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Termez: General information
Termez, one of the largest and most ancient cities in Uzbekistan, located adjacent to the border between the Uzbeks and the Afghans, is the economic and cultural center of Surkhandarya. That’s why; it is both politically and economically important to the republic. The population of Termez is about 130 000 people. The distance from the capital city Tashkent is 700 km. Its territory is 27,8 sq. km. long. The climate of Termez is sharp continental, hot and dry, with hot summers; the winter is warm and short. Annual rainfall is 133 mm.
The city has a history of more than 2 500 years. According to archaeological findings, the favorable geographical location of the city allowed for the ancient inhabitants of the Termez city to construct the trade roads, connecting both the east countries to the west ones. And that factor served to the city as an economic booster and contributed a lot to the development of the town. It is important to note that, the trade roads which passed through Termez were significant branches of the Great Silk Road. In 329 BC, the town was conquered by Alexander the Great, later on, the city had become a part of the Kushan empire, that was when the city was a large center of Buddhism in the 1st–3rd- centuries. As the span of five centuries, the city flourished and had many dynasties, such as the Hephthalites and Sassanids. By the 705s, the city was captured by the Arab invaders, and the Islam religion was introduced to the citizens. After being one of the important provinces of the Khorezmshahs in 1206, Genghis Khan with his troops destroyed the holy city. The city was restored and developed by the second half of the 13th- century when it was conquered by the Tamerlane who was the founder of the Timurids dynasty. According to historians, by the second part of the 18th- century, local people abandoned the city, as the result of continuous attempts to conquer the city, and the Emir (King) of Bukhara gave the land to the Russian Empire to build a Russian fortress. After the revolution of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union came to govern the city, and by 1928s the city once more had a name back “Termez”. During the Soviet era, the city was a bit developed, as there were several factories and institutions. However, it is prominent to note that, only after the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Termez has reached its highest point of development.
In November 1999, at the 30th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, it was decided to celebrate the 2500 – year anniversary of one of the ancient Central Asian cities, Termez, in 2001. In connection with this decision, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted a special resolution on December 27, 1999 “On the organization and preparation of the 2500th-anniversary of Termez in 2001”.
Today, there are more than 2500 enterprises in Termez, including micro firms, small and medium enterprises, and also enterprises with foreign investment. Cotton cleaning, construction materials production; light and food industries are the major branches of the economy of the city.
There are several historical and architectural monuments in and out of Termez. They belong to various periods: the early ones relate to the Kushan Kingdom of the 1st century: Dalverzintepe – the most ancient Buddhist monument, Karatepa Complex, and the Buddhist stupa Zurmala, Kyrk-Kyz Fortress witnessing unique medieval architecture, the khanaqah Kukildor Ota (shelter for Sufi and poor travelers) – one of Termez’s esteemed sights, an amazing architectural ensemble Sultan Saodat, and Khakim-at-Termezi Mausoleum, which is famous all over the Islamic world.
A trip to Termez once closed for foreign tourists due to its close location to the Afghan border, nowadays is welcomed and easy for tourists of any nationality. Mostly Japanese and American tourists; archeology-oriented and pilgrimage-oriented tourists love to visit Termez!
List of main historical and ancient sights of Termez:
- Archeological museum;
- Ayritom settlement (II century BC);
- Bolaliktepa fortress (V-VII centuries);
- Dalvarzintepa settlement (I-III centuries);
- Fayaztepa complex (I-III centuries);
- Friendship bridge;
- Jarkurgan minaret (XII centuries);
- Kampirtepa citadel (IV BC-AD II centuries);
- Karatepa Buddhist cult center (II-IV centuries);
- Khakim at-Termezi memorical complex (IX-XV centuries);
- Kholchayon hillfort (V-IV centuries BC);
- Kirk Kiz fortress (IX-X centuries);
- Kokildor Ota Khanaka and Mausoleum (XVI century);
- Sartepa (II century BC);
- Sultan Saodat complex (X-XVII centuries);
- Zul-Kifl Mausoleum (XI-XII centuries);
- Zurmala stupa (I-II centuries).