no overhead cover. The two northern quadrants of the building have identical floor plans. They consist of a group of five rooms that exit onto a three-sided Russian II letter shaped hallway. The southwest quadrant of the building is almost identical.
Complex of Sultan Saodat – Termez, Uzbekistan
The cult-memorial complex of Sultan Saodat is a very famous and popular place with tourists who travel to Uzbekistan. It is one of the most significant monuments in Termez. It was developed during the period of XI-XVII c. at the possessions of the Termez sayyids. This complex consists of several buildings which were added there at different time. The most ancient part of this structure is the southwest part of the complex. In this place two large mausoleums are situated. They are joined with a terrace with a mihrab (the niche in a mosque showing the direction of Mecca) placed between them. It was probably used as a funeral prayer place. Archeologists dated this ancient group to the XI-XII c. or the middle of XI c.
Mausoleum of Hakim at-Termizi
The Mausoleum of Hakim at-Termizi is the main place of pilgrimage in Termez. By the way, Hakim at-Termizi is famous theologian of the IX c. People considered him as a sacred protector of the Termezcity. He was noted for compositions of a mystic-philosophical character, besides he was the founder of the dervishes order. His burial vault was somewhere near the citadel of medieval Termez, probably near to hanaqoh. Later, a mausoleum was built above this place from burnt bricks. It is one-chambered construction with a portal dome. Besides, there were 4 strong arches which supported the dome. The entrance was on the south side; the northern archway was open and the remaining ones were blocked off. The interiors of the mausoleum were richly decorated with carved ganch (probably at the end of the XI c.). Later, (in 1389-1390, according to the inscription on the portal) a new small mausoleum was built there. It was located on the east side and was adjacent to the ancient tomb. Near the Eastern side several storage rooms were situated. At the beginning of XV c. on the east-west axis of the mausoleum was erected the largest building complex. It happened under the rule of Khalil Sultan, a grandson of Amir Temur. This was the largest building hanaqoh. It intended for wanderers, dervishes and faqihs.