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Tour from Dushanbe to Khudjand.

Tours over of sights of cities of Tajikistan.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving” 

Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky.

The short description of a route of tour in city Dushanbe and on northern towns of Tajikistan:

Dushanbe - town of Gissar - gorge Romit - Dushanbe - gorge Varzob - pass Anzob of 3373 meters above level - lakes Iskanderkul - kishlak Saratog - valley Saratog - lake Iskanderkul - settlement Aini - town of Pendjikent – Marguzor lakes- kishlak Urmetan - pass Shakhristan of 3378 meters above sea level - town of Istarafshan - town of Khudjant.

Extension of route: 320 km.
Seasonallity: from May 1th till October, 30th.
 Best time for excursion: July - August.
Duration of tours: 9 days, 8 nights.

The detailed program of automobile and foot tour across Tajikistan:

Jeep tours Tajikistan.

Day 1. Dushanbe. Excursion on sights of Dushanbe.
Arrival by morning flight in city Dushanbe. A meeting at the airport, transfer to hotel, accommodation. The beginning of excursion on city Dushanbe to capital of Tajikistan. The city Dushanbe, till 1961 was called - the city of Stalinabad. Dushanbe is located in center Ghissar of a valley at height more than 800 meters above sea level.
From the north and the east it is surrounded with mountains with snow-white tops of Ghissar mountains. The highest tops rise up to heights of four and more thousand meters above sea level, from the southern party the river Kafirnigan proceeds.
Visiting of a museum of ethnography. The collection of ethnographic places of interest of culture and a life of Tadjik people is stored in a museum of ethnography of Tajikistan. The building of a museum of ethnography has been constructed in 1934. 
Visiting of a national museum of antiquities of Tajikistan. Opening ceremony of a new building of the National museum of Tajikistan took place in March, 2013 in Dushanbe. The museum consists of 22 greater and small exposition halls. These are departments of the nature, an antiquity of the Middle Ages new and the newest history, graphic and applied arts. Visiting of Park of a Victory over hills where it is possible photographing a panorama of city Dushanbe. Lunch in local cafe or restaurant. 
Visiting of East market Shokhmansur. Market Shokhmansur - the central market of city, at a market is also the second name - the Green Market. The market noisy, close, interesting and diverse. Here it is possible to get everything, that you will wish from food stuffs up to national clothes and souvenirs. Evening walk on downtown at monument Somoni, in park Rudaki, at national library of Tajikistan, on the area where is a flag of Tajikistan. 
Dinner in national tea bar Rokhat. Tea bar Rokhat has won sympathy and love of the clients since 1958. Since second half XX century is the biggest and popular tea bar Dushanbe. The wooden east patterns created by hands of the Tadjik masters, are an original work of art which made national colour, as does tea bar Rokhat by place of interest of city. Returning in hotel, overnight.
Day 2. Dushanbe - town of Ghissar - Dushanbe - gorge Romit - Dushanbe (128 km.)
Breakfast. A trip to the town of Ghissar (30 km). Arrival in Ghissar, excursion in Ghissar a fortress. Ghissar a fortress - a palace of one of emir Bukhara. The fortress with walls thickness боле 1 meter, with loopholes for guns and guns towers on a slope of a low hill. Inside of a fortress there was a pool and a garden. Opposite to a fortress there was a market square about a caravan-serai and a lot of trading shop. At Ghissar a fortress it is a lot of legends.
On one of legends - a fortress has constructed Afrasiab for protection from Rustam (the glorified heroes of product Firdousi «Shakhname»). Other legend speaks, that caliph Ali has arrived to these places on horse Dul-Dul to preach an islam and has stopped on mountain which today has the name Poi-Dul-Dul (to the West from Ghissar).
Under a kind of the acrobat-rope-walker he has made the way from mountain in a fortress, but here has been learned and taken in a captivity. Its correct horse has brought to him sword Zulfikar. By means of this sword caliph Ali has exterminated the enemies, including the malicious wizard who at that time owned a fortress. Near to a fortress two huge plane trees, which from 500 till 700 years grow. Lunch in national tea bar near to Ghissar fortresses.
After a lunch returning in Dushanbe, passing city Dushanbe it is gone to gorge Romit. Transfer: town Gissar - Dushanbe - town Vahdat - gorge Romit (64 km). Walk on gorge and along the river with fine a landscape of mountains in a combination to the blue river Kafarnigan.
Returning in city Dushanbe (34 km). Dinner at national restaurant, overnight in the hotel.
Day 3. Dushanbe - gorge Varzob - pass Anzob of 3373 meters above level - lakes Iskanderkul (120 km).
Breakfast. Transfer: Dushanbe - lake Iskanderkul. On a way a stop on pass Anzob, short walk and photographing in vicinities pass. From road the surprising landscape on mountains of Ghissar mountains opens, the road up to pass Anzob goes along the river Varzob. Arrival on a pearl of mountains Fany - lake Iskanderkul. Transfer on a camp center «Iskanderkul», accommodation. There is an opinion, that the lake Iskanderkul is named in honour of Alexander the Great, the ancient greek commander who has won local mountaineers, has created this lake and has flooded settlements of mountaineers. The lake, is mentioned, in descriptions of a campaign of Alexander the Great and to these the antiquity of lake proves to be true. The level of this lake gradually decreases, to what coastal stones on slopes of mountains surrounding lake testify. A lunch in eating house in the camp center. After a lunch walk on 38 a meter falls and five springs Panchashma. Returning to a camp center. A dinner and overnight.
Day 4. Lakes Iskanderkul - kishlak Saratog - valley Saratog (10 km).
Breakfast. After a breakfast transfer to the most beautiful valley of Tajikistan - valley Saratog. Valley Saratog is surrounded mountains Fany, from here opens a kind on the highest peak of mountains Fany - peak Chimtarga of 4955 meters above sea level. Foot walk to pass Dukdon. On a way on pass we shall see tremendous landscapes of mountains Fany, the river Karatog. Mountains Fany, it is the mountain ridges which have stretched in latitudinal strike a direction, - from the West on the east, and in meridian direction - from the south on the north.
The birch, a poplar, a raspberry, a black and red currant, sea-buckthorn berries, a barberry, a dogrose, a wild cherry much grow in valleys of the mountain rivers, ephedra, above - a juniper which has the local name - Archa, the age of some trees reaches about 1000, still above - colourful miscellaneous herbs the Alpine meadows. Picnic at the river Karatog. After a lunch returning in kishlak Saratog. A dinner in the Tadjik house with national kitchen, a overnight in the guest house.
Day 5. Kishlak Saratog - lake Iskanderkul - settlement Aini - town of Pendjikent (170 km).
Breakfast. Transfer to the town of Pendjikent through fine Zeravshan a valley, along the river Zerafshan. On road we shall observe landscapes Zeravshan of a ridge and exotic of the Tadjik kishlaks. Arrival in Pendjikent, transfer to hotel, accommodation.
Pendjikent - the town located in a northwest part of Tajikistan on left I protect the rivers Zeravshan to the east of the Uzbek town of Samarkand. The town is at height of 900 meters above sea level. Pendjikent is one of ancient cities of the Central Asia which age makes 5500 years. The beginning of excursion on town, visiting of ancient site of ancient settlement Pendjikent VII - VIII centuries. In V - VIII в.в. Sogd consisted of separate fine possession from which the largest was Pendjikent a princedom.
Territory Pendjikent of a princedom reached at length more than 100 kilometers, upwards on the river Zeravshan up to a palace on mountain Mug, downstream up to dam Varagsar. The center of possession was the city of Pendjikent, the ancient town from the middle of VII century has the same name, only had the name - Panchakent. The name of town is translated as «Five settlements» («Panch» with Tadjik - "five", «Kat» with Sogd - "settlement").
In 1932 on left I protect Zeravshana, on high rock - mountains Mug shepherd Dzhurali has found a basket filled by documents by letters. Visiting of a museum of name Rudaki, the founder of the Tadjik classical literature. Visiting of site of ancient settlement Sarazm. The settlement Sarazm is located in 15 kilometers to the West from a site of ancient settlement ancient Pendjikent, on the second terrace of the left coast Zeravshan. Returning in town. A dinner in tea bar Saekhat. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6. Pendjikent - Marguzor lakes- Pendjikent (122 km).
Breakfast. A trip on Marguzor lakes. Transfer: Penjikent - settlement of Sufiyen - settlement Yangi Kishlok - lake Mizhgon (43 km). Marguzor lakes (in translation from the Tajik seven beauties). The cascade of Marguzor lakes is in the valley of the river Shing which in ancient times served as the place of brisk trade. Gorge of the river. The Shing was a convenient way of the message between Central Asia and India. The first lake in the cascade of Marguzor lakes - the most beautiful lake Nezhigon (in translation from Tajik - an eyelash). Walk in the vicinities of the lake Nezhigon.
Transfer: lake Nezhigon - lake Soy (2 km). Behind the lake Nezhigon there is a lake Soy (in translation from Tajik - a shadow). Walk in the vicinities of the lake Soy.
Transfer: lake Soy - lake Gushor (1 km). Walk in the vicinities of the lake Gushor. The lake Gushor (in translation from Tajik - vigilance) is located at the height of 1700 meters above sea level
Transfer: lake Gushor - lake Nofin (2 km). Further on the serpentine of the road the lake Nofin is located (in a translation from Tajik - an umbilical cord). Walk in the vicinities of the lake Nofin.
Transfer: lake Nofin - lake Khurdak (4 km). Behind the lake Nofin the settlement of Padrud, further the lake Khurdak is located (in translation from Tajik - the baby). Water in it cold, blue and transparent. On the way to the lake Hurdak gardens from peach and apple-trees meet. Walk in the vicinities of the lake Khurdak.
Transfer: lake Khurdak - lake Marguzor (4 km). The road to the lake Marguzor (in translation from Tajik - abundance of greens) goes through the clover field which is bordered by thickets of a dogrose and a barberry. Walk in the vicinities of the lake Marguzor.
Transfer: lake Marguzor - lake Khazor Chashma (5 km). Further the lake - Khazor Chashma (in translation from Tajik - one thousand sources), this seventh lake in the cascade of the known lakes the most beautiful at the height of 2400 meters above sea level, 4,5 meters long and 85 meters in depth, water here very transparent and cold. Two rivers, from the South the river Khisor - from the East - the river Darakhti Surkh flow into it (in translation from Tajik - mahogany). Walk in the vicinities of the lake Khazor Chashma, a picnic. Return to Penjikent (61 km). Arrival in Penjikent, dinner and overnight.  
Day 7. Pendjikent - kishlak Urmetan - Pass Shakhristan of 3378 meters above sea level - town of Istarafshan – town of Hudzhant (320 km).
Breakfast. Transfer to the town of Istaravshan through pass Shakhristan and tunnel Shakhristan in the extent of 6 kilometers. Arrival in the town of Istaravshan - town-museum, the ancient center of trade and the crafts, one of the most ancient cities of the Central Asia. In 2002 Ustaravshan it was executed 2500. The town is based in VI century B.C. Akhemenid by tsar Kirom who has strengthened settlement by three numbers of walls and a citadel. Excursion on town, visiting of mausoleum Khazrati Shokh.
This sacred place is a tomb sacred Khazrati Shokh - native brother Kusama Ibn Abbas, the cousin of prophet Mukhammad buried in XI century in the Samarkand ensemble Shakhi Zinda. Visiting of a mosque-madrasah the Kook-Gumbez.
The mosque-madrasah is located in the western part of town. This construction is constructed in XVI c. under initiative Abdulatif of the Sultan - the son of the well-known scientist - the astronomer and the philosopher - Ulugbek, grandson Tamerlan. The further transfer to the town of Khudzhant. Arrival in Khudzhant, transfer to hotel, accommodation. Dinner, overnight in hotel.
Day 8. Khudjand.
Breakfast. Khudjand – town in the north of Tajikistan, administrative centre Sogd of province. One of the most ancient towns of the Central Asia. The town of Tajikistan second on the size, the important transport unit, political, economic, cultural and a centre of science of the country. From January, 10th, till February, 26th, 1991 the town carried a name Leninabad (the town has been named in honour of Century of V.I. Lenin). Excursion on town, visiting of a historical museum.
The museum is opened on November, 29th, 1986 in days of celebrating of the 2500 anniversary of Khudjand. He is located in premises fortress walls of east fortification Khudjant of a fortress VIII - X в.в., which was a part of defensive fortifications of town. 
Visiting Khudjand of a fortress. During all history Khudjand heart of town was its fortress. For 2500 Khudjand the fortress extended together with city, collapsed conquerors, built up anew, always remained a symbol of stability of Tadjik people. Visiting of the mausoleum of Sheikh Muslihiddina. It is the large memorial ensemble which is being a historical part of city, it is constructed on tomb Muslikhiddin  Khudjandi - the governor of the town of Hudzhanda, the poet lived in XII century.
Legends say, that sheikh Muslikhiddin was sacred wondermonger. Visiting popular and well-known market Panchashbe, located in downtown. The market is the greatest closed market in the Central Asia, charm buyers the diversity, the various smells, a rich choice of fruit and vegetables. « Panchashbe” - the fourth day of week (Thursday, in translation from the Tadjik language), during old times it was day of the big trade. Lunch. After a lunch a trip on Kairakum a water basin - the Tadjik sea. Walk in vicinities, rest, bathing. Returning in Khudjant. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 9. Departure from Khudjand.
Breakfast. Accompanying service at departure to airport or transfer on the Tadjik-Uzbek border on a check point «Oibek» (67 km). Going through formalities of customs and boundary on the Tadjik-Uzbek border. Transfer to Tashkent (90 km). 

Opera theatre in Dushanbe.Opera theatre in Dushanbe.City market in Dushanbe.Mosque in Dushanbe.National historical museum in Dushanbe.Monument Rudakhi in in Dushanbe.Drama theatre in Dushanbe. President residence in Dushanbe.

Author program of Alexander Petrov. Copying and introduction -  from the sanction of the author  petrovsra@mail.ru

Alexander Petrov.