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Khujand

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Khujand is a city in Tajikistan.

Understand[edit]

Khujand is the second largest city in Tajikistan (163000 inhabitants). It is located in Ferghana Valley on both banks of Syrdarya river. During Soviet times it was named Leninabad.

Get in[edit]

By Plane[edit]

There is an international airport in Gafurov, 10 km from Khujand. Often Gafurov is referred to by its Soviet name - Chkalovsk. Khujand airport has many flights to Russia Somon Air and Tajik Air also cover the Khujand-Dushanbe connection.

By Bus/Taxi[edit]

From Dushanbe, the terminal is at the end of Rudaki Street towards Varzob Valley. Take a 3 taxi and ask the driver to drop you to the 'Vaghzale Khujand' close to Vodonasos or Cemzavod. It is the end of the Trolleybus line. The price (summer 2015) should be 100 TJS per person. The trip takes about 5 hours from Dushanbe. Be careful, as during winter the road is dangerous. Try to get a local to ask about the road condition. When it is dry it is relatively safe, but as the road goes through high passes, the weather can be significantly different than in the valleys.

From Panjakent, you can find a shared taxi from Panjakent to Khujand. Be wary of the weather, especially in winter, as there is a high altitude mountain pass and the road is in bad condition, althouggh it has been improving in recent years.

From Kyrgyzstan, There is a border crossing between Batken and Isfara. The border opens at 8:30 AM on both side, but since there is a 1h time difference, take that into account if you do not wish to stay stuck between the borders for an extra hour. There are shared taxis that you can take to Isfara (about 10-20 minutes), prices vary but it should be around 10 to 30 somoni (December 2018). From Isfara, there are shared taxis and marshrutka departing from the bus station next to the bazaar. A shared taxi is 50 somoni per person or 150 if you take it alone. It takes about 1.5 to 2h. The road is safe and splendid. The road goes through kyrgyz enclaves, but no transit visa is required. The shared taxi usually drop passengers at the south station (vaghzal), you can cross the street and take marshrutka or busses from there to the city center.

From Uzbekistan, take a taxi from the border to Khujand.

Get around[edit]

Taxi should cost not more than 10 somoni for any destination in town. Taxi to the airport costs about 30 somoni. There are plenty of marshrutkas as well. Don't expect anyone speak English. Khujand has now two system of public transport, the marshrutkas and the public bus.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Ismail Somoni monument. This new monument is located on the left bank of Syrdarya. It stands on top of a hill surrounded by fountains. There is a color and music show every evening in the summer.
  • Masjidi Jami mosque and medrese. These buildings are used for its religious purposes. They are located on bazaar square.
  • Panjshanbe Bazaar. Beautiful and colorful building where you can find almost everything.
  • Ruins of the X century citadel. There is a small renovated part which contains a museum about region history.
  • Lenin Statue. Once located where the Ismail Somoni statue now stands, the largest Lenin statue in Central Asia is now found in an unmarked park. After crossing the bridge across the Seer Darya from the Leninabad Hotel, go left and ask for the haikali Lenin (Lenin statue). It will be in a park next to a Tajik war monument.
  • Library There is a library near the Syr Dario, that hosts the American Corner in Khujand. It has beautiful ceilings and some old books.
  • Kamoli Khujandi Park Situated on the South side of the Syr Dario, the park is beautiful. It has a mausoleum for the beloved poet Kamal Khujandi as well as magnificent scenes covered by woodcarved ceilings.
  • Kamoli Khujandi Museum this museum is very interesting as it shows, through the example of the familly of Kamal Khujandi, how were traditional Tajik houses build. Conservation of food, livelihood and intruction are discussed as well as some early version of the poet's work. The house was built expertly and is worth the detour. It is situated near the Park Kamoli Khujandi.
  • Theater The theater is in front of the Kamoli Khujandi park and the Museum of the Sughd Region. It has a beautiful architecture and multiple painted ceilings.
  • Stella Khujand, a newly built illuminated tower in the North side of the city. Close to the Khujand State University. It overlooks the whole city. There is a point of view on the top. There is a small museum on the first floor. Fountains and streetfood on the outside. The basement has interesting shops and food options.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Play bowling There are a couple of nice places to play bowling in Khujand.
  • Navruzgoh An attraction park in the city where you can do some boat tours, caroussel, ferriswheel, etc.
  • Swim There is now a beach on the syr dario, with fine sand and nice water entrance. It is possible to play volleybal there as well.
  • Walk along the Syr Dario There are statues and relaxing view along the syr dario.
  • Hike You can hike the mountains on the north side of the city. You can take a marshrutka or bus to the university and follow the paths in the mountains. Be careful, this is not a familly activity. The soil is unstable, and the wind can be pretty strong. The view, however, is splendid. Make sure not to go alone.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Handicraft You can find good handicrafts near Panjshanbe Bozor. It is not in the main building, but a newer building near the main street, the shops are on the second floor. They have carpets, suzani (wall tapestry), pillow cases, pottery, wood carved souvenirs and so on. There is also a shopping center called 'Avesto' (Авесто) situated on Ismoil Somoni Prospekt near Univermag. You can find it on google maps. There are one or two boutiques there selling traditional clothes, hats and handicrafts. If you are interested in pottery, a new shop has opened in the shopping center situated under the "Stella Khujand", the newly-erected white tower near the mountains.

Panjshanbe This is the main bazaar in the city. It sells food on the first floor. On the second floor you can find clothes, bags, perfumes, electronic devices, sport accessories and so on. In the surrounding buildings you can find a wider choice, so don't hesitate the explore the whole area and not only the old Bazaar. The Bazaar itself is splendid and is worth visiting.

Univermag is an important bus station in Khujand. You can also find clothes, perfumes and other things there. You can find it on google maps. It is situated in the underground passage. Flower shops and street food stands are situated nearby.

Books If you are looking for books, you can find many small book shops under the library building. The building is situated on Ismoil Somoni Prospect, on the south side of the river. You can find it on google maps if you search for the "American Corner in Khujand". Very few books are availiable in English, but you can find a souvenir book with pictures from Khujand and some poetry in translation.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Budget

Oshkhona Lazzat Located in the main square in front of Panjshanbe bozor, next to the unfinished mosque. They are a Tajik cafe that serves traditional food, but their giant meat sambusas (dumplings) are their specialty. Not vegetarian friendly, but they have some non-meat options available.

  • Kafe Bargi Sabz, 153 Kamoli Khujand (153, ул. Худжанди), +992 92 987 7337. 7:00 to 18:00 ex Sun.. The only vegetarian restaurant in Tajikistan. Serves not only salad and sandwiches but many vegetarian version of local cuisine. Its service level is at western standard yet priced popular among local.  edit
  • Zaytun, (40.299187, 69.637886). Delicious food in a beautiful ensemble. $5 (two courses + salad & tea).  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Leninabad. Overpriced Soviet-era hotel, yet cheap. Double room with private shower costs 120 somonis for foreigners (100 somoni for citizens of CIS, 80 somoni for tajiks). A single room with a twin-sized bed will cost 100 somoni (May 2017). Lift is not working, so you probably wouldn't live higher than the 4th floor, but everything is in good order including hot shower and cable TV. Staying here itself is an attraction as not many soviet era hotels are left still operating. The left luggage service costs 2 somoni. The hotel is located on right bank of Syrdarya near the river.
  • Ehson Hotel, Gagarin Street, (at Ismoili Somoni), +992 98 707 5989. This economy hotel next to city hospital is more crowded than Leniabad but shows its age already. Room with shared bath starts with 60SOM but better value is upstairs room from 80SOM and they do not discriminate foreigners price-wise. 60 to 140 (2017).  edit
  • Somoni hostel, Ismoili Somoni 7a (At Univermag bus stop cross the street, pass the communist monument, a bit further south along the prospect you will see a 5 story new building, use the side stairs (there is a green camping sign at the door) and walk all the way to the top), +992 92 621 7887. Friendly host, cozy rooms, not that big though, especially in summer it may be full quickly. $10 incl. breakfast.  edit

Learn[edit]

  • DONO is a language school, mainly teaching Russian and English. Classes for foreigners in Tajiki or Russian may be possible. [email protected]
  • Arkon is a language school, mainly teaching Russian and English. Classes for foreigners in Tajiki or Russian may be possible. [email protected]

Around Khujand[edit]

There is a Kairakum reservoir on Syrdarya river. To get there you should takt marshrutka #16 near Panchshanbe bazaar (2,5 somoni, 30 minutes). There is a small beach with infrastructure and eateries near dam, and a lot of sandy beaches further. Water is good and warm, though beaches themselves could be dirty.

Get out[edit]

Shared taxis and marshrutkas to Dushanbe, Penjikent, Istaravshan and other southern Tajikistan destinations depart from western bus station.

Marshrutkas and taxis to Uzbekistan border depart from nothern bus station. Taxi to Oybek post should cost about 50-80 somoni

Marshrutkas to Isfara, with connection to Batken and Osh, leave from a small terminal 2km south of city. From centre, take frequent marshrutkas towards Gafurov and ask driver to let you off at "stancia Isfara" as it is very easy to miss

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