Norak, also referred to as Nurek or Nurak, is a city in Tajikistan. It is situated on the Vakhsh River in the Khatlon province. The city is a good destination for a day trip from Dushanbe, which is just 70 km far away. According to the 2008 estimate, there were 18.950 people living in the city.
The city is quite young. It was founded in 1960 during the Soviet Era. Norak had the nickname “City of Lights”, because of the famous hydropower plant constructed on the Vakhsh River. The construction of the Norak Dam lasted until the 1980s and many people came to this city to work. Later it also became a resort town with many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, etc.
Norak Dam is the second-highest dam in the world, so many people come here for the beautiful mountain fresh air and beautiful sceneries of the reservoir. After the Soviet Union, many people left the city, so it isn’t the big industrial town that it used to be. Other than visiting the dam, there are not many activities to busy yourself. Near the dam, you can go hiking or boating. Swimming is also possible, but keep in mind that the water is very cold. As the lake is not natural there are no sandy beaches, either. That’s why many people just prefer to use the boats and enjoy the scenery.