The earliest information about the extensive Buddhist presence in this region came from a 7th Century Buddhist pilgrim Xuan Zang who visited Central Asia and described this rich and fascinating land extensively. He wrote about the active Buddhist presence in cities like Samarkand, Termez, Chach (Tashkent), Kesh (Shakhrisabz) and Toharistan (Baktria). And then it was all forgotten in the tumult and turmoil of war, conquests and trade…
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Arrival at Tashkent
Arrive in Tashkent airport to be welcomed and transferred to the hotel. Lounge around, stroll around and explore the area near your hotel or just relax after your flight.
Take in a city-tour of Tashkent covering the ancient mausoleums and mosques. Learn more about the monuments of Buddhism in Uzbekistan with a lecture by a specialist from the Museum of Khamza Fine Arts (B).
Drive out to Samarkand for a tour of the city covering the 15th century Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the burial-vault of the Timurids, the Registan Ensemble and Madrassahs (a few dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries) (B).
Explore the ancient city of Samarkand in depth taking in history along with the awe-inspiring structures of the 15th and 16th centuries – observatories, mosques, Madrassahs and even a necropolis! Learn more about The Great Silk Road and the voyage of Xuan-Zang in Central Asia through a lecture by a specialist from the Samarkand State History, Architecture and Arts Museum (B).
Get transferred to Shakhrisabz and take a city tour covering the 14th-15th century Ak-Sarai Palace ( 14-15th centuries), the 15th century Dorut Tilovat complex including Kok-Gumboz Mosque ( 15th century), the Mausoleum of Jahangir and the 14th century crypt of Tamerlane. In the evening drive down to Termez and check into your hotel (B).
Termaz Archeologocal Museum
Visit the Termaz Archeologocal Museum and attend a lecture by an expert from the museum on the journey of Xuan Zang. Head out to see the monastery complex of Kara-Tepa (2nd-6th centuries), Fayaz-tepa Buddhist temple and monastery (1st-3rd centuries), Zurmala Tower- Buddhist stupa (1st-2nd centuries) and the architectural complex of Al-Hakim –at-Termezi ( 9th-15th centuries).
Visit the 9th century Kyrk-Kyz fortress, Sultan Saodat Ensemble (10th-17th centuries) and the 16th century Kokil Dora Khanagha mausoleum. Get transferred to the airport for your flight to Tashkent.(B).
Get transferred to the international airport for your flight back home after a week soaked in history and Buddhism. (B).