Not far (60 km) from the capital of Tajikistan – Dushanbe is located the historical and natural Park Shirkent, which is famous for its prehistoric attractions - dinosaur tracks.
In this Park, hundreds of traces of four species of dinosaurs have been identified, which are still very clearly reflected on the rocky mountains of the Hisar range.
Shirkent Park is mainly known for fossilized dinosaur footprints. The animal that left these prints is attributed to a new genus and species Macropodasaurusgravis, there are still no analogues of these five-toed dinosaur footprints in the world. In total, eight locations of dinosaur footprints have been registered in our republic. Three of them are located in the mountains of the Shirkent River gorge.
Shirkent Park is located in the basin of the river of the same name on the southern slopes of the Hisar range with an area of 3190 hectares.
The monument of inanimate nature unites about 50 unique objects belonging to such categories as: geological, hydrological, glaciological. The most significant in this series are three different age locations of dinosaur footprints, with the total number of footprints of extinct lizards more than 400.
Among the variety of mountain landscapes, the mountains above Pashmi Kuhna are vey amazing. Such landscapes are not found anywhere else - a wonderful mountain climate at an altitude of 2000 meters, views of snow ridges and rivers with clean water. For tourists, there is a wide choice of routes for every taste, and mountain climbers expect snow-capped peaks that keep their inviolability.
The animal world is very diverse. The Shirkent fauna includes about 150 vertebrate species, including 30 mammal species. Mammals include rodents, large and small predators, including the snow leopard (Uncia uncia), rock marten (Martis foina), bear (Ursus arctos), ermine (Mustela erminea), and weasel (M. nivallis).
Birds have the greatest species diversity - 40 sedentary and 55 migratory species, rare of them are the white - headed barn owl (Gyps fylvus), Saker Falcon (Falco cherriug catsi), red-headed peregrine Falcon (F. perefrinoides), and other species.
Extensive Alpine meadows, rivers and streams provide shelter to the rich wildlife of the park. The panorama of the upper reaches of the Shirkent impresses with its grandeur and grandiosity of relief forms. Surrounded on all sides by high and impassable mountains, the valley is closed from the North by the snow-covered ridge of Machitli (Koldyrga), some peaks of which reach a height of 4400—4500m.
In Shirkent in the late Jurassic period from 160 to 140 million years ago, real dinosaurs lived on the territory in the floodplain of the Shirkent river, traces of which can be seen to this day.
SHIRKENTOSAUR (Shirkento sauropus shirkentensis)
Large and medium-sized three-toed footprints of a bipedal finger of a walking dinosaur. The first and fifth fingers are reduced and leave no traces on the ground. The foot is wide, with a slightly separated wide-rounded heel. The fingers are almost parallel to each other, their leading edge has rounded outlines, sometimes slightly pointed. There were no traces of mines. Axis the individual tracks almost parallel to the centerline of chains and deviate from it by not more than 7-10 cm Depth prints 3-5 cm foot Length-48 cm, width 38 cm
KHARKUSHOSAUR (Kharkushosauropus kharkushensis)
Large three-toed footprints of a bipedal finger-walking dinosaur 1-th 5-th fingers are reduced and do not leave traces in the front part of the tracks are strongly pressed into the rock. The heel part is isolated and has a rounded shape. Foot length-57 cm, width-47 cm.
MIRZOSAUR (Mirzosauropus tursunzadevi)
Three-toed oval tracks of a large bipedal dinosaur. The tracks are strongly pressed into the rock and surrounded by rollers of pressed soil. Indistinctly expressed prints of 3 short and wide fingers of a broadly conical shape are distinguished. The shape and size somewhat resembles a coal cast from a trace left in the upper Cretaceous sediments of the state of Utah in America. Foot length-68 cm, width-54 cm.
REGAROSAUR (Regarosauropus manovi)
Three-toed traces of a medium-sized bipedal finger of a walking dinosaur, the fingers are narrow. The depth of prints is 2-4 cm. the foot Length is 26 cm, the width is 16 cm.
08:00 - Pick up tourists from the staying hotel, departure to the Shirkent village through the city of Hissar and Shakhrinav district
09:00 - arriving to the Shirkent village
14:00 Ascent from the road to the rock mass with dinosaur footprints (Shirkent-2) along the bed of a side tributary of the river. Further up the river we will make our way. A very beautiful path goes from the apiary along the crests of ridges and spurs. The trail follows a small river first, where there is a lot of cherry plum.
You will explore the Dinosaur footprint here. It's 5km hiking from the entrance of the valley.
16:00 - End of tour, way back to Dushanbe
17:00 - arriving Dushanbe