THE PAMIRS - A LAND OF UNPRECEDENTED CONTRASTS
The majestic Pamirs stretching throughout Tajikistan are regarded as the most famous highland of the world with absolute peaks ranging from 2 800 to 7 495 meters above the sea level and known as ‘The Roof of the World’.
The Pamirs are unique in their natural resources, astonishingly diverse landscapes and climate contracts, rare fauna and flora, abundance of mineral springs and high-mountain lakes.
When going up to the mountains the travelers encounter different climatic zones: hot breath of the dessert, chilly larch groves, abundant mix of alpine meadows, arctic cold.
Snowfields and glaciers are the inestimable treasure of the Pamirs. They are a large deposit of purest fresh water. Glaciers feed the great Tajik rivers. Cold, rough and impetuous they bring waters to the hot valleys and sultry desserts. Glaciers stretch for several hundreds of squire kilometers in the high land. Among them is one of the world largest glacier named after Fedchenko (around 70 km long).
The Pamirs are particularly attractive to those who are fond of extreme tourism, including rafting. Due to the fast and impetuous mountain rivers, rafting can be exercised using canoe, kayaks, rafts.
Pamir peaks have subjugated mountain climbers by their majesty and diversity requiring high mountaineering skills and providing the opportunity to apply different ways of climbing. The most popular tourist routes in the Pamirs lead to the highest mountain peaks: Ismoil Samani (7 495 m, former Communism Peak) and Eugeniya Korjenevskaya (7 105 m), as well as the Tajik National Park.
The Pamirs are rich in the lakes of different origin. In Murgab Valley at the altitude of 3 263 m above sea level there is Sarez Lake- the youngest and the most unique mountain lake. The scientists called it ‘Sleeping Dragon’. History of this lake is dramatic. Earthquake of 6 February 1911 in the Western Pamirs resulted in a mountain creep. Giant mountain mass completely covered the Usoi Village and locked the valley by shaping a natural dam of 567 meters high. Finding no exit, the waters of numerous feeding mountain rivers gradually filled the gorge reservoir. By September 1911 the accumulated water inflow fully covered the mountain Sarez Village leaving just its name to the new lake.
The Pamirs are a collection of mineral and thermal springs. The most unique spring is Gharmchashma located on the Great Silk Road. The spring is over many hundred years old and is situated at the altitude of 2 325 m above sea level. It can be easily spotted from a far off due to its exceptionally white travertine shaped as stretching swell with intricate laces of edging ledges down to the river. Its slopes make an impression of conjoined stalactites in the shape of cascades and stone-carved bowls. Its ledges form natural bath with waters of different temperature (up to + 62°C.) This is the most famous balneal resort of the Pamirs. Its fame of healing powers has spread far beyond the country's borders.
Badakhshan is rich in deposits of tin, zinc, tungsten, rare metals, rock crystal, precious stones, jasper, onyx, lapis lazuli, black marble. One can find here almost the whole periodic table. Special attention should be paid to the largest gold deposits of Darvaz. It is the Pamirs that are housing the Kuhilal, a unique deposit of the legendary ‘badakhshan lal’, red stone - one of the most precious gems that can be placed in one line with diamond, emerald, sapphire and ruby.
Grots, rocks and caves are the interesting geological memorials.
The Pamirs Botanical Garden is unique in its diversity of plants and trees.
Memorials of stone and golden ages, rock petroglyphs, ancient castles are all signs of history and culture on the Great Silk Road.
There are many mazors (sacred sites) and mausoleums. The most important sacred place is Khazrati Burkh mausoleum located in the upstream of the Obikhingou River. This handmade mazor has circle shaped hall with the dome, two minarets at the entrance. The mazor and the minarets are made of the ‘Bukhara’ bricks and built on the very edge of the steep. Earlier it had the ‘Chil-khona’ adjacent for the forty days prayer, but was demolished by an earthquake.
The location of the mazor is really beautiful. Three peaks, one of which is 6 000 m high, are joined together shaping a triangle. Summer is the most desirable time for the pilgrims.
Animal world of the Pamirs is unique and diverse. There are mammals of wide range, including such rare species as Marco Polo sheep, snow leopard, Tyan-Shan brown bear, red wolf, Turkestan caracal and others. The Siberian ibex can be found high in the mountains. Nevertheless the outstanding feature of the Pamirs leaving trace in your memory for the rest of the life is the mountain and rock peaks.
Over time the Pamirs have become the most popular tourist destination.
In the world community of mountaineers, the Pamirs are considered to be the best site for high-mountaineering. The Pamirs passes, as a rule, require slow approach and retreats to overcome waters, glaciers, snow-bedded slopes and rock sites. The Pamirs passes are predominantly located in the hard-to-access areas. It is possible to approach them only from certain areas where the access is impeded by the difficult passes. The Pamirs provide opportunities for the highly challenging mountain hiking.
The Pamirs have a great potential of ecological tourism. It includes hiking, hunting, fishing, horse riding, and bicycling, rafting, adventurous tours to the Sarez Lake.
The Pamirs high road starting in Osh in Ferghana Valley is considered to be the main. The high road stretches from North to South across Allay Valley, further to the south through the Pamirs high lands by the Pyanj River and along the latter stretches to the North and turns to the West towards Dushanbe City – capital of Tajikistan. There are two local roads towards the south and east along the Pyanj River, comparatively small spots in the river Shakhdara, Bartang, Yazgulem, Vanj, Obikhingou Valleys. At the Karakul Lake the road splits and goes towards the Kokyibel and Tanymas Valleys.
The local airlines fly from Dushanbe to Khorog.
To celebrate the l100th anniversary of the Samanids’ State, the Dushanbe-Kulyab-Khorog-Murgab-Kulma Pass road exiting to Karakorum Highway has been built. This road connects Tajikistan with China and Pakistan, facilitating tourist exchange and implementation of the UN WTO ‘Tourism on the Silk Road’ project.
‘AZIANA TRAVEL” welcomes you to discover an unexplored Pamirs!