Monday, May 13, 2024

Penjikent & The Seven Lakes, Tajikistan

Tajikistan is the smallest country in Central Asia and also happens to be landlocked. Over 90% of the country's territory is mountainous, making Tajikistan known worldwide as one of the largest mountaineering centers that attracts tourists who love outdoorsy activities like trekking. Truly, the landscape of the country is beautiful! and any nature lover would fall in love with what Tajikistan has to offer.

I was based in a city called Penjikent which was once an essential town on the Silk Road and prior to that it already had a long history dating thousands of years back. The city is strategically located to take an excursion to the Marguzor Lakes (seven lakes) which is a series of interconnected mountain lakes that have vibrant colors that are always changing depending on the climate. First day in Penjikent was spent checking out some of the main sites such as:

The National Museum - I highly recommended checking this out and learning the history of not only the country, but the city itself, for greater appreciation of it's long history. 

Ancient Ruins - Got to visit an archaeological site which was once a settlement dating back hundreds of years. In the process, ran into some kids who were flying kites which was cool. The kites looked like real birds too!

Random siting during the drive round the city.

Also visited the local market which was bustling with activities and people, I thought I took photos but turns out I didn't.

The second day in the city was reserved for the main attraction which is the Seven Lakes, the lakes are in the Fann Mountains, the lowest lake has an elevation of 1640 meters (5381 feet) while the highest has an elevation of 2400 meters (7874 feet). We (tour group) were driven by a minivan through the roads passing by each lake, the terrain was rugged and rough and every time we got to a lake the minibus would stop for 10 -15 minutes as we got off and admired the sites and walked around a little bit. The weather was overcast which made the lakes look all the same but when the sun eventually came out the colors got enhanced and looked beautiful!

Surprise! guess who joined me on this great adventure, my husband.

We drove by 6 lakes but since the terrain to the 7th lake was too rough, we had to hike up to the last lake. Prior to beginning the hike we stopped for lunch with a local family and got an insight into their daily life. After lunch we begun the hike up to the 7th lake.

The hike to the 7th lake was to take a total of 2 hrs going up and down, it was fun and games until the high altitude got to me. I was panting like a dog and was getting exhausted so fast, honestly I was miserable during the hike up and to make matters worse, it begun raining.


I finally made it to the 7th lake and felt such a sense of accomplishment because that hike up almost knocked me out and I almost gave up several times but thought what a shame it would have been to come this far and miss out on the 7th and last lake.

That's it folks! going back down the mountain was much easier than going up and even though I was wet from the rain and exhausted, I was glad to have gone on this adventure. We ended up having a really nice dinner in the evening before calling it a night.

Quick Facts:

The capital of Tajikistan is Dushanbe

Official languages are: Tajik and Russian

Their currency is called Somoni and $1 is equivalent to about 11 Somonis

The country is landlocked and in about 93% mountainous

No Visa needed for American passport holders

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