Termez is a small city in the southernmost part of Uzbekistan near the Hairatan border crossing of Afghanistan. It is the hottest point of Uzbekistan. 

In the 6th century BC Achaemenids already called the city ancient city. In 329 BC Alexander the Great conquered the Termez. Later founder ofGreco-Bactrian kingdom named Demetrius Demetris city. As part of the Kushan Empire (1st to 3rd century BC) The city was called Ta-li-mi (in the Chinese Tu-mi, Tami. During this period, the city became an important center of Buddhism.

photo-08-termez-uzbekistan.jpgIn the 5th and 6th centuries the city was ruled by Hephthalites, Sassanids.

In the 7th century the city was ruled by native Termez shah dynasty.

In 705 the city was captured by the Arabs and it became one of centers of Islam during the Abbadids and Samanids Empire.

From the 9th through the 12th centuries Termez was a big city and a cultural center. It was popular for shopping and crafts. At this time the length of the fortifications of the city was 10 miles, there were nine gates. During this period Termez was a part of the Ghaznavids, Seljuk and Karakhanids. In 1206 the town became part of the stateKhorezmshahs.

In 1220 after a two-day siege, the city was destroyed by the troops of Genghis Khan.

A new city was erected to the east of the old town. Rui Gonzales de Klaviho, the ambassador sent by Castilian King Henry III to Amir Temur, gave the best description of this new town: "entering the city, we were going so long crossing squares and crowded streets that we came home tired and angry.


A new location, established in the XIX century, had been growing to the south of the late medieval location, closer to the Amudarya. Before it was destroyed by Genghis Khan, Buddhism played a considerable part in the ideology of ancient Termez for seven centuries I - VII (AD). Several Buddhist sites were uncovered during the archeological works around the city which remind about the days when Termez was one of the Buddhist centers.

In the second half of the 13th century Termez was restored to the east, on the right bank of Surxondaryo River, was part of the Timurid empire, then Shaybanids. By the second half of the 18th century the city was abandoned. The only inhabited villages were Salavat and Pattakesar (Pattagissar) in the vicinity of the ancient city.

Termez, being a town with a centuries-old history, is today one of the major economic centers of Uzbekistan.

Main historical sights

  • Kyrk-Kyz Fortess (out-of-town Palace Country Estate) (9th–14th centuries)
  • Palace of Termez rulers (11th–12th centuries)
  • Architectural Complex of Al Hakim At-Termizi (10th–15th centuries)
  • Architectural Ensemble Sultan Saodat (10th–18th centuries)
  • Kokildora Khanaka (16th century)
  • Kara-Tepe Buddhist Monastery (2nd–4th centuries)
  • Fayaz-Tepe Buddhist Monastery (1st–3rd centuries)
  • Zurmala Tower (1st–2nd century AD)
  • Isa At-Tirmidhi Mausoleum (9th century AD), in the suburb of Sherobod, 60 kilometers north of Termez.
  • Zul Kifl Mausoleum in the island Aral-Paygambar on the Amu Darya river. It is not possible to access it at the moment since it is in the military zone and the restricted nature reserve.