If you are like many travelors to Dushanbe and starved for something to do over the weekend, try the Museum of National Antiquities. It's not the most facinating museum in the world, but it can easily consume an hour or two of time and contains some interesting ancient artifacts.
Notably, the Museum of National Antiquities is home to Central Asia's largest Buddha (31 meters long). The large Buddha, which was found in northern Tajikistan, is also thought to be the only Buddha in a sleeping position in the world. Quite impressive!
Admission is nominal.
The Somoni statue on the main maidan of the Rudaki avenue is the grand national highlight of Tajikistan. Used to be the place of Central Asia's largest Lenin statue, now the Somoni stands taller in shaping Tajikistan. Refreshing to know that poets and writers supercede harsh ideologues in the nation-building....? or?
The big joke in town is about the thing Somoni holds in his hand, and there seems to be a general agreement that it is a fly-swatter. However, there are good reasons to be respectful of a nation that builds itself around a poet.
This is the national museum. Cost about 6TJS to get in. There are quite a few rooms here, but it's not the most interesting museum in the world.
Central Asia's biggest Budah wasn't there on the way we went!
Since Soviet rule vanished, there has been a considerable lifting of freedom of expression. This has materialized in a building frenzy of Sunni mosques in Dushanbe and elsewhere in the country. The main mosque in Dushanbe is right off Rudaki Prosepect and is a newly built, beautiful mosque. I recommend a visit here, and on the way to the mosque you will pass the Islamic University and medrassas where you can inquire about leave to enter or even a guide if your happen to be among the wrong faith or no faith. There was a very welcoming and accommodating atmosphere. A visit is highly recommended.
Everywhere you look in Dushanbe, there are signs of creating a nation. No wonder, with the recent civil war rumbling in the back of the heads of people here, that a process of nation building is on the agenda. Flags, Somoni-symbols, motifs and statements esposuing the nationa of Tajikistan is evident all over. The president's stern photo is ever-present, as if there could be some Sai-Baba like status, or perhaps punishment of not having him pinned up. It is interesting to notice these efforts and how the state and president is projected, and what this means to people. I am not so sure if it enourages more elbow room, or limits it. The ghosts of the past authoritarian rule from Moscow is surely not entirely swept out of the door, and many people will tell you that it was better before, when many aspects of life were more secure.
Yes, strolling Rudaki Prospect is a good way of soaking in the atmosphere of Dushanbe. You might not get the entirely correct picture of the city, but it is good for body and soul to start here, and find a place to sit and eat and drink.
This isn't so much of a 'must see' but a 'will be sure to see', because it is so prominent at one of the city's major crossroads.
Erected in 2000, this is who the Tajik government chose to be their national hero. The Tajik money is called the Somoni.
Behind the monument is a map depicting a 'greater Tajikistan', comprising present day Tajikistan plus sections of both Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. If you go to the Tajikistan Unified Museum you'll see similar claims to Bukhara and Samarkand made in the exhibits.
Click on the link for some photos of the monument to Somoni.
City is full of greenery, surrounded by mountains. There are many places worth visiting.
1. Somoni Manument: It is a large arch type structure with a gold crown on the top. It is situated in the center of the city. At the basement of it, there is a museum worth seeing.
2. There is only one main street which goes to President Palace. On the same road there is a lake which is really beautiful. One can enjoy boating & other amusement rides over there.
3. Just outside the city to the north there is a cement factory. After crossing it you can reach to a lake which is situated just in the valley. The mountains here are mostly covered with snow.
4. Most worth visiting place is Hissor. Which is outside the city, 20 km to the west. There are many cotton fields. And the most famous fort on a hill. There are ancient mosque type structures which are beautiful.
5. City museum: Like other museums this has many sections. The most attractive part of it is a staute of sleeping Budhdha.
Another Soviet-era monumental building; used to overlook the biggest Lenin statue on this side of the Ural, now it's the poet Somoni.
Located right on Rudaki prospekt, a power place of sorts, the Presidential Palace is an impressive building. Worth a look, even if you cannot get inside.