Independent since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tajikistan is poor in natural resources but rich in tourist attractions: it offers extraordinary opportunities for adventure and eco-cultural tourism with untouched landscapes, archaeological treasures and attractive itineraries for walking and trekking with charming homestays along the way. Tajikistan was marked by conflict in the immediate post-Soviet period but is today one of the most stable and secure countries in Central Asia.
A number of hotels of international standard have recently opened in the capital Dushanbe and elsewhere, and local tour operators are actively seeking partners in developed countries for organising tours. Tajikistan is represented at the ITB Berlin 2010. Turkish Airlines, Baltic Air (from April 2011) and Somon Air fly from European airports to Dushanbe; there are also connections fromAlma Ata Moscow and St. Petersburg. The visa regime has recently been liberalized for tourists.
Sharing borders with Afghanistan in the south, Uzbekistan in the west, Kyrgyzstan in the north and China in the east, 93% of Tajikistan’s territory is mountainous, and more than half is over 3,000m; it includes three of the highest mountains in the world: Ismoil Somoni Peak (7,495m), Ibn Sina Peak (also known as Lenin Peak - 7,135m) and Korzhenevskaya Peak(7,105m). The two principal ranges, the Pamirs and the Alay Mountains, give rise to many beautiful streams, rivers and lakes. The longest mountain glacier in the world, the Fedchenko, is in the Pamirs.
Since time immemorial, the territory of Tajikistan has been a cross-roads for the passage of the many different peoples that occupied and controlled Central Asia. Cimmerian and Scythian tribes, several Persian dynasties, Macedonian/Greek armies under Alexander the Great, Parthians, Bactrians, Kushans, Huns, Hephtalites, Mongol hordes, Nestorian
Christians, Arabs, Russians, even British - all left their mark on the region. Tajikistan was on several of the itineraries called collectively the Silk Road and was also the theatre of the closing episodes of Anglo-British imperial rivalry known as the Great Game.
The Tajiks are an Indo-European people and their language and culture have their roots in Persian civilisation. Many of the most famous poets, philosophers and scientists of the
Persian language from Central Asia (Khorasan, Bukhara, Samarkand, Balkh and other locations) are claimed by Tajiks as their own: Abu Abdullah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki (858-941), Hakim Abu'l-Qasim Firdawsi (935-1020), Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad Biruni (973-1048), Abu Ali Sina (c. 980-1037 - known in the West as Avicenna), Nasir Khusraw (1004-1088), Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (1207-1273 - known in the West as Rumi). Tajikistan’s literacy rate of 99.5% is one of the highest in the world.
Tajikistan Country Profile
Full name: Tajikistan
Capital city: Dushanbe
Largest city: Dushanbe (pop. 580,800)
Official Language: Tajik (Russian is also widely used)
National languages: Uzbek, Farsi, Kyrgyz, Parya, Ishkashimi, Shughni, Wakhi, Yagnobi, Yazgulyam
Population: 7, 211, 884 million
Religions: Sunni Muslim 85%, Shi'a Muslim 5%, other 10%
Currency: Somoni (TJS)
Exchange rate: ˆ1 = 8.96 (TJS), 1$ = 7.87 (TJS)
Climate: Subtropical, and semiarid, with some desert areas. The summers are hot and winters are mild; semiarid to polar in Pamir Mountains. South Western lowlands 23° to 30° C in July, Eastern Pamirs 5°- 10°C in July and -15° to -20°C in January
International Airport: Dushanbe Airport in Dushanbe
Time zone: GMT + 5
Safety: Relatively safe, suggested to ba accompanied by a guide.
Hotel: In Dushanbe, there are a number of large hotels for buget tours and newly built hotels offering western standards of accommodation for around from $70 to $220 per room. There are home stays in the Pamir region, around Murgab and all touristic zones of Tajikistan. Homestays are with comfortable beds (in some place the toilet is outside), comfortable clean rooms, good local food, and very warm welcome.
Food and drinks: A typical Tajikistan meal is a sumptuous affair with appetizers and soups, exquisite preparations of meat and specially cooked rice. Many indigenous soups are also prepared in Tajikistan. Tea is the most common drink among the inhabitants of Tajikistan, although many restaurants also serve wine, beer and vodka.
Hospitals: There are hospitals, clinics and health centres throughout the country.
Emergency numbers: 02 - Police 03 – Ambulance
When to go:
The best time to travel to Tajikistan is May to November. Hence, one should visit the place at this time. If one wants to participate in the Navrus festival, then they should visit Tajikistan in March.