Also known as Zamr-i-Atash-Parast or Kafir-Qala, Yamchun fortress is probably the most impressive and eldest monument in Wakhan built on the top of the cliff overlooking the valley. It is thought to have been a greatest defense fortification in the ancient wakhan. The fortress dated to 3-1 century BC and had thick stone walls and round watchtowers. According to local legend the fortress was built by kings-brothers Qakhkaha and Zangibor. The fort played a key role on the great Silk Road leading from Pamir to Bactria, India, Iran and back controlling the traffic, cargo and security in the region.
The fort is triangular in shape and divided into 3 sections. The first section includes citadel with bastion and barracks. This section was surrounded by wall and strengthens with round towers. Two other sections are open grounds for combat operations. Every ground was surrounded by thick stone walls and fortified by 36 towers. The outside walls are 2 meters wide while inner walls are 50-60 sm wide.
The towers were built in chess order and with small negative angle to improve visibility at fortress basement. Gun slots exist both in outside and inside walls which suppose to increase defense capability. The building materials must have been delivered from remote locations, since metamorphic rock, granite and slate rocks, biotite pieces and other forms of mica are not found in close neighborhood.
Today to see the fortress you don’t need to conquer it. Turn left from the main Ishkashim-Khorog road towards Tuggoz village, and then continue another 5 km up to Yamchun village, see the fortress located beside the main road on the cliff overlooking Pyanj river valley.
There are also hot springs another 3 km up the road so bring towels too.