Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan is a beautiful landlocked country that was once at the heart of the famous Silk Road. With a population of 9.75 million, Tajikistan is home to (many) mountains and rivers, as well as a lake named after Alexander the Great. It’s also one of the many countries you can send money to with TransferGo.
But how much do you really know about Tajikistan? To celebrate this fascinating country, we thought it was time to explore some fun facts.
Here are 6 things you didn’t know about Tajikistan.
The capital city is named after Monday
Tajikistan’s capital city is Dushanbe, which translates to ‘Monday’ in Persian. The reason for this is because the city was once a village that sat at the crossroads of a very popular weekly market that took place every… You guessed it! Monday.
Dushanbe is a beautiful city that’s built around picturesque parklands. It’s also home to some impressive landmarks including the world’s second-tallest flagpole (164 metres high) and the 10th Century Ismoil Somoni golden statue, which sits in Friendship Square.
It’s home to (many) mountains and rivers
Tajikistan is rather mountainous. In fact, 90% of the territory is mountainous with 50% of the country having an elevation of more than 3000m above sea level. Most of the highest peaks are found in the Pamir and Alay ranges. The tallest is Ismoil Somoni Peak, which soars at 7,495 metres tall.
Tajikistan is also home to many rivers with over 900 of them stretching longer than 10km. Two of the biggest rivers flowing through the country include the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya.
The country is highly susceptible to earthquakes
Unfortunately, Tajikistan is located in a seismically active zone, making it very susceptible to earthquakes. In fact, earthquakes occur here reasonably regularly.
Qaratog, one of the world’s deadliest earthquakes was experienced in Tajikistan in 1907 with more than 12,000 people losing their lives. The 1949 Khait earthquake was another deadly one, with the natural disaster event taking thousands of lives.
The national flag symbolises many things
Approved in 1992, the National Flag of Tajikistan consists of three horizontal lines. The top line is red as a symbol of state sovereignty and represents the sun, victory and triumph. Meanwhile, the middle white line represents the cotton that made Tajikistan famous. However, some say it also represents the snow found on top of the country’s many mountains.
The green line at the bottom stands for agricultural production while the crown in the centre with an arc of seven gold stars represents unity among the country’s many different social classes.
Iskanderkul Lake is named after Alexander the Great
One of Tajikistan’s signature sights is Iskanderkul Lake in the Fann Mountains. It’s shaped like a triangle and surrounded by rocky peaks. Its water also changes colour from turquoise to milky white throughout the day.
Iskanderkul takes its name from Alexander the Great and is believed to be where his horse, Bucephalus, drowned in a battle. (‘Iskanderkul’ translates to ‘the Lake of Alexander the Great’). In fact, some locals claim to occasionally see the horse during a full moon. Apparently, he comes out of the lake and grazes on the shores.
Over 25% of Tajikistan’s GDP comes from immigrant remittances
Tajikistan is one of the poorest countries to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2019, its national poverty rate was over 26%. To help reduce this poverty, many locals travel abroad for work and send money back to their families. It’s estimated that somewhere between 30-40% of households in Tajikistan have at least one family member working abroad.
The country is now one of the most heavily remittance-dependent countries in the world. In 2020, around 26.88% of the country’s GDP came from remittances. To put that into perspective, the world average for that time was 5.31%.
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