Ajina-Tepe Buddhist Monastery
Ajina-Tepe is an ancient Buddhist monastery (or cloister) located in the outskirts of Bokhtar, about 12 km east from the city. This magnificent site is included in the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list by the basis of “Outstanding universal value” to the world. Ajina Tepe is a Buddhist site that dates back to the 7th – 8th centuries. Decades of mistreatment have badly damaged the site but it was preserved in 2005-2008 after the previous excavations carried out in Soviet times. It is still possible to see remnants of the 2,5 m thick mud-brick walls that protected the internal courtyard and monastic buildings. Disappointingly there is no plan of the site or even a plaque to show it is the site.
If you have visited the National Antiquities Museum in Dushanbe, you might have noticed a huge sleeping buddha. Formerly it was located in Ajina Tepe, but in the 1960s it was moved to the Dushanbe museum. Most of the other treasures have been taken to Russia in the Soviet era.
You can get the Ajina-Tepe taking the road towards the Bokhtar airport, turning right after 6 km and by following a small road for another 6 km to the site.