Old Termez lies 12 km west of the modern center. Alexander the Great is credited as the founder of the city, though there is little evidence of his passage. The stuff of the Hellenistic period may still be buried under the layers of the Kushan period, when the settlement grew in importance. Two sites in the vicinity, Shor tepe and Kampyr tepe, seem to have got more importance under Achaemenid and Hellenistic rule. The latter was a fortified city at Alexander's time.
Since from the early days of the unified empire of Kanishka I (127–163), Old Termez, controlling a strategic position on the north bank of the Oxus at its junction with the Surkhan Darya, became an important center on the Silk Road and the caravan trade brought Buddhism' religious precepts along with the distinctive art forms of Gandhara style. In 689 AD the city fell to Arab Muslim invaders, replaced by the 11th century and onwards by Turkic tribes. Karakhanids erected the domed mausoleum over the grave of 9th century mystic Al Hakim At-Termizi. In 1218 Shah Muhammad II of Khwarezm ordered the execution of Mongol envoys seeking to establish trade relations. As a result Mongol armies crossed the Amur Darya and after a two-day siege razed to the ground Old Termez in their way to Urgench. The city was rebuilt in a new relocation few miles eastwards.
In the second half of the 19th century, the village of Patta Hissar became important when it was made a dock for the Russian steamships on the Amu-Darya. In 1898 Termez was annexed by the Russian crown.
By trainTermez's main lies north of the city center. There is a night train from Tashkent every second day, leaving Tashkent Pass Csentr. at 21:00 and arriving next day at 11:40.
By busComing from Afghanistan, it is possible to take a shared taxi or drive to Hairatan on the other side of the river and then walk across the border. The is in the city centre at the western end of Navoi street.
The the first half of the Gozar-Termez leg of the road from Bukhar is of poor quality and should not be underestimated. It's not uncommon to see multiple accidents on this stretch. The second half is easier and the views are some of the most breathtaking in Uzbekistan. Truckers driving these roads often don't know the area and take the corners far too fast.
As in other Uzbek cities, flag down any car as an unofficial taxi and negotiate price beforehand.
Termez Archaeological Museumphone: + (99876) 2427585address: At-Termezi str. 29aExhibits from excavations in 20 archaeological sites in Surkhandarya region.
Palace of Termez rulers
Zurmala TowerThe domed, cylindric tower is the remnant of a Buddhist stupa, built in the 3rd century AD and originally faced with tiles.
Fayaz-TepeA 3rd-century AD Buddhist monastery partially rebuilt and now open for tourist visits. 7,000 som for the entrance fee plus 7,000 som to take photos.
Kara Tepe monasteryThe remains of a Buddhist cave monastery built on top of three hills in the late 1st century AD. The complex flourished in the next centuries but was deserted when the Arabs captured the city in 705 AD and finally destroyed by the troops of Genghis Khan along with the rest of the Old Termez in 1220. In recent years the caves were partly rebuilt with support from UNESCO. Archaeological excavations revealed wall paintings with one of the world’s oldest images of Buddha surrounded by monks. A permit is required to visit, as it is so close to the Afghan border. Acquiring the permit can take several days.
Architectural Complex of Al Hakim At-TermiziSet on a hill overlooking the Amu Darya River with superb views to the shores of Afghanistan, the complex hosts the mausoleum of a Sufi saint who lived in Termez until his death in 869 AD. To get here, take marshrutka 305 from in front of the bazaar, heading north).
Architectural Ensemble Sultan SaodatThe burying place of the sheikh's clan from Termez regarded as descendants of Prophet Muhammad and therefore deeply revered by Muslims . The domed tomb of Khasan al Emir, the founder of Seyid's clan, was built in the 12th century.
AirtamRuins of an important caravan resting place on the Great Silk Road. Russian excavations have revealed two Buddhist complexes constructed above an earlier Hellenistic fort and Kushan coins. As of September 2017, Airtam lies in a restricted border area, closed for tourists.
Zul Kifl MausoleumBuilt in the late 11th century, the mausoleum has a tall portal and a dome chamber on simple squinches
Isa at-Tirmidhi Mausoleum
Kampyr TepeThe results of the excavations certify to the authenticity of the monument and allows identifying it with the ancient city of Alexandria Oxiana.
Kyrk-Kyz FortressKirk Kiz Khanaka is thought to be the ruins of a castle or a summer retreat for the dynasty of Samanids. The name Kirk-Kiz means "Forty Girls" and according to local legends the Amazons were living here.
Burger Housephone: +998 762252193address: Alisher Navoiy Street 18Very reasonably priced, smart and clean corner cafe. Friendly owners who are also involved in Couchsurfing in Termez. Drinks, burgers, doner, lavash, hot dogs, 'non dogs' and desserts. Halal certified meat. Blinds might be down but it is open. Free Wi-Fi (ask for code).
Meridian Termez Hotelphone: +998 91 577 90 65address: 23, Alpomish StrIn the city center with restaurant, bar, swimming pool and sauna
SurxonBuffet, hairdresser on ground floor. Under new management. Price has nearly doubled for foreigners
Assonaddress: 27, At-Termezi ko‘chasiSwimming pool is out of operation.
- Sharq Hotel, English speaking staff. Clean rooms. Prices range from US$30 to $50 for a double room.
Akant guest housesphone: +998 97 781 77 17address: At-termiziy 6, House number 6