Tajikistan

Tajikistan

Etymology

Tajikistan means the “Land of the Tajiks”. The suffix “-stan” is Persian for “place of” or “country” and Tajik is, most likely, the name of a pre-Islamic (before the seventh century A.D.) tribe. According to the Library of Congress’s 1997 Country Study of Tajikistan, it is difficult to definitively state the origins of the word “Tajik” because the term is “embroiled in twentieth-century political disputes about whether Turkic or Iranian peoples were the original inhabitants of Central Asia.” [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

American Corner Dushanbe (Tajikistan) – The American Corner (AC) aims to strengthen mutual understanding and deepen cultural, educational, and scientific exchanges between people from the United States, Tajikistan and around the world. [facebook]

ARENA Sports Bar – Sports Bar, Cafe in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. [facebook]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Tajik Bride Lucky Lovers – Tajikistan dating! Meet Tajikistan women, find brides, dates, girls and guys, single personals, women and men from all over the world. Many Tajikistan singles are already online. So if you are not a member yet, join! It’s the best internet dating experience on the web. It takes only a few minutes to sign up and start chatting and dating! [tajik-bride.luckylovers]

Tajikistan Dating – Tajik has some of the most attractive singles on the planet. It’s no secret that Tajik girls and guys are popular and loved both locally and abroad. What’s even more interesting is that Tajik girls are renowned for their loyalty and sincerity; valuable attributes for meaningful relationships. [tajikistan.asia.dating]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Eurasia Travel – We pride ourselves on our proven ability to customise the perfect holiday just for you, or to share with you some of the fabulous itineraries we’ve created over the years of working in this region. Whether you are looking to chill on an Caspian beach in Azerbaijan, discover the roots of Sogdian culture in Uzbekistan  or Tajikistan, or follow the great nomad routes in Kyrgyzstan, we’ve the perfect trip for you. [eurasia]

Koryo Tours – Koryo’s co-founder, Nick Bonner, was a lecturer at a Beijing university in the early 1990s when he met a DPRK citizen, and took his first trip to Pyongyang. The experience inspired him to set up Koryo Tours in 1993, and he’s been travelling there ever since. [koryo group]

Tajikistan Travel Guide – We are a full service adventure travel company with head office based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We promote tours and services along Silk Road operating in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Tours to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and China are offered on travel agent basis. [travel tajikistan]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Ancient Ajina-Tepe Buddhist Monastery – The Ancient Ajina-Tepe Buddhist Monastery is situated in the Vakhsh Valley near Kurgan-Tyube. It was an archaeological find by Boris Letvinsky in the sixties wherein he dug up a “sleeping Buddha” as part of the monastery. This piece of ancient art has forty four divisions all in all. [wanderlust15]

Dushanbe Zoo – The Dushanbe Zoo is one of the highlights and most popular landmarks in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It is situated in Dushanbe and locals love to spend weekends there bonding with their kids. There are around 120 species in this quaint zoo and that is 700 animals all in all. As a tourist, you are allowed to take pictures of the zoo and the animals plus it is also recommended to eat their national dish called the “Pilov”. [wanderlust15]

Fann Mountains – It is a mountainous region after all and one of the things to do in Tajikistan is to climb the Fann Mountains and explore what the most popular tourist attraction in the country has to offer. It’s not just one big mountain. Fann is a series of mountains and there are around one hundred summits within the area. The highest peak in Fann is Chimtarga at 5,489 meters. The shortest hill is about 1,500 meters. The Iskanderkul Lake is located here and also the Kulikalon Lakes. [wanderlust15]

Gharm-Chashma – Gharm-Chashma is a hot springs area within the Ishkoshim Mountains. Local and foreign tourists are always asking for this hot springs since water attractions are very limited in Tajikistan. It is a bit of a drive going to this spring if you’re coming from the city but it is all worth it. Some people find it exhilarating to bathe in the spring because it can be therapeutic. It has a warm feel to the skin and sometimes it can go as high as 50 degrees. It is one of the things to do in Tajikistan. [wanderlust15]

Iskanderkul – One of the top tourist attractions and places to visit in the country is Iskanderkul. It is a glacial lake situated at the Fann Mountains. The lake is 7,201 feet above the ground but still people go there just to enjoy the view. In the whole Soviet Union, it was once recognized as the most beautiful lake. [wanderlust15]

Kuhi La’l Mine – Since Tajikistan was a mountainous region, people of the olden days were mining, as one of the ways to thrive. The Kuhi La’l Mine is one of those mountains that they extracted Shpinel. Shpinel is a red gemstone that people mistake for rubies. Anyway, today, the mine is a tourist attraction. [wanderlust15]

Kuhi-Malik Fiery Caves – The Kuhi-Malik Fiery Caves is one of the top attractions and sights to see in Tajikistan. It is a subject in one of Herodotus’ many travels. He termed it as underground fires some 3,000 years ago. Actually, if you look at it now, the Kuhi-Malik is not really a cave. It is more like a deep hole on the ground with burning coal, at times. It can be seen and smelled. [wanderlust15]

Langar – One of the things to do in Tajikistan is to visit the town of Langar. There are attractions to see in Langar like the Khazrati Shoh Mausoleum. It is also termed as the Mausoleum of “Amir Khamza Khasti Podshoh”. The mausoleum is in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and was submitted for review since 1999. The person buried in this holy site is Khazra posho mir Khamza, a saint from Tajikistan. [wanderlust15]

Nurek Dam – Nurek Dam is another one of Tajikistan’s important landmarks. It was established in 1961 and was on construction for the almost twenty years. The dam is by the border of Khatlon and it is owned by Barqi Tojik. It is a power company in Tajikistan. [wanderlust15]

Petroglyphs – Petroglyphs are ancient art carvings or drawings on rocks and stones which are found in Pamirs Mountains in Tajikistan, among many other sites. Some of these petroglyphs are seen in Ghunt River valleys, Langar, Porshnev and more. The oldest carvings are believed to be from the Bronze Age and that is 2,500 BC to 700 BC. It would be nice to see for yourself these rock drawings and realize how artistic people were back then. [wanderlust15]

Rangul Lake – The Rangul Lake is an important lake not only in Tajikistan. At one time, it was part of the Silk Road route. What’s special about it is that the country is not much on water areas which makes Ozero Rangkul, another name for Rangul Lake, a “unique” attraction. Going to the lake will take a bit of a ride since it is on top of a mountain called Pamirs. There are 4-wheel drive trucks available to do the tour. [wanderlust15]

Sarez Lake – One of the few lakes in Tajikistan is the Sarez Lake. The inflow and outflow of the lake comes and goes to Murghab River and it was formed because of an earthquake more than one hundred years ago. Experts are saying that if there was another earthquake to happen in the future, the area would cause a huge flood on the terrain below it. The lake is 10,705 feet above sea level and it is surrounded by a mountainous region. [wanderlust15]

Takht-i Sangin – Takht-i Sangin is an ancient town in Tajikistan and its most popular highlight is the Oxus Treasure. It was believed that in this site, some of the Oxus Treasures were found. These treasures are made of either gold or silver and the metalwork in itself is the art. (Most of these treasures are being safeguarded by the British Museum today.) Anyway, this old village has been nominated to UNESCO and to date; it is still in the tentative list. [wanderlust15]

Vrang Buddhist Stupa – The Vrang Buddhist Stupa is a Buddhist place of worship which is very near the Yamchun Fortress, another one of Tajikistan’s tourist attractions which will be featured later. One of the things to do in Tajikistan is to see this stupa. [wanderlust15]

Yamchun Fortress – As mentioned, the Yamchun Fortress is within the village where the Vrang Buddhist Stupa is located. It is situated on top of Wakhan Valley and one needs to walk six kilometers just to reach the place. The fort was erected in the 3rd century BC and it wasn’t preserved well. Today, it is in ruins but still, people visit it and explore the historical site. The walls of this fort are 1.5 meters thick and the towers of the fort have a diameter of three to four meters. [wanderlust15]

Festivals

Festivals

Eid al-Fitr – The Muslim event of Eid al-Fitr, also locally referred to as Idi Kurbon or Qurban Eid, takes place according to the Islamic lunar calendar, usually during September, to celebrate the end of the Ramadan holy month of fasting. Festivities usually center on communal prayer, feasting, and family visits. Fasting is forbidden for Muslims on this day. Children are given sweets in the early morning, and the average household receives visits from more than seventy people in a day. It is also a time for gratitude and giving to charity. [iexplore]

Eid ul-Adha – This Muslim celebration occurs 70 days after Ramadan on 10th day of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, the event commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in submission to God’s will. The four-day celebration features special prayer services and a family feast of fattened sheep (in reference to the lamb that was sacrificed in the place of Abraham’s son, also at God’s command). [iexplore]

Independence Day – Tajikistan celebrates its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union on September 9 each year. Each town celebrates in its own fashion, usually with a festival that includes street parades, concerts, and fireworks. Independence Day is a nationally observed public holiday. [iexplore]

Navruz – Navrus is the celebration of the Persian New Year, which takes place over three days between March 20 and 22 each year on the spring equinox. The event is a national public holiday and a very important festival. Celebrations are a community affair, with whole towns preparing special dishes, eaten only on this occasion, and taking part in street parties, concerts, and parades, as well as visiting with friends and family. [iexplore]

Sayri Guli Lola – Sayru Guli Lola is a regional festival held in the north of Tajikistan in honor of the native tulips that flower during spring. This colorful two-day festival is hosted by different towns and features traditional choirs, music, and dancing. The first day sees locals tying tulips around trees, where people gather to sing, dance, and make wishes. Naqshi Kalon is a traditional song particular to this festival, and evening torchlight parades represent the victory of light over dark. The next day is for self cleansing in rivers and remembering the dead, with special prayer services held at cemeteries. [iexplore]

Victory Day – Victory Day is a national public holiday that takes place on May 9 each year. The festival, which has been observed in Tajikistan since 1946, commemorates the Soviet Union WWII defeat of Germany, and is usually characterized by fireworks and a military Parade. Each town has its own celebrations that often include greeting veterans and acknowledging their wartime achievements. The capital, Dushanbe, has the largest organized event, centered on Victory Park. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Minibuses – Going around the city in minibus (marshrutka) is a great way of travelling. It’s easy and cheap. [virtual tourist]

Train – There are trains reaching the south of Tajikistan from Dushanbe, but the service is slow and unreliable. The line goes almost all the way to the Afghan border. You will save time and effort, but perhaps not money by travelling by hire vehicle or long-distance taxi or bus. [virtual tourist]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Dushanbe Startup: Idea to IPO – Entrepreneurship permeates the culture of Silicon Valley – the innovation capital of the world. The advent of the Digital Age has democratized innovation and entrepreneurship. Never before has it been more possible for anyone from anywhere, with a great idea and a burning desire to succeed, to make it big, and in the process, change the world in a relatively short period of time. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Living in Tajikistan – Landlocked between the other ‘-stans’ and China, Tajikistans geography is blessed with blue skies and cold, crisp air, warmed by welcoming hospitality. Marred by the fall of the Soviet Union, the country picked up the pieces of its past. The shadows of its history are long gone; foreigners will find that infrastructures and architectures now reflect the country’s forward-looking vision. And with the mountainous backdrop, the contrast between nature and manmade structures strike a perfect visual harmony that no one should miss. If you’re on your way to the ‘Roof of the World’, take a step back and read through some information we’ve put together. [expat woman]

Your Expat Community in Tajikistan – Assalom and good day to our Tajikistan expat community! Expats who decide upon a move to an unfamiliar country for career or family reasons often feel isolated in their journey, especially when looking for friendly advice from those with a similar experience. The InterNations expat community can ensure that nobody is alone when it comes to the tough task of upping roots and taking on the challenge of adapting to life in a foreign land. [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Tajikistan

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