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 2: Kokildor-Ota Khanaka

15th century Termez was a city on the brink of transition.  The Timirud epoch was in full swing, decedents of Amir Timur fighting amongst themselves to maintain the vestiges of his once great empire, and putting their own personal stamp on things with monumental construction projects all over Central Asia.  The Sayyids were still hanging … Continue reading Day 2: Kokildor-Ota Khanaka

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 10: Buddhist Stupa of Zurmala

We never got our Uzbek cotton field experience until we decided to visit the archeological wonderland of Termez and vicinity in June 2018.  After a short drive from the 3rd century AD Buddhist monastery of Fayoz-Tepe into the dusty countryside, we turned off the main road and down to the end of a dirt track … Continue reading Day 10: Buddhist Stupa of Zurmala

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