The Surkhan Darya District is also located in the southern part of Uzbekistan. On the South along the Amu Darya River is the state border with Afghanistan. The flat central part of the District is surrounded by the Amu- Darya Valley from the south and the Hisar Range foothills from the North.
The city of Termez is the center of the District. An ancient settlement which was populated in the times of the Greek-Bactrain rules (III-II c. B.C) was discovered near Termez. Among the numerous archeological and architectural sites discovered in the Termez area the Buddhist religious center Kara-Tepa with its various monuments of Buddhist culture (ruins of monasteries, frescoes, statues) is of particular importance, as well as the Fayaz-Tepa Buddhist monastery complex (I-III c.), the Kyrk-Kiz country palace (XIV-X c.), the Hakim-at-Termezi architectural complex (XI-XV c.), the Sultan-Saadat Mausoleum complex of the Rules of Termez (XI-XVII c.). The Sultan-Saadat and the most sacred place among the Holy sites of the Surkhan Darya District.
The balneological resort Jairan-Khana with its hot hydrogen sulphide mineral springs equals those in Macesta (the Black Sea coastal health- resort) is only 20 kilometers (13 miles) from Termez. The Uchkyzyl Reservoir features rest and recreation site with beautiful beaches, crystal-clean water and fresh air.
The Khojiaran Health Center gained popularity for its unique feature: in the depth of the salt cave treatment of allergy (asthma) and upper respiratory diseases is provided. Termez which is celebrated its 2500 years anniversary in April 2, 2002, had survived great events and changes in its history. Termez played in an important role during the whole state system of Uzbek people and in the development of culture in Central Asia Termez as well as considered one of the cities in Central Asia, which made great contributions in the development of civilization throughout the world and "Silk Road", which is the cross-roads of world civilization.
The religion of Buddhism and the architectural traditions were spread over the world only through the Termez. From the point of its strategic climatic and geographically convenient conditions of Termez, from the ancient times Termez attracted the attention of many states and state rulers and for what Termez had been repeatedly assaulted by Mongolian, Arabic, Iranian and Greek conquerors.
Mavoraunnahr suffered from oppressions and violence of local leaders and endured cruelties and home bloodshed. Termez burned changed into ash in the fights of conquerors, died and again restored to life, stand on feet returning its former fame and glory.
But Termez not always revived on its historical place. If Old Termez of Kushan period developed on the Amudarya banks, but after Chingizkhans oppression it began to develop and flourish on the eastern banks of the Surkhandarya River. In the second half of the XVIII century Termez had been ruined by the several war and fights, and in the second half of the XIX century it was again founded and developed on the southern part of the village "Pattakesar". The monuments of Old Termez with their unique beauty always drew the attention of the historians, travelers of Early Middle Ages of China, and authors of ancient times. Ancient Termez played a dominant role in in spreading of one of the world religions - Buddhism and Buddhist art in the territory of Central Asia. Specialists say, that the meaning of the word "budda" is "highlighted" in Sanskrit.
Buddihsm penetrated from Gandhara (now in the territory of Pakistan), Khindikush mountains and northern Afghanistan into Termez, and with it came Buddhist art, spreading of one of the world religions - Buddhism and Buddhist art in the territory of Central Asia. Specialists say, that the meaning of the word "budda" is "highlighted" in Sanskrit.
There exist a number of versions of emerging Buddhism in Central Asia. Famous academicians B. A. Litvinsky consider that some appearance of Buddhism in Central Asia falls into 3-2nd cc. B.C. In the opinion of G. A. Koshelenko, in Margina (recent southern Turkmenistan) in 2-1st cc. B.C. B. Y. Staviskiy says, that Buddhist religion presents in Central Asia from the 1st c. B.C. According to the last discoveries, the emergence of Buddism in the lands north from Oxus (Amu-Darya) falls to the 1st c. A.D. Because, in Tarmita (Termez), the main center of Buddism in Central Asia, buildings connected with this religion were erected in the beginning of our millennium.
Buddhist monuments of Ancient Termez are the important part the town and functioned as religious centers. These monasteries served not only for inhabitants of the towns but also for the people lived in the villages around Termez. Monuments as Fayztepa, Karta-tepa, and Zurmala are Buddhist monuments of Ancient Termez.
Historical monuments of Termez
Fayaztepa - Buddhist monastery, located out of the territory of modern Termez, located 1 km north-west from Kara-tepa. They are both situated at the countryside of Termez. In 1968-1976 Fayaztepa was investigated by a joint expedition organized by Archaeological Institute of Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan and Surkhandarys regional Lore Museum. The monastery, with 34 meters in width and 113 meters in length consists of 3 parts:
• central part - monastery;
• kitchen part;
• store house, designed with monumental wall paintings and sculptures.
Archaeologists found here a number of sculptures of bodhisattvas and Buddha. Especially, a group of statuettes made on white stone is very interesting. On the surface of this stone was carved a shape like a window-sill, you can see an image of Buddha, sitting in squat under "botkhi" tree. By two sides of him stood two monks. Arcghaeologists found the holy place in the north - west part of the monument. For getting to the holy place you could pass from the monastery part. The main part of the holy place consists of a yard with verandah. This verandah was used by priests as a lecturing place during their teachings.
Storehouse. They found from the remains of this part of monastery many dishes with carved decorations, including designed with symbolic images of Buddha. You can see on them the leaves of a holy tree "bodhi" or the shapes reminding the footsteps of Buddha. Some meters north-west from the main buildings of Fayaztepa is situated one of the holy monuments - stupa. Stupa means in Sanskrit "embodiment of universe". Actually, stupas were erected on a pedestal and they have a cylindrical for with a dome upper part. Such construction existed in Fayaztepa and Kratepa. Also, stupas were built as a single buildings outside Termez. One of these known today stupas is Zurmala, situated in the eastern part of Termez. Zurmala tower is the most ancient relic of monumental architecture in Central Asia. It was built in the end of the 1st century B.C. Its raw monolith was once faced with red brick, white marble tiles with Buddhist sculptures and cornices of a special type. Dome was decorated colorfully.
Among the findings of Fayaztepa there are inscriptions, made on the surface of dishes. These writings are made in the following alphabets:
• "unknown alphabet".
The biggest monastery of Buddhist period Termez is Karatepa. The first information about Karatepa has become known in 1926. The first expedition on Karatepa was organized and conducted by professor M. E. Masson in 1936-37. On Karatepa monastery conducted research during many years a joint expedition of Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg), Museum of the Art of Eastern Peoples (Moskow), institutions of East study and Reconstruction, under the leadership of B. Ya. Stavisky.
The formation of monastery at place of Karatepa - 2nd century AD. Kushan kingdom was ruled by the most famous king - Kushan Kanishka I. He declared Buddhism as the state religion. In the result, there appeared many Buddhist monastery complexes in the territory of Kushan kingdom, including Bactria, northern India, eastern Turkistan (now Shinjan-Uygur autonomy region). Karatepa is one of the sanctuaries, erected during the years of reigning of Kanishka. The total area of Karatepa is almost 3 hectares, built on a hill. Buildings located on earth, also there are underground premises. At the center of some yards there were built small stupas. Sanctuary and its verandahs were decorated with colorful paintings, as well as images of Buddha and bodhisattvas. The walls of sanctuary were designed with the figures of men carrying presents, also with the local and Buddhist legends. Meantime, Buddhist statues made of stone, lime and clay, capitels with the head of an animal, many small artifacts as terracotta and ceramic wares were found and studied by scientists.
The most important facts in Karatepa are ancient inscriptions. They are divided into two groups. First group of writings include letters in black ink made on the surface of dishes. They belong to the period of Karatepa was used as Buddhist monastery. The second group of writings - graffities, left by visitors, when Karatepa was deserted. The main parts of the first group of inscriptions are the letters made in ancient Indian alphabets - kharoshthi and brahma. They are in religious content: quotations from Buddhist relics, about presents for monastery and the persons who made these presents. Parts of writings are in Greek alphabet. Writings-graffities are in middle Persian and Arabian alphabets.
Karatepa functioned as Fayaztepa, till the end of the 4th century and in the beginning of the 5th century in the result of invasion Sassanid troops, was destroyed and come to ruins.
In the monasteries monks not only promoted Buddhism but also translated the relics of Buddhism into the local language. In the ancient resources, including Tibetan writings was referred to the famous promoter of Buddhism from Termez - Dharmamitra. He participated in the meeting, in Peshavar, organized by Kanishka I. So, Buddhism played a dominant role in Termez, until the invasion of Arabian.
Chinese traveler Suan Syan, who was in Central Asia IN 629-630 described Termez in his works: "There are 10 monasteries with 1000 monks in Ta-Mi". This means that at the threshold of Arabic period in Termez Buddhism saved its past importance.
Contribution to Science and Culture
Uzbekistan belongs to a few number of nations which is rich in historical events. Ancient and complex history of this land dates a thousands of years back. Japan has a many years of collaborating with Uzbekistan in the field of archaeological survey. Japanese historians assist the archaeological institutes of Uzbekistan to conduct archaeological excavations in many archaeological sites of Uzbekistan during last ten years. JICA also has decided to make contribution to this area of science of Uzbekistan and supplement previous assistance provided by the number of Japanese archaeologists, namely Professor Katsumi Tanabe from Kanazawa University with some support for one of the archeological projects, where Japanese experts were involved, and which require further development. And such site was chosen by JICA.
Ancient fortress of Uzbekistan waiting for new archeological discoveries. Kampir-Tepe fortress (also called Kafir-qal’a) lies on a high loess terrace on the right bank of the Amu Darya river, 30 km west of the city of Termez in Uzbekistan. Fortress, built in 3rd century B.C. at the crossroads of trade routes at river crossings, on the border of states, and at the heads of irrigation systems (see the map), were important settlement of Kushan empire, the Empire which represent one of the most majestic state formation of the ancient world exactly because of its unique mixture of cultures, languages and arts. There is an evidence that the troops of the Alexander the Great crossed the Amu Darya river right in this place.
Kampir-Tepe was discovered in 1972 during preliminary surveys along the right bank of the Amu Darya. In the years before 1990 the area of fortress citadel, wall with its towers and archers’ galleries were excavated and cleared for a distance of over 400 m. Overall, during seven years of of excavation , three-quarters of the area of the site has been exposed. Findings prove a high level of culture and wonderful arts of a Hellenic and Kushan pattern. Also, unique materials and monuments of Bhuddizm are hidden in there. According to scientists the Kampir-Tepe could provide the first realistic picture of infrastructure and architectural plan of one type of settlement of the Great Kushan period. In case of uncovering the whole area of Kampir Tepe archaeological site it will be the only totally excavated Kushan town in Central Asia what will enable local authorities to transform it into the model historic monument and attracting tourist site of Uzbekistan.
In general, the structure and culture of Kushan fortress have not been investigated. Last excavation works at this site were conducted in 1991 and then stopped because of lack of financial support. With this in mind, JICA and Uzbek Fine Arts Scientific Research Institute have agreed to conduct new survey of Kampir-Tepe with implementation of excavations and publishing of book (Collection of scientific articles) on Kampir-Tepe.
According to the Project Design and the Plan of Activities jointly developed by JICA and the Institute, JICA provides necessary support to the project immediately implemented by the Fine Arts Institute. The Project has also long term goal to contribute to development of tourism in the South of Uzbekistan. In FY 2000 JICA and Fine Arts Research Institute plan to implement the second stage of the project to continue the research of Kampir-Tepe and totally uncover the cultural heritage of this town. The Phase Two should consist of seven months excavations and edition of second Collection of scientific materials on archeological discoveries prepared on the basis of newly made excavation and other research. Eventually, JICA and the implementing agency intend to present to the international scientific community totally excavated area of Kampir-Tepe.
We hope that this project will represent the successful combination of scientific research and business development in the sector of tourism. We believe that Kampir Tepe could become unique ancient fortified Town-Museum under the sky.
Historical and architectural monuments of Termez
• Kyrk-Kyz (out-of-town Palace Country Estate) (IXth-XIVth c.).
• Palace of Termez rulers (XIth-XIIth c.).
• Architectural Complex of Khakim at Termezi (Xth-XVth c.).
• Architectural ensemble Sultan-Saodat (Xth-XVIIIth c.).
• Kokildora Mausoleum-Khanaka (XVIth c.).
• Kara-Tepe Monastery (II-IVth c. AD).
• Fayaz-Tepe Monastery (I-III c. AD).
• Zurmala Tower (I-II c. AD).
Termez. History, monuments.
This is the kingdom of trade routes and brave warriors. This is the land famous worldwide for its richness in gold and lazurite. Archeological discoveries proved that the origin of agricultural civilization on this territory dates further before the Vthc. Bc. The earliest siens of culture appeared in the Stone Age.
The 30th meeting of the General Conference of UNESCO held in Paris in November 1999 had adopted a resolution about celebration of 2500 years anniversary of one of the oldest cities in Central Asia - Termez, in 2001 in an international sphere. In touch with the above mentioned resolution the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan made a special decision on the "Preparations and holding 2500 years jubilee of the city Termez in 2001". Termez which is celebrated its 2500 years anniversary in April 2, 2002, had survived great events and changes in its history. Termez played in an important role during the whole state system of uzbek people and in the development of culture in Central Asia. Termez as well as considered one of the cities in Central Asia, which made great contributions in the development of civilization throughout the world and "Silk Road", which is the cross-roads of world civilization.
A valuable written information about Termez is given in the manuscripts of a Chinese traveler of the VII century, monarch of Buddism Suan Tsian, in Greek, Armenian, Chinese, Persian and Arabic souses; in the old poem "Shakhname" in the works of a great scientist Avicenna, Abu Reikhan Beruni, an Arabic traveler Ibn Batut, a Spanish ambassador Rue Gonsales de Klavijo, Hungarian orientalist Herman Vamberi and great thinkers of the Middle Ages as Alisher Navoi, Abdurahman Jami, Muhammad Babur, Hafizi Abru, Anvary, Hafizi Tanish Bukhari, Davlatshah Samarkandi. An interest to study the history of Termez began in the second half of the XIX century and archaeologists V. V. Bartold, D. N. Logofet, N. A. Maev, V. V. Krestovsky, I. V. Mushketov, A. A. Semenov, M. E. Masson, V. A. Shishkin, T. V. Grek, B. N. Kostalsky, B. B. Piotrovsky, V. A. Vyatkin, D. D. Bukinich, B. N. Zasipkin, L. A. Albaum, G. A. Pugachenkova, E. V. Rtveladze, Ya. Gulyamov, A. A. Askarov and others studied and enriched the history of the city with their scientific views. In the study of Old Termez a great role played expeditions made by Moskow museum of the Peoples Culture of East led by Prof. Denike in 1926-1927 and Termez archaeological expedition of 1936-1939 under the leadership of M. E. Masson; archaeological expedition of the State Hermitage and the Museum of the Peoples of East led by B. Ya. Stavisky in 1961, and the expedition led by Prof. G. A. Pugachenkova since 1959 of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the expedition of the Archaeological Institute of Uzbekistan led by A. A. Askarov, L. I. Albaum since 1948, the expedition of the Institute Archaeology led by V. M. Masson, the complex expedition since 1980 led by academician A. A. Askarov.
Sulton Saodat – a single emsemble of buildings of graves and worship buildings of sort on Seid outside of Arabia known and deeply honoured in all Islam world as direct descendants of the most prophet Mukhammad. History is living and burying on Seid, descendants of Prophet Muhammad here on the land called later Movaraunnahr carries in itself printing of culture not only history order, as well as reflects history reality of development of the most Islam – as a world religion and is a saint revenge for the whole Muslim. Among architectural monuments Sultan-Saodat complex is the most remarkable one. This compound ensemble was being built within 5 centuries, from the IXth century to the XIVth century, and is a kind of peculiar museum of the medieval architecture. Khasan al Emir, the founder of Seyid"s clan in Termez, is buried in the northern mausoleum. The huge dome crowns the walls separated by three vaulted niches, decorated with rich ornaments, while the figured brickwork of flat twin bricks gives the building a bulk effect and delicate austerity.
Minaret of Djarkurgan
This minaret is one of the historical monuments in Surkhandarya region in the Djarkurgan district. However it is only one and first monument on which was written the name of its master who had constructed this minaret. The minaret had been built with Ali Ibn Mohammad as-Saraksiy in 1108-1110 AD.
Khonaka - Kakildor-ota
This monument belongs to the XVI century and it is unically interesting architecture building. Scientists are saying that here had been buried the man had oathed: he wouldn"t cut the hair tiff that time when Godness miracles happened. There are harmonized Bukhara and Balkh architectural scholl ornaments.
Surkhandarya is one of the most ancient cultural centers of Uzbekistan with original history and course of evolution. Having been among the high developed regions of Asia, a heart of antique Greco-Bactria and the Kushan empire, located on a trade crossroad, today Surkhandarya is a successor of the ancient traditions, a keeper of unique monuments of material and spiritual culture, a nature reserve of folk art where the alive tree of traditions is carefully saved, further develops and flourishes.
The Independence of Uzbekistan has given a special impulse to the traditions of folk culture. The government of our country has declared the revelation of national values as a top-priority task of the culture. This attracted the world attention to unique regions of our country, which are numerous in Uzbekistan, where the heritage of our ancestors is still alive.
The international organizations appreciated the full meaning of the significance of Surkhandarya traditional culture - in March 2001 UNESCO proclaimed the cultural space of Boysun as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The interest to this unique region was again proved by a fact that on May 23 - 27, 2002 in Boysun was held the Open Folklore Festival "Boysun Bahori" - a festival of peace, friendship, humanism and cooperation. The Festival program included concerts, parade of folklore ensembles, competition of traditional musicians for a prize of Turgun Alimatov, competition of epic narrators (bahshi), competition of designers of traditional fashion and exhibition-fare of folk craft pieces. The scientific conceptualization of processes in modern traditional culture has extremely high importance. Therefore, the program of the Festival included the International Scientific Conference. The scholars from France, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took part in the work of the Conference. There were four subject sections: "Folk Holidays and Rites", "Epos and Oral Poetic Art", "Music and Musical Instruments", "Traditional Crafts and Folk Everyday Culture". The founders of this action hope that festival and conference will become a good tradition that can promote further development and propagation of folk cultural values.
Boysun - historical and ethnocultural area
The decision of UNESCO to include Boysun district of Surkhandarya region, Uzbekistan in the register of "Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" became an important stimulus to promotion of traditional culture all over Central Asia and elaboration of long-term strategy of its preservation and further development. The efforts to reveal integral character of available variety of cultural genres and forms, to specify components, hierarchy, evolution and interaction of poetic and musical folklore, folk entertainments and art crafts have drew attention of the scientific circles of Uzbekistan and foreign countries to this unique area. The tendency to recognition of traditional culture of Boysun not just as a historical and cultural relict but equally as the important spiritual value of modern culture has come into being. Strategic location of Boysun on ancient caravan trade routes and, at the same time, farness from modern urban centers, what allowed keeping of unique traditions of folk culture, put forward a scientific task of complex research of this area as the integral historical and ethnocultural phenomenon. Inhabitants of Boysun highly respect folk traditions and customs, songs and dances, crafts, rituals and historical style of national costume, which have been kept almost primeval. Just that rich heritage became a basis of, already traditional, the Open Folklore Festival "Boysun bahori" (2002, 2003) and International Scientific Conference on problems of preservation of folk culture hold within the program of the Festival.
Another important stage in all - round study and propagation of the Boysun cultural phenomenon became the Boysun scientific expedition (summer/autumn 2003) with participation of Fine Arts Scientific Research Institute, Foundation for promotion of culture and art "Boysun" and SMI - group through the agency of UNESCO Office in Uzbekistan and National Commission of UNESCO in Uzbekistan. Collecting and recording of audio, video and photo materials in over 40 kishlaks have given rich and interesting information on history of the region, ethnogeny, customs and rites, religious ideas, public folk entertainments and games, musical folklore, art crafts and architecture, folk oral poetry and its masters. Upon the results of field works of the expedition, in January 2004, at Fine Arts SRI was held a scientific conference, where were demonstrated pieces of folk applied arts, musical instruments and works of the artists from Uzbekistan and Russia.
One of the highly worshipped monuments of Moslem world is the burial-vault of Khakim at-Termezi, the spiritual patron of the town, the scientist-theologian, the founder of the dervish order "Khakimi". His thousandth anniversary was celebrated in 1990 year in accordance with the decision of UNESCO. The architectural complex was being built from early IXth century and during several subsequent centuries. It consisted of a mausoleum, an aivan mosque and khanaka - the house for pilgrimaging dervishes. Originally, the mausoleum consisted of a dome construction with simple and ascetic decoration, but later the building interior was decorated by a rather rich ornament. In the late XIVth century a new burial - vault with the grand carved marble tombstone was erected next to the mausoleum"s facade. The instructive description of the saint"s life with the final apophthegm about human life caducity was inscribed on the walls in Arabian characters. The architectural complex Khakimi Ttermezi situated in old Termez, the site of ancient settlement not far from Kala, has been made made up along the centuries near the tombs sanctified by time. Here Abu-Abdallah-Mukhammad bini-Alibini-Husein al-Hakim was buried a prominent devout-sufi of the IX century from Termez, the founder of a Sufi Order”Khakimi”. Not far ago he was called by population as Termez-ota (father of Termez) and worshipped as a spirirual protector of the town; the nickname “Khakimi Termezi” that entered into medieval east literature and found written on his marble seputcher, that means”Termez Man of Wisdom”.
In Shakhri-Saman district, so was called in the last century, an archeological monument was built during the rule of Samanids dynasty. In about 3 kilometers from Old Termez, surrounded by the verdure of the gardens, one of the suburban historical monuments is situated - the castle of the IXth century with the romantic name Kirk-Kiz, or Forty Girls. According to the legend, it was in this very castle that the queen Gulayim with her companions-in-arms from the "Kirk-Kiz" epos repulsed the siege of foreign invaders. The historical information indicates that this fortified castle with the massive towers at the corners used to be the patrimony of the well-known Samanid"s dynasty. The historical items of information connected to construction of a building was not saved. In the name of district Shakhri-Saman, called so the last century, the communication with a dynasty Samanids is seen. The arrangement specifies it outside of strengthenings meedl age Termez its purpose - as country manor of a rich sort.
The building is focused on the parties of light. Each room was informed only with a corridor. Five rooms had also southwest sector, but corridors here two at the expense of the central through passage premise. In a southeast compartment a corridor one, with entrances in two rooms, and other area it borrows angular hall having, apparently, appointment mekhmonxona - by a drawing room. The window apertures shine roundabout corridors, settling down in their end face, or on one axis with light apertures in a corridor from rooms located inside sectors and which are not having from a street of direct access of light. The vaulted systems of a monument are various. The room of northwest and northeast compartments, and also northern entrance aivan were executed pieces; others threeaivans and room of a southern part of a building – are through room with an interval in 0.9 m by arches. Three pealons on a longitudinal axis mekhmonkhona, incorporating among themselves and with walls by arches, divided a hall into six squares and two rectangular compartments, probably, domes.The walls are plastered by clay.