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Welcome to Penjikent
  by Tirdâd Gorgâni

(The Capital)




Xujand (Khujand)          
Great Poet Rudaki
Penjikent (or Panjikent) is a small town, on the banks of  the Zeravshan river, western Tajikistan.
Many of archaeologists of  the world aspire to Panjakent, one of the centers of ancient civilization, a major sogdian city was founded in the 5th century.
In the central Zarafshan valley, the town of ancient Panjikent was the capital of Panch and its rulers.
Panjekent was one of  the socio-political, economical and cultural dynamics of the powerfull and progressive Samanid state .
Penjikent is situated 65 km east of  Samarqand , in Tajikistan. See map
Facts at
a Glance

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Name: Penjikent
Population: c. 50,000
Language: Persian (Tajik)
Transportation: Daily buses from Khojand and in summer even to Dushanbe.
Accomodation: Hotel Penjikent, ulitsa Mirnaya 22 (town center)
Tour operator:Mountain Travel and Central Asia Tours
Geolog Village, Penjikent
Tel.: +992 (3475) 53134, +992 (3475) 55088
Fax: +992 (3475) 53134
Road  Map
: Click here.
Tajik map

What to

Penjikent History

Tajikistan History
Penjikent Ruines
*Ruins of ancient Penjikent , (some 1.5 km from the modern town of Penjikent) a major Sogdian town arose in the 5th century A.D.
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*History museum in the town.

*Rudaki historical-ethnographic museum in the town.


*Panjikent-Khojand route is a fantastic scenic route through the high mountains, climbing in places to over 3500 meters.

*Sarazm, some 20 kilometres from Penjikent, is one of the most ancient settlements of Central Asia, aged more than 5000 years, dating from the Bronze Age.

* The Town of Aini

*Strange lakes of Muragazor
South of Penjikent lie the Muragazor Lakes, a system of seven lakes of differing colours that change as the light changes.

* Samarqand  (Samarkand) is the  major cultural and industrial center of Tajik  people, situated only 65 km west of  Penjikent (now in Uzbekistan).
A majestic and beautiful  city,  Samarkand is the city of  legends .The city  is situated  in the  blossoming  Zerafshan Valley.      Samarkand    is part of a region  that historically was known as  Sogdia, and whose ethnically Iranian   (Tajik) merchants for  centuries seem to have played a key  role  in the commerce along  the Silk  Road.
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Tajikistan Nature


For alpine climbing, high level walking tours and lakeland scenery the Fansky Gory (Fann mountains) in the North West of the country, just a couple of hours from both Penjikent and Dushanbe. This is a favorite place for trekking and climbing.
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Ancient Panjekent   was a small  but rich town of the Soghdians, an Iranian people among  the most important peoples of pre-Islamic Central  Asia. The ethnic and territorial  name "Soghd/Soghdian" occurs in historical  sources as early as in Iranian  Achaemenid times (6th century B.C.).   In their heartland, the Zarafshan valley,  they founded several city-states, as well as colonies along the ancient Silk  Routes from Eastern Europe (Crimea) to the Chinese border and Mongolia.
Relief panels from the front of the Museum

Wooden Panel
In the central Zarafshan valley, the town of ancient Panjikent (Soghdian: Panchekanth) was the capital of Panch and its rulers. The town probably arose in the 5th century A.D. Its citizens were well established businessmen and landowners. In A.D. 722, Arabian forces besieged and took the town. The last ruler Devashtich fled into the upper Zarafshan regions where he was captured and sentenced to death shortly after. For some 50 years, ancient Panjikent stayed a living place under the new rulership, but towards the end of the 8th century the place was given up and never resettled again. Therefore, quite a lot of urban remains, architecture and works of art from the last urban phases could await the spades of the archaeologists.
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