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Mausoleum Complex
The Surkhandarya region in southern Uzbekistan (right across the Amu Darya- nee Oxus River- from Afghanistan) is way off the beaten path even for those who've traveled in the Uzbek republic. It does, however, have a fascination all its own with some remarkable tombs and mausoleum complexes (like that of Sultan Saodat, shown above) in Termez, a classic minaret in Jarkurgan township, a wonderful market in Derbent, ruined fortresses and "sacred" mineral springs in Baisun. Most of present-day Uzbekistan lies in ancient Sogdiana but Surkhandarya was considered part of Bactria, and lying right near the Amu Darya- in plain sight of Afghanistan- are a pair of 1st Century A.D. stupas, possibly the westernmost of all ancient Buddhist monuments. Not much to do in the evenings, however, and only one passable hotel in Termez.
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