Jeep Tour along Pamir Highway
||(Dushanbe,Blue lake t/b, Kalai-Khumb, Khorog, Jelondy, Murgab, Karakul
lake and to Tajik/Kyrghyz border “Kyzyl-Art”–with Pamir Travel Ltd.)
|The Central Pamir (Badakhshan) occupies almost half of modern Tajikistan,
a total of 63, 700 square kilometers. The Tajiks call this region
Po -i- Mir the foot of King and also the second version Bom-i-Dunyo,
the Roof of the World. Merchants and traders have been travelling
by road across the Pamir for centuries. Unlike trading routes across
steppe, which form a complex web, the mountain tracks followed a fixed
route, passing along valley floors. This tour follows the route from
Khorog to Murgab, which was once the Shugnon branch of the ancient
Silk Road. Apart from trade caravans and military units, missionaries
and pilgrims passed along this road giving it the name Road of Ideologies.
Archaeological studies reveal the variety of pre-Islamic religions
of the people of Badakhshan, who worshipped fire, the sun and the
spirits of their ancestors, and practiced a Badakhshan version of
The tour begins with a spectacular flight through (not over!) the
mountains from Dushanbe to Khorog, capital of the Mountainous Badakhshan
Autonomous Region. From Khorog, we take a 4WD vehicle through the
stunning vistas of the Pamir Highway, over the Ak-Baital Pass (at
4,650 m, one of the highest stretches of road in the world) and on
The flight from Dushanbe to Khorog is itself one of the attractions
of the tour, as the dramatic final approach is down a valley with
sheer rock walls below snow-capped peaks. This flight has received
‘best of Central Asia mentions in several guide books.
There are some worthwhile sights in the Khorog area, most notably
the hot springs at Garmchashma. We will spend the first two days around
Khorog enjoying the natural beauty, before beginning the 700 km TRIP
Although it is possible to drive from Khorog to Tajik/Kyrghyz border
“Kyzyl-Art” in a couple of days, we will take a more leisurely five
days in order to explore the sights along the way. During the first
part of the TRIP, we will pass through the villages of Badakhshan
region, which are stretched along the river valleys. The traditional
way of life of the Pamir peoples, adapted to life at altitudes of
up to 4, 000 m, has been preserved to the present day. The Pamir dwellings
are built around a large enclosed CENTRAL five-pillared room, covered
with a tiered wooden ceiling with an opening for light and an outlet
After the town of Murgab, we will leave the Silk Road route and enter
the desolate and unpopulated east Pamir region. This is a vast stony
plateau with scarce vegetation, at an altitude of 3, 500-4, 500 m.
The plateau is shaped like a giant dish, edged by mountain ranges,
that rise only 1, 000-1, 500 m above the bottom. The scenery from
here to the Kirghiz border is Spartan, dry and brown, but wonderfully
mountainous and magnificent to look at. This region was known to Ptolemy
and was also TRAVELed by Marco Polo, who wrote: ‘For twelve days you
cross the valley; it is called Pamirs, and for the whole twelve days
you see no houses, neither vegetation; food should be brought by yourself.
There are no birds here because it is high and cold. Because of terrible
cold, fire is not as bright and not of the colors like in other places.
We will spend one night by the high mountain lake of Karakul, which
was formed millennia ago when a meteor struck the Pamirs. Karakul
is the largest of a range of about 800 ancient lakes in the Pamirs
which were created by earthquake, tectonic activity and glaciers.
The water in this lake is too high to support marine life and the
region around it has been described as a moonscape.
On the last day from Karakul lake drive around lake and then to go
to Tajik/Kyrghyz border “Kyzyl-Art” and your will cross the Kizil-Art
Pass (4,250m) go to Kyrghyzstan with Kyrghyz representatives and partners.
On the other side of the pass, the scenery changes markedly. The high
mountain peaks of Lenin and Somoni (Communism) form a divide, and
the Kirghiz side is as green and lush as the Pamir is sparse and barren.
The tour finishes on Tajik/Kyrghyz border Kyzyl-Art. From there you
with Kyrghyz partner can continue trip to Osh by road and from there
by air to Bishkek or Tashkent.
The following itinerary is intended as a working guide only and it
is subject to variation as a result of local conditions, weather and
governmental restrictions. We reserve the right to alter the length
of the TRIP at any time if necessary. Flight timetables are altered
occasionally and it may be necessary to vary our itinerary to adapt
to these changes.
||Arrival in Dushanbe. Accommodation in hotel (or in
Tajik home). Shot SS around Dushanbe and outside Hissar fortress,
Varzob gorge. Lunch and dinner, o/n in hotel.
||After breakfast, short Ss around Dushanbe till lunch and after drive
by Pamir road to “Blue lake” base camp, dinner and overnight
||Morning drive to Kalai-Khumb 200 km (H-1850 m), through mountains
picture's places and tour base camp “Blue lake”, there is lunch, and
continued drive to Kalai-Khumb, accommodation in private home, dinner
||After breakfast drive to Khorog (2, 100 m), capital of Tajikistan
's Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region. Tour of the city. The
Pamir Botanical Garden in the eastern part of the city (2, 320 m)
is the second-highest such institution in the world, with many unique
plants brought here from around the world. Accommodation in a guest
||Leave Khorog in a 4WD vehicle, along the Gunt river valley into
the heart of Pamirs. 30 km from Khorog, on a high cliff dominating
the valley, the Kofir-Kala Complex overlooks Bogev village. It consists
of a fortress with a citadel and the remains of two circular temples.
In ancient times, this complex was a well-protected cult center of
Shugnon, focused on worshipping the sun. Drive to Shokhdara, camp
||Drive to Jelondy, stop by the lake and thermal springs. The water
temperature at the springs is 90 o C, but there is an area suitable
for swimming where the water is about 70 o C. There are also impressive
stalactite/stalagmite formations. As well as the opportunity for a
hot bath, there is the option to do some light TREKKING around the
lake. Camp overnight.
||Drive over Alichur Pass to Murgab. 40 km from Murgab a cave in Shahty
contains the highest (4, 200 m) known pictures from the Stone Age:
rock graffiti of ritual symbols (solar and cosmic characters), carts,
people and animals. Accommodation in a guest house.
||Cross Ak-Baital pass (4, 650 m) and on to Karakul lake (3, 914 m),
the largest lake in the Pamirs, with a surface area of 380 square
km and volume of 26. 6 cubic km of water. The name Karakul means ‘
Black Lake '. Camp near the lake.
||Cross Kizil-Art Pass (4, 250 m) and the Tajik-Kyrghyz border. From
there meeting with Kyrghyz partner, and then with partner continue
TRIP along with Kyrghyzstan to Sary-Tash and Osh.
|The tour will be led by a guide/interpreter and will be accompanied
by a cook to prepare meals in the remote Pamir regions. There will
be one Russian jeep 4WD vehicle and driver for every 4 and Russian
track 8-12 passengers on the tour.
Season ……………...30/05 – 01.11
Min group ………………1 – 25Pax.