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Hatlon | PURE TAJIKISTAN

Category Archive: Hatlon

Dangara

Dangara district is located in Khatlon region. Recently, it has been announced as the city, when the new university was built. There are more than 20 conservancy areas more than 100 types of birds and animals. 

Norak

Norak is a city in the Khatlon province of Tajikistan

It is situated on the Vakhsh River, 885 m above sea level, and is 70 km southeast of Dushanbe, the capital. It has a population of 19,000. The city was founded on the site of the former village of Norak, whose name means “pomegranate” in Tajik language; the modern city was established in 1960 to support the construction of nearby Norak Dam, which was completed in 1980. Engineers, construction workers, bureaucrats and their families were housed in orderly apartment blocks. However, in recent years, Norak, whose name means “pomegranate” in Tajik language, has become a popular resort town. Many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, and tourist services have appeared. Most guests arrive from Dushanbe and southern Tajikistan, attracted by the stunning mountain views, fresh air, and serene and scenic reservoir. The town is especially beautiful at night, when it is lit up by thousands of lights and sunsets are also other-worldly, due to the unique combination of alpine scenery and the vast, calm reservoir.

Norak city

Norak, whose name means “pomegranate” in Tajik language, has become a popular resort town

Many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, and tourist services have appeared. Most guests arrive from Dushanbe and southern Tajikistan, attracted by the stunning mountain views, fresh air, and serene and scenic reservoir. The town is especially beautiful at night, when it is lit up by thousands of lights and sunsets are also other-worldly, due to the unique combination of alpine scenery and the vast, calm reservoir.

Takhti Sangin

That stone settlement which the archaeologists named Tahti Sangin turned out to be really unique. In the very center, they found an ancient temple which got a name “the Temple of Oks”. It used to be devoted to the Divinity of the river whose cult had existed there since the old days.

If you had a chance to visit the British Museum you might see the unique collection named Amu Darya Treasure (or “the Treasures of Oks”). His treasure was funded in 1877 on the right bank of the Amu Darya River (it used to be called Oks during Greek period). The find consisted of more than 2,000 gold and silver coins, gold objects dated 4th – 3rd centuries B.C. The local residents who had found the treasure sold it to the merchants traveling with a caravan to India from where the treasure got to England.
Now let’s go back to the present time, thirty years ago. It was in 1976 bats archeologists began excavation on the site of ancient settlement Takhti Kubad (34 km from Kabodian settlement at the confluence of the rivers Vakhsh and Panj). That stone settlement which the archaeologists named Tahti Sangin turned out to be really unique. In the very center, they found an ancient temple which got a name “the Temple of Oks”. It used to be devoted to the Divinity of the river whose cult had existed there since the old days.
The amazing findings were discovered in the huge temple constructed in the 4th – 3rd centuries B.C. which continued to exist in the first centuries of our era. Most likely those were the gifts of church-goers to the temple: the image of Alexander the Great as Hercules, the sheath with the image of a lion holding a fallow deer, chests facings made of ivory and decorated with carved drawings, the biggest collection of arrow tips in the Central Asia (more than 5 thousand), arms of Greek-Macedonian warriors. The fragments of gilt bronze helmets which looked like if made of pure gold were also found there.
By the way, “the Temple of Oks” has survived in a very good condition. During the15 years of excavation in Takhti Sangin the archaeologists extracted more than 5 thousand objects of Greek-Batrian time. After all this time the archeologists and the scientists finally came to the opinion that there is a direct connection between Amu Darya Treasure (“the Treasure of Oks”) in the British Museum and “the Temple of Oks” in Takhti Sangin since the place of treasures discovery and the location of the temple are the same, and all treasure items are of ceremonial value. It might have happened that the treasures were moved from the temple in troubled times and hidden nearby in the riverbank. The ruins of Takhti Sangin today can be seen in the picturesque valley of the rivers Panj and Vakhsh, and “the Temple of Oks” treasures – in metropolitan museums.

Khoja Mashhad

The legends present another version. According to them the mausoleum “emerged” in one night and it was Allah’s miracle.

Khoja Mashhad Mausoleum located in Saed village (in the vicinity of Kurgan Tube) will strike your imagination with its monumentalism of forms and virtuosity of the brickwork. It is the only wooden carved mausoleum which has survived in Central Asia.
The area where the mausoleum is located has been known since the old days as “Kabodian” and draws the attention of travelers.
Khoja Mashhad is a real person known in the Islamic world; he came to Kabodian from the countries of the Near East approximately in the late 9th – early 10th centuries. He was a rich man preaching Islam. Most researchers believe that the Madrassah was built with his money and after his death, he was buried there.
The legends present anther version. According to them the mausoleum “emerged” in one night and it was Allah’s miracle.
The monument consists of two separate mausoleums standing next to each other connected by a vaulted passage. At first sight both mausoleums look like twins. In fact they differ by the time of construction (the eastern building is dated the 9th -10th century, and the western one – 11th-12th centuries).
Both buildings were built from burnt bricks. In the western building, the architects used the so-called “book matched” brickwork. In the eastern one, the brickwork consists of alternating “angles”. Inside both mausoleums, there are sepulchral structures.
Behind the mausoleums, there is the big rectangular yard surrounded by the remains of mud-brick walls and demolished rooms. Nearly the whole territory of the yard is occupied by tombs. The earth floors of the domed gape with semi-destroyed tombstones.
There are a lot of arguments in relation to the purpose of these monuments. Since there are some cells-khudzhrs on the yard’s perimeter one might think that there used to stand a Madrassah alongside with the mausoleum and the mosque.
Other scientists believe Khoja Mashhad was a complex memorial site with khanaka functions. (Khanaka is a place for pilgrims, dervishes, Sufis and so forth). It used to have a hostel with khudzhrs, a refectory, drawing room, halls for praying and meetings, ceremonial ablutions, and a bath. In any event, it is clear that Khoja Mashhad architectural complex is a place of worshipped, sacred burial – the most interesting monument of architecture in Tajikistan.
Khoja Mashhad is a place of pilgrimage of many believers coming here from all over Central Asia.

Hulbuk

The palace was richly decorated: the walls and ceilings were covered with wall paintings showing warriors, musicians, and musical instruments as well as alabaster carving in the form of vegetative and geometrical patterns, Arabian inscriptions, images of fishes and mythical animals.

In 1952 the archeologists started the exploration of a place near Kurgan Tube named Khisht-Tepa (” the Brick Hill”). Presumably there had to be the site of the “vanished” medieval capital. The entire area (about 70 hectares) abounded with pieces of pottery and glass, ceramic and metal slag, and fragments of burnt bricks. According to historians, Hulbuk’s structures were made from these materials.
The further excavation proved that it was on this hill, in the center of Hulbuk, where the palace of the local ruler used to stand. The inspection of the remains of the citadel which was a part of the palace revealed that it stood on an even platform; its walls were made of mud bricks and tiled with burnt ones. The palace consisted of big rectangular rooms and long wide corridors. The parquet0like floors were laid with burnt bricks. The palace was richly decorated: the walls and ceilings were covered with wall paintings showing warriors, musicians, and musical instruments as well as alabaster carving in the form of vegetative and geometrical patterns, Arabian inscriptions, images of fishes and mythical animals.
The further excavations revealed that under the palace, dated the 11th century, there are some earlier structures which means that the palace was constructed on the debris of another. It was also found that in the ancient city there were a sewer, water and heating systems with brick ducts and ceramic pipes. The rooms were heated by means of big jugs, khums, dug into the floor. A jug filled with hot wood coal gradually heated the floor. One of the significant finds in Khuttal’ were huge Hulbuk ivory chess figures that archaeologists found 20 intact and 8 half-destroyed ones.

Chilu Chor Chashma

There, right at the foot of a small hill in the midst of the heated desert, five large water springs break into 39 smaller ones. All springs merging form a 12-13 m channel inhabited by a plenty of fish.

Chilu Chor Chashma (“44 springs”) is located 12 km from Shahrituz village and is widely known in Tajikistan.
There, right at the foot of a small hill in the midst of the heated desert, five large water springs break into 39 smaller ones. All springs merging form a 12-13 m channel inhabited by a plenty of fish.
As a legend goes the holy caliph Ali having seen the dried up river Romit reached Chilu Chor Chashma and asked the Allah for some water. At this, he struck the foot of a nearby hill with his hand and five purest springs gushed from the five holes made by his fingertips.
Chilu Chor Chashma is the site pilgrimages. People visiting this place say prayers, perform ablutions, sacrifices, bathe themselves in the sources. The water of the 17 sources is believed to be curative. Each of them has its own name and curative properties:
Ashmai muin – prevents hair loss;
Khuni Bini – stops nose bleeding;
Chashmai Mohron, Khunukzadagon – cures of snake bites and inflammations;
Ustukhondard – helps to cure bones diseases;
Tablarza – cures malaria;
Shifo – medicinal;
Fishori Khun – good for hypertonia;
Sardard – relieves a headache;
Peskho – cures psoriasis;
Murod – is good for depression;
Befarzand – cures infertility;
Gurda – good for kidneys;
Dilu Chigar – cures diseases of heart and liver;
Devonakho – treats mental diseases;
Chashma Gush – cures eyes and ears;
Khorish – cures scabies.
On the territory of Chilu Chor Chashma there is also a small hill with a small mausoleum on top. According to the legend there the holy Kambar Bobo, who was the warden of caliph Ali’s stable, was buried.. There are four more graves of the holy men whose names are unknown.
 

Ajina Teppa

Located 12 km from Kurgan Tube is the district named by local inhabitants as Ajina Teppa. It can be translated as «the Devil’s hill”, “the Hill of Evil Spirit”. Probably such an attitude to this place among the local residents was caused by the unattractiveness of this place surrounded from three sides by aryks, thick undergrowths, bumps and pits.

It came out as a surprise when archeological excavations which started in 1961 resulted in 500,000 artifacts: sculptures, reliefs, wall painting fragments of a uniform complex of dwelling and cult rooms belonging to the 7th – 8th-century Buddhist monastery.
The archeologists determined that the monastery in Ajina Teppa consisted of two parts (the temple and monastery), two rectangular yards surrounded by buildings and strong walls. One of yards had the Greater mortar (a construction for storage of relics or for marking of sacred places). In the yard’s corners there were Smaller mortars of the same form as the Greater one. The monastery was richly decorated; its walls and vaults were covered with paintings. The walls had niches were both small and bigger statues of the Buddha used to stand (his image prevailed in Ajina Teppa sculptures).
But the most sensational find in Ajina Teppa became a huge clay statue of the Buddha in nirvana found in 1966 in one of the monastery corridors. Only the bottom part of the figure, from waste to soles, was intact. The upper part of the sculpture turned out to be badly damaged. All other fragments of the sculpture were found separately. The restoration of the statue started in the same year and lasted until 1978. After that the work stopped and didn’t begin until 2000.
Today the sculpture “The Buddha in nirvana” is exhibited at the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan in Dushanbe. That is the biggest sculpture of the Buddha found on territory of modern Central Asia.

Kulob

The city of Kulob was born 2,700 years ago and for many centuries was an important political, commercial and economic and cultural center of the vast Khatlon area. The city stood on one of the Great Silk way branches and had close trade and economic and cultural links with many Oriental and Western countries.

During the Middle Ages, the city of Kulob was an important political, economic and cultural center. A plenty of maktabs (schools) and madrasah (higher educational institutions) worked there. Various crafts and trades were developed there; literary and scientific clubs were very popular. In the 17th -19th centuries 40 poets lived and created their works. The most known of them were Nasekh (AbdurakhmonKhodzha), KhodzhiKhusainiKangurti, Bismil, Shokhin, etc. The remains of structures and mausoleums testify about the highly developed culture of architecture and construction. At the beginning of the 20th century, Kulob was the largest city in Eastern Bukhara and had 20 blocks. Various kinds of crafts, including weaving (high-quality silk fabrics: brocade, alochi, kurtachi, Suzane), jeweler business, pottery and tanning production, joinery and production of knives, horse harnesses, armor and other metal products were highly developed. In city had flourishing commerce, marketplaces. Kulyab was famous for its embroideries (gulduzi and chakan) which are distinguished by unique forms and colorings. For the first time, the name of Kulyab was mentioned in the 13th century.

Mir Said Ali Hamadoni

Mir Said Ali Hamadoni (the 14th-17ht centuries), Kulob Right in the center of Kulyab in the park zone with centuries-old plane trees stands the memorial complex of Mir Said Ali Hamadoni – the poet, philosopher, and thinker of the 14th century.

His son Muhammad, numerous relatives, as well as Shaikh ShokhiTolikoni from Afghan city Tolukan, the former inspector of the mausoleum and the mosque, are also buried there. The building of the mausoleum is a traditional medieval structure. Originally it had three portal entrances with a domed hall decorated with the carved decor. This structure is dated late 14th century. Later the mosque and the tomb were added to it. In the 1970s the mausoleum was restored. During the restoration works the masters tried to preserve the mausoleum in the shape it had existed for the previous five centuries. They finally managed to do it. Near the mausoleum, there is one more marble gravestone with inscriptions in Arabian and Persian languages and decorated with a geometrical ornament. It is written on the western side of the gravestone that there the son of Khatlon ruler, Amir Muhammad bin Shah Abdulla, was buried. The rectangular tombstone weighs about a ton. The legend says that it was delivered to Kulyab from India on elephants. Today the mausoleum is a place of pilgrimage of the local population and numerous visitors.