The Botanical Garden in Khorog, also referred to as Pamir Botanical Gardens lies on a ridge above the town. It enjoys an excellent reputation among professional audiences. The Khorog Botanical Garden is the second highest botanical garden in the world.
From here you have a beautiful view of the town. In 2012, violence between government forces and opposition erupted in the town. The trigger was the murder of a secret service general. Snipers opened the rifle fire on the town from the surrounding slopes. The background of the disturbances was probably the attempts to gain control of illegal border trade. The riots stopped with the visit of the president Emomali Rahmon.
On occasion of this visit, one set up a magnificent villa with its own staff house at the Botanical Garden. The large building with a golden dome in the valley served as a restaurant, exclusively for the president. All these buildings have been used only once and are empty since then. It is said that there are hundreds of such buildings in the country, which we are unable to verify.
The garden may house a large variety of plants, with individual pavilions in between. Otherwise, it conveys a little unkempt impression. An elderly woman who even spoke some English tells us that she comes here to collect chestnuts.
At the entrance, we enjoy again the view of the city. On the opposite side of the valley, we notice a large yellow-red complex. It is Aga Khan University and the Aga Khan University Hospital.
The university is part of the University of Central Asia, UCA. The University of Central Asia was founded in 2000 by the Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, together with His Highness Aga Khan, as a private, non-profit university. The three campuses are located along the historic Silk Road, in Naryn Kyrgyzstan, Khorog Tajikistan, and Tekeli Kazakhstan.
Many Aga Khan institutions are active in Khorog. The Aga Khan Bank is the only bank that still conducts normal business operations. An elderly gentleman tells us that for nearly three months, practically all the other banks have stopped doing business and don’t dispense money. When asked how normal business life works then he answers: “If you do not have money, you do not need a bank”. He laughs at these words.
We drive to a second viewpoint. On the way, a wedding convoy approaches us. From the top, we have a good view of a large construction of the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center. Besides the 900 m² prayer hall for 1500 people, one builds classrooms, offices, and a 400 m² Social Hall for 800 people.
Please read on > Khorog Bazaar and Kivekas Hotel
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