Road trip along the Panj river

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To reach Vrang village, the start of our first trek, we drove from Dushanbe through the towns of Kulob and Khorog. Between Dushanbe and Kulob, the road is moderately interesting. Soon after Kulog, we crossed a pass and reached the Panj river that separates Tajikistan from Afghanistan. We followed the Panj river until Vrang. Most of the way, the Panj canyon is deep and narrow. On the Tajik side, the road is quite bad, but on the Afghan side there is only a narrow foot path connecting few villages.

 

Map

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First view of the Panj river after Kulob

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The Afghan side looks most of the time like a fortress protected by steep walls

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Along the Panj river

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Afghan villages

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The Panj canyon

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Narrow trails on the Afghan side

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A few kilometers before Rushan village, the Panj river widens

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All along the way international organizations actively remove land mines that date from the civil war that took place in the 90ís

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Wakhan corridor between the Pamir and the Hindu-Kush

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1500 years ago, the Wakhan corridor was a busy branch of the Silk Road, not only for trade, but also for the spread of religions, especially Buddhism.

 

Remains of old fortress in Darshai

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Ruins of Buddhist stupa above Vrang village

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Buddhist caves in the cliff overlooking Vrang village

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