Panjakent — Tour Asiana
Travel without observation is a bird without wings.
Mosliheddin Saadi
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Garden city in the valley of the Zeravshan river

Panjakent (Penjikent) is one of the most famous cities of Tajikistan. It is located in the valley of Zeravshan river near the border with Uzbekistan to the east of Samarkand, at an altitude of about 900 m above sea level. Panjakent is a very green city, planted with ornamental and fruit trees. Here is a lot of objects that might interest tourists.

5500 years since the foundation

Panjakent is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia existed on the territory of the Sogdian kingdom in the early middle ages. According to the historians age of Panjakent is over 5500 years. It was a major cultural and trade center of Sogd (VI-VIII cc). Not far for the center of modern Panjakent there is an ancient settlement of that period, which is under excavation for 60 years already. This is the ancient town of pre-Islamic era, with remains of walls with murals, temples, houses, statues and monuments of the stone age. Archaeological excavations testify to the rich and unique culture of the Sogdians — ancestors of the Tajik people.

Central Asian Pompeii

To the West of Panjakent there is a large settlement of Sarazm, inhabited during IV-II millennia BC. Ruins of Sarazm proof that this ancient city was one of the centers of Central Asian culture, and main city of Sogdiana. In olden times this settlement was called the Central Asian Pompeii. And no wonder why UNESCO has added this place into the list of monuments of World Heritage.

Re-opened for the tourists

Because of the recent political situation in the region of Panjakent and the Zerafshan valley have been isolated from the outside world and from other major cities of Tajikistan (on the one hand — the state border, on the other hand — two high mountain ridges). Fortunately, nowadays the access to Panjakent is re-opened after agreement with Chinese partners, who dug tunnels through these mountain ridges and connected Panjakent with both Khujand (to the north) and Dushanbe (to the south).

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