Republic of Tajikistan
Area- 143,100 square meters
Population – 6,200,000 people (2002)
Capital - Dushanbe (516,800 1995)
Official language – Tajik
Monetary unit - Somoni
Climate – distinctly continental
Highest point –Ismoil Somoni peak, 7495 m
Biggest rivers – Vakhsh, Pyanj-Amudarya, Sirdarya
Tajikistan, located in the heart of the Central Asia invites you to immerse yourself into ancient history, to absorb beautiful nature and enjoy unparalleled hospitality of the people of our wonderful country.
From time immemorial the territory of Tajikistan was the crossroad of historical invasions and interesting discoveries. Sumerians and Scythian tribes, several Persian dynasties, Macedonian and Greek armies under the command of Alexander the Great, Parthia, Bactrians, Kushanians, Huns, Eftalits, Mongolian hordes, Nestorian Christians, Arabs, Russians and even British – all of them somehow or other have left an indelible trace on this region. The great Silk Road crossed the entire country of Tajikistan which also became the place where imperial rivalry came to an end between Russia and Britain, putting an end to the “Great Game”.
Great works of poetry and widley revered scientific works of Central Asia (Khorasan, Bukhara, Samarkand, Balkh), belonged to prominent Tajiks: Abu Abdullo Ja’far ibn Muhammadi Rudaki (858-941), Hakim Abulkosimi Firdawsi (935-1020), Abu Raihon Muhammad ibn Abmad Beruni (973-1048), Abu Ali ibn Sino ( 980-1037 – known in the west as Avicenna), Nosiri Khusraw (1004-1088), Jaloliliddin Muhammadi Balkhi (1207-1273 – known in the west as Rumi).
Tajikistan is rich with natural resources but with 93 % of the country covered by mountains, their extraction is hampered by lacking infrastructure. Less developed economically, but rich in destinations and experiences, Tajikistan offers vast opportunities for eco-cultural tourism, full of amazing archeological treasures, wildlife and gigantic landscapes.
The Pamirs are formed by the unique convergence of four of the highest mountain ranges in the world: the Himalayas, Hindu Kush, Karakorum and Tien Shan. In the land of the snow leopard, the magic peaks reach more than 7,000 m and the views of deep valleys and giant glaciers are truly breathtaking . Also known as ‘The Roof of the world’ you can hear about the unforgettable campaigns of Alexander the Great, whose satraps (local rulers in the ancient Persian times) left their legacy in the mountain settlements of this wonderful corner of the world. Mountaineers can take memorable climbing trips to Fedchenko glacier and ascent the summits of Somoni, Lenin, and Korzhenevskiy. You can visit the famous valley filled with petroglyphs, and see the site of early human settlements of primitive man.
Iskander Zulqarnain – Alexander two-horned - this is how people of Bactria and Sogdiana called the famous invader Alexander the Great. Also Lake Iskanderkul - endlessly serene and stunning – is named after the great commander. Extremely captivating are the lakes of deep turquoise color and the monumental peaks which are unvailed to any traveler to the Fan Mountains.
In the region of Khatlon visiting shrines of the prominent pre-Islamic era of Zoroastrism and also many reminders of the Prophet Mohammed will not leave you without a deep impression. The mausoleum of Mir Said Ali Hamadoni (XIV), Shakiki Balkhi (IX), Shoh Nematulloi Vali (XIV), Sulton Uvaisi Karani (VII) will take you to a unique historical period. Ancient cities of Kulyab, Dangara, Baljuvan, Gissar, Penjikent and Ura-Tube offer incomparable monuments of architecture.
One of the most developed cities of ancient Central Asia was Penjikent. Until now one can see impressive masterpieces – architectural monuments of the Sogdiana civilization. The ancient temples of Penjikent stand out due to their architectural compositions, which are unparalleled throughout Central Asia. In the era of the Silk Road, Khojent was a prospering and rich centre, which was famous by numerous castles, mosques and city citadels. Khojent is the second most important city after the capital Dushanbe.
Inspiring journeys across Tajikistan can commence from the capital city – Dushanbe which lies at 800 meters above sea level. The historical past of the capital goes back more than 3,000 years. Archeologists excavated remnants of Greek-Bactrian period settlements, ancient settlement of Kushan period (7 – 8th century), Shisha Khona and other medieval settlements. Along with high modern multistoried complexes and contemporary designs of the city, there are also many beautifully restored buildings of the Soviet period, surrounded by century old plane trees and picturesque fountains. This city scape envokes feelings of nostalgia and beauty during a summer walk along the shady boulevards of the capital.
Just on the hills above the city there is a ski resort know as Takob – offer a real snow experience for skiers and snow-boarders during the winter months. This is a beautiful valley with breathtaking views of the slopes of Gissar, and rivals some of the best European mountain resorts.
There is an artificial lake in the Northern regions of the country – the Kairakum resort, which offers sanatoriums (wellness spas), sandy beaches, and rowing. Other health resorts like ‘Khoja Obi Garm’ and ‘Garm Chashma’, located in the more remote and picturesque locations of the country are also worthwhile a visit.
A visit to any of the colourful bazaars and handicraft shops which will provide opportunities to take memories home with you from your visit to this wonderful country.