Visitors deciding to linger and spend a little time in the city will find a true taste of Tajik life, from the hustle and bustle, sights and smells of the Thursday bazaar, to the architectural nods to Khujand's interesting and colorful history. Green parks, perfect for strolling and idling away the evening enjoying the beautiful fountain shows, contain historical monuments, while the ruined fortress contains a museum charting the story of the surrounding region. Friendly locals serve up cheap, authentic Tajik cuisine or pile onto buses for leisurely days by the water of the Syrdarya reservoir.
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In the place of honor where the old statue of Lenin once stood, this new monument stands proudly on a hill, overlooking the city and the river, surrounded by grand fountains. Every evening there is an impressive water show with lights and music.
Just outside the city, the Syrdarya river feeds into a great reservoir. Locals take a short, 30 minute bus ride from near the bazaar to spend sunny days by the water. A small man-made beach is attended by various charming eateries and the water is warm and perfect for swimming and bathing in summer.
Once a grand and mighty fortress, built to fortify this strategically important city, the fortress is now in ruins. However, some of its former grandeur is restored in a small renovated section which houses the historical museum of Sughd, with artifacts and exhibitions about the region’s colorful history.
The once hallowed and now relocated statue of Lenin may have been moved since the Soviet era ended, but it’s still the largest statue of the man in all central Asia. Once the pride of the city, then called Leninabad, the statue now stands in a modest park, next to a Tajik war memorial.
In a large Stalin-era building, the city gathers every Thursday for one of the largest covered markets in central Asia. This is a great place to snap up bargains, souvenirs and delicious, cheap, local food, and to experience the bustle of real local life.
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