The Surreality of the Pamirs

Amongst the World’s highest ranges, the majestic Pamir Mountains are situated between Central Asia, South and East Asia. They are located at the junction of the Himalayas with the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and the Tian Shan ranges.


The lie mainly in the Gorno-Badakshan autonomous region of Tajikistan. The connect the Tian Shan mountains to the North, along the Alay valley of Kyrgyzstan. To the south, they border the Hindu Kush mountains along Afghanistan’s famous anomaly of a province, the Wakhan corridor. To the east, they extend to the range that includes China’s Kongur Tagh, the Pamir’s highest point,  separated by the Yarkand valley from the Kunlun Mountains. The Panj and the Pamir are the major rivers that flow through the ranges.

The three highest mountains in the Pamirs core are the Ismoil Somoni (known from 1932 to 1962 as Stalin Peak, and from 1962 to 1998 as Communism Peak), 7,495 m (24,590 ft), Ibn Sina (still unofficially known as Lenin Peak), 7,134 m (23,406 ft); and Korzhenevskaya ,7,105 m (23,310 ft). Kongur Tagh lies in China in the region known as the ‘Eastern Pamirs’.

There are many glaciers present in the ranges. The 77 km long Fedchenko Glacier is the longest in the former USSR and the longest outside the Polar regions. The majestic lake Karakul is located in the nearby region.


The ranges are covered in snow throughout the year and has mainly alpine climate, the Pamirs are famous for having long and bitterly cold winters, and short, cool summers. Annual rainfall is about 130 mm (5 in), which supports grasslands but very few types of trees.


Historically, the Pamir Mountains were considered a strategic trade route between Kashgar(Xinjiang, China) and Kokand(Uzbekistan) on the legendary Silk Road, a prehistoric route, and had been subject to numerous territorial conquests. The Northern Silk Road connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xi’an over the Pamir Mountains towards the west to emerge in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia.


The region has massive tourism potential and many hiking enthusiasts, travelers, mountaineers and adventure seekers do visit this massive region. The region’s importance will only grow further due its unique strategic location.

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