Termez is the administrative center of the Surkhandarya region. The southernmost city with the south climate and atmosphere. It is considered to be one of the most ancient cities in Asia, along with Samarkand and Bukhara, Termez is more than 2500 years old. When the troops of Alexander the Great invaded Central Asia in the 4th century BC, a large settlement already existed on the territory of modern Termez.
After liberation from Greek-Macedonian rule, from the 1st century AD, Termez was a major center of Buddhist culture. Subsequently, the city was a place for philosophers and theologians. In addition to the Greek and Buddhist cultures, Islamic religion and Sufism were actively spreading here. Termez had a strategic position: until the 18th century, it was the main city on the road to India, Afghanistan, and even Europe. The diversity of cultures left its architectural mark. The city was rebuilt but retained many monumental buildings, so Termez is the city where a lot of tourists complete their tour around Uzbekistan. There are a lot of interesting places to visit in Termez.
10 kilometers from modern Termez there is one of the Buddhist relics – the tower or stupa of Zurmala. Stupas are religious buildings and have a sacred meaning. They were part of the rites and served as a repository for relics. The tower is over 2000 years old and, of course, it was not preserved in its original form. Now it is a building made of square bricks, 14 meters high, cylindrical in shape. According to archaeologists, the stupa stood on a two-meter pedestal lined with white stone, which has not survived to this day. Now it is impossible to say for sure whether Zurmala was an independent building or a part of a religious ensemble. Zurmala is highly recommended to visit, as it is a real, miraculously preserved monument of antiquity, which never knew the restoration.
Moreover, the ruins of the fortress Kirk Kiz (Forty Girls) are of great interest to tourists. It was built 1000 years ago in the Zoroastrian era and destroyed by the Arabs. There were 54-meter walls and towers on four sides of the fortress, and the roof was only partially preserved. The whole fortress is open to visitors and you can go inside, where there are several dozen rooms and a large reception hall. It is not known exactly what the fortress was intended for and how its name originated, but there are many legends concerning this. One of them says that when all the soldiers died in the war with the nomads and the fortress remained the last bastion of resistance, forty girls began to defend the city. They fought bravely, but could not restrain the enemy. When the last of them was injured by an enemy arrow, she went out to meet the enemy and challenged the leader of the nomads. However, when they saw how beautiful the girl was, the warriors were completely confused and dropped their weapons.
The Sultan-Saodat memorial complex (King of Happiness) dates back to the Islamic era. Here are buried Termez seyyids – the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. They spread Islam and were very respected among the people. As in other memorial complexes, a mosque was built in Sultan-Saodat. The entire architectural style is very modest, unlike other mausoleums of that era in other cities of Uzbekistan.
It is worth mentioning a modern building of a religious sense. In 1904 an Orthodox church was built in Termez, now bearing the name of St. Alexander Nevsky. After 1927, the temple was closed, its bell tower was dismantled. The temple was re-consecrated in 1990 and since then it is opened for parishioners and tourists visiting Termez.
In fact, there are many other interesting places in Termez. For example, the Termez State Archaeological Museum, the mausoleum of Al-Hakim at-Termezi or Karatepa – the oldest Central Asian Buddhist monastery.