Page 10 - 10 reasons to visit Tajikistan
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4. VISIT THE BUDDHIST TEMPLE AT
AJINA - TEPPA

For centuries, Ajina-Teppa was an ordinary hill. Local

 inhabitants gave it its name, which means “hill of evil forces”,
 because the ground was so uneven and irregular, but not much
 was known about the hill itself. Starting from 1961,
 archaeologists came to research the site, and found an
 extensive Buddhist monastery, dating back to the 7th-8th
 centuries CE. There were remains of a temple and of living
 quarters for monks, with paintings and decoration covering
 many surfaces. However, the most impressive finding was a
 statue of Buddha in Nirvana, measuring a total of 12m (40 feet)
 long. Only the lower half, from Buddha’s waist to the soles of
 his feet, was found, but experts were able to recreate the whole
 statue, with Buddha laying down and resting his head on a
 cushion. The sculpture is now on display at the National
 Museum of Antiquities in Dushanbe, but visitors to Ajina-Teppa
 can still visit the original Buddhist monastery.
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