The Rasht Valley is known from medieval times as one of the settlements on the Silk Route and the capital of the historical Karategin area in the Pamirs. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the Great Silk Route crossed the Alai mountains and Rasht Valley continuing through Gissar, Khatlon, Balkh, Iran and Iraq and reaching the banks of the Mediterranean Sea to unite East and West.
The nature of the Rasht Valley is exceptionally picturesque, and the gorges of Kamarob, Yasman and Khait are considered the best places for holidays. There are natural resources such as aluminum, marble and coal which are deposited in Nazarailok. There are numerous mineral springs which are used for medicinal purposes.
The Rasht district in the valley of the same name was known as Gharm and was considered the centre of the national culture of Darvaz and Karategin valleys. The Gharm district was established in 1931 which was renamed Rasht in 2001. Prior to Soviet rule the people in this area walked thousands of miles in search for education and reached remote cities such as Bukhara, Kabul, Kashmir, Chidda and Delhi. People from Rasht Valley contributed to the development of the Tajik language, literature and culture from ancient times.
Rich art heritage was left by representatives of literary circles of Rasht: Mawlavi Qosimi, Mawlavi Shohidi, Mavlono Jomii soni, Abdurahimi Gharmi, Khazoni, Hijri, Nasimi, Valei, Gulkhani, and Shaikh Abdulkhai. Two poets of the 15th and 16th centuries Mawlavi Qosimi and Shohidii Rashti became famous for imitating the timeless book “Masnavi” by Mawlono Jaloliddini Balkhi, and created their own unique works.
The territory of Rasht is about 400,000 hectare. It consists of 14 sub-districts – Gharm and Navabad – are settlements and the rest are villages. Nowadays there are 27 comprehensive schools, 41 secondary schools and 37 elementary schools. The distance from the Rasht valley to the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe is 180 km.