Adventure on the Great Pamir in Tajikistan Pamir TRAVEL

Wellcome to Dushanbe

Dushanbe is a clean, green European city with wide, tree-lined streets and pale, elegant buildings lend it an air of faded prosperity, and there are plenty of cafes in which to enjoy tea and local sweets.
Its location beneath the snow-capped Hissar range in the wide valley of the Varzob river.
Between 1929 and 1961, the city of Dushanbe was called Stalinabad. The city of Dushanbe grew out of the village of Dushanbe. Records show that as early as 1676, on each Monday of the week (Dushanbe), villagers from the surrounding areas brought their produce to market at this spot. In 1907, Dushanbe served as a summer resort for the Bek of Hissar; in 1920, it housed Amir Alim Khan. The ousted Amir of Bukhara stayed in Dushanbe and cooperated with the Basmachis until he had to leave the region. From Dushanbe, he fled to Afghanistan in 1921, the year the town was freed from the Basmachis as well. After 1921, Dushanbe became the administrative center of Eastern Bukhara.

Facts at a Glance

Name : Dushanbe
Population : c. 590,000
Language: Persian (Tajik)
Area code: 372

transportation: Dushanbe is connected to Termez and Tashkent
in Uzbekistan, by rail and to Kulab, Qurqanteppe, and Khorog,
the administrative center of Gorno-Badakhshan, by road.
Due to the mountainous terrain of the region, TRAVEL by plane
and helicopter often is preferred to TRAVEL by car.

Orientation: Dushanbe is divided into four administrative zones: Rah Ahan, Markazi, Oktiabr, and Frunze. Varzab, a suburb of Dushanbe, used to serve as one of the prominent recreation areas for the former Soviet Union. At the present time, the city serves as both the administrative center of the republic of Tajikistan and the republic's largest industrial and cultural center.
Dushanbe has two main bazaars: Barakat and Shamansur. A third bazaar in the region of the new micro rayons is exclusive to that population. During the summer, the bazaars teem with vegetables, fruits, flowers, and people. In winter, they are all but deserted. Bread, meat, and dried fruits are about all one can buy.

What to see

A wonderful modern Opera Ballet theater and a number of art-related institutes, museums, and studios, all centered in the city of Dushanbe. More
The city also houses the Firdowsi Library, a major library with an impressive collection of medieval Islamic manuscripts.
The main points of interest all lie on, or close to, Prospekt Rudaki which runs from the railway station in the south to the bus station in the north. As well as the principal mosque, this area boasts a synagogue that dates back to the late 19th century, a Russian church and a columned opera house.
Donít forget visiting a Tajik market because, while you will find souvenirs, your senses will be pleasantly bombarded and, unlike in many developing COUNTRIES, no-one will harass you to buy anything. Lose yourself in the enormous market on the road west from Dushanbe to the old Hissar Fort, where women in traditional Tajik attire of long, psychedelically coloured dresses and men in embroidered skullcaps sell everything from cotton (one of Tajikistanís main crops) to vegetables, jewellery, carpets and furniture.

The Tajik traditional Tea houses (chaikhana) with beautiful decorartion. Walking down the streets of Dushanbe, a number of special features attract your attention. A prominent one is the teahouse or the chaikhana. You realize you are near a chaikhana when you hear the music filling the air and when you see the many colorful benches that invite the customers to take a few minutes of rest, drink tea and listen to the gossip of the day. In addition to tea and sweets, kabob and rice, are often also served.
Other features in the city include the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan and Unified Museum, situated just north of the railway station in Ploshchad Aym, which has stuffed snow leopards and Marco Polo sheep amongst its exhibits. The ethnographic museum is on ulitsa Somoni, not far from the Hotel Tajikistan.

The delightful clothes of the men and women from the villages (kishlaks) is another interesting feature. Men wear the traditional jama (a knee-long jacket) tied at the waist with a colorful mianband (kerchief). Their taqi (skullcap) with its paisley design, distinguishes the wearers by region. Women wear a kurta, made of soft, colorful, bright silk, and a shalvar (long pants) with decorative cuffs (sheraz). Women also wear hats with their national costume. The hats, especially those imported from Bukhara and Badakhshan, are either embroidered or decorated with precious stones. Village women mostly wear colorful rusaris (scarf) tied in the back and worn in a decorative manner more like a hat than for cover as a veil. Farmers and herders wear a special heavy boot over their usual shoes. The older generation wear long Islamic cloaks and turbans. Many of the older people wear beards; they are referred to as aksakals (white beard) or muy sapids (Tajik, lit. white hair).

Getting around

30-km west of Dushanbe, on the wide mountain-fringed plain, you find the remains of an 18th centuary fortress, occupied until 1924 by Ibrahim Beg, the local henchman of the emir of Bukhara. Once a basmachi strong hold, the, the fortress was destroyed by the Red Army and all that remains is reconstructed.A scramble to the top is rewarded with some excellent views. Two madressas (from 18th and 19th centuary)are beside the fortress. The older medresssa (facing the fortress gate) contains a small museum with displays of clothing, ceramics and jewellery.

A 16th centuary mausoleum of Makhtum Azam (an Islamic master) is beyond the medrassas. Visiting the calm and pleasant Chaykhane (Teahouse), at the foot of the grassy slopes around the fortress is a must.

To get high quickly, contact Intourist, and ask to visit their boar-hunting base north of Dushanbe in Hissar rang.

Only 5km from the capital is the crumbling mountain resort of Varzob.
The winding road offers some beautiful views as it passes through villages, before winding between dramatic rocky mountains and twisting its way up to Varzob.

It is a delightful place -a valley with grass and trees as far up as the eye can see, and a narrow but turbulent brook of blue but foamy water at the bottom.
Various catering places, serving mostly kabob and fish, dot the side of the brook. Your hosts will bring bread, vodka, and dried nuts to complete what the caterers at the cafe offer.

*Excursion to the mountain passes of the Kara-Tak, north of Dushanbe, walking 8-10km (5-6 miles) per day, with the baggage being carried by donkeys, and staying in mountain villages.

Food & Drinks
Restaurants in Dushanbe:

*Delhi Darbar (Indian)
Address: 88 Rudaki Street, Dushanbe
Tel: +992 (0)372 -218 863, +992 (0)372 - 242 546

*Restaurant Elite(European & local style)
Address: Chapaev Street (opposite Radio House), Dushanbe
Tel: +992 (0)372- 212 512

*Bar-Restaurant Polonaise
(Exquisite European and Tajik cuisine)
Address: 2nd floor, 35/1 Bohtar Street , Dushanbe
Tel: +992 (0)372 - 212 526

*Restaurant Continent
(Mostly European cuisine with Continent specials )
Address:32, Boukhara Street , Dushanbe
Tel: +992 (0)372 - 214 498

*Bar/Restaurant Intourist-Tojikiston
(European & local style)
(22, Shotemur Street
Tel:+992 (0)372 - 217 077 , +992 (0)372 - 213 352
Fax:+992 (0)372 - 216 426

*Restaurant Kapris (European style)
Address: 32, Ghafurov Street, 82-y mikrorayon
Tel: +992 (0)372- 379 450

Cafe, Bar in Dushanbe :

*Shahrom (European style)
Address:16, Kirov (Husein-Zoda) Street, Dushanbe

*Bar Manhattan
Address: 32, Shotemur Street, Dushanbe

*Bar Vostochny (local & Russian style)
Address: 56, Rudaki Avenue

*Cafe Romashka
Address: 33, Rudaki Avenue

*Bar Intourist-Tojikiston- Two bars
(European & local style)
(22, Shotemur Street
Tel:+992 (0)372 - 217 077 , +992 (0)372 - 213 352
Fax:+992 (0)372 - 216 426

*Bar Polonaise
(Exquisite European and Tajik cuisine)
Address: 2nd floor, 35/1 Bohtar Street , Dushanbe
Tel: +992 (0)372 - 212 526

*Rohat teahouse - (interesting)
(traditional Persian teahouse)
Address: 84, Rudaki street


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