There are lots of weird “biggest/tallest/highest things in the world” things in Central Asia. The highest ice-skating rink, Medeo, near Almaty in Kazakhstan. The second biggest solar furnace in Parkent, Uzbekistan. Issyk Kol in Kyrgyzstan is the second biggest alpine lake and the second biggest saline lake. We’ve then got the third and sixth tallest flagpoles , in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, respectively. And on that note, don’t even get me started on Turkmenistan! The largest indoor ferris wheel, the largest architectural star, the largest structure in the shape of a horse, the already mentioned flagpole of course, largest hand-made carpet, most people singing in a round, and so many more !
But this article is about one of the less ridiculous, and actually quite impressive records. Also, surprisingly uncontested actually, considering how many big and famous ones there are in countries you’d assume would have a lot more resources.
The tallest dam in the world.
The now second tallest dam in the world is the Nurek Hydro Electric Station, usually known simply as Nurek Dam. Completed in 1980, construction originally began in 1961, and it was first used in 1972. It is on the Vakhsh River in western Tajikistan, only about 75km from Dushanbe. Although the Soviet Union is famous for their failed infrastructure projects (and we definitely love a good one of them too!), this is a great example of one of their many successful ones.
Standing a proud 300m tall, it was the tallest man-made dam at the time, and held that title until 2013. Still now, it remains in second place.
Taking first place in 2013, is Jinping-I Dam, on the Yalong River in Sichuan, China. Construction began in 2005 (so it was a little quicker than the Soviet project!), though planning did begin in the 60s.
Rogun Dam, also along the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan, just 40km from the Nurek Dam, was also started during the Soviet Union, though a bit later, in 1976. However, at the fall of the Soviet Union construction wasn’t completed, so was abandoned for a couple of decades, until 2017 when the Tajik government decided to restart construction on it.And when completed, it may take the title of tallest dam again.
Tajikistan doesn’t have many claims to fame, but I reckon the third biggest flagpole and the first and third tallest dams are pretty good!