5 places worth visiting Tajikistan. Traveler’s Notes
Vladimir Vinogradov August 6, 2023, 13:30 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
This country will surprise both lovers of contemplation of nature and those who prefer architecture.
president of Pro-Vision, author of the Vinogradov.story community
Tajikistan is not the most popular tourist destination, even by Central Asian standards. At the same time, the country’s potential is impressive: an immodest number of fascinating natural objects, authentic mountain villages and ancient monuments of history and culture fit into a modest area in the foothills of the Pamirs. And all this can be seen for very reasonable money. Where to start acquaintance with Tajikistan, I will tell you further.
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Translated from Tajik, Dushanbe means “Monday”; it was on this day three centuries ago that a spontaneous bazaar gathered at the crossroads of trade routes, which became the “base” of the future capital. For 300 years, patterned mosques, museums and theaters have been built, gardens and parks have been laid out, but the spirit of old “wild” Asia still lives somewhere nearby: in the ornaments of kilims and namats, in generous portions of the pilaf in the family teahouse and the screams of the donkey, which, despite attempts to ban cattle within the city, no, no, yes, and got into dense lines of cars alongside the owner.
At the exit from the relatively young capital, travelers come across the Hissar fortress, which is about 2,500 years old. Built of baked bricks, at different times it served as a resting place for trade caravans, a quarter for artisans and a residence of the Bek of the Bukhara Emirate with a green garden, terraces and a swimming pool. Today only the gates with two cylindrical towers and narrow loopholes remind of ancient luxury. But they remind you regularly – they look at travelers with a bill of 20 samoni.
Pamir Highway in the Dushanbe-Khorog section
The legendary Pamir Highway connecting Dushanbe with Kyrgyz Osh is included in the ratings of the most beautiful roads in the world. In its western section, which stretches from the Tajik capital to the city of Khorog, cars follow the Afghan border in the Pyanj river valley, cross the dangerous but picturesque Khaburobot pass, and finally end up in Khorog, a city green on a mountain valley with a unique botanical garden, with more than 4000 plants.
Fann Mountains “Seven Diamonds”
In the valley of the Shing River, at the foot of the Fann Mountains, seven lakes are poured with turquoise crystal drops – seven diamonds from Tajikistan. The largest of them, Marguzor, will require you to travel a serpentine up to a height of 2,140 m. The most desperate risk doing it on two, and not four wheels: several routes for extreme cycling pass through the Seven Sisters waterfall at the same time. However, the views from the car window should not be underestimated either: behind every turn of the serpentine, the iconic Central Asian natural landscapes open up to view: mountain peaks and gray slopes, rare green oases, glaciers, rocks, gorges and waterfalls.
Lakes of Marguzor
Photo: From the personal archive of Vladimir Vinogradov
Ancient Khujand, located on the Great Silk Road, was the commercial, cultural and scientific center of Maverannahr long before the appearance of modern state formations. However, Tajikistan carefully preserves the heritage of Khujand for posterity: the eponymous fortress, the mausoleum of Sheikh Muslekheddin, the Arbor Palace, a huge monument to the era of the Tajik SSR and, of course, the legendary Panchshanbe. bazaar. It is worth preparing for a trip to the market – at least be hungry and tune in to uncompromising bargaining in the best traditions of the Great Silk Road.
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