Day 1: Uzbekistan

It's late June in Tashkent, 11am, 32° in the shade (90°F), UV index off the charts, 24% humidity.  A really nice day for this time of year.  We walk to Café Breadly from our house through the mahalla where the workers from the regions have been busy on on all the various house construction/remodel projects since … Continue reading Day 1: Uzbekistan

Day 3: Fayoz-Tepe

While Kara-Tepe may be the more exciting Buddhist monastical complex, located well within the sensitive border zone, requiring advance permission, nice view of Afghanistan, and shrapnel mixed in among the ancient pot shards, Fayoz-Tepe is decidedly the more monumental of the two.  They're even within sight of each other, and date from the same period, … Continue reading Day 3: Fayoz-Tepe

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 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 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

Termez may be best known for its many Buddhist archeological sites, but the 2,500 year old city also boasts several important architectural landmarks from the Islamic era.  For those travelers already familiar with the Sah-i-Zinda Necropolis in Samarkand, the Sultan Saodat Ensemble may seem underwhelming, however those who make the effort to explore this ancient mausoleum … Continue reading Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

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 20: Palace of Arts – Turkistan

Located between Independence Square and the Monument of Courage, directly across the street from Tashkent's Crying Mother Monument, the Palace of Arts "Turkiston" is another of the Uzbek capital city's most imposing Soviet era monuments visitors will find hard to miss. Construction started in the final days of the USSR, but was derailed by lack of … Continue reading Day 20: Palace of Arts – Turkistan