| POMIR, feet of the sun,
Man and mountain and river are one.
Through pride in the land and pride in the earth
The people now celebrate a rebirth.
To give is to love, to love is to give;
To sing is to breathe, to dance is to live.
The feet caress the earth below,
Drawing the strength, releasing the flow.
The hands reach up to the sky above,
Catching the beauty, expressing the love.
Freshness and innocence, tenderness, grace -
In this Garden of Eden my soul's found its place.
Earth, fire, water and air:
The fire's in my heart, the water's a tear
click on picture to
enlarge (photo by Bradley Mayhew)
This website is
dedicated to the children and other people of the Pamirs, a region
they know as POMIR – “the roof of the world”, although some claim that
POMIR means “feet of the sun”. The Pamirs are one of the last "undiscovered"
This mountainous area, a large part of which is located in Gorno-Badakhshan
in Tajikistan, is one of the most inaccessible in the world. A
former British Ambassador to Tajikistan described the fascination and
beauty of the region as “one of the world’s best kept secrets”. The
website is sponsored as a non-profit activity by a few lovers of the
region who want to share this “secret” with others who are in
search of an unusual and challenging experience. In doing so, a
supplementary goal is to bring additional revenue to the
remarkable inhabitants of POMIR, among the poorest in the world, by
encouraging travellers to go there.
The aim is not to replace the many useful existing websites and other
sources containing information on Tajikistan and the Pamirs but to
bring together in one place as much as possible of what today’s
explorer needs or would like to know before setting out on the
adventure that is POMIR: accurate and helpful information on “getting
there” and “getting around” together with description and pictures of
some of the features of the region, not least its unforgettable
When visiting the Pamirs, bear in mind that you are enjoying
a tradition of hospitality that has existed since time immemorial. While there are
now a large number of "official" homestays, you can be certain of finding a place
to stay in every house and in every village in the Pamirs - you may, however, find it very difficult
to pay your hosts for their hospitality, but be sure to do so, even if it
means hiding a few bank notes under your breakfast plate when you leave. In this way you are
making an investment in the well-being of these wonderful people and in the future of their children.
Your feedback on the contents and intent of this
website is welcome. If you would like to comment or ask a question
please send a message by clicking
Because of spam, this contact address is frequently changed, so even if
you have used it before and saved the address,
please click again to be sure your mail gets through.
Don't forget to have a look at the advertisements by clicking on the icon at the
top left of this page or
This free service is offered to small businesses and local communities in the Pamirs to
enable them to inform tourists about their tourism initiatives.
THE PAMIRS: CLOSE TO HEAVEN - GET THERE BEFORE THE TOURISTS COME
Many thanks to Misha Romanyuk for the design of the website
and to Alexander Goutkin for putting the panoramas together.
All text and
photographs (c) Robert Middleton 2002
6 November 2013
You can help fund a small hydroelectric plant for Basid and nearby villages in the Bartang
valley that are not linked to the main grid. Spear-headed by Roman Droux, a long-time
friend of the Pamirs and author of a research paper on energy needs in the Bartang valley,
the "crowd-funding" portal can be accessed
here. The site is in German but you can donate by clicking on SPENDEN -
I personally vouch for the seriousness of this project.
29 October 2013
Tajik NGO publishes critical report on 2012 government military operation in GBAO - see
29 September 2013
The remote and unspoilt village of Ravmed in the Bartang valley is now accessible by vehicle.
Previously, the 18km from Khejez on the banks of the Bartang (between Bhagoo and Rasuj)
could only be covered on foot or by donkey. Enjoy the
spontaneous hospitality of the wonderful people there. See Trek No. 3 under Central Pamir on
page and photos
29 September 2013
Road improvements under way between Shurobod and Darwaz - also new bridges being built over dangerous
rivers normally in flood in early summer - should reduce considerably driving time Dushanbe-Khorog.
4 September 2013
Former hunters set up local nature conservancies - see
4 August 2013
Another scam by Tajik border guards - when going through the Kara Kul checkpoint
on your way out of the Pamirs to Osh be careful to get back your immigration/landing card from the border guards.
Otherwise, it has been reported, their colleagues at the exit checkpoint at Kyzylart will impose
a heavy fine because you don't have it.
31 July 2013
Kulma pass from Murghab to China is NOT open for tourists - see
24 July 2013
Asia-Plus publishes summary of an independent survey of 2012 events in Khorog
by local human rights associations. The report requests the government to review
the main human rights violations that were revealed during the survey. See
24 July 2013
Anniversary of 2012 events in Khorog - see
15 July 2013
Afghanistan Analysts Network publishes fascinating article on the Ismaili community in the Wakhan. See
22 June 2013
The Pamirs recognised by UNESCO as a "World Heritage Site"- see
30 May 2013
"Sustainable Livelihoods in a Fragile Environment" - Paper presented to the Shanghai Forum 25 May 2013 - see
30 May 2013
"The Tajik Pamirs: historical connections to China" - Paper presented to the University of Fudan, Shanghai 24 May 2013 - see
30 May 2013
History of the Sumantash Stone - see
16 December 2012
Yuri Khubonshoyev, pioneer of the Aga Khan Foundation's programme in the Pamirs -
6 December 2012 - 9h
Delays at Dushanbe airport - another nonsensical obstacle to tourism in Tajikistan - see
For a summary of events during the unrest in Khorog in July-August 2012 see
University of Central Asia publishes English-language selection of "Legends of the Pamirs" - see
Official Tajik Tourism Committee confirms that double-entry visas (essential if
you plan to travel from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and back) can be obtained at Dushanbe airport.
Second edition of Odyssey guidebook TAJIKISTAN AND THE HIGH PAMIRS available
from September 2011 - see
Itineraries in the Pamirs prepared for tour operators at WTM London in November 2010 - See