Sunday, February 8, 2015


Though Tajikistan's hot springs are mostly defined by those found in the Wakhan and Pamir (link), there are more to be found in the rest of the country. Unfortunately mot of these have been developed in to Soviet style health spa's thereby diminishing the experience and it's connections with nature.

At the carwash
Nearly 100km to the east of Dushanbe (capital of Tajikistan) is the hot spring of Obigarm. The area is home to 
'... tens of hot mineral springs (source)'.
An experience:
'The one place I went had a pool of the hot mineral springs and it was all that I could do to be in there for 2-3 minutes. Another place I went had this funny looking shower contraption. Basically it looked like a carwash for people. It was built form like 6-8 long pipes that stood up at about shoulder length and had holes that sprayed water towards the inside. Basically, you were supposed to stand in there and let all the mineral water hit all over you body. It results in a kind of water massage'.
More experienced info here.

What the baths may well look like (source).

Not to be confused with Obigarm, Obigarm-Khoja is due north of Dushanbe, higher in the mountains. 

And though one associates soaking with pleasure, it seems here the soakers are patients:
'This is a large comfortable health center for 700 people. There are several sanatoriums and health care buildings. One can also find here a special complex of "paroemanatorium" - where vapor of set proportion and temperature is used for treatment. All necessary conditions and conveniences are at the patients' disposal after medical procedures'.
For a full back ground look at this website complete with Soviet style 'resort'. 
An experience:
'The main resort, half painted in garish yellow, frowned upon our intrusion, whilst the private resort begrudging bestowed us with a tour and tinged sheets. In a mouldy changing room wearing inappropriate underwear we wrapped in linen, and skated across the floor in borrowed pool shoes to the bath. Thankfully, the pool of eternal youth was shrouded in enough steam to hide all the flaky skin, and sizzled like a cauldron upon entry. I dipped in, and then jumped out before all my hair bleached and decided to enter the steam room to recover. However, this proved too acidic for my tender lungs, no health warnings here, in fact you are actively encouraged to breath in this toxic gas for up to twelve minutes and repeat the process several times to ensure all your lung tissue is contaminated. In an attempt to recover from the ordeal I hung out of the window and peered at the snow-capped mountains, whilst inadvertently venting the room to the disgust of the other guests'.
There's not much info on other hot springs, what follows are a couple of snippets.
'Shohambary sanatorium operates at the territory of Hissar District. Its mineral water temperature ranges from 37 to 42 C. In summer time, besides in-patients, the sanatorium also hosts out-patients. Digestive system diseases are treated here'.
Also known as Shambari, Shaambary or Shokhambari, more info here.

A couple of mentions of Khavatag:
'Sanatorium "Khavatag" is located in the Fergana valley, 630 m above sea-level, on the northern foothills of the Fergana range, 25 km to the north-west of "Ura-Tyubeh". "Khavatag" means "mountain air". Hot mineral waters of "Khavatag" are useful for treating diseases of motorial organs; functional disorders of the Central Nervous System and particularly those of the peripheral nervous system; gastric and intestinal, skin and gynaecological diseases'.
'In 1948, a hole of 1,300 meters deep was drilled by geologists in Khavotag, Ura-Tube district. The hot water coming from the drill-hole was proved to be curative for many diseases. Now, the healing water of Khavotag is used for the treating many muscle and bone diseases, distal nervous system and dermal problems'.

Yavroz hot springs gets a mention:
'50km from Dushanbe, (25km from Vahdat) in Romit Valley, there is the Yavroz recreation area at 1,150m above sea level. It has a thermal spring containing silicate, boron, hydrogen sulphide, and radon. The water of the spring, located 2km from the sanitarium, is medicinal and is used for treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system, peripheral nervous system and skin'.
Sarob gathers one mention here: 
'Health-improving hotel "Sarob" is balneological complex, that has a number of medicinal health-improving treatments: radon steam, radon pool, radon bath, circular shower, Charcot's douche, intestinal irrigation, gyneacological irrigation, therapeutic mud-baths, paraffin, ozocerite, light bath, darsonvalization, electrophoresis, ultrasound, vertebral massage "Armed", vibratory massage, hand massage, vertebral traction'.
Then on Zumrad hot springs:
'The main natural therapeutic factor is thermal (upto 26°) methane, chloride sodium sulfide boracic waters (mineralization 85—130 g/l). Deposit of mineral water Obishifo (discovered in 1968) is 39 km far from Zumrad town to the west. Water is used for bath. Along with the mineral water as a natural therapeutic factor the sulfide sludged mud is also used'.
Other of Tajikistan's best-known springs are: Anzob and Tashbulak. Unfortunately no other details? Possibly cooler soaks?

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