Pamir is a mountain range with its most part in the northeast of Republic of Tajikistan; it is the ocean of white and blue mountains. When you fly on a helicopter above Pamir it is as if you are in a movie - you see rows and rows of mountain ridges, snow-white tops, suspended glaciers, cracked ice "rivers” and green valleys.
In Farsi language Pamir means «the Roof of the World" ("Pa-mi-ihr"). These majestic mountains touch the sky indeed. So it seems when you look at them from the ground level. And when you look from one of its tops you clearly see that Pamir is the place from which the highest mountain systems spread in all directions - the Karakorum and the Himalayas in the south, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Tien Shan in the northeast.
The network of deep and wide valleys lies in the midst of the mountain peaks of 7,000 meters and higher; the numerous plateaus are crossed by gorges of rapid mountain streams and the deepest gorges. Each step there takes your breath away, so only dare-devils can survive there along with elusive mountain animals: argalis, mountain goats (kiiks), snow leopards (irbises). According to a legend Pamir is where Yeti lives. Pamir is also known for its archeological places of interest. You can visit, for example, the well-known petroglyffs valley and see primitive humans' camp.
Pamir people live only in the valleys (very high though). They speak various dialects and practice Ismailism - the separated branch of Islam. Their lifestyle is extremely severe and poor. Nevertheless, the natural hospitality of local residents in spite of poverty simply amazes most of travelers. They will always offer a place under their roof, a sheepskin blanket and hot "shir chai» - the tea with goat milk, salt and butter.
The main city of the region is Khorugh, the capital of autonomous oblast Gorno- Bdakshan. The city stands at 2,000 m above the sea level, and is "scattered" on the slopes of the river Gunt gorge. The flight from Dushanbe to Khorugh is one of the unforgettable and stirring impressions. The most part of a 45-minute flight the plane slides over mountain valleys, nearly touching the slopes of huge mountain peaks flying close to them raising blizzards behind the wings.
Pamir Highway is special road; it is probably the highest mountain route in the world. The 728 km distance is covered in 2 days and it turns into a real adventure. The road abounds with numerous bends which are at times so close to the edges of the deepest precipices that sometimes one of the car wheels might hang above the abyss. Safety measures are useless there: many sites have been broken by landslips and avalanches.
Tourism on Pamir
Pamir is traditional tourist area and high-altitude mountaineering. There two Pamir 7,000 m peaks majestically soar up in the sky: the Peak of Ismail Samani (Communism) - 7,495 m and the Peak of Eugenia Korzhenevskaya - 7,105 m. They are immensely popular with climbers all over the world.
To reach the Peak of Ismail Samani more than twenty routes of various complexity categories have been laid. The classical route of ascent begins from Moskvin's glade and passes along Borodkin's edge. There are examples of extreme ascent to the Peak of Communism in less than one day! Ski descent from the top is very popular. The ascent to the Peak of Korzhenevskaya on the simplest route from Moskvin's glade takes 3-4 days.
Every year hundreds of tourists and climbers from all over the world gather there; numerous scientific and ecological expeditions are organized.
This area is known for the routes of various complexities which have not bee accomplished yet, in particular there is a super route coming along the center of the northern wall to the Peak of Moscow (6,785).
The climate of the region is characterized by abrupt changes of weather conditions; the climbing season lasts from the middle of July to the end of August.
… One of the well-known tourist bases is Altyn Mazar (the Gold Relic). It is located at the height of 2,800 m, on the border between Kirghizia and Tajikistan. In the north there is a well-known Pamir-Alay Valley; in the south - the highest mountain tops of Pamir: the Peak of Ismail Samani, the Peak of Korzhenevskaya and Fedchenko Glacier. In the east stands the Peak of Lenin (7,134), and in the south lie the picturesque places of Djirgital'.
Historical Sights on Pamir
In Pamir Mountains, contrary to the majority of opinions, there are as manyancient monuments and historical places as in the valleys of Tajikistan. There you will find the well-known rock drawings of the cave period which are also called petroglyphs. The slopes of the magnificent Pamir Mountains are known for the ruins of ancient fortresses Kaakha and Yachmun, ancient settlements as well as natural reserves.