Historical & Cultural tour to the South of Tajikistan
Day 1: Dushanbe
In the morning we will drive 35 km to visit Hisor fortress (VII- XVII centuries). This historical site has fortified areas and citadel. The fortress used to be the residence of the delegate of the Emir of Bukhara; it was located on a high hill and was well defended with 1 m thick walls and loopholes for guns and cannons. Inside there was a pool and a garden and across from the fortress there was a busy market square with a caravan serai and shops. Apart from the entrance gate with its two imposing towers, not much has survived of the fortress. Other interesting sites in Hisar include: the recently restored monuments of “Madrasa I Kuhna” (new school of 16th-17th centuries), mosque; the mausoleum of “Mahdumi Azam” (16th century). The entire day is dedicated to a guided city tour. First of we will visit Rudake Park, National library, White House, National state seal, House of parliament and Jomi theatre. After it we will walk in National park to make photos of Ministry of Inner Affairs and the biggest National Flag in the world – 165 m high pole, 30 m wide, 60 m long. After excursion in Central Museum you will have lunch. Then you will visit to Gurminj Museum of traditional musical instruments. To feel real life you should visit Asian bazar. It has colorful goods, fruits and vegetables. We will see today the main highlights of Dushanbe and you will find out many interesting facts about Tajik people. Dinner will be in a traditional restaurant where you try Tajik food. Night is in a hotel.
Day 2: Dushanbe – Shahrituz – Kurgonteppa (330 km, 7 hours)
In the morning we drive to Shahrituz through Vakhsh valley to visit Takhti Sangin (Persian "stone throne"), an ancient settlement in the south of Tajikistan, at the confluence of the Vakhsh and Panj. Excavations (conducted since 1976) opened the Greco-Bactrian and Kushan city with a citadel (the area of 237 mx 165 m), fortified stone walls. In the center of the citadel of a Greek temple excavated Oxus (the ancient name for the Amu Darya), built according to the type of Zoroastrian temple, - a hall with four column-bypass lanes stores. Found works of art III-II centuries BC. After sightseeing we will drive to Kurgonteppa city. Overnight is in a hotel.
Day 3: Kurgonteppa –Ajina Teppa – Kulob (210 km, 6 hours)
In the morning we will drive 12 km to the east of Kurgan Tube stands a hill named Ajina-Teppe with the remains of Buddhist monastery built in the 7th -the 8thI centuries (sanctuaries, cells, vessels, sculptures, wall paintings) including a 12-meter figure of the lying Buddha. After visiting Ajina Teppa we will drive to Kulob. On the way we will visit Hulbuk fortress (III b.c) and museum. Upon arriving in Kulob we visit the Mausoleum of Mir Said Ali Hamadoni the Persian poet and scientist is buried in Kulyab. Overnight is in hotel.
Day 4: Kulob – Norak – Dushanbe (210 km, 5 hours)
In the morning you will drive to Dushanbe city located 210 km northwest of Kulob. We will visit Khuramshahr in Dangara where is situated the Second biggest “Tea House” in the world (The biggest located in Tajikistan, Dushanbe). Lunch will be on the way in a traditional restaurant. On the way you will see Norak water reservoir that is called Tajik Sea. You will have stop for the photos. We will drive over Chormahzak and Shar – Shar passes where you will see Norak water reservoir that is called Tajik Sea. Night is in a hotel.
Day 5: Dushanbe – Iskandarkul Lake (140 km, 3 hours)
Our trip today is to high Mountain lake – Iskanderkul (2 255 m. a. s. l.). It is situated in the famous Fann Mountains. This fabulous area is one of the best places of Central Asia. The road to the lakes goes over Anzob pass (3 372 m) with amazing panorama views. After arrival to the lake you will go for a walk along it beaches. This is an amazing place to have a rest. Also we will hike 40 minutes to see a waterfall. Tajikistan takes the second place among the CIS countries for volume of water resources: it has the highest water reserves of all Central Asian countries with more than 1 000 rivers, 2 000 lakes and 8000 glaciers. Night is in a guesthouse.
Day 6: Iskandarkul Lake – Panjakent (170 km, 6 hours)
In the morning we will drive to Penjakent. The city of Penjakent ("five villages") is located in Sughd area of Tajikistan in a picturesque Zeravshan river valley. Quite possibly the five villages started the history of this remarkable city which originated in the 5th-8th centuries AD. Penjikent of that time was one of the most important cultural and crafts centers of Sogd. It was even named "Central Asian Pompeii". We will visit the archaeological site of the ruins of Old Panjakent and the Old City of Sarazm which was a popular stop on the the Silk road many centuries ago. The ruins of this ancient city were found only in the last century. Today the tourists can see the remains of dwelling houses and office buildings, the citadel with the palace, the house of craftsmen, and fire worshiper’s church. By the evening upon your request can be organized national dish “Panjakent plov”. Overnight is in a hotel.
Day 7: Panjakent – Istravshan – Khuajand (270 km, 5 hours)
In the morning we will visit Museum and local bazar. You will visit Rudaki Mausoleum which situated in Panjrud village 60 km east of Panjakent city. We will drive to Khujand via pass Shahriston (3 378 m). On the way to Khujand you will visit Istravshan an ancient center of trade and craft as well as one of the ancient cities in Central Asia. It is really a museum city with its history dating back to II-VI cc BC. In Persian literature the city was known as Kurukuda, In Sogdian ancient notes as Kurushkuda while modern scholars identify it with Cyruspol or Cyrus Eskhata founded in VI century BC by Cyrus the Great. We will visit Mugtepa, the fifteenth century Kuk Gumbaz Mosque and local bazaar. You will find yourselves in the atmosphere of colorful oriental bazaars, visit majestic fortresses, and enjoy special architecture of mosques and mausoleums. Night is in a hotel.
Day 8: Khujand city tour
Khujand is the second largest city of Tajikistan. It is situated on the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley. The population of the city is 149,000. It is also the capital of the northernmost province of Tajikistan, now called Sughd. You will visit in the afternoon a Arbob Palace of Khujand. At this place the first president of Tajikistan was chosen. Also we will go to see Central Mosque and Panjshanbe bazar the biggest one in Tajikistan situated in the middle of the city. You will be charmed by their quiet streets, variety of delicious fruits and hospitality of local people. You will visit the Khujand Museum of Archeology and Fortification. Night is in a hotel.
Day 9: Khujand – Uzbek border “Oybek”
In the morning is transfer to Uzbek border “Oybek”.