Pamir Highway is one of the most popular routes among travelers in Central Asia. Pamir has only one city from where all these route start from, but do you know, where you’ll make the first stop during your travels in Pamir? All travelers take the first stop in a small village called Kalai-Khumb. The name of the village is translated as “Fortress on the bank of the river Kumb”. It’s located in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous region. It’s not just an important remote stop-off between Kulob and Khorog; Kalai-Kumb is the historic village.
The village was founded in 15th century and was the first fortress in the surroundings. Average outpost on the eastern side of the Temurids Empire was turned into the capital of the Darvaz Khanate. The khanate existed until 19th century; after its fall, the historic village became a part of the Bukhara Khanate. During formation of Tajik SSR, Klaai-Kumb was included into Gorno-Badakhshan region. The village witnessed murderous scenes of the Afghan War; in 1979-1989, one of the troops on its way to Afghanistan stayed in the village.
Modern Kalai-Khumb is a small village with population of 1600 people. All locals are ready to welcome you and show you around. What’s great about the historic village is that, although, it’s located in Pamir-region with harsh climate, climate in the village is mild. Don’t think that it’s another average Tajik village, Kalai-Kumb has something to offer. Travelers can catch a glimpse of traditional life by staying at guesthouses. Locals rent out their little traditional houses near the river to tourists; travelers can, also, try traditional food made by locals. The road to the historic village is, definitely, more impressive than the village itself. It’s breathtaking Khabyrabad Mountain Pass that exposes travelers to stunning overview of Pamirian Mountains.