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Most of our tourists know catastrophically little about the sights of Tajikistan, so they often choose other countries for recreation. But in the world this small state is known as a tourist center, so you should use your chance to see the local beauties with your own eyes. In fact, there are extremely many options for what to see in Tajikistan – and our review will make it possible to make the most complete impression of them.
The main thing that attracts here is the stunning nature and variety of landscapes. In the mountainous areas, you can admire the sky-rising peaks, gorges and huge plateaus, and in the flatter area you can make exciting trips to national parks. Excursions in Tajikistan, as a rule, involve travel outside the city limits. Although the cities have something to do: tourists are interested in museum expositions and fortifications preserved from past times. Where to go in Tajikistan, each vacationer will have to decide on their own, and we will try to make your choice easier by providing information about the most popular objects.
What to see in Tajikistan in the first place
In order for the trip to bring only good emotions and memories, it is necessary not only to have an idea about the sights of Tajikistan, but also to decide what is more important for you – everyday comfort or the romance of the mountains. The fact is that really good hotels are only in Dushanbe, but staying in settlements in the foothills of the Pamirs, you can fully experience how the locals live. Having decided on this moment and in what composition you are going on vacation (with or without children, alone or with friends, with your loved one, etc.), proceed to familiarize yourself with the list of what to see in Tajikistan.
1. Lake Karakul
Snow-capped peaks of the Tajik Pamirs around Karakul Lake
Lake Karakul – located in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region at a height of more than three kilometers, this lake enchants with its beauty of views and exceeds in size (the area is 380 square kilometers) all other reservoirs in the eastern part of the mountain range. Only the sounds of nature reign here, so residents of megacities come here to take a break from the noise. When deciding whether to swim in Karakul or not, keep in mind that even in summer the water is very cold (a little over ten degrees Celsius). The lake has great transparency – you can see the bottom at a depth of up to 9 meters.
2. Fann Mountains
Fann Mountains – the land of high mountain lakes and impregnable rocks
The Fann Mountains are part of the Pamir-Alai system, located in the west and characterized by numerous turbulent rivers that are ideal for rafting, as well as glaciers and pristine lakes. Both lovers of risky entertainment and tourists who prefer trekking will like it here. This attraction of Tajikistan is popular among travelers due to the developed transport and tourist infrastructure. The easiest way to get there is through Samarkand, and on the territory of the mountain junction itself there are equipment rentals, hotels and establishments that offer national food for a moderate fee.
Beautiful mountain landscape of Pamir
Pamir is a mountain system bordering the Himalayas with three seven-kilometer peaks. Numerous glaciers have formed on the territory of the massif, and snow does not leave the peaks even in the warm season. Experienced climbers come here to make dangerous ascents in a harsh climate. For them, special camps are equipped at different heights. Until now, the territory of the Pamirs is a source of controversy between the states of the region, but this does not affect the safety of tourists in any way. When traveling in the mountains, be sure to inform the local authorities about it so that in the event of an avalanche or other unforeseen situation, rescuers can find you.
4. Dushanbe Flagpole
Flagpole with the flag of Tajikistan on ” Flag Square” in Dushanbe
Dushanbe flagpole – few people come to the country for a couple of days, but if you still need to find out what to see in Tajikistan in 1 day, then the record-breaking flagpole in the capital will definitely be included in the list. Its height is about 165 meters, which allows it to rightfully be called the highest in the world. The national flag is installed on a special structure near the Palace of Nations, and the cost of its construction exceeded three and a half million dollars. Dubai specialists were engaged in the design and manufacture of elements, local workers only had to carry out the installation work, which was completed 7 years ago.
5. National Museum of Tajikistan
The new building of the National Museum of Tajikistan
The National Museum of Tajikistan is a place often visited by guests of the capital, where there is an opportunity to learn a lot about the history of the state in different eras. Also here are exhibited collections dedicated to geological and other expeditions (the territory of the Pamirs has not yet been fully explored), and the number of exhibits is constantly increasing. The building itself, in which baroque elements are used, can also be called an attraction of Tajikistan. The museum is surrounded by a park area where you can take a walk and relax on the benches.
Official website: http://www.newnmt.tj/ru/
See wonderful views of Tajikistan in this exciting video!
6. Monument to Ismail Samani in Dushanbe
Memorial Complex of National Unity of Tajikistan in Dushanbe
Monument to Ismail Samani in Dushanbe – to see this landmark of Tajikistan with a height of about 25 meters, just go to Friendship Square in the capital. The monument was erected back in 1999 as a tribute to the memory of one of the greatest emirs in the history of the country. It is considered the most “smart” monument due to its luxurious appearance, in particular, the presence of gilded elements.
7. Khujand Fortress
Historical Museum of the Sughd Region in the restored Khujand fortress
Khujand fortress – built in the 6th-5th century BC, the fortress during the raids of Genghis Khan served as a defense of the city of the same name from invaders. To break the defense, the khan had to involve about 75 thousand soldiers, after which the fortification complex was destroyed, but several centuries later it was restored as a government residence.
8. Gissar fortress
The main gate of the Hissar Fortress
The Hissar Fortress – this fort is often mentioned in the recommendations of what to see in Tajikistan, since its ruins are more than 2.5 thousand years old, but they are in excellent condition. The structure successfully performed a defensive function (which is quite understandable, given the thickness of the walls over one meter) and was used as a place of residence for representatives of the ruling dynasty.
13-meter clay statue “Buddha in Nirvana” from Ajina Tepa Dan Lundberg
Ajina-Tepa is the territory of the monastery of the followers of Buddhism, which was excavated in the early sixties of the last century. In addition to the preserved walls of the building and the things of the monks, archaeologists managed to find a statue of Buddha made of clay, which has no analogues in the entire Central Asian region in size.
10. Sarazm – an ancient settlement
Excavation site of the ancient settlement of Sarazm
Sarazm is an ancient settlement that was discovered by archaeologists during excavations about half a century ago. Some of the buildings, many tools and household items dating back to the 4th-2nd century BC have been preserved here. The object is under the protection of UNESCO, being one of the most interesting places in the country for those who are interested in educational recreation.
11. Tajik National Park
One of the landscapes of the Tajik National Park
Tajik National Park – covers an area of more than two and a half million hectares, is distinguished by clean air and untouched nature, which attracts eco-tourists.
Sights of Tajikistan: what else to visit in Tajikistan
Although the state is small in area (it ranks last in size among the countries of the Central Asian region), the sights of Tajikistan, especially natural ones, please with their diversity. The attractions listed below are not included in the rating of the main attractions, but this does not mean that they will not be of interest to travelers. See what else to see in Tajikistan and you can organize an amazing vacation for yourself.
12. Kayrakkum reservoir
The Tajik Sea is a popular place for recreation Dogross
Kairakkum reservoir, next to which are built hospitals, camps for children and other mandatory attributes of traditional recreation on the banks of the reservoir. The locals call it the sea, but in reality it was artificially created about a hundred years ago. Here you can not only swim, sunbathe and improve your health, but also fish or take walks, watching birds.
13. Mountain lake Iskanderkul
The bluish-green water of the mountain lake Iskanderkul in the Fann Mountains
The mountain lake Iskanderkul is a body of water, the history of which is associated with various legends, including the fact that during the time of Ancient Macedonia, the horse of King Iskander (Alexander of Macedon) died here. The lake is located in the center of the Fann Mountains, so if you are going to relax there, be sure to look into this picturesque place at a two-kilometer altitude above sea level.
14. Garmchashma hot spring
Garmchashma Yurochkin Roman
Garmchashma hot spring – here you can not only enjoy bathing in hot water, but also improve your health. The water of the spring has long been considered healing, so in the past altars were set up here, and later a balneological sanatorium was opened.
15. Lake Sarez
Top view of the dark blue expanse of Lake Sarez (right) Hausibek
Sarez Lake is one of the unique sights of Tajikistan, which almost all travelers dream of seeing. This is the only existing fresh water reservoir, which is a little over a hundred years old. Its formation is associated with tremors that provoked an earthquake at the beginning of the twentieth century. After the destruction of a part of the Mukzol Range, a gorge with an average depth of about 202 meters appeared, into which the waters of Mughrab fell. The lake occupies almost eighty square kilometers, being at an altitude of about 3.2 thousand meters.
16. Pamir Highway
Panorama of the Pamir Highway
The Pamir Highway, known among tourists as the best road in terms of views, running at high altitude between the settlements of Khorog and Osh (located in Kyrgyzstan). You can try to drive along the tract in a rented car, but it is much more convenient if you go by bus – this way you will be able, without being distracted and without risking your health, to consider the gorges, plains with a Martian landscape and desert areas encountered along the way.
The listed options for what to see in Tajikistan are all interesting, but each tourist has his own tastes, for example, someone is more interested in making a trip to the national park, while others prefer a close acquaintance with archaeological sites. Our review, which contains descriptions and photos of the best attractions, can be the basis for planning a trip. Remember that some of the sights of Tajikistan are located in highlands, so even in summer you will need warm clothes. If in doubt about which interesting places to choose, take a couple of minutes to study the reviews of other travelers.
A couple more useful recommendations for those who are figuring out what to visit in Tajikistan, intending to spend a weekend or an entire vacation in this country with an ancient history:
- be prepared to pay in cash – bank cards are accepted only in large cities, and even then not everywhere; if visiting museums is a priority for you, choose hotels in Tajikistan in the capital – it is in Dushanbe that the main museum expositions are concentrated; fans of mountaineering should think about including in the tour the ascent to the peak of Ismoili Somoni, whose height exceeds seven thousand meters; in whatever city you live, there will definitely be a restaurant where you can try national dishes (pilaf, puff pastry, etc.). But you need to be careful with water – not all water is drinkable (it is better to ask the locals or the guide if it is drinkable or not); many residents speak Russian, so there will be no problems finding a guide in Tajikistan, only the cost of services must be negotiated in advance.
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