Some of the world’s most notorious leaders have passed through its gates – Timur, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to name a few. Istravshan or Ura-Tyube controlled the Silk Road trade in its early days, and attracted a large number of skilled merchants and craftsmen who built and rebuilt many beautiful mosque, madrassas, temples andContinue reading “Bright Star”
Category Archives: Tajikistan
The giant Lenin statue is gone and the crumbling, dimly lit Hotel Leninabad has embraced capitalism. They open after dark – serving drinks and beats to locals until dawn. The most attractive vision of the past is this colorful pediment containing both Stalin and Lenin on the side of Khujand’s Panjshande Bazaar. This facade isContinue reading “Colorful Past”
Fresh Naan in some shape or form can be found in just about every village and city here in Central Asia, as well as most areas along the former Silk Road. The loaves sold here in Khujand’s Panjshanbe Bazaar are one of the best tasting ones in this region.
Time is Relative
This ancient city is the one of the oldest Silk Road stops in the region whose history spans across 2,5oo years. Istaravstan is one of those places where travelers can just spend the day getting lost in this living museum. It’s also hard not to notice the more recent Soviet presence in the city after passingContinue reading “Time is Relative”
Old habits die hard in Leninabad
The Panjshanbe Bazaar is more of a reflection of Leninabad times than of the Silk Road Era long before it. There is an overwhelming selection of dried fruits, nuts, candies in the main building. It’s the first stop for anyone looking for electronics, socks, cosmetics or just a bag of kurut or dried yogurt balls.
Birds in Flight
Across from the Panjshanbe Bazaar lies the Mausoleum of Sheikh Muslihiddi who was known to be a holy miracle worker in ancient times. Mongol invaders destroyed the city as well as the mausoleum in the early 13th century. The mosque and madrassah are slowly being reconstructed now that the Soviets are gone as well.Continue reading “Birds in Flight”
Stuck in time
Russia rolled into this region in the late 1800’s, embraced it with Soviet style reforms and began calling it Leninabad in 1939. Much of the city’s Soviet period architecture is a fading reminder of the last economic boom this city experienced. Panjshanbe or “Thursday” Bazaar is where one can get a pair of socks, aContinue reading “Stuck in time”