Adventure on the Great Pamir in Tajikistan Pamir TRAVEL

Welcome to Khojand
(Tajikistan, Sogdian regoin)

Central Asia was also the field of battles, where Alexander the Great with his troops entered through the west and invaded almost the whole Central Asia. The last bulwark of Alexander the Great was Khujand. The age of the ancient town Khujand is 2500 years and in the times of Greeks invasion it was called "Alexandria Eskhata". From the east there was the invasion of Chingizkhan. The troops of Tatar-Mongol hordes for a long time stayed at the gates of Khujand, and the ruler of the town XII cc., Timurmalik kept the fortress of the town for a long. One can see the ruins of that fortress in our times as the symbol of heroism.

Geographically Khujand is situated along the picturesque river of Syr-Darya, on both it's banks and is called "The Gates of Ferghana valley". Today Khujand is the developed scientific, cultural and economic center of Northern Tajikistan. There preserved also some ancient monuments of history, religion and the culture.

Khujand , as the second largest city in Tajikistan and the largest industrial and cultural centre
of northern Tajikistan, is situated on the beautiful lands stretching along the Sir-Darya river at the height
of more than 300 meter above sea level. Due to its climate and beneficial geographical position the Ferghana
Valley where the city lies is called "the pearl of Central Asia". Its green mountainous countryside and clean
air, the running waters of the Sir-Darya as well as the abundance of fruit and grapes and other gifts of nature
make it an ever young-park -city. Khujand is home to one of ancient civilizations in central Asia and beside Samarqand and Bukhara is one of the major culture centers of Tajik people. As the golden entrance to Ferghana Valley, Khujand enjoyed prosperity and its riches spawned palaces, grand mosques and a citadel before the Mongols steamrollered the city into oblivion in the early 13th century. Having more than 2500 years old of civilization, passing historical ups and downs, possessing a creative culture, Khujand has attained a very high status in Tajikistan's splendid history and civilization. Khujand is the second city in size in Tajikistan and one of the oldest cities of Asia. According to the legend, it’s was founded by Alexander Makedonsky more than 2500 years ago. Many scientists consider its founding at the end of sixth century B.C. Khujand is situated in the blossoming valley of the Sir-Darya river at a height of three hundred meters above
sea level. Today Khujand is the largest industrial and cultural centre of Northern Tajikistan and the second by
meaning after capital Dushanbe with population of five hundred thousand.
Truly blessed geographical location and climatic conditions of Khujand, that’s why Ferghana valley, where it
is situated is reputed as Pearl of Central Asia. Mountainous scenery, eternally steamy waters of the Sir-Darya river, clear air, it’s green dress, plenty of fruits and others gifts of nature makes it always young and blossoming garden city. Being located at the entry of Ferghana valley, between the spurs of Turkistan mountain range and the Mogoltau mountains, city during all of its centuries-old history was delighted with prosperity and wealth, being one of the main centers of Great Silk Way. That epoch remained to itself plentiful palaces, great mosques and city citadel, which was destroyed by Mongol, who occupied city in 13 century A.D.
Since ancient times silkworm breeding mount to significant development.
Khujand is a beautiful city with soften hot climate river. It’s beautiful parks makes it wonderful green place.
Khujand is a very ancient city. Its previous name – Khujand held out before 1936 and according to the written
sources existed still in the seventh century. The city existed during Ahamenids’ dynasty, before Alexander
Makedonsky’s coming to the banks of Sir-Darya river. Alexander Makedonsky and his forces occupied the city,
fortified it and named it in honor of their commander – Alexandria Eskhata.
Since ancient times being situated on the crossroads of famous trade way, Khujand was one of the major economic, military and cultural centers of Central Asia. The great silk road was passed through Khujand city, which linked ancient Greece, Rome, Asia Minor and Egypt with such countries as: China, Persia and India. Silk produce, jewelry, made by masters from Khujand were famous even far more than the Orient.
Khujand today – is the largest industrial and cultural centre of the north Tajikistan. Khujand is rather picturesque Central Asian city, where ancient and modern live in harmony – in architecture, in customs, in people’s clothes.
The ancient city was spared in several places, which are guarded by population and our State. This is, first of all, ruins of citadel on the left bank of the Sir-Darya river - architecture-artistic monument, which was built in the Middle Ages and was used as fortification right up to the beginning of XX century. Citadel took stand in 64 thousand square meters and was rounded by cob walls with high-throughput towers. Extant walls’ ruins are dated generally by XVIII-XIX centuries.
As a result of 30-years archaeological works were founded cultural stratum of more ancient city fortification to the extent ruins of the walls of IV century B.C., raised by Alexander Makedonsky’s forces. Foundlings in archeological dig are items of different historical epochs, weapon and recovery of ancient building materials are exhibited in present time in historical museum of local lore. To the south-east from citadel, one other interesting region of ancient Khujand is hold out – Panjshanbe (word for word “Thursday”- the day of lively trade). Here, today, as in ancient times, the main bazaar of Khujand city is continued to function. In this part of ancient Khujand were situated plenty of handicraft estates, whose population was depend on the bazaar completely. Exactly here gradually arised typical for Oriental market-places public buildings: caravanserais, teahouses, bath-houses, mosques.
The ancient market-place is called “The crossroad of braves”. It is hold out thanks to partly spared surroundings (architectural ensemble of Muslihiddin mausoleum of XVI century) and by energies of architects and painters,
who raised new complex market in traditional Oriental style.
Modern Khujand as Tajikistan lives by saturated social cultural life. Khujand city continues to equip with modern services and utilities, grow prettier and go up quickly, confidently step in new stage of its development.

Name: Khujand
Province: SOGDIAN
Population: c. 500,000
Language: Persian (Tajik)
Area code: 3422 and 3455
Transportation: Daily flights from Dushanbe and Moscow and by coaches from Penjikent. More
Post: DHL Worldwide, 4th Floor, 122 Firdausi Street
Tel: 40617. More about
*Hotel “Khujand”
*Hotel “Tavhid”
*Hotel “Vahdat”
*Hotel “Ehson”
*Hotel “SINO”
*Hotel Leninabad, at the south bank of the river, near the bridge. Tel: 6-6927
*Hotel Khujand Chkalovsk. Tel: 6-4990
Tour operator:"Pamir travel"
Address: Shark street, Khujand
Phone: +992 -92 – 771-86-46
Map: Road map

The Old Town
Today Khujand remains a rather picturesque Central Asian town bearing characteristic features of both ancient and modern times styles of architecture, in everyday routine of urban life, in people's customs and dress. The old town was spared by time in some places.
They are, first of all, the remains of the citadel on the left bank of the Sir-Darya river an architectural and artistic monument which was built in early Middle Ages and used as a fortification work up to the beginning of the XX century .The citadel surrounded by clay walls with thick towers occupied the area of 64 thousand square meters. The remains of the walls date back to the XVIII-XIX centuries.
The 30-year long archaeological excavations resulted in finding cultural layers of early urban fortifications dating back to the remains of the walls erected by the troops of Alexander the Great in the IV century B. C. The excavated household utensils of different epochs, armaments and samples of ancient building materials are being exhibited now in the halls of Museum of Regional Studies.
Southeast of the citadel at a fairly large distance from it there is one more section of the old town, which is of interest -" Panjshanbe Bazaar" (meaning "Thursday market-a busy market day"). Like many centuries ago the main city market continues its functioning here nowadays. Once a lot of quarters of craftsmen entirely depending on the market were concentrated in this part of old Khujand. It is here that public buildings such as caravanserais, teahouses, bathhouses and mosques typical of Eastern market squares appeared gradually.

The old market square named "Chorahai Mardon" ("Courageous Crossroads") survived mainly due to the partly preserved surroundings (the Muslihiddin Mausoleum architectural assemblage ) and to the efforts of artists and architects who have erected a new Market Complex in the traditional Eastern style.

Next to the Mausoleum there stands a XX century mosque with a 20-column hall and painted ceiling and although a twenty one meter high minaret of the XIX century. Local masters Mirzorahmat and Usto Mallabek took part in its construction.

*Remains of city citadel from 10th century surrounded in a pleasant park. You find it at the south bank of the river, 200 meters western the bridge, along the river.
* The mosque , medresse and mausoleum of Sheikh Muslihiddin in the Old Town are worth seeing.
*Khujand historical museum.

*Khujand botanical garden
Established in 1985. With area of 6,6 ha , this garden is arranged within the limits of city. Botanic collections consist of more 300 species of plants.
*The Tajik traditional Tea houses with beautiful ceiling paintings.

*Theater house
*Promenade on the bank of the river in tow n
*Finishing in the Syr Darya river is a pleasant local hobby

Sogdian’s, a people of Iranian language (the Tajiks) ranging among the most important peoples of pre-Islamic Central Asia between 1,000 and 500 BC.
The ethnic and territorial name "Soghd/Soghdian" occurs in historical sources as early as in Iranian Achaemenid times (6th century B.C.).
Soghdiana, a distinct region that intermittently existed as a combination of separate oasis states and sometimes was subject to other states. Two important cities in what is now northern Tajikistan, Khujand (formerly Leninabad) and Penjikent, as well as Bukhoro (Bukhara) and Samarqand (Samarkand) in contemporary Uzbekistan, were Sogdian in antiquity. In their heartland, the Zerafshan valley, they founded several city-states, as well as colonies along the ancient Silk Routes from Eastern Europe (Crimea)
to the Chinese border and Mongolia.
Alexander the Great took this area in the 4th century BC. The Arabs conquered Sogdiana in the early 600s. Under Muslim rule, especially with Samanid support, Sogdiana grew to encompass Maymurgh, Kabadian, Kushaniyya, Bukhara, Kish, Nasaf, Samarqand, and Penjikent, each a virtual kingdom.

The Tajiks came into prominence as a people under the rule of the Samanids (875-999) who undermined and, to a great degree centralized the government.
They also revived the ancient urban centers as Bukhara, Samarqand, Merv, Nishapur, Herat, Balkh, Khujand, Penjikent, and Holbuk which, in turn, elevated the socio-political, economic and, necessarily, cultural dynamics of the new and progressive Samanid state.
From the early days of its establishment situated at a crossroads of old trade routs of the East Khujand turned to be one of the most important economic, strategic and cultural centers in Central Asia. The so-called "Great silk rout" went via it connected ancient Greece, Rome, Asia Minor and Egypt with China, Persia and India. Goods of silk and jeweler manufactured by Khujand craftsmen were well- known far beyond the countries of the East. And today the old names of different city quarters reflect the importance of the once so much popular crafts: Pillakashon (silk-weavers), Zargaron (jewelers), Sangburron
(stone-masons), etc.
An unknown medieval author called Khujand "the dwelling of the astronomical science stars" was born here.
In later years Khujand appeared to become the centre of different historical events. Ruined by the Arabs in the eighth century it strongly resisted the Mongol hordes five centuries later having thus provisionally stemmed their advance to the West.
In the year of 1866 Central Asia was occupied by Russia. In 1929, after establishing of soviet system in Central Asia, the Tajiks got their Autonomous SSR (ASSR). Although only a satellite of the Uzbek SSR. In 1929 this was upgraded to a full union republic, although (perhaps in reprisal for the basmachi revolt) Samarqand and Bukhara, two Tajik culture centers, where the population are Tajiks, remained in Uzbekistan. As recently as 1989 the government of Tajikistan was still trying to persuade the Soviet leadership to return these areas.
The Bolsheviks never fully trusted this troublesome republic and during the 1930s almost all Tajiks in positions of influence within the government were replaced by stooges from Moscow. Read more

*Swimming in the Kairakkum Lake, some few kilometers eastward from Khujand.
*Ruins of ancient Penjikent , (some 1.5 km from the modern town of Penjikent) a major Sogdian town arose in the 5th century A.D. More about
*Penjikent - Khujand route is a fantastic scenic route through the high mountains, climbing in places to over 3500 meters.
* Samarqand (Samarkand) is the major cultural and industrial center of Tajik people (now in Uzbekistan) . A majestic and beautiful city, Samarkand is the city of legends . The city is situated in the blossoming Zerafshan Valley. Samarkand is part of a region that historically was known as Sogdiana, and whose ethnically Iranian (Tajik) merchants for centuries seem to have played a key role in the commerce along the Silk Road. More about. For alpine climbing, high level walking tours and Lakeland scenery the Fann Mountains in the North West of the country, just a couple of hours from both Penjikent and Dushanbe. This is a favorite place for trekking and climbing.
More about.


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