Termez - Buddhist Center of Central Asia


 
Termez is a southern capital in Uzbekistan, center of Surkhandarya province. It is one of the driest and hottest points of the country. Date of the founding of the city of Old Termez is not clear, but some of historians give more than 3000 years, officially there was a celebration of 2500years few years back. In the 6th century BC Achaemenids already called the city as the ancient city. In 329 BC Alexander the Great conquered Termez. After the collapse of his Empire, one of his colonels founded a Greco-Bactrian kingdom named Demetrius city. As part of the Kushan Empire in the 1st to 3rd century BC the city was called Ta-li-mi, in the Chinese Tu-mi or Tami. During this period, the city became an important center of Buddhism. Same time it was one of the main trade points of The Great Silk Road. In the 5th and 6th centuries the city was ruled by Hephthalites – white Huns. In the 7th century the city was independently ruled by local aristocracy. In 705 the city was captured by the Arabs and it became one of centers of Islam during the Abbasids and Samanids Empire. From the 9th through the 12th centuries Termez was a big city and a cultural center of the region. It was popular for shopping and crafts. At this time the length of the fortifications of the city was 10 miles, there were nine gates. During this period Termez was a part of the Ghaznavids, Seljuks and Karakhanids. In 1206 the town became part of the state Khorezmshahs. And in 1220 after a two-day siege, the city was destroyed by the Horde of Genghis Khan. In the second half of the 13th century Termez was restored to the east, on the right bank of Surkhandarya River, it was part of the Timurid Empire, after the collapse Shaybanids. By the second half of the 18th century the city was abandoned. Only few villages around were populated and existing separately.
In January 1893 the emirate of Bukhara gave the land of the village Pattakesar to Russian government to build a Russian fortress and garrison and, a military border fortification, where the Amu Darya river port was built. In 1928 already being part of the Soviet Union, Pattakesar was renamed and took the city's ancient name Termez. In 1929, the village became a town. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979–89), Termez was an important military base, a military airfield and a road-rail bridge across the Amu Darya ("Bridge of Friendship") were built. Even today Termez is an advanced post bordering with Afghanistan.
 
TERMEZ SIGHTS   
-          Museum of Archaeology
-          Kirk-Kiz Fortress (9th–14th centuries)
-          Architectural Complex of Al Hakim At-Termizi (10th–15th centuries)
-          Architectural Ensemble Sultan Saodat (10th–18th centuries)
-          Kokildor ata Khanaka (16th century)
-          Kara-Tepe Buddhist Monastery (2nd–4th centuries)
-          Fayaz-Tepe Buddhist Monastery (1st–3rd centuries)
-          Zurmala Tower (1st–2nd century AD)
-          Isa At-Termizi Mausoleum (9th century AD), in Sherobod, 60 kilometers north of Termez.
-          Dalvarzin-Tepe archaeological sight
-          Kampir-Tepe archaeological sight
-             Djarkurgan Minaret, 35km from Termez 

Al Hakim At Termiziy Complex
The complex of Hakim at-Termizi in Termez, the scholar and sheikh, living in the 10th century A.D. who found recognition for theological knowledge, later he was recognized as a spiritual patron of Termez (Termez-ata). His father Ali bin Hassan was a leading scholar, a Hadith specialist, who, looking for knowledge, went to Baghdad and took an active part in scientific discussions with prominent scholars of the time on various problems of Hadith. His mother and uncle were considered to be experts of Hadith. Consequently Al Hakim At-Termizi grew up in the circle of educated and scientific people, which influenced greatly on his ideology.  In 1091-1095 A.D. the governor of Maverannahr Ahmad ibn Hizr from Karakhanids ordered to build Mausoleum, interior was covered with rich carved plaster. Geometrical and styled vegetative motifs combined with epigraphic inscriptions in Kufic. Later, in the north the mosque with mikhrab was built up. Carved plaster covers the walls of the mosque that by style was very close to plaster decor of the 12th century performed in the palace of Termez governors. In 1389-90 to the east from the grave of at-Termizi a new mausoleum and underground chillya-khana (meditation room) were built. In the 15th century in the mausoleum magnificent carved gravestone of marble and monumental two-portal khanaka with big dome were installed. The architectural complex during centuries attracted pilgrims arriving from different parts of Muslim world. 

Kirk Kiz Fortress
Kirk-Kiz means "Fourty Girls", it is located outside of the medieval Termez, and connected with the dynasty of Samanids. It was a summer residence of a royal dynasty. Kirk-Kiz presents an example of the monumental forms in architecture; the building has strict centralized composition. It is square in the plan (54x54 m), and is crosswise cut along axes by arched corridors, which led to central square courtyard (11,5х11,5 m) with deep arched eyvans on axes, from where one can enter numerous rooms. They settled down in two floors in four sectors of the building. A total number of premises in Kirk-Kiz reached one and half hundred: there were rectangular rooms, corridors and a big hall, probably, living room. Round towers flanked the building. The walls were plastered with clay; yellowish colour of Central Asian clay is dominant here. In interiors of Kirk-Kiz amazes a variety of arched systems. The interior decor is rather poor by details. The architectural rhythm of windows and niches worked out as various figured arches became a basic element of interior. For Kirk-Kiz typical is the combination of old pre-Islamic traditions and innovations, caused by tastes and needs of another epoch - isolation of a composition, ascetically simple surface of the walls, plastered with clay, remind the early medieval castles. But the elements of fortification were reduced, and four free entrances, numerous windows in different levels were not coordinated with defensive purposes. So Kirk-Kiz was a large feudal estate of a palace type belonging to the reigning dynasty. 
 

Sultan Saodat Complex (Necropolis)
Sultan Saodat is located in the outskirt of modern Termez, in Uzbekistan. The name Sultan Saodat means "His Excellency Sultan or Sultan’s well-being" in Arabic. The complex was formed between the 11th and 17th centuries, has the graves of the influential Sayyid dynasty of Termez. Sultan Saodat complex is a series of multi-religious structures - mausoleums, mosques, khanaka - built on the perimeter of the yard and the elongated constituted a coherent and concise composition. The oldest here are two large single-chambers, square, domed mausoleum (10th–11th centuries), located in the south-western part of the complex. They are united by the intervening deep vaulted "ayvan" (gallery), which at the turn of the 14th–15th centuries was added in height and faced multicolored glazed decoration. Buildings of the comlex in different ways repeated the idea of this ancient group of buildings, detailed three-part frontal facade open ayvan in the center. Emphasized the unity of the structure burnt bricks, which also served as a constructive and decorative material (masonry "in the tree," the curly ribbon carved blocks, geometric and floral motifs insertion and belts from figure hewn blocks). Both mausoleums crowded headstones, some remnants of tiled decor.
In the second half of the 15th century ahead of both mausoleums two new buildings were built. Two parallel rows were built in the 15th–17th centuries and joined with the other buildings. Also, some new mausoleums were also pairwise connected with intermediate ayvan, decor on them is not preserved. In the 16th–17th centuries courtyards to the south and the north were built up with mausoleums of different sizes and from different eras. The entrance was set up on the west side of the yard. The majestic ensemble stands out as a group of mausoleums, homogeneous in structure and decoration, though built in different styles.In the 19th century, buildings in the complex were gradually destroyed and blighted. The complex of Sultan Saodat went through restoration work in 2005 and became one of the highlights for pilgrims and visitors. 


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