Dushanbe Layover Guide
Long time ago, there was a village on the crossroad of trade routes, where every Monday a colorful bazar would open. Soon this village turned into a flourishing city, and trade began to run seven days a week, but the naming Dushanbe (meaning Monday) remained there. So, if you will be in Dushanbe in transit or few hours of stop-over, grab your chance to explore the cultural, economic and political center of Tajikistan. Our Dushanbe layover guide has gathered the most interesting places to see and feel Tajik culture and spirit. Specially developed Dushanbe layover tour will open up hospitable city with hot tea in tea houses, delicious plov (pilaf) and colorful atmosphere of the East that one feels in any corner there.
It is hard to say though that Dushanbe is full of sightseeing places, thus one day should be enough see the most significant of them. Start your excursion in Dushanbe with a visit to the National Museum of Tajikistan. The museum consists of 22 big and small exposition halls. Make sure to see the legendary exhibit – Buddha in nirvana. This 30-meter statue was created around 1600 years ago and is one of the biggest clay statues of deities in the world. The restoration of the sleeping Buddha that took two years was carried out not only by Tajik specialists, but also restorers from Hermitage (Saint – Petersburg, Russia) were involved.
The musical instruments museum created from the private collection of Gurmindj Zavkibekov, the People’s artist of the Republic of Tajikistan, is also of high interest, as it has a collection of over 200 different exhibits from all around Asia. There you can see valuable instruments like Shah-setar, an instrument made of mulberry tree aging more than 100 years; Kashgar setar inlaid with ivory bone; tanbur Kumri from a holy place in the Bartang region, preserved and carefully restored by the owner of the museum and other interesting musical instruments.
Continue your Dushanbe stopover tour to the “Bogi Rudaki”, the main park of the city, to take a moment to allow information and impressions from the museums visit to sink in. The territory of the park is around 8 hectares planted with flowers and trees, where you can rest on the bench and enjoy the coolness of fountains adorned with national patterns. Near the park on the square of Dusti, there is a monument to the first ruler of the Tajik state Ismoil Samani. It was erected in 1999 and became a symbol of the Tajik state.
If you are not short of time, travel to the Hissar fortress located 30 km from Dushanbe. HIssar fortress is an open-air museum: once a grand construction has only remnants of huge brick gates. It is to note that the image of these gates is painted on the reverse side of the 20 somoni (Tajik currency) banknote. The fortress is located in the Hissar historical-cultural reserve uniting several archaeological and architectural monuments of different epochs on the territory of around 86 hectares.
Our Dushanbe layover guide won’t be complete without recommending you to dine in one of the traditional Tajik restaurants or cafes. Taste Tajik plov, special drink Shirchoy (tea with milk, butter and salt) and other dishes to take away warm memories of nice meal in Dushanbe.