TERMEZ and BOYSUN: archaeological “Klondike” and masterpiece of folklore.
Route description: Termez archeological museum> ancient settlement of old Termez> Fayaz-Tepabonzery (Buddhist monastery) > Kampir-Tepa antique settlement> Sayrob> “Iron Gates”> Derbend> Kurganzol fortress > Baysun.
Duration: 2 days.
Transport: vehicle (first day: Termez outskirts, second day- Baysun.)
The territory of the most southern region of Uzbekistan – Surkhandarya used to be a part of historical Bactria in ancient times. These places (locations) abound in archeological monuments of the times of Akhemenid tsars, Alexander the Great, Greco-Bactrian tsars, Kushan. It is better to start the express-tour (short-term tour) to the area from Termez, where you can reach by plane or night train. There is an archeological museum, which is the biggest in the region. In ancient times Termez used to be a big river port and at the beginning of the new era a huge Buddhist worship center arose over there. A part of it – the reconstructed Buddhist monastery Fayaz-tepa – is open for visitors, and to visit the other cave temple complex – the Kara-tepa, you need to have a special permission. In 20 kilometers down the Amudarya stream there is one more wonderful monument – Kampir-tepa, a city-port of the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD with a powerful citadel and “down town” walled with towers.
It is appropriate to devote the second day to the Baysun district located in the south-west spurs of the Gissar mountain ranges. Visually it is a territory of fantastic landscapes competing with Texas with its exotics. It is interesting to visit the remains of the circular fortress of Alexander at the railway station “Rabad”. Between Sayrob and Derbend at the slope of the Suzistag massif at a height of 1700 meters there are ruins of the ancient Uzundar masonry fortress. And next to the “Derbend” Road Control office there are famous “Iron Gates” – the wall of Kushan period with a fortress blocking the gorge. Baysun is also widely known with its folklore heritage acknowledged by UNESCO as masterpiece of world importance.