Tajikistan (2017): Shakhdara valley (east of Shavoz village)

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Immediately after returning from the Badomdara and Rostovdara valleys (see here), we spent one day traveling (by car) in the upper Shakhdara valley. On the way, we did an excursion to Durumkul lake in the Durumdara side-valley.

 

Map:

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The Shakhdara valley seen from the village of Shavoz at the entrance of the Badomdara valley.

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Narrow side canyon further up in the Shakhdara valley past the village of Shohirizm.

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Village of Vrang seen from the track toward Durumkul lake.

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View of high summits in the Shakhdara range (south of the Shakhdara valley) from further up along the track to Durumkul lake.

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The track toward Durumkul lake was not drivable up to the lake. An additional one-hour hike was needed to reach the lake. The lake had a strange greenish color due to large amounts of melting snow in the surrounding mountains. Had we completed the trek between Rivak and Vrang as planned (see here), we would have reached this lake from the north along the overlooking trail visible on the right of three of the photos below.

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Shakhdara valley between Vrang and Shoshbuvad.

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Small mud and stone fortress (dating probably from the 2nd-3rd century AD during the late Kuchan empire) built on top of a hill in the village of Shoshbuvad.

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Shakhdara valley beyond the village of Shoshbuvad.

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A glimpse of the tips of Engels (left) and Karl Marx (right) peaks, the two highest peaks of the Shakhdara range, soon before reaching the fortress of Deruj.

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Remains of the fortress of Deruj dating from the 2nd-3rd century AD during the late Kuchan empire.

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After visiting the Deruj fortress we returned to Khorog, where we spent one night before heading toward the Wakhan valley.

 

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