HORIZONS - sights of Tajikistan HORIZONS - sights of Tajikistan

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Khorog is a city located on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan, the administrative center of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. It is also the first city from which the journey begins on the Great Pamir tract. Khorog received the status of the city only in 1932. It is located at the bottom of a deep gorge at an altitude of 2,200 meters, not far from the confluence of the Gunt River in Pyanj, 525 kilometers from the capital of the republic-the city of Dushanbe. Due to its location in a deep canyon, the city is protected from strong winds and cold temperatures during the winter; summer here is usually warm and dry. Over Khorog in the Ishkashim ridge towers Mayakovsky peak, whose height is 6096 meters. The city is connected by road with Dushanbe and Osh. There is also a small airport, the "inhabitants" of which are small screw aircraft that make regular flights to Dushanbe and other cities of the republic several times a week. The airport in Khorog is the only regular air port in the entire Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. The population of this small town in 2003 was 30 thousand people. According to the national composition, the population here is Pamir Tajiks, professing a religion called Ismailism. * Horog today. To date, Khorog is a regional center for management, trade, transport and, of course, education. Higher educational establishments such as the new branch of the University of Central Asia, the Khorog State University and the Lyceum of the Aga Khan Foundation (the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community) function here. Residents of the city stand out against the background of other Tajiks with their high level of education. Khorog is a very beautiful, green city with huge poplars and unusual traditional Pamirian houses on the outskirts. Despite the fact that the standard of living in the city is relatively low, in recent years, several new hotels and guest houses have been built here, as well as Internet cafes and restaurants of Tajik cuisine. In the city there are very typical buildings for the Central Asian region, combining traditional Pamirian houses and Soviet-style buildings. The city center (along the Pamir tract) consists entirely of Soviet buildings, quite ordinary, but along the river and in the hills above the city, many unique and colorful Tajik houses with large terraces have been built. International aid organizations are very active in the development of the city, in particular, the Aga Khan Foundation and the United Nations Development Program and the European Union. Year by year, the number of tourists who want to visit the city on their way along the Pamir tract, which, despite a small number, brings economic benefits and significant changes in the region. * Botanical garden in Khorog. Over the eastern part of the city of Khorog, at an altitude of 2320 m above sea level, on the coastal terraces of the Shahdara River is the famous Pamir Botanical Garden, which is the second largest in the world in height (after the botanical garden in Nepal), with a unique flora brought from different parts of the world. It works on the acclimatization of plants in mountainous conditions. Many trees and shrubs from Europe, America, Africa and Australia have already taken root in the Khorog botanical garden. * Kofir-Kala. 30 km from Khorog on a high rocky cliff, in the village of Bojev there is an archaeological complex Kofir-Kala, consisting of a fortress with a citadel and remains of two round temples, a radius of 11 and 9 meters. Both churches had stone sufas along the walls, pockets and stone obelisks in the middle. Perhaps, the temples were covered with wooden stepped ceilings with a light hatch at the zenith. In combination with the walls and towers, the temples in ancient times and the Middle Ages formed the well-fortified public cultural center of Shugnan, associated with the worship of the sun. The tradition of erecting round structures in the plan of buildings and associated solar symbolism was predominantly characteristic of the Sak burials of the Eastern Pamirs. * The Mystery of Kuhilal Mountain. 47 kilometers from Khorog, above the village of Kukhilal, stands the mountain of the same name - the deposit of the famous Badakhshan Lala, a noble spinel, also known as the Badakhshan Lal and the book "Mineralogy" by Al Biruni and mentioned in Khudud-al-Alam (982) in the book of Marco Polo (13th century), who wrote that local people "dig in the mountain Shighinan (Shugnan) and get there balash (rubies) according to the royal order." During the research in Mount Kukhilal, about 500 ancient excavations of the 8th-11th centuries were discovered.