‘SLEEPING BUDDHA’ - THE BRIGHTEST RELIC OF BUDDHIST RENAISSANCE IN TAJIKISTAN
Many tourists coming to Tajikistan are eager to visit ‘Ajina Tepa’ (‘The Witch’s Hill’ in Tajik) - one of the most famous Buddhist monaster ies in Central Asia.
‘Those who come to this hill after the sunset are being lured and destroyed by a beautiful woman with a body of a snake’ - says the legend from which comes the name ‘The Witch’s Hill’.
Now days it is not only the legend that attracts tourists to ‘Ajina Tepa’. Dozens of sculptures, numerous wall painting fragments which were excavated from ‘Ajina Tepa’ are masterpieces of Eastern art of the early Middle Age.
Assiduous work of archeologists and restorers made possible to revive from the ruins of a vast Buddhist monastery complex in ‘Ajina Tepa’, the 12-meter-long a 1 600-year-old ‘Sleeping Buddha’ or ‘Buddha in Nirvana’. Today, the Buddha sculpture displayed at the National Museum of Antiquities in Dushanbe is the largest artifact to date on the territory from Middle East to India. After the Taliban destroyed two enormous standing Buddha statues overlooking Afghanistan’s Bamian Valley, the ‘Sleeping Buddha’ from the monastery in ‘Ajina Tepa’ became one of the brightest relics of the Buddhist renaissance.
"AZIANA TRAVEL" invites you to visit the remarkable discovery of the Buddhist world and the cultural heritage of Tajikistan & Central Asia.
‘BUDDHA IN NIRVANA’
Arrival to Dushanbe. Accommodation at the hotel. Half day city tour on foot. Visit to National Museum of Antiquities where you can see the giant ‘Sleeping Buddha’ after being restored to all its grandeur. It is impossible to look at the face of the Buddha without astonishment. Its humongous forehead and eyes, superciliary arches of the color of ivory and waves of dark blue hair combed into tresses are amazing in their beauty and difficulty of carving.
Ethnographical Museum which is situated in the same garden with Antiquities museum has one of the largest and most diverse ethnographic collections of Tajik people. Lunch and dinner are at the city’s restaurants or ‘chayknona’ (teahouse). Overnight hotel.
By car from Dushanbe to Gissar Historical & Cultural Reserve (25 km west from Dushanbe). You will see the ruins of the Fortress Tower know the ‘Gissar Fortress’ that was the country estate of the Bukhara Emir in the XIX century. Inside the fortress there was a pool and a garden, an outside, these was a market, a shelter for caravans and a lot of small shops. The gate of the fortress with portal and arch, one-storied building of new madrassa of XVIII-XIX centuries are only lasted out up to now. Not far the fortress there is History Museum. After lunch by car to the mountain Varzob Gorge (north from Dushanbe). Overnight the same hotel in Dushanbe.
By car from Dushanbe to ‘Ajina Tepa’ archaeological site which is located 12 km far from modern Kurgan-Tyube Town 100 km south from Dushanbe. Second part of the day will come back to Dushanbe. In the evening live concert of the Tajik folk music in the Museum of Musical Instruments. This museum was established by Gurminj Zavkibekov (1929-2003), well-known Tajik actor and musician. He started collecting musical instruments since childhood. Today there are about 200 musical instruments comprising Tajik musical instruments, musical instruments from Central Asian countries, Near East, China and Russia. Dinner is at the ‘Rokhat’ teahouse. Overnight hotel.
By car from Dushanbe via Nurek Town (70 km) with visit to the artificial gigantic dam (311 m) near Nurek Hydroelectric Power Station. After lunch by car via Vose Settlement (visit to Khulbuk Town - capital of ancient Khuttal, which ‘has disap peared’ anyhow after XIIth century) to Kulyab City (130 km). Overnight hotel.
City tour in Kulyab. Visit to Mir Said Ali Khamadoni mausoleum and Memorial Complex devoted to 2700th anniversary of Kulyab, which is consist of a colonnade and 50m long steeple made of tinsel, gold leaf. Mir Said Ali Khamadoni was the most distinguished poet, philosopher and thinker of the XIV century. Surrounded by centuries-old plane trees, the mausoleum is considered to be one of the unique historical and architectural monuments of Tajikistan. In is also pilgrimage place for Khamadoni’s numerous followers who worship his sophistic doctrines. Overnight hotel.
By car from Kulyab to Dushanbe (200 km). Free time. Dinner is at restaurant. Overnight hotel.
Early morning by plane Dushanbe-Khojent (55 minutes flight time). The city is situated in the north of Tajikistan. It is one of the most ancient cities in the country, founded 2 300 years ago during Alexander the Great times. According to Greek historians, in 329 B.C. Alexander the Great founded a fortress on the River Tanais (Yaksart, present-day - Syrdarya River), which formed a natural border for his empire. City tour in Khojent. Visit to the old Fortress, Historical, Archaeology & Fortification Museums, ‘Panjshanbe’ Bazaar and Sheikh Muslihiddin complex, handicraft workshops, home -workers and see unique collections of the prominent Tajik craftsmen: jewelers, potters, ceramics, gunsmiths and enjoy wood, stone and done carvings, golden embroidery that are really considered to be masterpieces of Tajik national craftsmanship and a part of distinctive culture and national heritage. Dinner is at the local restaurant or chaykhona (tea-house). Overnight hotel.
In the morning drive from Khojent to the Tajik-Uzbek border (‘Oybek’” check point, around 80 km from Khojent) and than by car to Tashkent
Tour package includes: Vehicle with driver, accommodation according program, full board, English speaking guide, entrance fee to the museums