“One small thought in the morning can change your whole day…”
Day 10: 20 August 2017 (Sunday)
Route: Termez – BP Tursunzoda - Dushanbe
Distance: 245 km
Hotel: Dushanbe Tajikiston Hotel, Tajikistan
|(The villages along the route)|
|(Haggling the fee for the luggage cart)|
|(A long walk to the border)|
|(The biggest Aluminium factory in Central Asia)|
|(Let's fly away to Dushanbe)|
|(A melon-shaped Tea House)|
On the way to Dushanbe we stopped to visit Hissar Complex. Hissar Fortress is situated 15 minutes away from the Dushanbe city centre. Hissar Fortress used to be a palace of one of Bukhara Emirate. The fortress, with a meter tall walls and holes for guns and cannons towered on a high hill's slope and was carefully guarded. Inside there was a pool and a garden. Across from the fortress there was a noisy market square with a caravanserai and a variety of shops.
|(The Hissar Fortress)|
|(The madrasah and caravanserai)|
|(Visiting the museum)|
|(The artifacts from the excavations)|
|(The main gate of the fortress)|
|(A good view from the top of the fortress)|
|(A walk in the fortress)|
Hissar Complex is a popular site for wedding receptions and photography for young married couples. Entourage of the brides and grooms crowded the place. They were accompanied by musicians and young cheerful dancers.
|(A newly wed Tajik couple)|
|(Ladies and men dancing to the music)|
|(The family to the bride)|
After visiting Hissar Complex we drove to Dushanbe to have lunch at Didor Restaurant.
|(The main gate into Dushanbe)|
|(A classy Didor Restaurant)|
|(Two scoops of delicious ice-cream)|
Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan situated at the confluence of two rivers, Varzob and Kofarnihon. On the east bank of the river is Rudaki Park, named after the classical poet. A statue of him stands under an ornate mosaic arch. Nearby is a massive Tajik flag, flying from a towering flagpole. The ancient Tajik warrior Ismoili Somoni is commemorated with a statue and gilded arch. Archaeological finds are displayed at the National Museum of Tajikistan. We would be visiting these attractions tomorrow morning before we travel to Khujand.
|(Shah Mansur Bazaar, closing soon)|
|(Large chilies and tomatoes)|
|(Bread is the staple food)|
After a hearty lunch we headed to Shah Mansur Bazaar, also known as the Green Bazaar. This is a typical market place of Central Asia with food halls and isles selling fresh produce, vegetables, fruits and spices. There wasn’t anything truly exciting but some of us ended up buying nuts, fresh fruits and dried fruits.
|(Sari Osiyo Mosque)|
|(A mosque with traditional deco)|
|(Silent call of prayer)|
From the bazaar we drove to the Sari Osiyo Mosque. The old one-storey mosque was demolished and the new Mosque with a prayer hall for 2,000 people was built. With a rectangular front entrance and a mihrab on the east side, the roof is pitched with a slight slant, and the façade and interior of the prayer hall are decorated with local, traditional patterns with ceramic tiles and ganch carvings. All the domes were built with earthquake-resistant brick. It is not allowed to recite the azan loudly in Tajikistan and women are forbidden to enter the mosque. The ladies stayed in the van while the men performed their prayers.
|(Toki Restaurant, a traditional eatery)|
|(Lamb stew, Tajik style)|
|(Dushanbe Tajikistan Hotel)|
Later we went for dinner at Abu Nawas Toqi Restaurant. We overnight at Dushanbe Tajikiston Hotel, Tajikistan.