Traces of settlements dating back to the 2nd millennium BC have been found in the vicinity of the town. Also, about 12 km away are the remains of a Buddhist monastery from the 7th or 8th century A.D. Little is known about the town itself. It first appeared in historical sources in the 17th century. The original name Kurganteppa indicates a fortified city that was then under the influence of the Bukhara Emirate. From the first half of the 18th century, small Uzbek tribes took over and ruled the region relatively independently until the second half of the 19th century, encircled by the large emirates of Afghanistan, Bukhara and the Kokand Khanates. With Russian help, the region then fell back under the rule of the Bukhara Emirate.

After the October Revolution in 1917, local insurgents put up fierce resistance against the Bolsheviks, which only ended in defeat in the summer of 1922. The first industrial enterprises moved into the region and Bokhtar became the Tajik cotton centre. For this purpose, swampy areas were converted into fields and irrigation canals were built. This led to a sudden increase in the population.

After independence and the ensuing civil war, Kurganteppa was badly affected, which had a devastating impact on infrastructure and agricultural production. It was not until 1997 that troops of the then president were able to conquer the town.


Today, the city has about 110,000 inhabitants. It lies at an altitude of about 400 metres above sea level on the Vakhsh River in the valley of the same name, which is framed by two mountain ranges. The climate of Bokhtar is subtropical with hot dry summers and cold winters. The measured record values are 46 degrees in summer and -24.1 degrees in winter.

The city is not particularly attractive to tourists. There are no sights and a one-hour walk is enough to get to know the city in its basic features. The lack of sights also means that there are no hotels that cater to foreign tourists.

Air connections: Bokhtar has an international airport, usually still known by its old Russian name Kurgan- Tyube (Kurganteppa). There is usually one connection a week to Moscow.

Railway connections: The city’s railway station is located slightly outside, near the airport. There are connections to Dushanbe and Kulob twice a week each.

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