In the valley of ancient Surkhon, located southeast of old Termez, there is one of the most striking historical attractions of Uzbekistan — the oldest building on the territory of the Central Asia. This is the real symbol of one of the most common religions now — Zurmala Buddhist Stupa.
During the reign of the Kushan dynasty (1-3 centuries B.C.), Buddhism was widespread throughout the Central Asia. Stupa, an ancient Buddhist religious symbol, is a religious building which symbolize the death of the god, Buddha, and his burial. Such ancient buildings also include this attraction, built during the reign of Kanishka I, one of the most famous kings of Kushan. Those days, the Kushan kingdom reached its greatest economic and cultural prosperity.
The stupa is a cylindrical structure with a spherical roof. The stupa located on a square platform of 13 meters height. The base of the monument is 14.5 meters in diameter.
The building made of square bricks brought from abroad with a line and two notches — a special identification mark of the Kushan dynasty. According to experts, more than one million of such bricks were used to build Stupa.
A burnt brick was used for the decoration of Stupa Zurmal. It’s scarlet on the outside. In the uppermost part of the building was a special chamber for storage of historical relics, above which rod with “umbrellas of honor”, symbols of nobility and noble origin rose. The Stupa was badly damaged, unfortunately, neither the rod nor the umbrellas were preserved until today. Today we can only see the facade parts of the tower adjacent to the stupa.
During archaeological excavations in the region, almost 40 monuments of Buddhist era were found, half of them are located on the modern territory of independent Uzbekistan.
This place is very important not only for Uzbekistan, but also for the whole world, since buildings like this one have been preserved in small numbers. Canaan Travel invites everyone interested in Buddhism and ancient history to visit Termez, a city where concentrated many historical monuments of the beginning of the first millennium A.D., when Buddhism had great influence in this region.
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