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736000, Republic of Tajikistan, GBAO, Bartang valley
the village Barchidif
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Khatlon

Khatlon region is located to the south-east of Dushanbe. One of the biggest cities of the Khatlon region is Kulyab which consist of Dangara, Vose, Temurmalik, Muminabad, Khovaling, Baljuvon, Parkhar, Hamadoni and Shurabad. In the west the Kulyab region borders with the Kurgan-Tyube zone, on the eastern outskirts of which flows Pyanj. Within the close distance to Pyanj, the mountain chains gradually go down and a hot and windless oasis can be seen. Tairsu, Yakhsu and Kizilsu – rivers that spring up in the mountains carry bracing moisture into the valley.

On the road Kulyab, valleys are unusually beautiful in spring time, when on the slopes of the mountains there are huge red carpets from tulips and poppy. These riverine valleys were the main places for man settlements from ancient times. Archaeologists determined that before, Stone Age men were living here in the caves.   Also, settlements of people that lived here about 2000 years ago were discovered. The territory of the modern Kulyab was part of the Akhamenid’s state in the VI-IV BC. As a result of aggressive campaign, the king of Akhamenids, Kir, occupied the entire territory, which included Bactria as well. In the IV BC, Alexander the Great invaded the territory of the Central Asia after defeating the Akhamenids’ state. In summer 329 he occupied almost all Bactria, and the Greek army, passing Termez and Kabadiyan moved to the area of the modern Kulyab. Often revolts broke out against Alexander in Bactria. In the area of Khuttalyan (in ancient times between Pyanj and Vakhsh) rebels stood most of all.

Due to close cultural links with Greece and India, in the II AD, Buddhism spread out in the state of Khuattal. 13 metres long statue of Buddha can be evidence of this. Remnants of Buddhist monastery of the 7-8 centuries (sanctuaries, monastic cells stupas, sculptures and petroglyphs ) have well preserved here. Archaeologists identified that the monastery in Ajina-Teppa consisted from two parts (temple and monastery), two rectangular yards surrounded by buildings and reinforced walls. Khuattal became famous by horse breeding, that were delivered to the cultivation oases of Central Asia. Horses of Khuattal breed were glorified in the Arab-Persian poetry. According to scientists’ researches, the capital of Khuattal was Khulbuk which was located at the territory of the present Vose district, in the outskirts of today’s village of Kurban-Shaid. Khulbuk was one of the biggest cities in Central Asia. During excavation works, remnants of a rulers’ castle with rich ornamentation were discovered. Also it was found out that in the ancient city there was sewage, water supply and heating systems: brick channels and ceramic tubes. During excavation works in the castle huge Khulbuk chesses from ivory were found out. Overall twenty whole and eight tumbledown figures were found.

Kulyab city with its modern name was first mentioned in the XIII century. The city was on one of the way of the Great Silk road and had close trade-economic and cultural links with many countries of the East and West. During medieval times Kulyab was centre of the Kulyab feud of the Bukhara khanate. Later, in the XVII-XIX centuries, 40 poets lived and created their works in Kulyab. One of the most famous were Naseh (Abdurahmon Khoja), Khoji Husaini Kangurti, Bismil and Shohi. Remnants of one of the prominent figures of the XV centuries – poet, philosopher and thinker rest in the mausoleum of Mir Sayid Ali Hamadoni.

Nearby the village Vose, 22 km to the south-west of Kulyab city, a unique natural monument – salty mountain Khoja Mumin is located, which raise high into the sky above the surrounding plain at 900 m. By the estimates of the geologists, the salt here accumulated for not less than 20 thousand years and preserves more than 30 billion tones of cooking salt.

Not far from the modern Kurgan-Tyube a remarkable historical monument – ruins of ancient city Lagman is located. The period of the rise of the city is dated back to the X-XIII centuries. In the middle of the XX century excavation works were carried out here, during which archaeologists discovered pipes from an old water supply, bricked wells, and fortifications with towers. This city, during its growth, was one of the biggest settlements of ancient Bactria and occupied quite a big territory (by those days) – 43 hectares.

In 1877 on the washed away right bank of Amudarya, local people found treasure in the area of Takhti Kubata. An ancient temple was excavated in the centre of the old city which was called «Oxus Temple ».  The temple was devoted to the God of river, whose cult existed here from the earliest times. In the huge temple, built in the IV-III BC wonderful findings were discovered: image of Alexander the Great’s bust, scabbard with the image of lion, with a fallow deer in its paws , one of the biggest collection  of arrowheads (more than 5 thousands), arming items and warriors arms of the Greek-Macedonian army and etc.

12 km away from the village Shaartuz, among the burning hot desert, five big spring gush out from the ground. This spring is called «Chilu chor chashma» («Forty four springs»), which serves as a site for pilgrimage for many Tajik people. According to a legend, pious khalif Ali, seeing dried up river Romit, reached «Chilu chor chashma» and asked Allah to grant water.

Visit this wonderful place of Tajikistan and you will learn about variety of flora and fauna, discover amazing world of ancient civilizations and see century old traditions and culture of the people of Khatlon people.

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