Kalai-Khumb (Qal'ai Khumb, Qal'a-I-Khum) is a little town on the Panj river and one of the primary settlements on the course to Pamir Highway after Dushanbe. The abnormal name of the town is interpreted from Persian as "Fortress on the Khumb" as there is an Obikhumboi river streaming into Panj river. Kalai-Khumb is an administrative centre of the Darvaz area in Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region.
Situated on the stature of 1200 m above ocean level, Kalai-Khumb has a peaceful atmosphere for such extreme region as Pamir.
The historical backdrop of Kalai-Khumb started in the fifteenth century when the first fortress was constructed here. To start with, it was a station on the fringe of Pamir securing the eastern side of the Temurids Empire.
Later Kalai-Khumb turned into the capital of the free Darvaz Khanate that existed until the finish of the nineteenth century. It was a piece of the Bukhara Khanate for quite a while, and amid the Soviet govern, it transformed into a regional focus of the Gorno-Badakhshan locale, some portion of the Tajik SSR. The last huge occasion in the historical backdrop of Kalai-Khumb was the Afghan War amid 1979-1989.
Kalai-Khumb is situated on the fringe with Afghanistan and there is one of the three scaffolds crosswise over Panj river. There used to be Sunday market close to this extension, where traders landed from Afghanistan. In spite of the fact that there is no such market in Kalai-Khumb now.
Today Kalai-Khumb is a calm comfortable town with a populace of 1600 people. There are a couple of guesthouses and a better than average lodging "Karon Palace".
Qal’ai Khumb is one of the most popular places to take a nights’ rest along the breathtaking mountain pass that follows the Panj River, and one of the more common places to stay the night in this tiny town is in a local’s home, who often rent out makeshift guestrooms to passing travellers. Even though the amenities are rare, a homestay offers a glimpse into local life, as well as an opportunity to sample traditional Tajik food and drink.
The mountainous route to Qal’ai Khumb takes you over the stunning Khaburabad Mountain Pass, a stunning road that hits heights of over 10,000 feet. You’ll witness some stunning views across the Pamir Mountains, in this incredibly isolated region, often going for long periods of time without seeing another car. In places, the long and winding road is tricky to negotiate, and a 4X4 vehicle is best to tackle this kind of terrain.
The gushing Panj River is at the heart of Qual’ai Khumb, and the stretch of water also acts as a land border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Many of the guesthouses in the town are located near the river, offering stunning views across to the mountains of Afghanistan.
Explorers heading to Pamir Highway from Dushanbe, mostly, make their first stop at Kalai Khumb. Add the tiny little town on your itinerary while planning your Tajikistan trip. Call us or visit our website to book your tour the amazing city of Kalai Thumb.