Day 2: Kokildor-Ota Khanaka

15th century Termez was a city on the brink of transition.  The Timirud epoch was in full swing, decedents of Amir Timur fighting amongst themselves to maintain the vestiges of his once great empire, and putting their own personal stamp on things with monumental construction projects all over Central Asia.  The Sayyids were still hanging … Continue reading Day 2: Kokildor-Ota Khanaka

Day 3: Fayoz-Tepe

While Kara-Tepe may be the more exciting Buddhist monastical complex, located well within the sensitive border zone, requiring advance permission, nice view of Afghanistan, and shrapnel mixed in among the ancient pot shards, Fayoz-Tepe is decidedly the more monumental of the two.  They're even within sight of each other, and date from the same period, … Continue reading Day 3: Fayoz-Tepe

Day 7: Minor Mosque

Situated along the left bank of the ancient Angor canal running through the center of Tashkent, the Minor Mosque is a brand new example of monumental architecture in the post-independence era of Uzbekistan.  The first President of the Republic, Islam Karimov, ordered its construction through an executive order that a mosque should be built within … Continue reading Day 7: Minor Mosque

Day 8: Kampyr Tepe – Alexandria Oxiana

In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great was extending the reach of Hellenic influence eastward during his conquest of Central Asia in the area known in the classical era as Transoxiana, that is the land beyond the Oxus, an area today shared by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.  Wherever Alexander went, settlements and fortifications were … Continue reading Day 8: Kampyr Tepe – Alexandria Oxiana

Day 9: Zangiata Complex

In 12th and 13th century Tashkent there lived a well respected Sufi mystic, Sheikh Ay-hoja Zangi-Ata, literally "Dark Father" owing to his dark complexion, who was revered by the local people, and subsequently by 14th century Uzbek national hero, Amir Timur.  Having hailed from abroad, likely from a noble family in Saudi Arabia, Zangiata spent … Continue reading Day 9: Zangiata Complex

Day 10: Buddhist Stupa of Zurmala

We never got our Uzbek cotton field experience until we decided to visit the archeological wonderland of Termez and vicinity in June 2018.  After a short drive from the 3rd century AD Buddhist monastery of Fayoz-Tepe into the dusty countryside, we turned off the main road and down to the end of a dirt track … Continue reading Day 10: Buddhist Stupa of Zurmala

Day 12: Mausoleum of Al-Hakim al-Termizi

The Al-Hakim al-Termizi complex on the edge of old-Termez is a conglomerate of several structures built from the 11th to 15th centuries dedicated to the 9th century Sufi mystic, great early Islamic author, and most important representative of Central Asian Sufism, Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ali bin Hasan bin Bashir Al Hakim At-Termizi.  Born in … Continue reading Day 12: Mausoleum of Al-Hakim al-Termizi

Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

Termez may be best known for its many Buddhist archeological sites, but the 2,500 year old city also boasts several important architectural landmarks from the Islamic era.  For those travelers already familiar with the Sah-i-Zinda Necropolis in Samarkand, the Sultan Saodat Ensemble may seem underwhelming, however those who make the effort to explore this ancient mausoleum … Continue reading Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

Day 17: Jarkurgan Minaret

Jarkurgan is a small dusty town about 60km north of Termez, the last place you'd expect to find a standalone medieval minaret, but in the early 12th century, this place was a bustling stop along the ancient silk road, and the minaret served as a beacon to travelers guiding them to the safety of the … Continue reading Day 17: Jarkurgan Minaret

Day 20: Palace of Arts – Turkistan

Located between Independence Square and the Monument of Courage, directly across the street from Tashkent's Crying Mother Monument, the Palace of Arts "Turkiston" is another of the Uzbek capital city's most imposing Soviet era monuments visitors will find hard to miss. Construction started in the final days of the USSR, but was derailed by lack of … Continue reading Day 20: Palace of Arts – Turkistan