The Zurmala Tower rising to the northeast of the Termez fortification walls of the Kushan period is one of the Buddhist monuments of ancient Termez. Probably, once there was a complex of Buddhist constructions in the area, but by the Middle Ages this territory had been turned into agricultural fields.
The only construction that has survived the time span of many centuries, though lost all its decoration, is a huge stupa – the complex’s central structure. By now it has lost its form completely, but, according to excavated data, the structure consisted of a rectangular pedestal, on which a cylindrical tower-like monolith topped with a dome-like element was installed.
The entire construction is built of mud bricks, but the pedestal was once faced with white stone slabs and the stupa’s main body – with baked bricks, whose facial side was painted bright red. The stupa has a diameter of 14.5 m, and its initial height was around 16 m, while a pole with ‘honour umbrellas’ on its top made the structure even taller.
Zurmala was constructed at the time of the Great Kushan (1st-3rd century AD), while its size (it is much larger than the stupa at Fayaz-tepe) indicates that this structure played a special role in the Termez Buddhist culture.