Tajikistan is an ancient mountainous country, as the main part of its territory is covered with majestic mountains and rocks. In this term, the country is the middle start point of some of the most popular mountain chains – the Himalayas, Tien Shan and Hindu Kush. Tajikistan is not that large in territory, yet it has enough splendor to attract tours from around the globe. To some extend it’s a great place for those, who are in love with nature and consider hiking to be the best way of discovering the country. As for those wishing to find some sort of easy entertainment, then the neighboring countries are fitting more into the description.
The capital of Tajikistan is Dushanbe, which means “Monday” in the Tajik language. Though it’s located in the great and green Hissar Valley, this doesn’t prevent it from being one of the highest capitals in the world. The altitude of the city is 750-930 m above the sea level. The capital is large and used to host various cultural events during the Soviet time. This is why you can frequently step into various kinds of Stalin style governmental buildings and wooded streets.
The main attraction of Dushanbe is the closed market Barakat, where you will appear in a colorful mess of Tajik goods. Among the other sights in Dushanbe are the City Park, Opera and Ballet Theater, Museum of Ethnography and the History Museum. Special attention should be paid to the Museum of Ethnography, as it’s the main source, where you can get introduced to traditional Tajik Art. The exhibition includes jewelry, pottery and even musical instruments coming from different stages of history.
Besides the capital, the most popular cities of Tajikistan are Panjakent, Khujand and Istaravshan. The first location is one of the oldest and well-developed cities for its territory. The main attraction of the place is the ruins and remains of the famous Sogdian civilization. This is the reason why it’s only here where you can find unique samples of typical architecture recalling the Sogdian civilization. The palaces, temples, which are designed according to the local traditions and styles, are quite different from those located elsewhere in Central Asia.
The second largest city of the country is Khujand. It also has a century long history. Some believe that the city is the second capital of the country. The place used to have a great importance as a stop point for the Great Silk Road. The city is located on a valley, making it an ideal place for the rest. Due to the historical importance, the city was well-developed and prospered with the income of the tourists. It’s interesting that the main mosques of Khujand were built with the money gained from the tourist industry.
The natural wonder of the country is definitely the snow-covered Pamir Mountains. This mountain peak has a height of 7000 m. The visitors, who are in favor to make a crazy trip up the mountains will have a chance to have a view at the underlying valleys and plateaus. The scenery is especially gorgeous due to the abundance of lakes and rivers.
The locals in Tajikistan are quite friendly and hospitable. They will always be there for those who are in need of a hot tea and warm blanket. And if you have enough courage you can also try out their traditional tea, which is tea spiced up with goat milk, salt and butter. Sounds quite “exotic”, as the country itself is!