Mug Teppe


In the northeast of the city, rising above low-level housing, this grassy, flat-topped hill once boasted a fine citadel. Stormed by Alexander the Great in 329 BC and Arabs in AD 772, only minimal mud-wall traces of the original remain. These, however, have been grandly augmented since 2002 by a blue-domed gateway, built for Istaravshan’s 2500th anniversary celebrations. Weathering nicely, it looks impressive from afar and provides a good vantage point from which to survey the city's mountain horizon.

Access is from the first traffic lights north of Sadbargi hotel. From the bazaar take marshrutka 5A.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Tajikistan attractions

1. Hazrat-i-Shah Mosque

0.47 MILES

Half-hidden behind Soviet apartment blocks at Lenin 100-102, the modern Hazrat-i-Shah Mosque is tucked behind a poets' garden full of scented roses…

2. Sary Mazar

0.49 MILES

Shaded by ancient chinar (plane) trees, a pair of small but ornately stucco-fronted 17th-century tombs are set beside a fine old mosque with tapering…

3. Shahr-e-kuhna


The old town is an intriguing maze of mudbrick lanes with water channels running along the centre of the thoroughfare. Houses are tantalisingly hidden…

4. Abdullatif Sultan Medressa

0.79 MILES

The 15th-century Abdullatif Sultan Medressa is also known as the Kök Gumbaz (Blue Dome) after its turquoise Timurid dome. Closed in Soviet times, the…

5. Hauz-i-Sangin

0.82 MILES

Tucked behind the site of a giant new mosque, the 1910 Hauz-i-Sangin Mosque has fine ceiling paintings and a dry octagonal hauz (pool) flanked by…

6. Chor Gumbaz

1.01 MILES

In the northwest corner of town is the one-room Mazar-i-Chor Gumbaz whose four tin cupolas conceal some of Tajikistan’s most impressive old painted…

7. Bazaar

1.11 MILES

The vast and colourful central bazaar is a town unto itself. A three-storey, triple arched building indicates the main hub but stalls selling everything…

8. Bunjikath


The Sogdian site of Bunjikath, near Shakhristan, was the 8th-century capital of the kingdom of Ushrushana. It is noteworthy for a famous Sogdian mural…