Fortress Kalai Mir

Fortress Kalai Mir

Mir Kalai Fortress is located in the center of the Qabodiyon town, 40 km from Jilikul and 80 km from Bokhtar in Tajikistan and it originates from the Achaemenid times (5th – 3rd century BC). While approaching the fortress, you can see it already from the main road passing through the town. There are no facilities nor any obstacles to accessing it. You can reach the site by climbing up a short slope behind the Cafe Takht-i Sangin and on the east side of the the road.

The fortress area is several hectares and some of the walls and gatehouses remain in recogniceable condition and one can still see some holes leading down to what used to be rooms. The fortress was the seat of the local beks (rulers) for centuries until the Russian Army attacked the last bek who  disappeared, presumably to Afghanistan, in 1921. Russian archaeologists excavated the site in the 1950s, with most of the discoveries sent to St. Petersburg as usual.

Qabodiyon Town

The name of the town comes from Kaboti Shah or Kabot the Builder, a mythological king in Firdousi’s Shahnameh, who has allegedly been living here. The town is well laid-out, irrigated fields surrounding it with a range of hills to the east. In front of the Cafe Takht-i Sangin stands a house with a small field, next to a garage. On the side of the house is a lane, with a blue door after 20 m, leading to the house and field. This is a private house believed to be the birthplace of the great medieval poet, theologian and traveler, Nasir Khusraw. If you want to see it, you can ask the owner to show you. 

Next to this building is another building used as a shelter with thick walls. Soviet archaeologists assumed it could have been part of a royal palace dating from Khusraw’s time. You can ask the owner Nuratullo to show you the remains of what remains of a gumbaz, with some ancient plasterwork. There is also an interesting local history museum in Qabodiyon incudling four rooms, with exhibits from the Kala-i Mir, Takht-i Sangin, one devoted to Nasir Khusraw, and one to local daily life. The staff is helpful and very pleased to see visitors.

Other sights & destinations near Kalai Mir

Page updated 30.3.2023

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