|| Getting around
| Welcome to Khujand
by Tirdâd Gorgâni
Xojand), as the second largest city in
Tajikistan and the largest industrial and cultural
of northern Tajikistan,
is situated on the beautiful lands
the Sir-Darya river at the height of more than 300
above sea level.
Due to its climate and beneficial geographical position the Fergana Valley where the city lies is called "the pearl of Central Asia". Its green mountainous countryside and clean air, the running waters of the Sir-Darya as well as the abundance of fruit and grapes and other gifts of nature make it an ever young-park -city.
Khojand is home to one of ancient civilizations in central asia and beside Samarqand and Buchara is one of the major culture centers of Tajik people.
As the golden entrance to Ferghana Valley, Khojand enjoyed prosperity and its riches spawned palaces, grand mosques and a citadel before the Mongoles stearrollered the city into oblivion in the early 13th century.
Having more than 2500 years old of civilization, passing historical ups and downs, possessing a creative culture, Khojand has attained a very high status in Tajikistan's splendid history and civilization.
| Facts at
|| a Glance
Population: c. 165,000
Language: Persian (Tajik)
Area code: 3422 and 3455
Transportation: Daily flights from Dushanbe and Moscow and by coaches from Panjikent. More
Post: DHL Worldwide, 4th Floor, 122 Firdausi Street
Tel: 40617. More about
*Hotel Leninabad, at the south bank of the river, near the bridge. Tel: 6-6927
*Hotel Merkury at ulitsa Filatov 2. Tel: 6-4990
Tour operator:"Mountain Travel and Central Asia tours"
Address: Shark street, Khojand
Phone: +992 (0)3422 4 38 41
Map: Road map
City map: Click here
| What to
|| see /do
|* The Old Town
*Remains of city citadel from 10th centuary surrounded in a pleasant park. You find it at the south bank of the river, 200 meters western the bridge, along the river.
* The mosque , madrase and mausoleum of shejk Masaladin in the Old Town are worth seeing.
*Khojand historical museum.
*Khojand botanical garden
Established in 1985. With area of 6,6 ha , this garden is arranged within the limits of city. Botanic collections consist of more 300 species of plants.
| *The Tajik traditional Tea houses
with beautiful ceiling paintings.
*Promenad on the bank of the river in tow n
*Finishing inthe Syr Darya river is a pleasant local hobby.
| Old Town:
Today Khojand remains a rather picturesque Central Asian town bearing characteristic features of both ancient and modern times styles of architecture, in everyday routine of urban life, in people's customs and dress. The old town was spared by time in some places.
They are, first of all, the remains of the citadel on the left bank of the Sir-Darya river an architectural and artistic monument which was built in early Middle Ages and used as a fortification work up to the beginning of the XX century .The citadel surrounded by clay walls with thick towers occupied the area of 64 thousand square metres.
The remains of the walls date back to the XVIII-XIX centuries.
The 30-year long archaeological excavations resulted in finding cultural layers of early urban fortifications dating back to the remains of the walls erected by the troops of Alexander the Great in the IV century B. C. The excavated household utensils of different epochs, armaments and samples of ancient building materials are being exhibited now in the halls of Museum of Regional Studies.
|Southeast of the citadel at a fairly
large distance from it there is one more section of the old town, which
is of interest -" Panjshanbe Bazzar" (meaning "Thursday
market-a busy market day"). Like many centuries ago the main city
market continues its functioning here nowadays. Once
a lot of quarters of craftsmen entirely depending on the market were
concentrated in this part of old Khojand. It is here that public
buildings such as caravanserais, teahouses, bathhouses and mosques
Eastern market squares appeared gradually.
The old market square named "Corahai Mardon" ("Courageous Crossroads") survived mainly due to the partly preserved surroundings (the Mostiheddin Mausoleum architectural assemblage ) and to the efforts of artists and architects who have erected a new Market Complex in the traditional Eastern style.
Next to the Mausoleum there stands a XX century mosque with a 20-column hall and painted ceiling and although a twenty one meter high minaret of the XIX century. Local masters Mirzorahmat and Usto Mallabek took part in its construction.
| *Swimming in the Karakuram
Lake, some few kilometers eastward from Khojand.
*Ruins of ancient Penjikent , (some 1.5 km from the modern town of Penjikent) a major Sogdian town arose in the 5th century A.D. More about
*Panjikent-Khojand route is a fantastic scenic route through the high mountains, climbing in places to over 3500 meters.
* Samarqand (Samarkand) is the major cultural and industrial center of Tajik people (now in Uzbekistan) . A majestic and beautiful city, Samarkand is the city of legends . The city is situated in the blossoming Zerafshan Valley. Samarkand is part of a region that historically was known as Sogdia, and whose ethnically Iranian (Tajik) merchants for centuries seem to have played a key role in the commerce along the Silk Road. More about.
|For alpine climbing, high level walking
tours and lakeland scenery the Fansky Gory (Fann mountains) in the
North West of the country, just a couple of hours from both Penjikent
and Dushanbe. This is a favorite place for trekking and climbing.
|F rom the early days
of its establishment situated at a crossroads of old trade routs
of the East Khojand turned to be one of the most
important economic, strategic and cultural centres in Central Asia.
The so-called "Great silk rout" went via it connected ancient Greece,
Rome, Asia Minor and Egypt with China, Persia and India. Goods of silk
and jewellery manufactured by Khojand craftsmen were well- known far
the countries of the East. And today the old names of different
city quarters reflect the importance of the once so much popular
Pillakashon (silk-weavers), Zargaron (jewellers), Sangburron
An unknown medieval author called Khojandi "the dwelling of the astronomical science stars" was born here.
In later years Khojand appeared to become the centre of different historical events. Ruined by the Arabs in the eighth century it strongly resisted the Mongol hordes five centuries later having thus provisionally stemmed their advance to the West.
| In the year of 1866 Central Asia was
occupied by Russia. In 1929, after establishing of soviet system in
Central Asia, the Tajiks got their Autonomous
SSR (ASSR). Although only a satellite of the Uzbek SSR. In 1929 this
upgraded to a full union republic, although (perhaps in reprisal for
the basmachi revolt) Samarqand and Bukhara, two Tajik culture centres,
where the population are Tajiks, remained in Uzbekistan. As recently as
1989 the government of Tajikistan was still trying to persuade the
Soviet leadership to return these areas.
The Bolshoviks never fully trusted this troublesome republic and during the 1930s almost all Tajiks in positions of influence within the government were replaced by stooges from Moscow.
All text and photographs (c) Tirdâd Gorgâni 2003Webmaster : Tajikland at yahoo dot com
(Last update: Dec. 2004)