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Termiz / Термиз
Termiz ArchaeNuseum 20141023.jpg
Khakim-at-Termezi-Komplex Gesamt.jpg
Sultan Saodat Komplex Seit.JPG
22Ал-Хаким Термизий.jpg
Kirk-Kiz fortress - Interior-6.jpg
Termiz, Fayoz-Tepe (6240998331).jpg
Kirk-Kiz fortress - Exterior.jpg
Termez is located in Uzbekistan
Location in Uzbekistan
Termez is located in West and Central Asia
Termez (West and Central Asia)
Coordinates: 37°13′N 67°17′E / 37.217°N 67.283°E / 37.217; 67.283Coordinates: 37°13′N 67°17′E / 37.217°N 67.283°E / 37.217; 67.283
Country Uzbekistan
RegionSurxondaryo Region
 • TypeCity Administration
 • Total36 km2 (14 sq mi)
302 m (991 ft)
 • Total136,200
 • Density3,800/km2 (9,800/sq mi)
Postal code

Termez (Uzbek: Termiz/Термиз; Tajik: Тирмиз; Persian: ترمذTermez, Tirmiz; Arabic: ترمذTirmidh; Russian: Термез; Ancient Greek: Tàrmita, Thàrmis, Θέρμις) is a city in the southernmost part of Uzbekistan near the Hairatan border crossing of Afghanistan. It is the hottest point of Uzbekistan. It has a population of 140,404 (1 January 2005), and is the capital of Surxondaryo Region.


The modern name of the city came through the Sogdian Tarmiδ dating back to Old Iranian tara-maiθa, which means "a place of transition" (tara-crossing, crossing; maiθa-place). In ancient times there was an important crossing on the Amu Darya river.

Some link the name of the city to Greek thermos "hot", tracing its name back to Alexander the Great.[1] Others suggest that it came from Sanskrit taramato , meaning "on the river bank".[2]


In ancient times[edit]

The date of the founding of the city of Old Termez, located a few kilometers west of the modern city, is not known. In April 2002 there was a celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of the city of Termez.[3]

Termez, on the right bank of the river Amu Darya, is one of Central Asia's old towns. The city has developed in various places in history throughout the current city, representing many cultural layers represented in ruins of historical sites.[4]

The city was known to Achaemenids in the 6th century BC. In 329 BC Alexander the Great conquered Termez. Later Demetrius, the founder of Greco-Bactrian kingdom named it Demetris. 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.[citation needed]

Walls of Old Termez.

In the 5th and 6th centuries the city was ruled by Hephthalites and Sassanids.

In the 7th century the city was ruled by the native Termez shah dynasty. It was a vassal of Gokturks.

In 705 the city was captured by the Arabs and it became one of the centres of Islam during the Abbadids and Samanids Empire, producing notable scholars like Imam Al-Tirmidhi.

From the 9th to the 12th centuries Termez was a big city and a cultural centre and was popular for shopping and crafts. At this time the length of the fortifications of the city was 16 kilometres (10 miles) long with nine gates. During this period Termez was a part of the Ghaznavids, Seljuk and Karakhanids. In 1206 the town became part of the state Khorezmshahs.

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

Ibn Battuta noted the city had "fine buildings and bazaars, traversed by canals, and with many gardens."[5]

In the second half of the 13th century Termez was restored to the east, on the right bank of Surxondaryo River, as 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.

In the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union[edit]

Elephant among Lotus Flowers, Old Termez, 2nd–3rd cent CE.

In January 1893 the emirate of Bukhara gave the land of the village Pattakesar to the Russian government to build a Russian fortress and garrison and a military border fortification, where the Amu Darya river port was built.

In 1928 as part of the Soviet Union, Pattakesar was renamed and took the city's ancient name Termez. In 1929, the village became a town.

During the years of Soviet rule industrial enterprises were built and a Pedagogical Institute and a theatre were opened.

For many years after the Second World War the 108th Motor Rifle Division, the former 360th Rifle Division, was based in the town.

During the Soviet–Afghan War (1979–1989), Termez was an important military base; over 100,000 Soviet troops were based there. A military airfield and a road-rail bridge across the Amu Darya ("Bridge of Friendship") were built.

Independent Uzbekistan[edit]

In 1992 the Pedagogical Institute was upgraded to Termez State University.

In 2001, Germany began operating a base in Termez. The military airfield was the main support base for German and Dutch forces operating with the ISAF for transiting goods into Afghanistan. It was closed in 2015.[6]

In July 2009 It was decided to establish a "Termez regional railway junction" which will be one of the main places in the planned transit of non-lethal NATO supplies to Afghanistan. The transit will be through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan bypassing Turkmenistan through the railway in 2009 Tashguzar-Boysun-Kumkurgan.[citation needed]

In June 2015, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif announced the construction of the Gwadar–Termez Highway, which would connect Uzbekistan via a road network to the Arabian sea at Gwadar Port in Pakistan.[7]

Cultural and historical sites[edit]

  • Termez Archaeological Museum opened in 2002 to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of Termez.[3] It exhibits archaeological finds and other historic artefacts from sites across Surxondaryo Region. The modern building has a turquoise domed roof and an attractively tiled facade. It is one of the largest and best museums in Uzbekistan.[8] There are around 27,000 items in the collection.[3]
Much of the museum’s collection focuses on Termez’s Buddhist history, in particular the Graeco-Bactrian and Kushan eras. There are scale models of archeological sites including Kampir Tepe, Fayaz Tepe, and Khalchayan; and magnificent wall paintings and sculptures, as well as coins, ceramics, and even ancient chess sets.[9]
  • Kyr Kyz (The 40 Girls Fortress) takes its name from a Central Asian legend about a princess and her 40 companions who defended their land against invaders.[10] Although this monument is called a fortress, archeologists believe it was actually either a caravanserai or a summer palace.[8] It was built during the 9th century in the Samanid period. Although it is now in ruins, it is still possible to see the 54m long mud brick walls, which in places are two storeys high. One section has been restored so you are able to compare the old and the new.[8]
  • The Al Hakim At-Termizi architectural complex dates from the 10th to 15th centuries. It is centred on the mud brick mausoleum of Al Hakim At-Termizi, a Sufi saint, jurist, and writer who died in Termez in 859. The site was expanded and improved at the instigation of Timur’s son, Shah Rukh, in the 15th century.[8]
  • The Sultan Saodat architectural ensemble developed in stages between the 10th and 17th centuries. It was the family necropolis of the Termez Sayyids, a politically and religiously influential local dynasty which claimed descent from Ali. There are approximately 120 graves in the complex, as well as a number of religious buildings. The mortar holding the mud bricks together is an unusual  mixture of clay, egg yolk, camels’ blood, and milk. There are pre-Islamic decorative symbols on some of the buildings, including a Zorastrian star motif which represents infinity and fertility.
  • The Kokil Dara Khanagha was built by Abdullah Khan II of Bukhara in the 16th century. The building was created as a resting place for itinerant Sufi dervishes and other holy men. It has cultural links with various buildings in Afghanistan, including the styling of the vaulted ceiling. There is no central courtyard as this order of Sufis didn’t whirl, but instead focused on quiet, solitary meditation.[8]
  • Kara Tepe is a rock cut Buddhist temple complex founded in the 2nd century AD on the hills outside Termez. It is right on the Uzbek–Afghan border, and so a permit is required to visit.[8] The site includes cave cells (which were used as burial sites once the temple was abandoned in the 4th century), a series of brick buildings, and small stupas. It is similar in design to other Buddhist temples built in Gandhara.[11]
  • Fayaz Tepe is a Buddhist monastery, most of which dates from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD. The main stupa (which is now encased in a protective dome) could be much older.[8] Fayaz Tepe was a regionally important site, attracting Buddhist scholars from along the Silk Road, as is evidenced by pottery finds inscribed with Brahmi, Punjabi, Kharosthi, and Bactrian scripts.[8] The Buddhist frescoes excavated here are now on display in the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan  in Tashkent.[12]
  • The Zurmala Stupa is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Uzbekistan, dating from the 1st to 2nd centuries AD. Its brick structure is 16m high and is the only remaining part of a vast Buddhist stupa which would have been originally clad in stone and richly decorated.[8]
  • Kampir Tepe was a substantial city built on the Amu Darya river by Alexander the Great. Known as Alexandria on the Oxus, the city had an important harbour with a lighthouse, as well as a citadel, temples, and a gateway that is a replica of one found in Pamphylia in Turkey. The site is still being excavated by archeologists but is open to the public.


The river Amu Darya divides the two countries of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan and the Afghanistan–Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge crosses the river to Hairatan in Afghanistan. Termez is also served by Termez Airport, with flights to Tashkent and Moscow. Termez is connected with Uzbek Railways to other cities of the countries and Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. Tashkent–Termez (no. 379) and Termez–Tashkent (no. 380) train runs every day.[13] DushanbeKanibadam (no. 367) and Kanibadam-Dushanbe (No: 368) trains also pass through Termez.


The officially registered population of Termez in 2005 was 140,404. Uzbeks and Tajiks are the largest ethnic groups.


Termez has a cold desert climate (BWk) with very hot, long summers and short, cool winters.

Climate data for Termez (1981–2010, extremes 1936–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.9
Average high °C (°F) 10.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.2
Average low °C (°F) −0.3
Record low °C (°F) −23.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 24.3
Average precipitation days 10 11 11 8 5 1 1 0 1 3 6 9 66
Average snowy days 4 3 1 0.03 0.1 0 0 0 0.03 0.1 1 3 12
Average relative humidity (%) 77 71 66 57 45 36 36 38 45 53 65 76 55
Mean monthly sunshine hours 139.5 144.1 189.1 246.0 334.8 375.0 384.4 362.7 315.0 257.3 195.0 139.5 3,082.4
Mean daily sunshine hours 4.5 5.1 6.1 8.2 10.8 12.5 12.4 11.7 10.5 8.3 6.5 4.5 8.4
Source 1: Centre of Hydrometeorological Service of Uzbekistan[14]
Source 2: Pogoda.ru.net (mean temperatures/humidity/snow days 1981–2010, record low and record high temperatures),[15] Deutscher Wetterdienst (sun 1961–1990)[16]

Notable people of ancient Termez[edit]

  • Its most famous native son is Al-Tirmidhi, born in its suburb Bugh and buried 60 kilometers north of Termez, on the outskirts of Sherobod, Uzbekistan. He is one of the six canonical hadith collectors of Sunni Islam. He is locally known as Abu Isa At Termezi.
  • Hakim-at-Termizi, one of the famous Sufi theologians, is buried in old Termez which is in the suburbs of modern Termez. He is also known as Termez Ota (a patron saint of Termez).
  • Sayyid Ali Akbar was an Islamic saint, the son of the eleventh Shia Imam, Hasan al-Askari and the brother of the twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi. Sayyid Ali Akbar is Sultan Saadat (Sodot) who died in Termez. His burial place is located in the main mausoleum Sultan Saodat memorial complex in Termez.
  • Adib Sabir, 12th-century Persian poet
  • Said Baraka was from old Termez. He was a philosopher, war strategist and religious nobleman, and Amir Temur's teacher.
  • Ali Termezi known as "Pir Baba" was a Sayyid born in Termez, (1502–1583 CE). His mausoleum is in a village named Pir Baba after him in Buner District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • Valery Khalilov (1952–2016) was born in Termez. He was a Russian general and a composer.

Main historical sights[edit]

Stallholders in Termez Market
  • Kyrk-Kyz Fortress (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)
  • Abu 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ E. M. Pospelov, Geograficheskie nazvaniya mira (Moscow, 1998), p. 415: "here in fact is found the hottest place in Central Asia (in June 1914 a temperature of 49.5 C was recorded in Termez."
  2. ^ Sh. Kamaliddinov, Istoricheskaya geografiya Sogda i Toharistana. 1996. ISBN 978-5640020885
  3. ^ a b c "Archeology Museum, Termez, Uzbekistan". uzbek-travel.com. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  4. ^ "termiz". Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  5. ^ Battutah, Ibn (2002). The Travels of Ibn Battutah. London: Picador. p. 143. ISBN 9780330418799.
  6. ^ https://www.rferl.org/a/uzbekistan-germany-to-shut-base-last-western-in-central-asia/27308248.html Retrieved 10 May 2021
  7. ^ Routes to Central Asia being constructed, says Nawaz Dawn News, Pakistan
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ibbotson, Sophie (2020). Uzbekistan. United Kingdom: Bradt Guides Ltd. pp. 202–205. ISBN 9-781784-771089.
  9. ^ "Archaeological Museum of Termez". Caravanistan. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Qyrq Qyz (Forty Girls) | Aga Khan Development Network". www.akdn.org. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  11. ^ History of civilizations of Central Asia. Dani, Ahmad Hasan., Masson, V. M. (Vadim Mikhaĭlovich), 1929-, Harmatta, J. (János), 1917-2004., Litvinovskiĭ, B. A. (Boris Abramovich), Bosworth, Clifford Edmund., Unesco. (1st Indian ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. 1999. ISBN 81-208-1409-6. OCLC 43545117.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ Lukonin, Vladimir Grigorʹevich. (2013). Central Asian art. Ivanov, Anatoly. New York: Parkstone Press International. ISBN 978-1-78042-894-9. OCLC 859157465.
  13. ^ http://www.advantour.com/uzbekistan/uzbekistan_railways.htm
  14. ^ "Average monthly data about air temperature and precipitation in 13 regional centers of the Republic of Uzbekistan over period from 1981 to 2010". Centre of Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzhydromet). Archived from the original on 15 December 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Weather and Climate - The Climate of Termez" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Klimatafel von Termis (Termez) / Usbekistan" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 9 June 2017.

External links[edit]