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Dushanbe is the Capital and largest city in Tajikistan. Its name means “Monday” in Persian language, having beenbuilt on the site of a Monday market. It was a small village for centuries; however, after the Bolshevik revolution and Red Army conquest of Central Asia, it was made the capital of the new Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (later the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic). Under the Soviets, Dushanbe grew rapidly, and was endowed with many industrial enterprises and cultural institutions. The city was peaceful and prosperous, and had a very multi-ethnic population due to an influx of workers, mostly Russian-speaking, from other parts of the Soviet Union, reaching 850,000 today. During the 1990’s, Dushanbe became very dilapidated, and its people impoverished, due to the collapse of the Soviet command economy and the Tajik civil war of 1992-1997; most Russians and other minorities fled during this time.However, during the past decade the city has seen a virtual renaissance and is now more prosperous and beautiful than ever. The infrastructure has been mostly rebuilt; streets are newly paved and orderly, and electricity, water and gas supplies are uninterrupted. Gleaming new hotels and banks are a common sight, asare internet cafes, well-stocked supermarkets, and modern apartment buildings. Nearly every type of International cuisine can be found in the center, from inexpensive and authentic Uzbek and Central Asian dishes to the finest European, Asian, and American offerings. Modern Dushanbe is a true “garden city”, its wide boulevards and sleepy backstreets lined with towering plantain and poplar trees, giving the city the feel of a leafy oasis on hot summer days. Many large parks are scattered throughout the city, watered by a network of large and small canals and channels.Hotel accommodations from one to five stars are available, ranging from quiet guesthouses in vintage buildings to cosmopolitan business hotels, including international chains such as Radisson and Hyatt.Weather in Dushanbe is typified by hot, dry summers, cool winters, and warm, wet spring and autumn. Average high temperature in July is 36°C, with a low of 18°C. In January, Average temperatures are 9°C / -1°C. Dushanbe receives on average more rainfall than other Central Asian capitals; around 500 mm which mostly falls in spring, though summers are very hot and dry. The city is protected by several mountain ranges from the bitterly cold temperatures and strong winds which affect the rest of the region.

Qurghonteppa (Kurgan-Tyube)Qurghonteppa (formerly known as Kurgan-Tyube) is anagricultural city on the Vaksh River in southwestern Tajikistan. It is the capital of the Viloyati Khatlon region and is located 100km from Dushanbe, with a population of 85,000 (2006), making it the third-largest city in the country. The population fluctuates depending on season(due to Tajik immigrant workers in Russia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere)… DushanbeDushanbe is the Capital and largest city in Tajikistan. Its name means “Monday” in Persian language, having been built on the site of a Monday market. It was a smallvillage for centuries; however, after the Bolshevik revolution and Red Army conquest of Central Asia, it was made the capital of the new Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (later the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic)…

Khujand, also transliterated as Khudzhand, Khujand or Khojand, was known until 1939 as Khujend; until 1992 as Leninabad (Leninobod), is the second largest city of Tajikistan. It is situated on both sides of the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley. The populationof the city is about 150,000, down from 160,000 in 1989. It is also the capital of the northernmost province of Tajikistan, now called Sughd. It sits at a strategic location at the narrow western end of the Fergana Valley, almost totally surrounded by Uzbekistan. It is connected to Tajikistan proper via the Khudzhand-Dushanbe highway, currently a precarious, high altitude mountain route which is closed in winter; a complete reconstruction of the route, as well as several new tunnels (by Chinese companies) is nearing completion as of 2009.

Kulob Cities of TajikistanKulob (which means swampy place or rushes and has also been called Kulab or Kulyab), is a city in eastern Kulob district, Khatlon Province, Tajikistan. Located 203 km southeast of the capital Dushanbe on the Yakhsu River (a tributary of the Panj) at 580 m above sea level; it is one of the largest cities in the country (population 82,000). The town has been difficult to reach and was isolated for decades as a result of its being bordered by Afghanistan on the south and east (along the Pyanj River), and the Pamir Mountains to the north; this has ended recently with the extension of roads north and westward through the Pamirs to Dushanbe, and its connection by rail to Dushanbe via Qurganteppa.The province is naturally defined by the river Panj (upperAmu-Darya) and the Hazrat-e Shah range in the east, offshoots of Tajikistan’s central mountains in the north, the Teraklitag and Karatag ranges in the west, and againthe Panj in the south, to which flows southward the Kizilsu (Sorkab), the main river of the region. The area is relatively conservative and traditional dress and norms predominate. Kulob is the birthplace of the current President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmonov, Canadian media entrepreneur Moses Znaimer, and popular Tajik singer Manija Dawlatov. Part of the Khanate of Bukhara since the 16thcentury (the Emirate of Bukhara since the 18thcentury), the city changed its name from Khatlon to Kulob in 1750. In 1921, after the fall of the Bukhara Emirate, Soviet rule was established in Kulob and the city became an industrial center during the Soviet era. In September 2006 Kulob celebrated its 2700th anniversary.

Penjikent (also called panjakent) is a modern city in the extreme northwest of Tajikistan, located in a broad valley at the base of the Fann Mountains near the borderwith Uzbekistan. It is also the site of an ancient citadel, among the oldest in Central Asia, the ruins of which are located on a high plateau above the current city. The area has always been important as a result of its strategic location along the Zarafshan River Valley. With a population of around 35,000, it is a regional center for trade and transportation; the main route between the major centers of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan runs throughthe center. Most local residents are involved in agriculture and trade, and the lowlands on which Penjikent is settled is a very fertile agricultural area, in which grapes, cotton and various vegetables are grown. Being close to Samarkand (across the border), the FannMountains and the Fergana Valley, it is one of the most visited areas in the country by foreigners, and an ideal base for trekking and climbing in the region. From anywhere in the city one can see stunning views of the picture perfect peaks of the Pamir-Alay range to the south and east. The colorful bazaar and ruins of the ancient city are the main attractions in town; nearby are the famous “seven lakes”; picturesque Mazar-i-Sharif village, with the mausoleums of Islamic scholars Muhammad Bashoro; and Panjrud village, hometown of famed Islamic poet and National hero Rudaki (9th-10thcenturies A.D.)

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