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Tajikistan Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Tajikistan is in Central Asia and is bordered by Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China.

Tajikistan is divided into two administrative provinces and one autonomous province. Dushanbe is the capital city.

The terrain is extremely mountainous with some valleys. The Amudarya and the Syrdarya rivers flow through Tajikistan.

Tajikistan's climate is continental; variations in temperature are influenced by elevation. Summers are hot and winters can be cold.

Environment
Tajikistan, dominated by the Pamir amd Alay mountain ranges, has many glaciers and snow fields. There are valleys and forests as well as desert areas. Lakes and wetlands are on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance: Karakul Lake, Kayrakum Reservoir, part of Pyandj River, Shorkul and Rangkul lakes and Zorkul Lake.

The Tajik Ministry for Protection of Nature is responsible for the country's natural environment. Protected areas include national parks and wildlife preserves. Wildlife includes the golden eagle, wild boar, wild sheep, ibex, lynx, brown bear and the snow leopard.

Architecture
Tajikistan has cities that are over two and a half thousand years old. Ancient cities include Ustrashana (Istaravshan), Penjikent and Khodjand. Temples, mosques and mausoleums, can be seen in Istaravshan and Penjikent. Khodjand was an important centre on the Silk Road, a major trade route between Europe and China.

The Hissar Historic and Cultural Reserve, not far from the capital city, is said to date back to the fifteenth century. A number of buildings such as a mausoleum and a number of mosques have been excavated.

Population
The population of Tajikistan was estimated at 7,349,145 in 2009.

Languages
Tajik is the official language although Russian is widely used in business and government.

Religion
Ninety percent of the people are Muslim.

Food
Traditional food in Tajikistan includes bread, rice, stews and thick soups (sometimes served with noodles or dumplings). Shashlik, mutton cooked over a grill on skewers, is another popular meal.

Pilav or plov is a favourite main dish that consists of mutton, onions, carrots or turnips, garlic and rice.

Yoghurt and milk products are part of the Tajikistani diet. Apricots, plums, melons, figs and grapes are available. Halva is often served with tea.

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