- In the 1st millennium B.C., Soghd (Sogdiana or Sogdia) was a center of a developed ancient civilization with high levels of culture, arts and crafts. In the VIII century the troops of the Arab Caliphate invaded Central Asia, and with fire and sword spread a new religion – Islam. The Sogdians escaped through this inaccessible mountain gorge. At the eastern edge of the Zarafshon Valley, it is still possible to hear the Sogdian language being spoken. This was the language of the Persian kings and of Roxanne, the wife of Alexander the Great. In the 1970’s many inhabitants of the higher territories of the Zarafshon Valley were resettled to undeveloped lands of the present Ganchi, Zafarabad and Matcha Districts. Among this population there were Yagnobian people too. But in the 1990’s after Tajikistan gained independence many began to return back to their old villages. Today there are Yagnobies living in 14 of the 22 villages of the valley. Here they have been striving to preserve their culture and traditions, including elements of their ancestors’ fire worshiping Sogdian religion, Zoroastrianism.
Margheb (1,700m) means “green, blossoming place”, and on arrival you can clearly see where the name originates from. One of the most stunning sites is a one- kilometer rock, which soars above the Village, called Zaminkaror, or “Holder of the Earth”. The traditional house of Yagnobians is very low and has small apertures instead of windows. It is divided into MUR – the room, where the stove (inkir in Sogdians or tandir in Tajik) for baking bread is. The ceiling in this room has one hole to let the smoke come out; KANNA – the room for processing and storing the milk products; PISTIK – the room for other storages, and small corridor. The central part of Yagnob area is divided in four smaller parts: Soyara – “in a shadow”, Aftobu – “on a sun side”, Kul river valley and Pskon. The most amazing fact is that the small areas have their own ethnographical features too. People living in four parts speak different dialects of the Yagnob language.
Good physical conditions are required. You must have comfortable shoes, raincoat, sunglasses, sunscreen, warm clothes and a camera.
Accommodation Guesthouse Sayoh, owner Rasulov, located in Margheb village. Guesthouse Zaminkaror, owner Dustbekov, located in Margheb village.
- 2 nights in rural guesthouses
- 2 nights in tents
- Local transportation
- Guiding service
- Full board
- Outdoor equipment
- Donkey service
- Duration 5 days
- Altitude max 2,000m
- Difficulty medium
- Season 15 July– 15 September
- Distance 180km by car 54km on foot
- Margheb and Yagnob house
- Tangi Chanor
- Music show in Pskon
- Quirionte Village and the 7 Zoroastrian pillars and petroglyphs