The sights of the Khatlon Province

Takhti Sangin Temple (The Oxus Temple IV-III century B.C )
The Oxus Temple is located 34 km from the Kabadiyan settlement (Taj. Kubodiyon), Khatlon Province, the hometown of the poet, philosopher and scientist Nosir Khusrav, at the right side of the Vakhsh River, close to the Tajik-Afghan border. The Kubod Palace attracted the attention of the archeologists already in 1976. The excavated stone town was in fact a unique architecture in the view of archeological value and in the view of the historical meaning. In the process of 15 years of excavation more than 5 thousand findings of Greco-Bactrian period were found in Takhti Sangin.

In the center of Takhti Sangin – “the stone palace” –one of the biggest monuments of the Zoroastrian, an ancient temple was found which got the name of “The Temple of Oxus” consisting of a square, four columned of “White Hall” temple (12x12 m) surrounded by two rows of corridors on three sides, aivan with two sided buildings, several small altars of the Hellenistic tradition and a big altar in the main building, the passageway of which goes through the aivan.

A great number of sculpture fragments were found from the buildings which served as the decoration of the temple and also the sculpture of Marcia (in the ancient mythology satire, a shepherd, punished by Apollo for his winning the contest) playing a flute. The script of Bactrian Atrosok  was preserved in Greek language on the altar “Atrosok dedicated the Oxus by vow” (II c. B.C) and many other findings concerning Alexader the Great, his image, the handle of the dagger-akinak, scissors with the figure of tiger, and also many artistic production of gold, silver, bronze and the whole band of musical instruments from the ivory.

During the investigation of the town the archeologists and the scientists found out that between the “Oxus Treasure” (The Amudarya treasure in the British museum) and the Temple of Oxus there is a direct connection based on the external of the treasure from the holly place and the objects of the treasure. Probably the objects were carried out and were hidden on the right side of the river.

The ancient temple complex of Saksanokhur (III-II c. B.C)
The antique monument of the right bank of Bactria the town of Saksanokhur is located at the right bank of the Panj River. The ancient temple complex erected in the III-II century B.C and existed tillthe II-III c. A.D was explored in 1966-1967, about 7 km from Parkhar (Taj. Farkhor).

The complex was situated at 1,5 meter clay made platform oriented at the light. The center of the composition had a wide square yard (27,7x27,7 m). At the southern part of the building there was a deep, four columned aivan, moved from the main axis (two columns in each row).

The architectural design of the building consisted of stone blocks, baskets and the base of pilasters is the eyewitness of the Hellenistic influence. There were a number of buildings at the east and western part of the yard with passageway corridors. The archeologists consider the function of the palace as a complex was the yard, and the southern part was used as a temple.

The excavations tell us that during the blossoming period of its existence it was a large yard built with columns, deepened in the southern part with four columned aivan.
40 km to the south of the border of the Afghan territory, at the confluence of the Kokchi and Panj rivers there is a town-the wife of Saksanokhur Ai –Khanum, identifiable with the Alexandria at Oxus. It gives a full imagination about the secular and religious architecture of the Hellenistic Bactria.

The Buddhist Monastery Ushtur Mullo (I-IV cс. A.D)
The Buddhist Monastery Ushtur Mullo is situated on the right bank of the Amudarya River and refers to the I-IV century AD Kushan period and is closed structure with square yard (21x20,5 m), oriented axes of the compass. There is a square and clay made Buddhist stupa on the entrance of the monastery, lined from raw bricks which only the square base with sides of 17 m., has preserved, decorated with limestone blocks and pilasters. 

Under columns of canopies, rests on stone base, located entrances leading to the monks' cells. The temple itself was engulfed in a roundabout ritual corridor, from which you can get in a square Four-room area of 100 m, and the premises for the meeting of the Buddhist community.    

Cave Christian monastery in Ayvaj (V-VII cc.)
Christian cave monastery of V-VIII centuries, carved into the slate slopes, located 17 kilometers from Ayvaj village - the southernmost point of Tajikistan, on the right bank of the Amu Darya. The monastery represents several tens of suites, built in caves and designed for household, commercial and religious purposes. Chief of the few remaining elements of the decoration of the monastery - a miniature dome, decorated with convex cross. Monument declared a Christian Nestorian monastery (Nestorianism - for dogmatic Christianity, seeing the God-man Jesus Christ two subjects (the Son of God and man Jesus) named for Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople (428-431).

Archaeological Complex Hulbuk IX-XI centuries.
Hulbuk archaeological complex located in the village Mehrobod Vose district. It is a medieval fortress, the palace of the ruler, and fragments of the ancient city.
Excavations of the former capital of Khuttal (principality in 690-948 years on the territory of modern Khuroson district of Khatlon region on the right bank of the river Vakhsh) Hulbuk city started in 1950.
The territory of the city, unfortunately, remained under the estates of the village of Kurban Shaid, but the citadel was preserved relatively well. According to the research of archaeologist E. Gulyamova, devoted to the study of the complex for more than 30 years, the city was not walled, as is usually done. Such a state may be indicative of the power and reliability of its borders.
Within sight of the hill fort contours of several artificial hills, under which are hidden the other cities of Khuttal, whose inhabitants appear to have used different types of visual alarms to alert its neighbors about the danger of foreign invasions.

The excavations revealed that the city walls were made of adobe bricks and blocks. Noteworthy is the fact that a burnt brick used in elaborate brickwork at facing adobe walls, the curly patterns on the floors of rooms and courtyards. Also, the walls of many houses were decorated with highly artistic carvings, and ganch plot and ornamental painting. In the cities there were ponds, baths, an extensive network of water supply and sewerage.

In 1978-1990s during the excavation work the whole area of the citadel was uncovered and the Caravanserai, located on the outside of the south wall. It turned out that the citadel consisted of two parts - the upper (southern) and lower (north). In the southern part of the citadel, upper building complex consisting of residential premises, two intersecting corridors, main entrance and quinces, which stretches along the facade was almost completely excavated. 

As for the palace, it was built on a high raw platform, its facets were tiled with fired bricks, the same material was paved at the entrance portal base of the hill. The construction area was 50x150 meters, the palace was a two-level, with the most elevated part, rising to 15 m above ground level, the northern part and the southern situated slightly below (10 m). The palace served as a vast courtyard, divided the whole complex into two parts. 

In 1999 the complex was included in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is currently a historical museum-reserve "Hulbuk", occupying 16 hectares. In 2006, "Hulbuk" was opened to the public after a thorough renovation. 

Town Sayod (Sayodkala (Sayodkala) (X c.)
Investigation Sayod settlement, located 7 km from the district center of Vose - is another bright page in the study of art and architecture of Khuttal IX-XI centuries.

The first excavations on the site were done in the Sayodkala by archaeologists in 2016. And fortunately the place pleased the archeologists with the presence of many dwellings and ancient objects. Today on the territory of the settlement are well studied some residential estates, built by entirely of brick with regular geometric layout of 160x130 to 50x50 m, a large number of coins found, ceramic tableware, inside the city was discovered the citadel, surrounded with a strong brick wall is three meters thick, which, most likely, it is a defensive structure.

Of particular interest is the altar fire. This complex consists of five rooms, four of which were residential and commercial, and one in the central - a cult location. In the center of the square is a square room in the projection of the elevation meter on the meter, made of four mud-brick size 40x40 cm, packed in the corners. Between them there is a rectangular bricks in the shape of a cross. On the surface of the altar were discovered layers of charred material and ash, indicating the altar belonging to the Zoroastrian religion.

Mausoleum of Kaja Mashad (IX-XI cc.)
Is 6 km from the district center of Shahritus (ex. Shaartuz) in settlement of Sayed. In fact, monumental two domes of the mausoleum can be seen from afar and impress with their forms. The complex was built entirely of brick and is connected between the domes. Date buildings are not the same. For example, western mausoleum was built as the imitation to the former mausoleum structures, nearly a century ago. That difference between them is about a hundred years.

Architecturally the construction is typical of Central Asia mausoleum complex with a heavy square room in which an octahedron is installed, as a transitional link to the dome, the construction of which, in turn, is a three-refined structure.

Carefully executed masonry walls interrupted inserts pair of vertical bricks composed of alternating vertical protruding bricks and three set at an angle.

The dome at the top plays a main role which is large skylights - the only source of light that penetrates through this opening, gives the internal appearance of the building solemn and stately character.

Besides the main building, the mausoleum-madrasa also consisted of a vast rectangular courtyard, the raw built hudjras intended for seminarians living. In the corners of the main southern facade towered round towers. Also, a detailed archaeological study of the territory of the monument revealed that two connected dome of the mausoleum, were in the past a large ensemble of more advanced composite system.

With regard to the identification of Khoja Mashad, that man existed in reality and he was a well-known figure in the Islamic world as a preacher. Khoja Mashad was rich enough, so many people think that the construction of the madrasah was carried out at his expense, and after his death, his body was buried in the territory of the mausoleum.

Mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadoni (XV c.)
The mausoleum is located in the center of Kulab, in the city park. The mausoleum building was constructed entirely of baked bricks (24x24 x 4,5 cm) by using a clay solution in critical structures, domes, vaults and arches.

The appearance of the mausoleum picturesque resembles at first glance a complicated lock dome volumes with portals, as a result of numerous multi-temporal extensions and renovations. The monument, which consists of 13 large and small spaces, there is the original core of the complex, belonging to the fourteenth century.

Currently, the composition of the complex based on the location of the premises in the two mutually perpendicular axes, at the intersection of which is an ancient and central hall. The mausoleum has three entrances and portals on three sides (south-east, north-west and north-east).

Salt Mountain "Khoja Mumin"
At 22 kilometers from Kulob, in the settlement of Vose district there is a huge mountain of salt, the surface of which is covered with a thin layer of water – this is Khoja Mumin, which seemed reigns over the surrounding plains with its huge dome almost correct (900-1332 m above sea level). 

The shape of the mountain resembles a fantastic mushroom, a kind of "foot" a kilometer away is deep in the earth, and the "hat" of the salt of the fungus has an area of 40 km2. Khoja Mumin consists of pink and green-blue salt. Refracted in the sun, it plays all the colors of the rainbow on steep slopes, flowing streams of strong salt solution into a kind of pool.

Khoja Mumin slopes at the foot of steep and the height of the exposed wall of salt sometimes reaches 500 meters. In summer, the active evaporation of water increases the concentration brines and is precipitated in a substantially pure salt. During the winter months of the evaporation is considerably smaller and holmic pool comes mainly clayey slurry staked rivers and streams. As to the age of salt stratum, its formation occurred in the second half Mesozoic, more precisely in the Late Jurassic. At this time, the entire southern part of Central Asia, covering a huge sea dries up, separated from the world's oceans.


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