Day Tour to Istaravshan from Dushanbe
Istaravshan Bazaar, Hazrat Shah Architectural Complex, Mug Teppe
Istaravshan may be a small town dwarfed by nearby Khujand in northern Tajikistan, yet it holds great historical significance for the country. Founded in the 6th century BC by King Cyrus, the city marked its 2500th birthday in 2002, making it one of Tajikistan’s oldest cities. Previously called Ura-Tyube, Istaravshan maintains a largely rural atmosphere and has not been manufactured for tourists, giving visitors an authentic and culturally enlightening experience.
The Istaravshan Day Tour begins with an exhilarating drive from Dushanbe through the Anzob Pass before continuing in Istaravashan, where you can sample the city’s famous fruits at the bazaar, enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city from Mug Teppe and learn about one of the city’s most important historical figures at Hazrat Shah Architectural Complex. The tour includes drop-off in Khujand upon completion, making it a great option for travelers planning an onward trip to Uzbekistan.
Depart in the morning from Dushanbe and drive to Istaravshan (300km, 4hrs). The route will take you through the Anzob Pass, which runs 3400m above sea level, and through a mountain tunnel that stretches for 5 kilometers.
Stop for lunch at a teahouse before beginning your city tour of Istaravshan’s most popular sites:
- Istaravshan Bazaar - housed chiefly in a 3-story building, it’s impressively large and authentic.
- Hazrat Shah Architectural Complex (18th- 19th centuries) - includes Hazrat Shah Mausoleum, Khudayar Valami Mausoleum and Namazgah Mosque. Admire the brightly painted ceiling and learn about the family of Hazrat Shah, whose brother Kusaim ibn Abbas is buried in Shah-i-Zinda in Samarkand.
- Mug Teppe - this renovated fortress perched atop a hill marks the location of one of the oldest habitations in Istaravshan and provides a great overlook of the city.
Continue driving to Khujand. Arrival in Khujand for drop-off at your hotel. End of Istaravshan Day Tour.
Travel time - approximately 5 hours
City tour time - approximately 2 hours
- Private, local guide;
- Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
- Transport throughout the tour (1-2 sedan, 3-8 minivan).
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