Information and travel guide to Tajikistan
Nature has been kind to Tajikistan, bestowing the country with breathtaking beauty: here you will find mountains, glaciers, lush river valleys and dense forest, home to mind-boggling flora and fauna.
Sophie Ibbotson, author of Tajikistan: The Bradt Guide
Tajikistan is the roof of the world. When you start reading about the country, that same cliché comes up over and over again.
At first it might seem like such repetition shows a lack of imagination in writers (at least a century of them, and counting), but when you finally get to stand on top of ‘a peak of the High Pamirs, eyes downcast like a meringue accordion of the peaks unfold below you, or even dive to land on a scheduled flight, holding your breath otherwise the pilot brushes the snow off the peaks with the underside of the plane , you too will find the same sentence sticking out of your tongue. Tajikistan is the roof of the world.
Nature has been kind to Tajikistan, giving the country not only breathtaking beauty, but also a temperate climate. Mountains and glaciers, lush river valleys and dense forest are home to a bewildering array of flora and fauna, including the famous (but sadly shy) Marco Polo sheep and the even rarer snow leopard.
Hot springs – either the result of geological faults or miracles performed by ancient holy men – are scattered throughout the valleys, their warm, mineral-rich waters both a pleasant diversion on a trip and, for local Muslims, important places of pilgrimage. Alpine meadows bursting with the bright colors of spring flowers create a patchwork rainbow that streaks across the horizon, pastures host picnic spots for road-weary tourists and grazing goats.
Tajikistan’s rich past has largely marked its present. Although the Buddhist temples of Ajina Tepa and Takht-i Sangin are no more than a shattered shadow of their former glorious selves, walking along the crumbling walls here in ancient Panjakent or Sarazm is a reminder poignant that Tajikistan hasn’t always been a remote, distant isolated place.
For much of its past it was at the center of the Silk Road, at the meeting point of mighty empires, and as a result its people and cities prospered financially and culturally, drawing strength and ability to adapt and survive cosmopolitanism. companies that have settled here.
Thirty years after independence, the country’s cultural identity is still being created, as Tajiks living abroad return to plant new ideas and dreams in timeless soil, and younger generations mature with hope and optimism. Tajikistan is a resilient place, where exceptional beauty is found through every tunnel and mountain pass.
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