Shahrituz

Situated on the river Kafarnigan, the pleasant city was founded in 1938. Takhti-Sangin, Khoja Mashhad and Chilu-Chor Chashma are three places of special interest near the town along with other places of interest, such as Utapur Fortress, Khoja Sarboz mausoleum and Aywaj with remains of Nestorian Church.

Takhti-Sangin ("Temple of Oxus")
If you had a chance to visit the British Museum you might see the unique collection named Amu Darya Treasure (or "the Treasures of Oxus"). His treasure was found in 1877 on the right bank of the Amu Darya River. The findings consisted of more than 2,000 gold and silver coins, gold objects dated 4th - 3rd centuries BC. The local residents who had found the treasure sold it to the merchants traveling with a caravan to India from where the treasure got to England. Now let's go back to the present time, thirty years ago. It was in 1976 that archeologists began excavation on the site of ancient settlement Takhti Kubad (34 km from Qabodiyon settlement at the confluence of the rivers Vakhsh and Panj). That stone settlement which the archaeologists named Takhti-Sangin turned out to be really unique. In the very center they found an ancient temple which got a name "the Temple of Oxus". It used to be devoted to the Divinity of the river whose cult had existed there since the old days. The amazing findings were discovered in the huge temple constructed in the 4th - 3rd centuries BC which continued to exist in the first centuries of our era. Most likely those were the gifts of church-goers to the temple: the image of Alexander the Great as Hercules, the sheath with the image of a lion holding a fallow deer, chests facings made of ivory and decorated with carved drawings, the biggest collection of arrow tips in the Central Asia (more than 5 thousands), arms of Greek-Macedonian warriors. The fragments of gilt bronze helmets which looked like if made of pure gold were also found there. By the way, "the Temple of Oxus" has survived in a very good condition. During the 15 years of excavation in Takhti Sangin the archaeologists extracted more than 5 thousands objects of Greek-Bactrian time. After all this time the archeologists and the scientists finally came to the opinion that there is a direct connection between Amu Darya Treasure ("the Treasure of Oxus") in the British Museum and "the Temple of Oxus" in Takhti Sangin since the place of treasures discovery and the location of the temple are the same, and all treasure items are of ceremonial value. It might have happened that the treasures were moved from the temple in troubled times and hidden nearby in the riverbank. The ruins of Takhti Sangin today can be seen in the picturesque valley of the rivers Panj and Vakhsh, and "the Temple of Oxus" treasures - in metropolitan museums.

Khoja-Mashhad (9th-11th centuries)
Khoja-Mashhad Mausoleum located in Saed village (in the vicinity of Kurgan Tyube) will strike your imagination with its monumentalizm of forms and virtuosity of the brickwork. It is the only wooden carved mausoleum which has survived in the Central Asia. The area where the mausoleum is located has been known since the old days as "Qabodiyon” and draws attention of travelers. Khoja-Mashhad is a real person known in the Islamic world; he came to Qabodiyon from the countries of the Near East approximately in the late 9th - early 10th centuries. He was a rich man preaching Islam. Most researchers believe that the medressa was built with his money and after his death he was buried there. The legends present another version. According to them the mausoleum "emerged" in one night and it was the Allah's miracle. The monument consists of two separate mausoleums standing next to each other connected by a vaulted passage. At first sight both mausoleums look like twins. In fact they differ by the time of construction (the eastern building is dated the 9th -10th centuries, and the western one - 11th-12th centuries). Both buildings were built from burnt bricks. In the western building the architects used the so-called "book matched" brickwork. In the eastern one the brickwork consists of alternating "angles". Inside both mausoleums there are sepulchral structures. Behind the mausoleums there is the big rectangular yard surrounded by the remains of mud brick walls and demolished rooms. Nearly the whole territory of the yard is occupied by tombs. The earth floors of the domed gape with semi-destroyed tombstones. There are a lot of arguments in relation to the purpose of these monuments. Since there are some cells-hujras on the yard's perimeter one might think that there used to stand a medressa alongside with the mausoleum and the mosque. Other scientists believe Khoja Mashhad was a complex memorial site with khonako functions. (Khonako is a place for pilgrims, dervishes, Sufis and so forth). It used to have a hostel with hujras, a refectory, drawing room, halls for praying and meetings, ceremonial ablutions, and a bath. In any event it is clear that Khoja Mashhad architectural complex is a place of worshipped, sacred burial - the most interesting monument of architecture in Tajikistan. Khoja Mashhad is a place of pilgrimage of many believers coming here from all over Central Asia.

CHILU-CHOR CHASHMA (“44 springs)
Chilu-Chor Chashma ("44 springs") is located 12 km from Shahrituz village and is widely known in Tajikistan as well as in Uzbekistan. There, right at the foot of a small hill in the midst of the heated desert, five large water springs break into 39 smaller ones. All springs merging from a 12-13 m channel inhabited with a plenty of fish. As a legend goes the holy caliph Ali having seen the dried up river Romit reached Chilu-Chor Chashma and asked the Allah for some water. At this he struck the foot of a nearby hill with his hand and five purest springs gushed from the five holes made by his fingertips. Another legend says that Hazrati Ali was travelling through the desert with his army. They were very thirsty. Ali was particularly concerned about his wounded groom, Bobokambar. Ali prayed in the night, and the next day he bent down to touch the ground. He touched 44 times and everywhere his fingertips touched the ground a spring gushed forth. Bobokambar recovered. Chilu-Chor Chashma is the pilgrimage site. People visiting this place say prayers, perform ablutions, sacrifices, and bathe themselves in the sources. The pools are full of harmless snakes and a type of fish, about trout size, which is reputed to be unique to the pools and poisonous to eat.
Local legend has it that Marco Polo visited in 1376 and noted that a large tree would still be there in 500 years time. It is still there. The water of the 17 sources is believed to be curative. Each of them has its own name and curative properties: Chashmai Muin - prevents hair loss;
Khuni Bini - stops nose bleeding;
Chashmai Mohron, Khunukzadagon - cures from snake bites and inflammations;
Ustukhondard - helps to cure bones diseases;
Tablarza - cures malaria;
Shifo - medicinal;
Fishori Khun - good for hypertonicity;
Sardard - relieves headache;
Pesho - cures psoriasis;
Murod - is good for depression;
Befarzand - cures infertility;
Gurda - good for kidneys;
Dilu Jigar - cures diseases of heart and liver;
Devonakho - treats mental diseases;
Chashmu Gush - cures eyes and ears;
Khorish - cures scabies, etc.
On the territory of Chilu-Chor Chashma there is also a small hill with a gumbaz and a small mausoleum on top. According to the legend there the holy Bobokambar, who was the groom and a warden of Caliph Ali's stable, was buried. The tomb is very large, befitting a man reputed to have been 5 m tall. There are four more graves of the holy men whose names are unknown.