At the other end of Karshi a monolithic ensemble of monumental squares, anonymous Orwellian ministry buildings comprise the alter ego of this rather schizophrenic town. For the truly monumental, pay homage to what is, without doubt, Central Asia's most epic World War II Memorial. One of the largest such monuments in central Asia, its an eclectic mix of plaques, walkways, an eternal flame and a red star-topped tower with a series of stained-glass windows. A series of plaques remember the major Soviet casualties of the war (Leningrad, Volgograd, Sevastapol etc.) and lead up via a 100-metre walkway to an eternal flame, above which stands a 30-metre tower, until recently topped with a huge red star. On the inside of the tower a series of stained glass windows depict Soviet soldiers leaving their mothers and wives as old Uzbek men and young children harvest wheat and cotton to support the front line. Karshi's students tend to hang out in the square, and you'll need to co-opt one of them to locate the elderly guardian with the key to the upper levels of the tower and show you the stained-glass scenes, contrasting images of children harvesting wheat and soldiers departing for the battlefield.