Shugnan

(Ghunt Valley)

In ancient times Shugnan was known for its ruby mines, which are mentioned in the writings of Marco Polo:

It is in this province that those fine and valuable gems the Balas Rubies are found. They are got in certain rocks among the mountains, and in the search for them the people dig great caves underground, just as is done by miners for silver. There is but one special mountain that produces them, and it is called Syghinan”.

In modern times Shugnan and its vassal Rushan were states whose native rulers, the Mirs of Shugnan, claimed descent from Alexander the Great. The people residing in the Shugnan district, both the Tajik side and Afghan side of the border, speak their own language called Shughni (Khughnani).

 

A lot of shrines can be found in some of the bigger villages like: Porshinev (“Mir Sayid Ali Hamadoni”, “Piri Shoh Nosir” etc), Tem (“Imom Zaynulobidin”), Sokhcharv (Piri Dukman”), Suchon (“Shohi Viloyat”), Sijd (“Shoh Malang”), Ver (“Sumbi Duldul”), Vankala (“Imom Muhammad Boqir”) and Chartem (“Malika”).