One of the important historical sites of the Syrdarya Region of the city of Termez is the Jarkurgan minaret, built at the beginning of the 12th century. This is one of the oldest minarets in Uzbekistan, which at the same time has been preserved in a very good condition.
This site is located 60 kilometers from the Old Town in the Minor village, which embodies the spirit of Uzbekistan.
Rising above the city, the Jarkurgan minaret in the old days was the part of the central cathedral mosque, which was located in the center of Termez suburb.
It was built upon the personal order of Ahmad Sanjar, the last sultan of the Great Seljuq Empire. The legends say that Sultan Sanjar undertook a military campaign against the Alamut Asassins, but abandoned his plans, when he woke up one day to find a dagger near him, pinning a note from asassins stating that they would like peace. Nobody of the numerous guards of the ruler saw how the dagger ended up in the tent where the sultan was taking a rest.
The minaret was removed from the mosque itself to some extent, this could be seen on photographs and drawings of that time, which clearly show that the inhabitants who served in this mosque did not consider the minaret and the mosque as the whole.
It was quite high and had a second level, decorated with a lighthouse of some sort that help wanderers to find the right way. Unfortunately, the minaret has not preserved all its height and scale to our time. But despite all this, we can observe what remains of its former glory: sixteen closed columns, combined with one horizontal boom with ornaments, unusual for us but very common back in days.
The rich decorativeness of the building gives the impression of softness and lightness. Among other things, such effect became possible thanks to the figure herringbone masonry, which is more typical for the Indian architecture than for Central Asian one. Square ganch mortar-based calcined brick was used for building construction.
Today, the height of the Jarkurgan minaret is 21.6 meters, the diameter is 4.1 meters, at the base above the basement is about 5.4 meters. In 1927 this architectural monument was measured and examined by B.N. Zasypkin. In 1948, team of constructors led by V. P. Petrov strengthened the attraction.
It is assumed that the original height of the minaret was 40 meters, which makes it the tallest building in the city.
Canaan Travel recommends to visit the Jarkurgan minaret for anyone interested in the ancient architecture and unique Eastern culture. Termez and its outskirts are the place where you can witness a living history.