mardi 4 septembre 2012

The Pamir Land Where Tourists Are So Rare

Very often those who have been in Tajikistan say that people living there are very hospitable. In fact it’s more a myth than truth. Yes, they are friendly and quite hospitable but not extremely. It may surprise only those who’s never been to the East (Egypt does not count). The hospitality that may truly impress can be seen in Pamir. Especially in places not spoiled by tourism.

The way to the valley of the Bartang river is not easy…

Local guys

Elderly woman in one of kishlaks.

The Muslim holy place in a kishlak Basid. Adherents of different faith are not allowed.

Local landscapes

Here’s how they cross the river.


The biggest kishlak in the valley. In the space between the houses they grow crops.

Almost every family has a plot of land and some cattle. But such products as salt, sugar, rice, tea etc. are required to be bought.

Ordinary storage

Mulberry and aprocots grow widely in the valley

Ancient watch tower. Inhabitants of different valleys used to attack each other…

Recently they have built a hydro station. It is not powerful but now they have electricity at night.
There is no telephone connection in the valley, doctors use portable radio transmitters.

In day time they sit on these benches, at night they sleep on them. The most ordinary floors are dirt.

Some family portraits

Main transport
There are no signs of any police in the valley. The main power belongs to caliphs, religious leaders of Ismaelian communities.
Profession of a teacher is rather popular here. It’s one of the few opportunities to earn some real money.

Some interior details. “My student years”

Nisar kishlak, it has no electricity

Doesn’t it look a bit Indian?

For some reason they put smaller stones on this large one.

People wear amulets but they do not show them.

Barchadiv kishlak, local women do not show their faces and refuse to be photographed.

The water in Berchadiv is pure.

There is a “delayed-action bomb” in the mountains over the kishlak – Sarezskoye lake. In the beginning of the XXth century a strong earthquake crushed the mountain on the valley of the Murgab river and thereby buried two kishlaks under the obstruction. In several years here formed the whole lake. In any moment, due to a possible earthquake or a landslide, the dam may burst and all the water will gush down on the inhabited kishlaks.
These people are fatalists, they have got used to the feeling of danger.

Watermill: the water flows under the house and makes a wooden screw rotate.

The screw, in its turn, makes a stone disc rotate and grind grain into flour.

Inside a granary

Kishlak Savnob. It has remains of an ancient fort which today is a public loo…

Apricots being dried

Children bathing in the pond

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