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Termez

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Termez or Termiz is a city in Surkhandarya, Uzbekistan.

Understand

Termiz is right along the border with Afghanistan (the Amu Darya or Oxus river) and is currently a major supply hub for the NATO war operations there. It is also a busy transport hub for goods entering and leaving Afghanistan due to the Friendship Bridge, built by the Soviet Union.

Old Termez lie 12 km west of the modern center. Alexander the Great is credited as the founder of the city, though there is little evidence of his passage. The stuff of the Hellenistic period may still be buried under the layers of the Kushan period, when the settlement grew in importance. Two sites in the vicinity, Shor tepe and Kampyr tepe, seem to have got more importance under Achaemenid and Hellenistic rule. The latter was a fortified city at Alexander's time.

Since from the early days of the unified empire of Kanishka I (127–163), Old Termez, controlling a strategic position on the north bank of the Oxus at its junction with the Surkhan Darya, became an important center on the Silk Road and the caravan trade brought Buddhism' religious precepts along with the distinctive art forms of Gandhara style. In 689 AD the city fell to Arab Muslim invaders, replaced by the 11th century and onwards by Turkic tribes. Karakhanids erected the domed mausoleum over the grave of 9th century mystic Al Hakim At-Termizi. In 1218 shah Muhammad II of Khwarezm ordered the execution of Mongol envoys seeking to establish trade relations. As a result Mongol armies crossed the Amur Darya and after a two-day siege razed to the ground Old Termez in their way to Urgench. The city was rebuilt in a new relocation few miles eastwards.

In the second half of the 19th century the village of Patta Hissar acquired importance when it was made a dock for the Russian steamships on the Amu-Darya. In 1898 Termez was annexed by the Russian crown.

Get in

By plane

  • 1 Termez International Airport (TMJ IATA). Is linked with Moscow-Domodedovo, St Petersburg and Tashkent by direct flights of Uzbekistan Airways. Minibuses 11 from the airport stop at Yubileyny Bazaar.

By train

Termez's main 2 train station lies north of the city center. There is a night train from Tashkent every second day, leaving Tashkent Pass Csentr. at 9 PM and arriving next day at 11:40 AM.

By bus

Coming from Afghanistan, it is possible to take a shared taxi or drive to Hairatan on the other side of the river and then walk across the border. The 3 main bus station is in the city centre at the western end of Navoi street.

Get around

Isuzu 7-seater Marshrutkas.

See

Termez is the southernmost city in Uzbekistan which has a lot of historical sights.

  • 1 Termez Archaeological Museum, At-Termezi str. 29a, ☎ + (99876) 2427585. from 9.00 am to 6 pm. — Exhibits from excavations in 20 archaeological sites in Surkhandarya region. 20.000 UZS.
  • 2 Palace of Termez rulers (Old Termez). —
  • 3 Zurmala Tower (Old Termez). — The domed, cylindric tower is the remnant of a Buddhist stupa, built in the third century AD and originally faced with tiles.
  • 4 Fayaz-Tepe (Old Termez). — a 3rd-century AD Buddhist monastery partially rebuilt and now open for tourist visits.
  • 5 Kara Tepe monastery (Old Termez). The access to Kara Tepe is restricted. — The remains of a Buddhist cave monastery built on top of three hills in the late 1st century AD. The complex flourished in the next centuries but was deserted when the Arabs captured the city in 705 AD and finally destroyed by the troops of Genghis Khan along with the rest of the Old Termez in 1220. In recent years the caves were partly rebuilt with support from Unesco. Archaeological excavations revealed wall paintings with one of the world’s oldest images of Buddha surrounded by monks.
  • 6 Architectural Complex of Al Hakim At-Termizi (Old Termez). — Set on a hill overlooking the Amu Darya River with superb views to the shores of Afghanistan, the complex hosts the mausoleum of a Sufi saint who lived in Termez until his death in 869 AD.
  • 7 Architectural Ensemble Sultan Saodat. — The burying place of the sheikh's clan from Termez regarded as descendants of Prophet Muhammad and therefore deeply revered by Muslims . The domed tomb of Khasan al Emir, the founder of Seyid"s clan, was built in the 12th century.

Further afield

  • 8 Airtam (18 km east from the City center, on the banks of the Amu Darya river). — ruins of an important caravan resting place on the Great Silk Road. Russian excavations have revealed two Buddhist complexes constructed above an earlier Hellenistic fort and Kushan coins. As of September 2017, Airtam lies in a restricted border area, closed for tourists.
  • 9 Zul Kifl Mausoleum (Dhul-'i-Kifl) (Aral-Paygambar Island in the Amu-Darya). — Built in the late 11th century, the mausoleum has a tall portal and a dome chamber on simple squinches
  • 10 Isa at-Tirmidhi Mausoleum (In Sherobod, 60 km north of Termez along M39 road.). —
  • 11 Kampyr Tepe (Kampirtepa) (Marshrutka to Gagarin.). — The results of the excavations certify to the authenticity of the monument and allows identifying it with the ancient city of Alexandria Oxiana. free.
  • 12 Kyrk-Kyz Fortress (Kirk Kiz Khanaka). — Kirk Kiz Khanaka is thought to be the ruins of a castle or a summer retreat for the dynasty of Samanids. The name Kirk-Kiz means "Forty Girls" and according to local legends the Amazons were living here.

Do

Buy

Central bazar near clock tower (centre of modern town). Black market money changers opposite on the same street.

Eat

Drink

Last chance for alcoholic beverages before crossing to Afganistan (Uzbek customs ban export of alcohol.)

Sleep

  • 1 Meridian Termez Hotel, 23, Alpomish Str, ☎ +998 91 577 90 65. four star hotel in the city center with restaurant, bar, swimming pool and sauna from US$ 100 (2014).
  • 2 Surxon. Check-out: 12 noon. Buffet, hairdresser on ground floor. Double room 130.000 UZS (including breakfast), Polo-Lux Room 200.000 UZS.
  • 3 Asson, 27, At-Termezi ko‘chasi. Check-out: 12 noon. Swimming pool is out of operation. Double: 350.000 UZS.

Connect

Post office by the central clock tower. Small internet kiosk accross the street (near taxi rank).

Go next

Haimartan, thence Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.


Uzbekistan Travel Guide (Japanese) (Discovery Central Asia, 10)

Vladimir Dolgiy

From the blue-tiled splendor of Tamerlane's Samarkand to the Holy city of Bukhara, boasting a mosque for each day of the year, and beyond the desert-girdled khanate of Khiva, Uzbekistan lays claim to breathtaking architectural legacy. Bound by sand and snow, fed by melt water from the Roof of the World, these fertile oases attracted the greatest travelers and conquerors in history along the fragile threads of the Silk Road.

Uzbekistan Travel Guide (Russian) Na Russkom (Discovery Central Asia, 8)

Alvirt Akhmedjanov

Vostock - delo tonkoe i zavesa tain vsegda prikrivala centralneyshuyu straru Sredney Azii. Vrode bi blizkaya, no vsyo yescho polnaya zagadok. Mnogie schitayut, chto zdes mojno priyekhat i posmotret na arkhitekturnie pamyatniki proshlogo,pobivat na razvalinakh krepostey i gorodov. Chto znachit Uzbelistan dlya turistov iz blijnego zarubejia? From the blue-tiled splendor of Tamerlane's Samarkand to the Holy city of Bukhara, boasting a mosque for each day of the year, and beyond the desert-girdled khanate of Khiva, Uzbekistan lays claim to breathtaking architectural legacy. Bound by sand and snow, fed by melt water from the Roof of the World, these fertile oases attracted the greatest travelers and conquerors in history along the fragile threads of the silk road.

Uzbekistan Travel Guide (French) (Discovery Central Asia, 9)

Andrea Leuenberger

From the blue-tiled splendor of Tamerlane's Samarkand to the Holy city of Bukhara, boasting a mosque for each day of the year, and beyond the desert-girdled khanate of Khiva, Uzbekistan lays claim to breathtaking architectural legacy. Bound by sand and snow, fed by melt water from the Roof of the World, these fertile oases attracted the greatest travelers and conquerors in history along the fragile threads of the Silk Road.

Uzbekistan Travel Guide (German) (Discovery Central Asia, 12)

Andrea Leuenberger

From the blue-tiled splendor of Tamerlane's Samarkand to the Holy city of Bukhara, boasting a mosque for each day of the year, and beyond the desert-girdled khanate of Khiva, Uzbekistan lays claim to breathtaking architectural legacy. Bound by sand and snow, fed by melt water from the Roof of the World, these fertile oases attracted the greatest travelers and conquerors in history along the fragile threads of the Silk Road.

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