We stayed for a night in Panjakent and had a good walk around the town. Here are our sightseeing highlights in Panjakent.
Panjakent is a city in the north-west corner of Tajikistan. It has a population of approximately 300,000 (2020) and more than 350,000, if the suburbs are included.
Ancient Sogdian artefacts have been excavated in Panjakent, indicating that it was a developed city in the 5th century AD.
It is also located 60 km from Samarkand in neighbouring Uzbekistan and serves as a border city.
Ancient Panjakent archaeological excavations site
This archaeological excavation site is located south of the Panjakent central market. It is the site of a settlement of the Sogdiana Empire, which flourished in Central Asia from around 400 to 800 AD.
The site is not quite interesting, although there are only traces of what appear to be walls and house walls that surrounded the settlement in various parts of the wide hillside. As the site is not developed as a tourist attraction, you will have to walk up and down the site and use your imagination.
It is not a glamorous tourist attraction, but it was romantic to think that the ruins of an ancient city were buried under this hill. Free admission.
Panjakent Central Market / Bazaar
This is a large market located to the east of Panjakent’s main street. It is not only lively with a wide variety of goods for sale, but also has attractive architecture, which should be visited inside.
The main interior part of the market is a circular building, supported by white pillars. The pillars are discreetly decorated and match the brick walls, giving the market a unique atmosphere.
Mosaic murals were found on the east and west walls of a building just west of Panjakent’s main street, marked on Google Maps.
The murals are on the east and west walls. However, as the surrounding buildings seem to have been renovated, there is a possibility that these murals are lost in the future.
Rudaki Historical Museum
This museum is named after a Tajik poet who lived in the 10th century. The museum exhibits materials on the culture and history of Tajikistan, and is said to have a collection of wall paintings excavated from the ruins of the ancient city of Panjakent. We did not go inside.
Statue of Lenin next to the Hotel Intourist. Not many cities in the former Soviet Union have preserved statues of Lenin.
Loik Sherali monument
This is a statue of the poet Loik Sherali, born near Panjakent, who died in 2000 and his body was buried in Dushanbe.
Pamyatnik Ismoili Somoni monument
Statue of national hero Ismoili Somoni. The currency unit of Tajikistan is also named after him. Like the Somoni statue in Dushanbe, it stands flanked on either side by two lions and looks down on the main street of Panjakhent.
This is a small market in front of the hotel where we stayed in Panjakent. It is small in size but has a beautiful clock tower with brick walls and a blue dome.
Accommodation in Panjakent
In Panjakent, we stayed at the Umarion Hotel. It is conveniently located with a supermarket on the ground floor. The hotel owner family is very friendly. The price is USD 36 per night for a twin room, but they discounted it to USD 34. A detailed review can be found on Google Maps.