Adventure on the Great Pamir in Tajikistan Pamir TRAVEL

About great Pamir

The facts confirm that, agriculture and home animals appeared in bronze epoch. But for cultivating of the land people used stone ploughers. The first worshipping monuments appeared: four-angled erections with outside entrance-corridor and the stone altar in the centre of the back walls. At the same time they were intended as tombs or a burial vaults. The dead bodies were buried inside of the walls, first putting them in the "stone boxes". This was the starting time of the worshipping of the Fire and the Sun. The stone rounded fencings (with the diameter of 60-46ms) on the starts of the river Big Marjanai are connected with different ceremonies, dedicated to the Fire and the Sun. (pic. 3).
A human being living here in this time anthropologically belonged to the Mediterranean race type. They came to Pamir from the south or south-western areas of Southern-Tajikistan or Afghanistan.
To the next thousand years, exploring and population of Pamir continues, getting tempo’s and this time is called "Sac's Period" . The "Roof of the World" successfully started to be used as a pasture from the early spring up to late autumn. More than 50 tombs found there tell us about. At the same time in the neighboring north-eastern areas Sac nomadic tribes also pastures their cattle’s. Excavation of tombs gave us big materials about weapons, house tools, ceremonial items and a wide trade contacts with Fergana valley, Xinzyang, India and Afghanistan.

Practical knowledge of ancient peasants was based on solar calendar, which had original construction. In the valley of the river Shorolyu (left tributary of the river Kuhdara) in the area of the Kokjar pass, on the height of the 3850 ms there were found interesting sloppy figures, made on the earth from stone (length 6-13 ms) in two colures (black stone and white quartz). One figure is oriented to spring (autumn) day/night equality (march 21 and September 23) and two others were oriented to summer (winter) day/night equality (June 22 and December 22)

The end of I- thousand years, B. C. is the famous that, there was opened the Great Silk Road in II cc. B. C. from China to the countries of Central and Front Asia. In the area of Dunkhuan district the road divided into two, - the northern road went to Ferghana valley, the southern after crossing Saricol range went to south. The southern road is famous under the name of Vakhan or Great Buddhian Road and Shugnan. This was the road of trade caravans, Buddhian worshippers and missioners.
To this time the Western Pamir enough explored, that there were built huge defensive castles (Kah-Kaha in Namadgut village), fortressed settlements. Most of them were built in I cc. B. C. - Icc. B. C. (Kushan period) The lack of plain lands and the defense purposes insisted them to build settlements on a high rocky mounds. Magnificent erections (the height of the walls preserved up to 3-meters) are seen in the background of snow cowered peaks. It is the unrepeatable museum under the open sky, which created by the ancestors of modern people, who live now in Vakhan, Shugnan, Rushan, Yazgulem and Vanch.
Mostly, special type of agriculture - agricultural farms were developed. According to modern measures, in ancient times, however up to XII cc. there no villages at all. The big Patriarchic families (with up to 60 people) lived in the village farms. The strong walls with towers, defended living and farm houses.
In the early middle ages (VI-VII cc. ) fire worshipping well confirmed, that there appeared fire temples (In village farms there were special rooms for holy fire) and in ancient manuscripts local people were called fire worshippers. The name of " Great Buddhian Road" was confirmed in ancient Vakhan. 4-stored Buddhian temple in the village of Vrang. The sitting niches for worshippers were cut around the terraces, and some of them were remained under the foothills of the temple.
In the place of ancient ford through the river Pyanj (between Ishkoshim and Rin village) there was built a pier-caravanserai Dorkisht. Caravansarai and descent to the river was defended by walls with towers.
The exploring of natural resources started in the period of IX-XI cc. In XII cc. a rich spinal mines were found in the area of the village Kuhi-lal, in ancient times famous as Badakhshan lal stones. The reason that they are called Badakhshan stones the well-known ancient mineralogist Biruni (XI c) explainers, that, they were taken to Badakhshan, where they were granted, polished and sold. The mine belonged to the governor of Vakhan, who kept a control over the producing and exporting of the precious stone.
Silver mines containing silver ores were also important ones. They started to mine it in Shugnan, in the uppers of Gunt and it's right tributary Tokuzbulak river in Bachor range. There were found some settlements of miners and metallurgists. But the mines in the Eastern Pamir were famous. In XI cc. , the most sources of silver (ancient Ilak in the Republic of Uzbekistan and in Shelji in the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan) which were exported finished, there was so called " Silver crisis" . In this moment, the above mentioned silver mines in Shugnan were of big importance for the further exploring of silver resources in the " Roof of the World"
In the northern slopes of the North-Alichur range in the valley of the river Ak-jilga on the high 3980 ms above the sea level there was built a small town. It consisted of caravansarai, administrative centre, town buildings with living houses, fire temple, cemetery(more than 500 tombs) and the bathroom with underground heating.
The most highest mountain mine among the well-known resources was situated in the uppers of the river Sassik on the high of the 5000 ms above sea level.
You can do travels according to several routes. But before making trips along the ancient caravan roads, don't forget to visit Regional Ethnographic museum and the local Botanical Garden.

Wahan corridor:
We are start from Khorog to Ishkashim - 104 km. On the way we will see famous Hot springs
It is worth of seeing here the village of Anderob, from where the road turns to Garmchashma (7 km) - medical thermal spring. In the background of severe rocks it is possible to see the white cupolas of calcite mineral mounds. There are many medical thermal and mineral water springs like narzan and borjomi 8 km further, there is a Kuhi-lal village, where one can see ancient mines of high quality spinal.
District centre Ishkashim and the village Rin. Some fortressed settlements and defense castles, pier-caravansarai on the bank of the river Pyanj.

After Ishkashim:

The Kah-kah-ha castle (IV cc. B. C) - the walls of it strengthened with 55 towers, in the inside of it there are a bastion and the buildings of local governor(17kms from Ishkashim).
Yamchun village (situated 72 km from Ishkoshim). Upper the village there is a very early castle. (III cc. B. C. ). On the upper square there is a citadel for garrison. The double lines of the castle walls are strengthened with 39 towers.

Yamg village. (80 km from Ishkoshim). In the territory of the village the old system of the solar calendar, which rules the season dates of the Sunset was preserved. There is the tomb of the Sufi-astronomer Muborak(died in 1885y),who worked with the calendar.
Vrang village (87 km from Ishkoshim). The Buddhian temple in the upper of the village on the rocky slope. A sitting niches around the temple for buddhian worshippers.
Zong village (113 km from Ishkoshim). Around the village on the rocky slopes there are ruins of some castles, among them the Vishimkala (Anreshimkala) is the biggest. In the inside living and warehouse buildings compactly were built. A guarding tower built looking to the gorge. Ancient times there was situated the fire temple, built cross-like and there was a stowed for the holy fire.
District of the villages Zong-Hissor-Langar, traditionally called as the " Meeting of the main roads" . It is the point, where Pamir river joins with Wahan-Darya and the Pyanj river starts. There is the road to Eastern Pamir and Afgan Vakhan. The Castle of Ratm (Kushan period),in front of which a guarding tower with a highs of more than 3 meters was staying, took a control over the region.
Langar village. The remains of the castle are situated after the village of Langar, on the bank of the river Pamir, which runs here in the deepest gorge.
In the area of Langar there are majority of pethroglifs were found.

Shugnan destination:
from Khorog to Jelondy - 130kms.
On the top of the Bogiv village (Start of the river Bogivdara, the right tributary of the river Gunt ,9 km from Khorog) on the rocky mountains there is the castle, in the lower squares of it there are two temples of fire situated. It is built round like with niches for sitting and a place for the priest. There is a sowed in the centre. Three living houses built attaching to temples. The village of Patkhur (82 km from Khorog). Here was excavated farmer's house(YI-YII cc. )in which there was an altar for the fire. Varshez village(100 km from Khorog). There were found many settlements of miners and metallurgists, farmer's houses, mostly connected with silver resources in Bachor range in X-XI cc. Jelondy - this district is famous for mane medical thermal spring’s.

Second way Shugnan destination:
From Khorog-Jaushangoz (136kms)
The road to river Shokhdara. Besides the fascinating beauty ,it is interesting Roshtkala - district centre, in which there are situated the castle of Shugnan governor(XVIII-XIXcc) and one more ancient castle.
The Shashbuvad village(118 km from Khorog). From the road it is possible to see the well preserved ancient castle on the rock.
The valley of the river Jaushangoz. There is the castle of Derudj (YI-YII cc) 3 km after entrance to the valley. It closed the entrance to the valley of the river Shokhdara. This is the place, easy way to there is through the river Pamir, through Mats pass and the valley of the river Tokuzbulok.

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