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Ishkashim

Located near the Panj River on the Afghan border, the town of Ishkashim lies directly opposite a town of the same name in Afghanistan. A bridge connecting these towns was constructed in 2006, where the border has been sliced through the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It's a small town that lies at the mouth of the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of sparse grassland that stretches between some of Asia's highest mountains.

The landscape here is bewitching; beautiful and remote with stunning views of the Pamir mountain range. The region itself is considered sacred and a number of historical and archeological sites are located in Ishkashim. Located on a branch of the historical Silk Road, known as the Buddhist Silk Road, the whole Ishkashim district beholds great cultural significance to the people of Tajikistan. Furthermore, a number of natural hot springs are located throughout Ishkashim, renowned for their healing and energizing properties.

Located near the Panj River on the Afghan border, the town of Ishkashim lies directly opposite a town of the same name in Afghanistan. A bridge connecting these towns was constructed in 2006, where the border has been sliced through the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It's a small town that lies at the mouth of the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of sparse grassland that stretches between some of Asia's highest mountains.

The landscape here is bewitching; beautiful and remote with stunning views of the Pamir mountain range. The region itself is considered sacred and a number of historical and archeological sites are located in Ishkashim. Located on a branch of the historical Silk Road, known as the Buddhist Silk Road, the whole Ishkashim district beholds great cultural significance to the people of Tajikistan. Furthermore, a number of natural hot springs are located throughout Ishkashim, renowned for their healing and energizing properties.

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Auj Hot Springs

These hot springs are located in the town of Auj, approximately 16 miles from Ishkashim, with mineral-rich water said to heal the body and spirit of everyone who uses them. It is also believed that the water is beneficial for eyes and bathing in it is a wonderfully relaxing experience.

Buddhist Stupa in Vrang

Approximately 55 miles from the city on a rocky slope lies a huge Buddhist Monastery. Nearby are the remains of a stupa, dating back hundreds of years and encompassing local Buddhist traditions. On top of the stupa lies a stone on which locals believe Buddha himself once left his footprint.

Ishkashim Market

Held on the Afghan side of town, the Ishkashim market is held most Saturdays and is where the Tajik and Afghan cultures mix to buy and sell their goods, mostly clothing and household items from China. Cross the bridge over the border and experience this unique market event where exotic items and extreme hospitality provide an experience like none-other.

Kah-Kaha in Namadgut

Located on a rocky peak on the bank of the Panj River, the legendary fortress of Kah-Kaha stands proud against a mountainous backdrop and azure open skies. It is one of the oldest fortresses on the Silk Road, thought to have been constructed around the 4th century A.D., and is said to be named after an epic king of dark-skinned fire-worshippers.

Museum of Sufi Muborak-Kadami Vakhani

At this museum, visitors can explore the life of a local Sufi scholar, theologian, traveler and poet who lived in this region until 1910. Some of his most marvelled achievements can be seen here, including a stone pillar with a hole carved in it near his house, which he used this to calculate a solar calendar.

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TRAVELOGUES

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Faces of the Wakhan Valley

Faces of the Wakhan Valley

Author : Jay Tindall
The history of the Wakhi people and the Wakhan Valley is complex, and the journey across the Pamir Highway can be unpredictable, barren, and cold. In the faces of the Wakhi people, there is warmth.
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