Category Archive: Gbao

Karakul Lake

Karakul lake spread its waters in Markansu valley – one of the driest place in Central Asia. Surrounded by high mountains which block humid air masses the valley has less than 30 mm of precipitation a year which is 3 times less than in Karakoram desert. Fluctuation of temperatures is a usual thing for desserts and in Karakul Lake, they are just incredible.

The great Russian Explorer of Pamirs N. Korjenevskiy, describing lake Karakul wrote: “In February, at 9 am the temperature was -35 Centigrade, while at 1 pm the temperature raised up to -6,2 Centigrade and so fluctuation of temperature for 4 hours was 28.8 Centigrade”.
The temperature measurement is taken between 1933 and 1934 shows there were only 15 frost-free days a year and by latest measurements taken in our days, it is known that 67 of 100 years had no frost-free periods at all.
Karakul is Kyrgyz for “black lake” and it indeed looks black when the sun is hidden by clouds.
Karakul has an area of 380 sq km and lies at the altitude of 3914 metres above sea level. It’s the highest lake in the world excluding those in Tibet and even Titicaca lake – the biggest alpine lake in the world is located at lower altitudes.
The lake has 2 basins separated by a peninsula from the south and an island in the north. The island is 8 km long and 4 km wide. The strait between them is 1 km wide. Eastside is 22,5 metres deep, while west basin deepest point is 236 m. There are 3 rivers flow in but these days the lake has no outflow and therefore the water is very salty.
The salt mineralization is constantly increases and 1 liter of boiled out water would leave 7 grams of salt which makes the water undrinkable and useless for watering. Sulphate salt makes water taste brackish.
Karakul’s water level is now much lower than before, but this fact also applies to many other closed lakes of Inner Asia. N. Korjenevskiy noted that before Karakul lake was at least 60 metres above the present level. But even 37 metres is enough to create an outflow to the south where the valley ends up with the flat pass towards Kokuibel valley. This means the lake was much bigger in the past and had an outflow that feeds Pyanj and finally Amudaria River known in the west as Oxus. Its not exactly known when the lake had an outflow, should be an ice age when glaciers were at much lower altitudes and some of them flow down the lake. Later the lake’s territory reduced, the depths diminished, the lake lost its outflow and finally became salty.
The Karakul lake impact structure remained unidentified until the recent geological research undertaken by Russian scientists along with studies of imagery taken from space which let some scholars diagnose Karakul Lake depression as meteorite impact crater with a rim diameter of 52 kilometers and created some 230-190 mln years ago.

Birds Iskandarkul

A 300 square kilometers (120 sq mi) tract of land including the lake and surrounding mountains has been designated a nature reserve. As well as the lake itself, habitats found in the reserve include rivers, water meadows, broad-leaved and juniper forests, mountain shrub-land and sub-alpine meadows.

Over half of the reserve, comprising 177 square kilometers (68 sq mi), has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area because it supports significant numbers of the populations of various bird species, either as residents or as breeding or passage migrants.

Picturesque Lake

The most beautiful Lake Iskandarkul in unique with picturesque views

Iskanderkul Lake

Iskanderkul Lake 

The lake Iskanderkul Lake the biggest lake of the Fann Mountains, is located at the height of 2068 m above sea level. The lake has the form of the wrong triangle with the rounded-off corners. Its area is 3.5, the largest depth is 72.0 m. almost no aquatic life is seen in the lake due to the high concentration of minerals and only small loaches survive in waters like this.  The set of legends is connected with the Lake Iskanderkul. According to one of them, Alexander of Macedon a great military leader and conqueror once passed with his army through the Fann Mountains, and during the camp of the commander on the coast of the lake, the favorite horse of Alexander — Bucephalus sank in it. By the way, and the lake is obliged by its name to the grand conqueror of antiquity — the name Alexander in Central Asia was pronounced as Iskander. 

10 days in the East

The guide will meet you at your hotel. In your trip to the East of Tajikistan, you will taste the most famous foods, explore famous monuments and experience the change of Tajik culture. In 10 days and 10 nights you will visit:

Day 1 DushanbeKalai Khumb
Day 2 Kalai Khumb
Day 3 Kalai KhumbKhorugh
Day 4 KhorughIshkoshim
Day 5 IshkashimKhorughKalai Khumb
Day 6 Kalai KhumbDushanbeHisor
Day 7 Hisor
Day 8 HisorPanjakent
Day 9 PanjakentKhujand
Day 10 KhujandIstaravshanDushanbe


Tourists 10 14
Per person in USD 960 892
Transport 4×4 jeeps 4×4 jeeps
Water 1L. bottled water p/p 1L. bottled water p/p
Guide (speaks your language) (speaks your language)
Accommodation Hotels, Home Stays, Guest Houses Hotels, Home Stays, Guest Houses


To Wakhan Corridor

Across Tajikistan to Wakhan Corridor

Explore the mains, taste the mains, experience the mains, in the main and most exciting places of Tajikistan


Day 1 DushanbeKalai Khumb
Day 2 Kalai Khumb
Day 3 Kalai Khumb-Khorugh
Day 4 KhorughIshkoshim
Day 5 IshkoshimLangar
Day 6 Langar
Day 7 IshkoshimKhorughKalai Khumb
Day 8 Kalai KhumbDushanbe


Tourists 5 10
Per person in USD 639 867
Transport 4×4 jeep 4×4 jeeps
Water 1L. bottled water p/p 1L. bottled water p/p
Guide (speaks your language) (speaks your language)
Accommodation Hotels, Home Stays, Guest Houses Hotels, Home Stays, Guest Houses


Explore the East

The guide will meet you at your hotel. In your trip to the East of Tajikistan, you will taste the most famous foods, explore famous monuments and experience the change of Tajik culture. In 7 days and 7 nights you will visit:



Tourists 5 16
Per person in USD 953 931
Included Guide (speaks your language)
  Accommodation Hotels, Home Stays, Guest Houses
  Meals Breakfast
  Transport 4×4 jeep

Pamir Mountain Explorer

The highlights of Pamir Mountain Explorer are Yashilkul, Zaroshkul, and Chapdara Lakes with amazing untouched sceneries of the mountains. The route takes you along the border between the Eastern and Western Pamirs, through high mountains at altitudes between 3600 and 4600 m. The horse riding adventure is combined with jeep tour either from Dushanbe to Khorog, via Wakhan (or Shokhdara) valley to Murghab and Bulunkul, or from Osh to Kisil-Art-Murghab-Bulunkul. Short trekking routes are always possible.

Vrang Buddist Stupa

Just a stone’s throw away from Yamchun fortress in Vrang village was discovered a huge site of public worship now identified as Buddhist monastery. Nearby are the remnants of the stupa built in accordance with local traditions and dated to VI-VII cc. At the top of the stupa rests a stone which if you ask anyone from the village about they’ll tell you almost immediately that it has the footprint of Buddha on the stone.

The complex was surrounded with adobe brick wall fortified with watchtowers and included a temple, residential buildings constructed along the inner side of the walls and 11 caves used as monks cells, cut out on the slope of the terrace. Across the temple, on the other side of the river, there are the remnants of the other 60 caves-cells. It is now known that the residential section of the monastery used to be on the opposite bank of Pyanj.
Near the Buddhist complex, there is Vrang fortress, which controlled the road from Shugnan direction. “Tibetian forts” mentioned in Hudud Al-Alam of 982 and written by unknown Persian writer was probably Vrang fort, while temples of idolaters “Vahne” were allocated on the place of Buddhist complex, built not far from Yamchun fort.
Probably the same temple was mentioned by Syuan Tsan a Chinese traveller, who noted that the temple had stone Buddha statue with complicated construction over its head.  The monastery location was probably chosen because of powerful минерал hot spring which had a curative effect. The spring exists in our days and known as Chashma-i-Djamchin and attracts many locals all around the year.

Yashilkul Lake

  The lake was created by a mudslide that sealed off Alichur river in ancient time. The dam is 4 km long and 100 meters thick. The water poured over the south edge gives the beginning to Gunt river- one of Pyanj feeders.

Yashilkul Lake is a freshwater body located in Gorno Badakhshan region of Tajikistan at 3700 meters above sea level. Being 50 meters deep at its deepest point, Yashikul lake is 19 km long and from 1 to 4 km across. The water temperature on the surface never goes higher +14 Centigrade. The water is clean and transparent and so it is possible to observe an aquatic life. The lake feeds the small village of only 25 – 30 houses with trout and Marinka fish all the year round.
  The mouth of Alichur river is swampy and therefore bushed with sedge; it is the most shallow, east side of the lake. Near here is a sulphur hot spring of Issyk Bulak with +71 degrees centigrade water.
  Local Kyrgyz herders believe the lake is a home for a huge and magic animal – “Tuya Suu” – the Water Camel.