Top 7 Best Places To Visit In Tajikistan
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Known for being the land of the high Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan is the smallest country in Central Asia and yet it is still almost five times the size of Belgium. Famous for rugged mountains, popular for hiking and climbing where you can see mountains almost everywhere: even along the skyline of Dushanbe itself. Tajikistan has everything an intrepid traveler can dream of. Hiking, trekking, mountaineering, rafting, paragliding, adventure jeep touring, camping, cycling, horse riding, and even Yak riding, yes Yaks can be used as a means of transport, everybody can find his or her own adventure here but yet it is untouched, unspoiled and unrivaled. So you must add Tajikistan to your travel bucket list where you don’t have to seek adventure in Tajikistan, adventure seeks you! Tajikistan is a place for travelers rather than tourists. Now I am gonna mention some of the best places to visit in Tajikistan.
Here are the Top 7 Best Places To Visit In Tajikistan.
Iskanderkul is a mountain lake of glacial origin in Tajikistan’s Sughd Province which lies at an altitude of 2,195 metres on the northern slopes of the Gissar Range in the Fann Mountains. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in all of the former Soviet Union, it is a popular tourist attraction, the most visited spot in the Fann Mountains by far. The scenery around the lake is so rugged and picturesque that it defies description. Huge towers and ridges of rock rise to 4,000 meters, nearly two thousand meters above their reflections on the serene surface of the lake; most of the year the forbidding summits seem even more surreal sporting a fresh coating of snow, though the glaciers have retreated out of sight. It is impossible to imagine a trip to Tajikistan without paying a visit to Iskanderkul Lake.
Lying in the upper Gunt valley of the Pamir Mountains, Yashilkul is a freshwater lake in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, in southeast Tajikistan, about 130 kilometres east of the provincial capital of Khorugh. Being 50 metres deep at its deepest point, Yashikul lake is 19 km long and from 1 to 4 km across. The snowcapped peaks reflected in the glass-like surface of the lake make for breathtaking natural scenery. A whole spectrum of colors visible here awakens the senses, from the pearl-white mountain-tops to the pure-blue surface of the lake. Gradually, the lake has become quite large because of the active glacier melting. From Yashilkul comes the great Gunt River. Literally ‘Yashilkul’ can be translated from Tadshikisch as ‘the green lake’, which completely reflects the main characteristics of the water basin. The water in the lake is emerald green. So when you are in Tajikistan then do not miss to visit this stunning lake.
3. Jisev Valley
Jisev Valley is one of Tajikistan’s best short hikes that will take you to a lovely mountain village set along a chain of seasonally overflowing lakes. Being popular for hiking with high rugged mountains in a deep valley, small forests and beautiful lakes, Jisev is a community of a few houses clustered in three sections of 2-3 houses each where it is only possible to reach the village by walking. Here crossing the river, you will leave not only motorized traffic but also any phone or internet connection. You will walk for around two hours to get to the first village, going up and down a narrow path that follows the slope of the hills. So do miss the add Jisev Valley in your Tajikistan bucket list where you can sleep in authentic Pamiri houses and enjoy nature on the way.
4. Pamir Highway
Pamir Highway is a unique sight of Tajikistan stretching for more than 1300km and connecting the capital of Dushanbe and the city of Osh in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Pamir is a mountain range with peaks over 7000 meters that takes up most part of Tajikistan where its name is translated as “Roof of the world”. The high desert of the Pamir invites expletives and superlatives which also has been in use for millennia as a part of the ancient Silk Road. Pamir Highway gives a unique experience to travelers from all around the world where they can learn the culture of Pamir people, the history of the region, and enjoy breathtaking landscapes of severe mountains.
5. Wakhan Valley
The Wakhan Valley, a geographical region that sits mostly in northern Afghanistan, but stretches over into southern Tajikistan was once a hotspot between colonial rulers Britain and Tsarist Russia but today the Wakhan is a peaceful valley. The Wakhan is where the east meets west in the Central Asia region, and because of that is historically important going back thousands of years where you can visit the ruins of the Yamchun fortress built in the 12th century and take a dip in the hot springs of Bibi Khanum where the water is believed by locals to be special and is thought to improve female fertility. At Wakhan Valley, you find several fortresses located on the top of very high hills, offering the most epic and impressive views ever. With all this historical context, its incredible landscape, and awesome people, the Wakhan Valley is the ultimate adventure and a place you can’t miss in your journey through Tajikistan.
6. Ismoil Somoni Peak
Named after Ismail Samani, a ruler of the Samanid dynasty, Ismoil Somoni Peak is the highest mountain in Tajikistan. It was within the territory of the former Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union and was the highest mountain in the Soviet Union before the area became independent as Tajikistan. A mountain that has seen many names: in 1933 Stalin Peak, in 1962 Communism Peak and in 1998 Ismoil Somoni after the ancestor of the Samanid dynasty. It is a cherished dream of any mountaineer being one of the most beautiful and interesting 7000m peak climbs in the world. If you love mountaineering then Ismoil Somoni Peak is a perfect place for you when you are in Tajikistan, so do not forget to climb this amazing peak.
Once named Lake Victoria by the British, Zorkul is a lake in the Pamir Mountains that run along the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan and it is also the starting point of the mighty Amu Darya (previously Oxus) river, fed by the glaciers coming from the mountains above. To make it to Zorkul you will need permission from the Border Guard at Khorog. Once there, you can rejoice in mountain hiking, horse riding and milk tasting with the shepherds in summer. You should definitely visit Zorkul, I am sure Zorkul will not disappoint you at all.
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