Tajikistan is considered one of the most ancient states in the world. On the territory of this country there was once a small part of the well-known ancient eastern state of Sogdiana. Tajikistan is located in Central Asia and covers an area of 143,100 km². According to data for 2018, the country’s population is 9 million people.
Tajikistan received special appeal due to its unique nature. Many tourists come to this amazing country to enjoy the unique natural beauties of the Pamirs. Tajikistan is great for those who choose outdoor activities. Here you can try your hand at mountaineering and rafting. In addition, many well-preserved historical monuments attract a huge number of archaeologists and historians to the country.
Tajikistan borders with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in the west and north. The eastern neighbor is China. And in the south, the state border separates Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It is worth noting that the country is landlocked.
The official language in the country is Tajik. Interestingly, until October 2009, in Tajikistan, the Russian language also had the status of the state. However, for political reasons, in 2011 he was returned the status of “language of interethnic communication.”
Today, the Tajik economy is supported by mining, metallurgy, chemical, construction, textile and food industries. Large deposits of silver, gold, iron, lead, salt, and other minerals were found in the country. True, their production is complicated by poor infrastructure due to the prevailing mountainous terrain in the republic.
Climate and weather
The climate of Tajikistan is sharply continental, dry. A distinctive feature of local weather is the pronounced altitudinal zonation. The subtropical climate reigns in low valleys. The middle tiers of the mountains have moderately warm weather. And in the highlands of Tajikistan, a cold climate prevails. In summer, the average daily temperature in the valleys reaches +30 ° C. In winter, the thermometer drops to 0 ° C. Interestingly, in the highlands during this period frosts are often observed up to –27 ° C. And in the Pamirs, the air temperature was –50 ° C. In summer, the air in the mountains warms up to only +15 ° C. It is worth noting that during the period from October to May, blizzards rage in Tajikistan, and in the summer on the plains there are often sandstorms, the duration of which sometimes is more than a week.
The amount of rain also depends on the terrain. In the low valleys, the amount of precipitation does not exceed 70 mm, in the Eastern Pamirs – 1600 mm. And in the highlands, rains are considered quite common. The maximum rainfall occurs at the end of winter and spring.
The most successful time for visiting Tajikistan among tourists is spring (March – May). At this time, the lowlands turn into a huge floral carpet. The period from July to September is considered favorable for climbing the Pamir. It is better to travel around the country in September, because at this time in Tajikistan the optimal climate is formed, favoring comfortable adaptation of a person.
The nature of Tajikistan will appeal to all lovers of mountain landscapes. About 93% of the country’s territory is occupied by the majestic mountains belonging to the highest systems of the world – the Tien Shan, Pamir and Gissaro-Alai. The territory of Tajikistan has more than 1000 mountain glaciers, the largest of which is the Fedchenko Glacier.
The unique mountain landscape of Tajikistan is given by green alpine meadows and the purest rivers flowing through them. In summer, the meadows of Tajikistan are covered with blooming wild irises, poppies and edelweiss. Tien Shan forests consist of juniper, spruce and laurel. Mountain wolves, lynxes, wild boars, bears, snow leopards live in them. Small marmots that live in meadows become excellent prey for lamb eagles.
To preserve the unsurpassed beauty of the Tajik nature, several reserves were created on the territory of the republic. The most famous are Tigrovaya Balka, Dashtijum Reserve and Ramit.
Throughout the world, Tajikistan is known for its many attractions of ancient culture and history. One of the most prominent cultural monuments is the city of Penjikent, which was the center of a Sogdian principality. Here, archaeologists found numerous remains of residential buildings, a necropolis, a palace with wall paintings. Today, a museum has been created on the site of the ancient city.
A large number of attractions are located in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. Of particular interest is the summer residence of the Hissar Beks and the mausoleum of Yakub Charkhi, the famous mystic of the Middle Ages. Also in the capital of the state there are many museums and theaters, including the Drama Theater. A. Lahuti, Opera and Ballet Theater Aini, Russian Drama Theater. V. Mayakovsky.
There is a monument to Ismoil Somoni on Ozodi Square. It is also worth highlighting the monument to Abuali ibn Sina.
You can get acquainted with the culture of Tajikistan at the Museum of Ethnography. There is a stunning exposition of Tajik carpets, pottery, jewelry and other items.
Many historians consider modern Khujand the famous Alexandria Kraine built by Alexander the Great. From that time, only the remains of ancient structures remained. Muslihiddin’s mausoleum and the old fortress in the city center are also of historical value in Khujand.
Near the city of Kurgan-Tyube are the remains of a Buddhist monastery of the VII – VIII centuries AD.
The amazing Childuhtaron Valley (“Valley of the Forty Girls”) draws particular attention. According to legend, forty huge blocks located in the valley are forty pretty girls. In order not to become concubines of the cruel invaders, they prayed to Allah to turn them into silent stones. Every spring, locals who believe in the legend decorate blocks with fresh flowers and bright ribbons.
The main attraction of Tajikistan is its unique nature. Many travelers come to this amazing country to see for themselves the beauty of the majestic Pamir mountains.
Residents of Tajikistan are proud of their cuisine. Tajik culinary traditions have been formed over many centuries. Semi-nomadic lifestyle of the local population involves an abundance of flour dishes and meat. For the preparation of meat dishes lamb, goat and horse meat are used. Tajiks do not use pork. The most common meat treats in Tajik cuisine are considered to be cabbage rolls, cabbage, barbecue and roast. Tajik kebab is prepared from lamb, less often from beef. Its feature is that kebab is necessarily cooked with fat tail fat. Tajik roast is called kaurdak. It is prepared from fat mutton with the addition of fresh tomatoes, potatoes, onions and spices.
A special place in Tajik culture is pilaf. Locals call it ugro-pilaf. It is prepared not from rice, as is customary, but with the addition of unleavened noodles, which are fried in the oven and crushed to the size of the rice grains.
In addition to pilaf, Tajiks are very fond of cereals with meat. Most dishes in Tajik cuisine are seasoned with onions, herbs, spices and milk.
The locals are very fond of flour dishes. For their preparation, yeast or fresh dough is used. The most common dishes are various cakes, lagman, sambusa, ugro and brushwood. It is worth noting that the Tajik sweet table is very specific. They consume sweets, fruits and drinks up to three times during meals. They are served before, during and after meals. National pastries of Tajikistan (brushwood, halva, puff sweet cakes) are very popular not only among local residents, but also among foreign guests.
The most favorite drink in Tajikistan is green tea. Interestingly, Tajiks prefer to drink green tea mainly in the summer, and in winter they choose plain black tea. On the territory of Tajikistan, shirsha is very popular – tea with milk. This drink is seasoned with salt and butter. Of course, not every foreigner decides to try such a treat. By the way, locals drink tea without sugar.
Food prices in Tajik restaurants are pretty reasonable. So, for dinner in a middle-class establishment you will have to pay only $ 6. A lunch in a chic restaurant will cost about $ 10-15.
The tourism infrastructure of Tajikistan is poor. Most of the country’s hotels were built during the Soviet Union. Modern hotels, including the Hyatt Regency Dushanbe, are located in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. Such hotels are designed for famous guests. On the territory of such hotels are modern restaurants, fitness centers, gyms, bars and other entertainment venues. The cost of living in such hotels significantly exceeds $ 100 per day.
In addition to expensive apartments in major cities, you can stay in guest houses and in hotels of the Bed & Breakfast format. Prices for single rooms in such institutions do not exceed $ 50 per day. When traveling to the mountainous regions of the Republic of Tajikistan, you can spend the night at one of the many camp sites. In the villages of the Pamirs, locals often let travelers overnight for free. True, the usual amenities for tourists in the villages are absent. And in winter, electricity is often cut off here. It is worth noting that in cheap hotels there is one drawback – frequent interruptions with cold water. But there is no hot water at all.
Before planning a trip to Tajikistan, you need to take care of the place of residence in advance, since the number of hotels in the country is small, and the rooms in them are often busy.
Fun and relaxation
Beautiful Tajikistan offers its foreign guests a huge selection of entertainment. All over the world this country is known as one of the largest centers of world mountaineering. Hundreds of thousands of people come here annually to conquer the mountain peaks of the Pamirs and Tien Shan.
Trekking is very popular in Tajikistan. Many tourists are attracted by unforgettable walks in the picturesque inaccessible terrain. Rafting fans also visit Tajikistan. On the territory of the country there is a huge number of mountainous stormy rivers, rafting along which will provide you with a dose of adrenaline.
Fascinating excursions to the unique monuments of antiquity are very popular with foreign tourists, many of which are already over 2,500 years old.
Recently, a huge number of ecotourists have come to Tajikistan who prefer to visit the country’s magnificent nature reserves. The most exciting will be an excursion to the Khorog Botanical Garden. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is located at an altitude of more than 2300 m above sea level. Tajik National Park and Ramitsky Reserve are very popular among foreigners. They preserved the natural living conditions of many rare animals, for example, the snow leopard, argali and ibex.
Tajikistan’s mountain rivers attract fishing enthusiasts from around the world. Here, the main trophies are trout and catfish.
Residents of Tajikistan are very fond of various holidays. The main holiday is Navruz – the New Year, which is celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox (according to the ancient Persian calendar). In addition, Memorial Day (February 12), Independence Day (September 9) and other public holidays are widely celebrated. As in any Muslim country, Tajikistan celebrates religious holidays on a special scale, for example, Ramadan, Eid al-Aja and Eid al-Fitr.
The truly eastern country of Tajikistan is famous for its unique bazaars, where you can buy many excellent products at a very low price. The main tradition of any eastern bazaar is bargaining. This process is especially revered by the locals. By the way, those foreigners who begin to bargain are given substantial discounts.
The most common souvenirs from Tajikistan are skullcaps, shawls, scarves, various textile products, embroidery. Particularly popular items of national clothing – warm cotton bathrobes, embroidered belts, dresses and harem pants. Many tourists acquire unique carpets embroidered with silk threads. Unique Tajik leather shoes are also in great demand among foreigners. One of the many tourist symbols of the republic is considered to be very warm mittens, scarves and socks made of wool of the Pamiri yaks.
Women will certainly enjoy traditional multi-tiered jewelry with national motifs: necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Every foreigner seeks to acquire the famous ceramic products with the symbols of Tajikistan and traditional figurines.
Tajikistan has a fairly developed transport system, represented by rail, road and air transport. It is worth noting that more than 90% of the country’s transportation is accounted for by road transport. Tajikistan’s road network is unevenly distributed throughout the country. The quality of the pavement is more dependent on geographical factors and on the number of inhabitants of the area. The best roads are in the north of Tajikistan. The mountainous terrain of the southern part of the country does not allow creating a decent cover. Some highways of the country are allowed to be used only in the summer.
Traveling around Tajikistan is best done by buses and fixed-route taxis, which regularly run between major cities of the country. It is worth noting that the car rental system in Tajikistan has not yet been developed, but you can take a taxi. One day using the car with a personal driver will cost you $ 50.
Rail transport did not receive proper development due to the difficult mountainous terrain. The length of the railway in the country is only 490 kilometers. Interestingly, most of the road is in the southern part of the country. It is worth noting that most international transport is carried out by rail.
The absence of direct access to the sea in Tajikistan made the availability of developed air services in the country important. Today, international and domestic flights are operated by the state airline Tajikistan Airlines. It is worth noting that due to adverse conditions in the winter, a lot of flights are canceled.
Communication in Tajikistan is poorly developed. According to statistics, the country takes the last place among the CIS countries in the number of phones per 100 people (about 3.8). You can use international communication services only in large cities by contacting the post office. In addition, you can call abroad from expensive hotels and hotels. The cost of such a call to Asia and the United States is about $ 1 per minute. You can call to the CIS countries for a lower cost – about $ 0.3.
But cellular communication has received intensive development, the services of which in the country are provided by six mobile operators at once: Babilon-M, Todjfon, Indigo, Indigo-Mobile, TK Mobile and MLT. Most of them support roaming of large world companies. It is worth noting that the cost of cellular communications is quite expensive. A connection alone will cost from $ 12 to $ 35. At the same time, the cost of one minute of conversation reaches $ 0.4.
Recently, network technologies have become very popular in Tajikistan. About ten providers provide Internet services. It is worth noting that far from the whole country has the opportunity to join the global network. Only 12 major cities can provide you with Internet access. In the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, there are about 50 Internet cafes. The cost of one hour of work in such a cafe is approximately $ 1. In large hotels in Dushanbe, you can also find Wi-Fi connection. It is worth noting that recently the government of the country adopted a decision to block about 130 sites, which, according to officials, contain insults to high-ranking officials. This list also includes popular social networks around the world.
Tajikistan is considered one of the safest countries in Central Asia. True, foreign tourists are welcome to follow some simple rules. Do not walk alone in the dark. This warning is especially relevant outside the capital of Dushanbe. At this time, foreigners become an easy “target” for agile scammers and robbers. It is worth noting that there were no serious offenses against foreign citizens in Tajikistan. However, one should not carry large sums of money and jewelry on excursions that can attract the attention of clever pickpockets.
The sanitary situation in Tajikistan leaves much to be desired. Semi-nomadic lifestyle leaves its mark. Experts strongly recommend drinking only boiled, and preferably bottled water. Washing vegetables and fruits, as well as brushing your teeth, also costs water from a bottle, since the country has a high incidence of cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis E and A. In the south of the country there is a small risk of malaria and wave-like fever. Therefore, all tourists entering the country are required to carry out the necessary preventive vaccinations.
For a safe trip to Tajikistan, you must strictly follow some completely simple rules. Firstly, from the time of the Soviet Union, the requirement of the mandatory registration of foreign tourists at the place of residence has remained. Its cost is approximately $ 15. In case of failure to comply with this requirement when leaving the country, strict border guards may not let you on a return flight.
Secondly, in Tajikistan, bazaars and shops pay for purchases in TJS. It is better to exchange foreign currency at state exchange offices or banks.
Thirdly, the Muslim country of Tajikistan requires the implementation of certain rules of conduct in a religious society. So, do not in public express their feelings towards another person. The clothes of foreigners should meet the requirements of local canons as much as possible (T-shirts should cover the elbows, and trousers – the knees).
When buying souvenirs, it should be remembered that the customs rules of Tajikistan prohibit the export of food, gold, minerals and precious stones abroad without permission. Export of national currency is also prohibited, and foreign money can be exported in an amount not exceeding $ 5,000.
Citizens of Russia and the CIS do not need a special entry visa to visit Tajikistan. For unhindered border crossing it will be enough to present a valid passport. All necessary documents are issued directly at the airport. Tajik legislation enshrines the mandatory registration of foreign citizens at the place of temporary residence. Such registration can be carried out within three days after entering the country. For tourists staying in hotels, the hotel provides this service.
Details on the rules of entry and movement within the country can be found in the Tajik Embassy in Moscow, located at 123001, Moscow, per. Garnet, d.13.
National culture has deep roots. Tajiks consider themselves the bearers and custodians of a millennium-old tradition associated with the culture of the entire Persian-speaking area. The state emphasizes its continuity with early medieval state formations, primarily the Samanid state with its capital in Bukhara. It is believed that during this period the Tajik ethnic group took shape. In 1999, the republic celebrated the 1,100th anniversary of the Samanid state. The name of the patron of sciences and arts, Shah Ismoil Somoni, is especially honored. His name is the highest peak (the former peak of Communism, 7495 m.).
The heyday of classical Persian-Tajik culture, primarily literature (Rudaki, Firdousi, Saadi, etc.) came at the end of I – II millennium BC. A qualitatively new stage has begun since the end of the 19th century. after the inclusion of the Tajik regions in the Russian Empire, especially from the 1920s, when the Sovietization of culture began, accompanied by a wide spread of literacy in Russian and Tajik (graphics – based on the Russian alphabet) languages.
A prominent place in the formation of the modern literary language belongs to the famous writer Sadriddin Aini (1878–1954), poets A. Lahuti (1887–1957) and M. Tursunzade (1911–1977) are also considered classics of literature. The name of the historian-orientalist and statesman B. Gafurov is widely known.
In the mid-1980s, there were more than 1,600 libraries in the country, including a number of large public libraries in Dushanbe and other urban centers. There are 180 public libraries in the capital city today. The most famous is the Firdousi State Library, which houses a large collection of medieval oriental manuscripts.
Among the two dozen museums, the Historical and Ethnographic Museums of the Academy of Sciences located in Dushanbe are the most famous. Local history museums are available in Khujand and other regional centers.
Theater art was developed in Soviet times (since 1929). 10 drama and comedy theaters appeared, including the Tajik Drama, the Russian Drama, 4 children’s theaters, the Opera and Ballet Theater named after S. Aini. The festivals of theatrical and folk art have recently gained particular popularity. In the celebrations on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of the Samanid state and the 8th anniversary of independence in 1999, 14 theater groups took part. November 7th is declared Tajik Theater Day.
In 1930, a republican film studio was founded and film production began. In the mid-1980s, Tajikfilm studio annually produced 7-8 feature films and up to 30 documentary films. In the period of independence, the film industry is in a deep crisis. Video rental is expanding.
The main holiday is Navruz – the celebration of the New Year, which is celebrated, according to the ancient Persian calendar, on the day of the vernal equinox. After independence, two new holidays were established in Tajikistan: Independence Day (September 9) and Memorial Day (February 12) – in memory of those killed during the armed clashes in Dushanbe in February 1990.
The history of Tajikistan is a series of ups and downs, enslavements and liberation warriors. From the history of Tajikistan it is known that the first mention of the ancestors of the Tajiks dates back to the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, when, on the territory of the modern state, there were ancient slave states: Bactria, Sogd and Khorezm, the main economic activity of which was irrigation farming. In the 6-4 centuries. Bactria was ruled by the Iranian Achaemenids, Alexander the Great. From 3 to BC e. the territory of present-day Tajikistan was part of the Greco-Bactrian and then Kushan kingdoms, and was subjected to invasions of the Ephthalites and Turks.
By the beginning of the 8th-9th centuries include the formation of the Tajik nationality. The origin of the name “Tajik” dates back to the time of the Arab conquest (8c), and denotes a crowned or person of noble family. In the 13th century, the territory of Tajikistan was conquered by the Mongols. In the 16th century it was conquered by the Uzbeks and became part of the Bukhara Khanate.
In 1868, the history of Tajikistan was combined with the history of Russia – the northern part of the country was annexed to Russia, and the southern part – the Bukhara Khanate – remained in vassal dependence on Russia. The entry into Russia was of great progressive importance. In addition, it saved Tajikistan from the threat of conquest by the British interventionists, put an end to feudal turmoil. In the northern regions of Tajikistan, which were part of Turkestan, Soviet power was established in November 1917. In early September 1920, the power of the emir of Bukhara was overthrown and the Bukhara People’s Soviet Republic was formed. On October 14, 1924, as a result of the national-territorial delimitation of Central Asia, the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was formed as part of the Uzbek SSR. On December 5, 1229, the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was transformed into a union republic. Tajikistan during the years of Soviet power has achieved unprecedented success in all sectors of the economy, industry and agriculture have gained great development. The basis of the republic’s energy power is a cascade of unique hydroelectric power stations – Nurek, Golovnaya, Rogun, Baipazinskaya.
After the collapse of the USSR, a new political and economic period began for Tajikistan. The former union republics became independent states.
However, the independence of Tajikistan, which happened on September 9, 1991, marked the beginning of a civil war, which left deep scars in the hearts and souls of thousands of people. The end of the fratricidal war was laid at the famous XVI session of the Supreme Council, held in November 1992 in the ancient city of Khojent. At this meeting, a regulation on the national army was created, state symbols were approved: the flag of the Republic of Tajikistan has three colors: green, red and white. The green strip is the valleys, there are very few of them in the republic – 7% of the territory. The white stripe is the color of the republic’s main wealth – cotton, as well as the color of snow and ice in the high mountains. Red is the color of the unity of the republic and fraternity with other peoples of the world.
A sovereign Tajik state builds its activities on the basis of the Constitution adopted at a popular referendum. Now Tajikistan is a full member of the United Nations and is recognized by 117 countries of the world.
The majority of the population (72%) are rural residents living in more than 3 thousand villages. Standards of rural life differ from urban ones for the worse – as a rule, there are no sewage systems, not everyone can use clean drinking water, and in many areas there are not enough doctors and medical staff. Even in large villages, there are not always libraries and cultural institutions.
Of the traditional social institutions, it is worth noting the gathering of neighbors of elders (mashvarat), men’s gatherings (jamamad) and, especially, the patrilineal clan group avlod. According to some reports, more than 12 thousand such blood-related groups cover 40-50% of the population, in some areas 75-80% of the population consider themselves members of the avlods. The basic unit of Tajik society (as well as other settled societies) is a large family consisting of parents, unmarried daughters, married sons, their wives and children. In shared use, such a family usually has a home, land, and livestock. The wealthier the family, the bigger it is. The traditions of large families are strong; the average number of children, especially in rural areas, is 4–5. Polygamy is prohibited by law and not practiced, partly for economic reasons. Marriages are made at an early age. Almost all women get married. Divorces are rare, most often observed in Dushanbe. The position of women in public and industrial and business life is inconspicuous; they rarely occupy senior positions in government institutions and private organizations. They are most strongly quantified in science, medicine, and pedagogy. Widely used is the labor of women, as well as children, in agriculture.
Tajikistan is an agro-industrial country, one of the poorest countries in the world, despite its considerable economic potential. According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund, 63% of the population lives on less than $ 2 (purchasing power parity) per day. The long war, the destruction and human losses associated with it led to a sharp decline in the economy (GDP in 1995 was only 41% of the 1991 figure). Over the past years, the economy and living standards have risen significantly.
Agriculture accounts for 30.8% of GDP, industry – 29.1%, services sector – 40.1%.
The main sector of the economy remains the state. The state controls most of the large industrial enterprises.
The country’s economy is very dependent on the funds earned by labor emigrants. The number of Tajik citizens working in Russia totals 1 million people. In 2005, they officially transferred $ 247 million to their homeland, according to the International Monetary Fund. The actual amount of money transferred, according to the EBRD, is about $ 1 billion (that is, half of the country’s GDP), with over 90% of the funds being transferred from Russia. This money, however, is not invested, but spent on current consumption. Apparently, a certain share of the economy is occupied by trade and transshipment of heroin from neighboring Afghanistan, according to experts, amounting to 100-120 tons per year.
Aluminum exports, which account for half of the export earnings, generated only $ 550 million in 2005. In second place is the export of cotton.
In October 2004, an agreement was signed on long-term cooperation between the government of the Republic of Tajikistan and Russian Aluminum OJSC (Rusal), according to which President Emomali Rakhmonov promised to sell Tajik Aluminum Plant (TadAZ) to Rusal, and Rusal was to build Rogun hydroelectric station. This agreement, however, has not been implemented.
In the city of builders of the Nurek hydroelectric station, an optical-electronic node for the space monitoring system of the Russian space forces is located.
Import is $ 3,751.1 million (2007):
Ferrous metal, light industry products, automobiles, agricultural machinery, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment.
Export is $ 3,500.2 million:
Aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth metals, vanadium, uranium oxide), light industry products (cotton and silk fabrics), cotton, agricultural products (vegetables and fruits). (uranium) – (ruby).
According to the Constitution, adopted at a referendum in November 1994, the Republic of Tajikistan is “a sovereign, democratic, legal, secular and unitary state.” The supreme authority is considered to be the parliament, the Majlisi Oli (Supreme Assembly) combining legislative, administrative and control functions in its activities. The head of state and executive power (government) is the president. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces, as well as “the guarantor of the Constitution and laws, human rights and freedoms, national independence, unity and territorial continuity and longevity of the state, etc.” The government consists of the Prime Minister, his deputies, ministers and chairmen of state committees.