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Buddhist cult center of Karatepa

Buddhist cult center of Karatepa — photo 1

During excavations after the discovery of several caves near Termez in 1928, a structure was discovered that resembled a ceremonial place, a temple. The entrances were blocked with debris and sandy layers, so it took several seasons of rubble removal work to get deep into the temple. But the works of archaeologists were rewarded many times, when during excavations it became clear that the temple is not one, and many caves lead to a whole complex of buildings of the 2nd century A.D.

This place is called “Black Hills” (Karatepa) for a reason – the complex is built on sandstones.

Many bas-reliefs, ceramic fragments, coins were found. After three seasons of excavation, the inner courtyard of the complex, as well as the fragments of the statue of human height, were seen.

A particularly important find that has shaken the archaeological world was a part of the wall painting “Buddha and Monks”, which collapsed from the wall and was blocked with tons of sand and stones over seventeen centuries. The painting cracked, but it still kept its integrity.

A whole network of passages connected this complex, turning it into an aggregate of underground and aboveground structures. In construction, painting, statues and household items, clay was preferred. In fact, the clay was the basis of everything in the temple. Some parts of the drawings were made of limestone.

In each temple of the monastery you can find the image of Buddha, animals and sacred symbols.

A part of the Buddha’s wall fresco, which is depicted sitting in a pose for a dyne was preserved. The fresco is frayed but retains the beauty of Buddhist tradition.

Buddhism in Termez has deep roots. Bactria, whose culture can be clearly seen in this place, was the first Buddhist center in Central Asia. After Buddhism left India’s native land, missionaries successfully brought their teachings to the region and established themselves here. However, the exact time of the birth of Buddhism in ancient Termez is still unknown. Approximately it happened between 1st century B.C. and 1st century A.D.

8-9 centuries became tragic for Buddhism on these lands, as imposed by force by Arabs Islam superseded all other doctrines and beliefs. Buddhism had lost its key importance and its attractions and temples had begun to fall into disrepair.

Canaan Travel invites all residents and guests of Uzbekistan to visit a unique historical site – Buddhist cult center of Karatepa. We will create all conditions for you to have the best rest in Termez and take care of all your concerns.