Official Name: Tadjikistan
Capital: Dushanbe
Population: 8,211,884
Total area: 143,100 km2
Languages: Tajik, Russian
Religions: Muslim 75%, Christian 20%, Others 5%.
National currency: Somoni (TJS)

Flag of Tajikistan
Flag of Tajikistan
Emblem of Tajikistan
Emblem of Tajikistan

Tajikistan's territory is mountainous, and the mountain glaciers are the source of its rivers. Tajikistan is an earthquake-prone area. The republic is bounded by China in the east, Afghanistan to the south, and Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the west and north. The central Asian republic also includes the Gorno-Badakh Shan Autonomous region.

The Valley in the northern region is densely populated. It is separated from the rest of the country by mountains from which the Syrdariya and Amu Darya rivers bring rich soil deposits. In the Soviet era, the Vakhsh River was dammed for irrigation and electric power, and factories were built along its banks. Hot summers and frigid winters characterize the climate. The high mountain ridges protect the Fergana Valley and other lowlands from Arctic air masses, but temperatures drop below freezing more than one-hundred days a year.

The isolation of the Pamiri has kept them close to their ancient traditions. Although the people of the Khujand (Leninobad) region also are isolated, they are more accessible to the other republics.

Dushanbe (Stalinobod from 1929 to 1961), the capital, is in the west-central region and is the largest city.

The Tajik people are of ethnic Persian descent and constitute the largest indigenous group in the country (about 65 percent of the population). Within this group are the Pamiris, who live in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and number nearly forty thousand. The Pamiris speak a different language and belong to the Ismaili Shiite sect of Islam, while Tajiks are Sunni.

Linguistic Affiliation.Tajiki, which is closely related to Farsi, is the most widely used language. Villagers who have developed regional dialects have only a rudimentary understanding of the official language. In the Pamiri mountain regions, various languages have kept many characteristics of ancient Iranian. Russian is preferred in government and business transactions, and Uzbeki is used widely in the Khujand region.

Tadjikistan is one of the popular places for tourist destination. The country is famous throughout the world for its nature and archaeological sites.

Mostly Tajikistan is famous for its mountain beauty and mountain valleys, that’s why tourists visit mountainous areas:

  • Pamir Highway and Pamir Mountains is a road traversing the Pamir Mountains through Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. Travellers enjoy the great view of Lake Karakol, crater lake near the Kyrgyz and Chinese Border along Pamir Highway it is frozen half the year.
  • Wakhan Valley is a very mountainous and rugged part of the Pamir and Karakoram regions of Tajikistan. Historically the Wakhan has been an important region for thousands of years as it is where the Western and Eastern portions of Central Asia meet. Western Wakhan (Xiumi) was conquered in the early part of the 1st century CE by Kujula Kadphises, the first "Great Kushan," and was one of the five xihou or principalities that formed the nucleus of the original Kushan kingdom. Most travellers visit the Wakhan District a district in Badakshan Province.
  • Penjikent is a city in the Sughd province of Tajikistan on the Zeravshan River, with a population of 33,000 (2000 census). Ancient Panjekent was a small but flourishing town of the Soghdians in pre-Islamic Central Asia. It served as the capital of Panch and was known as Panchekanth. It was once an ancient town in Sogdiana. The ruins of the old town are on the outskirts of the modern city. Visitors are amazed by Ancient Panjakent. The archaeological site of the ruins of old Penjikent - a walled inter-city which stood 2500-years ago - was once a Sogdian trading city on the Silk Road. Today, only ruins are left owing to the fact that the main construction material was clay-bricks.
  • Located in the northern foothills of the Turkistan mountain range, 78 kilometers southwest of Khujand, Istaravshan is one of the oldest cities in Tajikistan, having existed for more than 2500 years. The accompanying 1923 map of gives the location of the ancient city of Cyropolis as being a very close approximation to that of modern day Istaravshan. Istaravshan is an old city home to the well known and beautiful Abdullatif Madrassah and Mosque. You can easily visit Istaravshan as either a day trip from Khojand or as an overnight stop en route to Dushanbe.