Pamirs

Pamirs


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The mountainous region of Pamirs is known in Tajikistan as Bam-i-Dunya (the Roof of the World). The region is the node from which some of the world's highest mountain ranges radiate. To the south lie the Karakoram and Himalaya. In the west is the Hindu Kush and along the Kyrgyz-Chinese border is the Tian Shan. Many peaks in Pamirs rise well over 7000 m (23,000 feet) and large part of the region is too high for human settlement, but Marco Polo sheep and snow leopard roam there.

Some of the valleys in Pamirs are low enough to support small villages and the people who live there are mostly Ismailis. The breakaway sect of Shia Islam has no mosques, no clerics and no weekly holy day. Their spiritual leader is the Aga Khan, seen as the Ismailis as a living god. Actually he is a Swiss-born businessman and his fortune provides most of the region with necessities such as food and housing.

Despite of living in one of the country's poorest areas, the people are very friendly and always ready to share whatever little they possess. Accommodation in the area is mostly in the form of farmers offering a place to stay at their farmstead. Usually you'll end up sleeping on the floor, but it is better than in the open air. Bring your own provisions, as there are no shops in the region. Pamirs is in the south of Tajikistan. The main town in the region is Khorog.


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