A lost city, that was just found by a local landowner in 2012, the Karon Archeological Complex, located in Kalai Khum is one of the greatest discoveries of our time - Some scientists call it the "Machu Picchu of Tajikistan".
This Castle again emphasizes the importance and great history of this part of the world. Historics believe that the Karon Castle was a resting point for the travellers on the Silk Road, merchants would have paid their taxes at the customs post, then entered the city to spend the night safe from bandits and wolves. The guards had unobstructed views along the valleys, and a strategic position they could easily defend.
Every season, the extent and significance of the discovery becomes more apparent. The Karon site covers more than 100 hectares, and the styling of the oldest monumental architecture dates it to the second millennium BC, though parts may have been occupied as recently as 500 years ago. The Zoroastrian water temple dedicated to a river deity is the only one of its kind in Central Asia; and evidence of blood sacrifices suggest that Mithraism was practiced here, too.
Karon has a long history of human occupation, shown by the presence of various types of tombs and isolated finds such as Kushan and Sogdian coins. Yet, most of the constructions we see today date from the 15th-16th century, the time of the Timurid and Shaybanid rulers. There is a huge walled area with a palace, terrases, a large sunken garden and several pavilions and buildings, many of which remain to be excavated. It is clear, however, that the wealth of local rulers was based on the control of the ancient trade route and on gold mining. A 6th-7th century coin found in the upper part of the pavilion is the only find at present and suggests the core of the building may predate the Shaybanid era.
Bonus stop at Hulbuk fortress in Kulob.