Trip to TERMEZ
In the extreme south of the Republic of Uzbekistan is located Surkhandarya region. This basin is surrounded by the Tien Shan mountain range (ranges – Hissar, Surkhantau, Babatag).
Surkhandarya River Valley is an outpost of Uzbekistan: on the north-eastern border with Tajikistan, in the south-west – with Turkmenistan, and in the south – with Afghanistan. The northern part of the region – Piedmont – a mild warm climate.
There’s even grown subtropical fruits and sugar cane.The central part of the valley is occupied by irrigated crops staple cotton, maize, mung bean, sorghum and in the floodplain of Surkhandarya – rice. On the slopes of the hills grazing Karakul sheep. The southern part of Surkhandarya – the hottest place in Uzbekistan – in summer the temperature of + 50º C – a common phenomenon. Here villages do not have typical gardens and vineyards for Uzbekistan.
The reason for this – the wind “Afghan” (from Afghanistan). From his hot breath for a few hours wither and fall off the leaves from the plant. South Valley is known for its oil and gas fields. From a historical point of view, Surkhandarya – is an archaeological paradise: Stone Age caves, remains of Bactrian Buddhist temples and palaces, mosques and mausoleums of the early Islamic period – everywhere there are traces of civilizations gone into oblivion. The administrative center of the region – the city of Termez – the southern-most border town of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It is located on the right bank of the Amu Darya River, which forms the state border with Afghanistan. Here is the biggest river port of the country. At 40km from Termez railway bridge stretches “Hairatan” (former name “Friendship”), which connects the two banks of the Amu Darya. It was built by Soviet builders in 1981. The length of the bridge – 816 m. In 1996, the movement on it was closed in Uzbekistan unilaterally in order to security. At 20 km west of Termez on the current area of 10 ha are located settlement of the “old” Termez, formed at the old crossing on the banks of the Amu Darya.
Foundation of the city dates back to the III-II centuries BC, when there is a strengthening of ( fortress’),surrounded by walls. According to historians, the information in the IV century BC here, next to the crossing, one of seven Alexandria, built by Alexander the Great in what is now Central Asia was built.
In the first centuries of our era the ancient city grows in breadth, it distinguishes residential and industrial quarters, religious complexes, in particular, large Buddhist monasteries.Buddhism was introduced here from India in the I century BC much earlier than the spread in China, Korea and Japan. The flowering of medieval Termez occurs in the X-XII centuries when formed suburbs and erected many buildings of civil and religious architecture. As a result of archeological excavations uncovered the remains of the Palace of Termez rulers (XI-XII centuries). City killed at the Mongol conquest in the early XIII century, but re-composed to the East of the original in the XV century.
Basic historical architectural objects
- Karatepe and Fayaztepe settlement (I-II cc.)
- Zurmala Tower (II c.)
- Khakimi at-Termezi complex (XI-XV cc.)
- Sultan-Saodat necropolis ensemble (XII-XVII cc.)
- Kampirtepe citadel (VI-II cc. B.C.)
- Kirk-Kiz summer residence (IX-X cc.)
- Kokildora khanaka-mausoleum (XVI c.)
- Horse-riding tour – 2 days
- Teshik-Tash cave
- On the way to Termez – “Metal Gate” and Jarkurgan minaret (1110 y.)
Surkhandarya region – was founded in 1941 year.
Area – 20,1 thousand km2 .
The administrative center is the city of Termez (708 km from Tashkent).
Viloyat is located in the far South of Uzbekistan. Borders with Tajikistan (the Eastern part), with Afghanistan (in the South) and with Turkmenistan (in the West). The Surkhan-Sherabad valley occupies most of the territory of the region, which is surrounded by mountain ranges: Babatag – in the East, Gissar – in the North, Baysuntau and Kugitangtau – in the West.
The terrain and landscape of the region is diverse: mountains, foothill plains, river valleys. The main water arteries of the Amudarya, Surkhandarya and Sherabad. Many small rivers.
The climate here is dry subtropical: warm, almost snowless winters (-30 C, -40 C) and hot, dry summers (+450 C). The South of the region is characterized by dry winds, especially annoying “Afghan”, which carries a lot of dust from Afghanistan.
Fertile lands in river valleys, a favorable climate, mountain forests, giving abundant harvests of wild fruits and a diverse wildlife, contributed to the early settlement of this territory by an ancient man. In the valleys of the rivers of the Baysuntau ridge, the first human sites dating to the Middle Paleolithic Age – 100-40 thousand BC were discovered. (Grotto Teshiktash – in the gorge of Zauloshsai). The largest number of ancient monuments on the territory of Uzbekistan are located in the Surkhandarya region – this is a whole “chronicle of centuries”.
The irrigation system of agriculture and the favorable climatic conditions of the Surkhan-Sherabad valley give an opportunity to grow thermophilic crops here: fine cotton varieties (almost 50% of the sown area), citrus fruits, persimmon, figs, grapes, melons. This is the only region in the country for growing sugar cane. The South Uzbek selection fruit and grape station of the Shreder Institute operates here, on the territory of which unique decorative trees are grown, whose seedlings are also exported to Uzbekistan.
Extensive pasture lands (mainly mountain ranges) allow to successfully develop livestock, especially sheep breeding. Region is the homeland of the sheep of the gissar breed, which has no equal in the output of fat and meat. Karakul sheep are grown here, too.
The subsoil of the region is rich in minerals: oil and gas (Khavdag, Lalmikar, Kakaidy), coal (Shargunskoye and Baysunskoye deposits – 2 out of 3 in Uzbekistan), zinc, lead, potassium and table salt, building materials, phosphates, precious metals.
The region’s industry is mainly concerned with the processing of raw cotton and other agricultural products. The enterprises of the oil and coal industry, the experimental silk-weaving factory, the plant of ceramics and art products, many enterprises of the textile, clothing, flour-grinding, dairy, and wine-making industries operate.
Higher educational institutions of the region are represented by Termez State University.
On the right bank of the Amu Darya river, at the confluence of the Surkhandarya river, is the regional center – the city of Termez. The modern city was built near the “old” Termez, the oldest city in Uzbekistan, once blooming and vast, but destroyed as a result of enemy invasions and internecine dynastic wars. Monuments of Buddhist culture are preserved on the ancient sites of the “old” city.
Termez is also the largest river port of Central Asia.