Anyone with taste of adventure with bated breath listens about Pamir Highway. The name of this unique Tajik sight is translated as “Rood of the world”. The name is pretty straightforward, because it’s a part of the second highest road on the world. The highway stretches for 1300 km from Dushanbe to Osh, in the southern part of Kyrgyzstan. The majority of Tajikistan is Pamirian mountains that peak more than 7000 meters.
Travelling through Pamir Highway is experience that can’t be compared to anything else. Pamir mountains are challenging, but exceptionally beautiful. You’ll meet hospitable locals and catch a glimpse of traditional Tajik lifestyle and culture. Spectacular landscapes have centuries of history behind their backs. Archaeological excavations revealed remnants of Buddhists and Muslims; some historians claim that it was a part of the Great Silk Road that connected China, Afghanistan, and India. The Russian Empire started secretly building a highway that connected the Fergana Valley and the Alay Valley in 1891. In 1894, the first part of Pamir Highway was finished. The purpose of the highway was to give advantage to Russian armies in “The Great Game”, so they would be able to move to the south with no barriers. The highway was extended in 19th century to Khorog. Fun fact is that there’s a famous piano that a dozen of soldiers carried on their back for 700 km through Pamir mountains. Their commander ordered them to bring a piano for his daughter from Osh. The story is real and the piano is in the museum for observation. The last part, the one that connects Khorog and Dushanbe, was finished in 1940.
As it was mentioned earlier, travelling through Pamir mountains is challenging, but nothing can be compared to this experience. High mountains, bad roads, and remoted villages still attract travelers from all over the world. Moreover, there’re more travelers every year. There must be something magical about this highway. There, surely, is something.