Buddhist mortar Zurmala is located on a side of the road that leads to the regional center, to the southeast from an ancient settlement Old Termez. Scientists date this cult place to the period of the blossoming of the Kushan kingdom.
The tower was erected from a clay mud square brick. Each brick has a typical label in the form of a line and two poles. Archeologists calculated that the construction of mortar required about 1200000 of these bricks.
The platform with an area of 22х16 meters was focused on the cardinal points. The cylindrical case of a mortar, about 14 meters in diameter, rises by 13 meters over the basis.
Archaeological researches showed that the platform of the mortar was revetted by marly limestone. Also, a burnt brick was used for cladding of the mortar, its splinters can be found today nearby Zurmala tower.
The mortar is one of the most main and ancient Buddhist symbols. A word "mortar" in translation from Sanskrit means a heap of earth or stones.
The mortar was constructed on a basis on its top was arranged roundabout way. A considerable mission of the mortar is storage of Buddhist relics.
Wall paintings from a cave Buddhist temple Karatepa, which is located near ancient Old Termez settlement, provides information about the design of Baktrian mortars. Usually, it is a step three-storied tower with a dome termination on its top is erected a rod with «honor umbrellas». Archeologists consider that the primary shape of a Zurmala tower was similar to these paintings.
The mortar next to Old Termez was the first Buddhist structure revealed in the territory of Central Asia.
Today there are about forty of them, and twenty Buddhist monuments are located in the territory of Uzbekistan.