With a ghetto hand-drew map, a driver who's disoriented, and a curious B&B owner, we crossed several mountains, drove at the country road at 20km/hr, and reached the Yagnob Valley. The valley is home to the Yagnobi people, a people directly descended from the ancient Sogdian civilization. Due to its natural isolation and limited infrastructure access, the Yagnobis have been able to preserve their distinct lifestyle, culture, and most importantly, the Sogdian language. In fact, the Yagnobis are the last people on earth to speak this ancient language.
I first learnt about the valley when watching a BBC documentary. Even though the documentary has been released for over a decade, the valley did not draw huge tourist crowd. The people are still very curious about the visitors from outside the valley.
The Sogdian merchants were one of the most active group of people traveling along the ancient Silk Road, promoting the trade of goods and exchange of cultures along the way. It feels like time travel to meet their descends and hear this ancient language being spoken. #tajikistan #centralasia #yagnob #yaghnob #valley #sogdian #silkroad #dushanbe #river #mountains #travelphotography #trekking