One among many of the Pamir's beautiful valleys, the Shokh Darah Valley (Долина Шог Дара) offers grand vistas including occasional glimpses of the distinctive north face of Engels Peak (6510m). Although seldom visited, it offers the chance to spend a few days off the beaten track travelling a circular route through some little-visited villages. Needless to say, 4WD is necessary and some parts of the route are sometimes impassable, even in summer, making it important to ask for local knowledge before setting out (eg through PECTA).
One of the main highlights of the route are the ancient shrines dotted through the valley. The most accessible of these is at Tavdem, just 40 minutes' drive from Khorog and located right beside the road, next to the river. These are the authentic, original shrines, unlike some that have cropped up elsewhere in the Pamirs, and are still used as a place of worship.