The Shugnan and Vakhan branches


BARPANJA the capital of Shugnan

A medieval fortress

Pamirian house

KHOROG -Centre of Gorno-Badakhshan

Mount Kuhi Lal, a source of Badakhshanian lal - spinel.

Marco Polo, during the Mongol Conquest in 1270, wrote:

.In Balasian (Badakhshan) the people are Muslims and they have a special language. It is a large realm: the kings are hereditary. They are the heirs of King Alexander and the daughters of King Darius, the great ruler of Persia. There are a lot of big, precious, beautiful and expensive stones here. They are mined on the orders of the king. The people are brave here.

Garmchashma hot springs



Qah Qaha fortress (seventh to third century BCE)

A shrine to Shohi Mardon (Hazrat Ali)

Yamchu fortress (third century BCE - seventh century CE) Bibi Fotimai Zahro hot springs (for women)

A Buddhist complex (fourth to seventh century) in village of Vrang

The village of Yamg, with a museum devoted to the theologian Sufi Muborakkadam and an instrument for identifying the time (a calendar of festivals and sowing). The village is famous for musical instruments, e.g. balandmukom.

Petroglyphs in Langar

The Shugnan Branch

The Pir Shohnosir springs

The Saroi Bahor shrine

The Pamir botanical gardens

The village of Bogev: the Kofir- Kala complex

Lake Sarez




Vanj blast furnace

Kalay Khum old fortress


Chinese pilgrims, ambassadors, merchants and missionaries used the Bactrian Road (through Shugnan and Vakhan). The 27-year-old Suan Tzyan, originally from Gunan a very famous pilgrim, travelled to India on religious purposes in 629 and in 645 returned to China through the Pamir with a large luggage of Buddhist literature on 22 horses. He crossed the Pamir in 642.


The contacts between Central Asians and, through them, between Europe and China had many aspects. There were military crusades too

The most famous of these were:


The first, in 90 CE. There was a clash between the Chinese general Ban Chao and a Kushan army of seventy thousand soldiers in the region of Vakhan. The Chinese general planned to cross the Pamir and move west. Both sides endeavoured to take this caravan route under its control. At the same time a heavy armoured cavalry of seventy thousand passed through Shugnan and Vakhan.


The second crusade was connected with the rise of the Tibetans, who in the eighth century started to extend their possessions westwards. The Tan Empire also endeavoured to bring Shugnan and Vakhan under its control and to close the route to the Tibetans.

At the same time another empire - the Arabo-Muslim one - was strengthening. China was afraid of contacts between Tibetans and Arabs.


Caliph al- Mamun set his vizier Faze bin Shall the task of freeing this road up for his trade, and Faze destroyed an allied army of Tibetians and Arabs in the Vakhan and Tarim basin.

In commemoration of that battle there is a marble slab in the Kaaba, on which it is written: Allah gifted me a victory in Vakhan over the governor of Hakan and the Tibetian mountains.

Iranian immigrants used these routes after the fall of the Iranian King Yazdigurd III. Japanese chronicles, dating to 720, contain information about the arrival of the inhabitants of Tokharistan to this country in the early seventh century. The military crusades were only episodes in the history of these relationships. Religious and technological ideas, like other aspects of culture, could spread easily along trade networks like running water finding open channels. Simultaneously, culture promoted great progress of trade and production, including silk manufacture. The spread of Buddhism and its ceremonies demanded a great amount of silk. The Central Asian region played a great role in the transmission of cultural values between East and West in the past.


Сайт управляется системой uCoz