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 5: Kara-Tepe

The most extensive Buddhist monastical complex yet discovered in Uzbekistan, the Kara-Tepe archeological site is spread over three sections and dates from the second century AD when territory united under the Kushan Empire enabled Buddhism to spread from India northwards along the silk road.  The three sections represent three distinct architectural periods, with the uppermost … Continue reading Day 5: Kara-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 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 15: Buddhism in Uzbekistan

Before there were Chinese Buddhists, before there were Korean Buddhists, and before there were Japanese Buddhists, there were Uzbek Buddhists, or at least late Greco-Bactrian and Kushan Buddhists.  As Mahayana Buddhism spread out of India through Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, Termez became a center of Buddhist teaching at an essential hub on the silk road.  From … Continue reading Day 15: Buddhism in Uzbekistan

Day 54: Sherdor Madrassa

Part of the Registan ensemble, the Sherdor Madrassa is most famous for its mosaic depictions of fantastic beasts resembling lions or tigers which are today featured prominently as a national symbol of Uzbekistan.  The mosaic creatures appear not only on the 200 сўм note of the national currency, but are also replicated on the Palace … Continue reading Day 54: Sherdor Madrassa

Day 67: Qur’an of Usman

Among the 20 thousand books within the library of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan is the Quran of Usman, perhaps one of the most important holy relics in the Muslim world.  Definitively dated to the 8th or 9th century, and perhaps as early as the 7th, this Quran is believed to be one of the … Continue reading Day 67: Qur’an of Usman

Day 68: Hazroti Imom Mosque

The Hast Imam ensemble may be one of the most important religious sites in the Islamic world, but you won't hear much about it outside of Uzbekistan.  Hosting the oldest known copy of the Quran, and a strand of hair from the Prophet Muhammad, Hast Imam is the heart of muslim Tashkent.  This sprawling architectural complex, … Continue reading Day 68: Hazroti Imom Mosque

Day 72: Kalon Mosque

The Kalon Mosque is the anchor for the religious complex Po-i-Kalyan in Bukhara, together with the iconic Kalon Minaret and the Mir-i Arab Madrassah.  As the primary cathedral mosque of Bukhara, the present day Kalon Mosque dates from the early 16th century, about the year 1514, but incorporates into its construction characteristic brickwork from the … Continue reading Day 72: Kalon Mosque