Tour route: Ashgabat – Gypjak – Gokdepe- Baherden – Ak Ishan – Ashgabat – Dashaguz – Kunya Urgench – Ashgabat – Mary – Merv- Margush – Mane Baba- Abiverd- Abu Said Abul Khair- Seyit Jamal-Ad Din Mosque – Ashgabat
Duration: 6 day/s 5 nights
Quality of persons: 20 persons maximum
Hotel type: 3-4 *
Placemen: single, twin
Meet travelers at the Ashgabat airport. Transfer to the hotel.
A tour round the capital to icon places of the area of independence, Monument of Independence in a picturesque park, fountain-monument of ten Akhal-Tekke horses devoted to the 10th anniversary of independence and an impressive Ertoghrul Ghazi mosque, which is one of the most beautiful Muslim mosques of Turkmenistan. It is the largest one in Ashgabat and can accommodate up to 5,000 people at the same time. It was built in Turkish style and named in honor of the father of Osman Empire’s first ruler.
Lunch in Ashgabat. In the second half of the day a drive to the mosque in the village of Gypjak about 7 kilometers west to the center of Ashgabat. It was built in 2004 and by the first President of Turkmenistan. He was buried in its Mausoleum on December 24, 2006. The prayer room can simultaneously hold 10,000 pilgrims – 7,000 men and 3,000 women. All conditions are brought together for believers. The prayer reproducing the eight-branched star of Oghuz-Khan, which was woven by the local carpet weavers.
Continue with Gokdepe mosque. Turkmen fortress in 45km to the northwest of Ashgabat, built in 1879 by the population of Ahal-Teke oasis before the attack of the Russian army. After the unsuccessful assault and retreat of the Russian detachments, nobody lived here but in 1880, the half of the whole population of the oasis (45 thousand people) gathered there and the whole square was thickly put up by the yurts. The fortress of Gokdepe became a serious obstacle for the European army of the end of the 19th century prevailing in its level, equipment, and fell down in the result of the long and hard siege. Return to Ashgabat. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at the hotel.
Early breakfast at the hotel. A 1,5 – 2 hours drive to the west of Turkmenistan to visit an Ak Ishan Pilgrimage place. Ak Ishan became a legendary person, and nowadays is a highly honored person for Turkmen people. He was a well-educated and famous scientist and a noble person. He was born in a poor nomadic family in 1788 in a village of Bokurdak. His father was a shepherd. His name at birth was Akmammet. When Akmammet (Ak Ishan) was 7 years old, he learned to read and write in Arabic. By the time, he was 12 years old people started to talk that he already learnt Koran. Later his father sends him to study to Khiva. He moved there with his family, and there he became famous for the first time. When he finished his education, he arrived to Baharden (Archman), and continued to serve to local people as molla.
The king of Khiva sent his servant to bring back Ak Ishan to Khiva. Finally, he accepted wish of King, and in 1850-1851, Ak Ishan becomes an advisor of King of Khiva. But Akmammet (Ak Ishan) never felt himself to be the king’s advisor; he felt he was a God’s man. Later he returned back to Akhal. Ak Ishan died in 1878 at the age of 90 and was buried at the cemetery in Archman.
His grave is highly respected and honored even today. Return to Ashgabat and have a dinner at the restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer from hotel for a morning flight to Dasgoguz at 06:30 / 07:20. Drive to Kone-Urgench (Historical Park under UNESCO protection) about 100 km to explore historical area. Kyrk Molla hill is located in Kunya-Urgench to the northeast of the city near the Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum. The hill area is about 3 ha and its maximum height is 12.5m. This place is the ancient center of Gurganj. The excavations revealed a vallum of the ancient period and an altar. In the Middle Ages on the site
of the hill, there was the famous Mamun Library.
A local legend says, “During the Mongol invasion 40 scholars who lived in the library began to pray for the salvation of the priceless manuscripts stored there. When the enemy approached the library tipped over and went underground. At the foot of the sacred hill, there is a cemetery. Pilgrims, mostly by infertile women who have a strange ritual at that place, visit this place. After praying to Allah they wrap in a cloak or a blanket and roll down the hill. Men also come there to pray on a hilltop”.
Mousoleum of Turabek-Khanum indeed became the most magnificent structure in the entire country. Amazing in its beauty and grace, it is the structure with the richest interior and exterior finish, with surprisingly open and light hexagonal hall with the area of about a hundred square meters, decorated with carved mosaic. It was crowned with a huge dome. It was, probably the perfect dome in the entire Central Asian Turan. The dome is tied on the top according to the tradition of that time. Long time ago above the building on a high drum with twelve apertures there was a dark blue glazed tabernacle. The tomb of Tyurabek-Khanym has always been the center of mass pilgrimage.
Minaret of Kutlug-Timur is deprived of the rich decor of Central Asian minarets of the 11th – 12th, but it surpasses them due to its boldness of design: the height and harmony of proportions. Scientists still argue about the age of the minaret. Some of them believe that the foundation and construction of the minaret were performed during Kutlug -Timur’s rule. Others, however, say that its construction began under Mamun shakh (11th century). There is also data confirming that it was constructed in
days of sultan Makhmud Gaznevi (998-1030). It has been established that it was the minaret of Kutlug-Timur (not the minaret of Mamun) survived during Mongols invasion in 1221. But the dome of the minaret being a valuable specimen of architecture had suffered heavily and was restored later.
Lunch at the restaurant.
Continue visiting Mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra is the founder of the dervish order “Kubraviya” in Islam, a Sufi sheikh – the main monument in the memorial complex “360”. This place is considered holy. Pilgrims from all world pay visits there.
According to the legend, Horesmshakh Mohammed II executed one of the best Kubra’s students after by a false denunciation. The holy man got angry and cursed Khoresm. Following the curse, the mighty state fell under aggressive Mongol invasion. Kubra himself and his 360 students fought side by side to protect their city. This battle was the last heroic deed of Nadzhimetdin for the glory Islam: a Mongolian warrior beheaded the holy man.
The cemetery where today the Mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra and the mausoleums of Sultan Ali and Piryarvali stand, was built on the site of the battle. Right beside them is the grave of young Dzhamildzhan, Nadzhimetdin Kubra’s favorite student.
Mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra includes 4-dome premises: the lobby, two assembly rooms and gurkhanu – a hall in the center of which a beautiful gravestone used to stand right on the spot where the body of the holy man fell with a high obelisk marking the place where his head cut by a Mongolian sword dropped. Unfortunately, when the dome fell down, about fifty years ago, these obelisks were
heavily damaged and are waiting for restoration.
Return flight to Ashgabat at 18:20 / 19:10. Dinner at the restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
After an early breakfast, move to the East of Turkmenistan, by bus to Mary region.
Visit an Old Merv (Historical Park under UNESCO protection) – Merv was located at the road crossing of the Great Silk Road and quickly became one of the largest and biggest cities of the ancient world.
Guided tour: Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Soltan Gala, Soltan Sanjar Mausoleum, Ibn Zeid Mausoleum.
Lunch at the local restaurant. Continue to the 5th center of civilization – Ancient country of Margush/ Margiana in the Karakum desert. Then continue to city Mary. Dinner at the restaurant.
Accommodation and overnight at the hotel.
After an early breakfast, departure to Ashgabat visiting on the way:- an ancient settlement Abiverd – one of eight historical reserves of Turkmenistan comparable to Kunya-Urgench, Nissa, Merv, Dakhistan. The ruins of Abiverd are located between Ashgabat and Mary.
Lunch at the local restaurant.
Continue with the architectural monument of the 11th century -the mausoleum of Abu Said ibn Abi’l-Khair named Mane Baba. The monument is a unique medieval architecture. Visiting the ancient settlement Anew. Two large mounds, 300m apart, are not hugely exciting to look at, but have proved greatly significant in uncovering information about early agricultural settlement in Turkmenistan.
The major sight remaining for the visitor today is that of the ruins of the 15th century Seyit Jamal- ad-Din Mosque. The mosque was built in 1456 through the finance of one Mohammed Khudaiot, the representative of the Timurid governor of Khorasan, who chose to site the building at the grave of his father, Sheikh Jamal-ad-Din. The mosque, which is in the southern part of the old fortress of Bagabad, included an extensive religious complex with a madrasa and accommodation for pilgrims.
Its most distinctive feature, however, was the depiction of two great mosaic dragons high on the portal, as if guarding the central arch. The main survivals of the mosque are the bases of the two columns of the portal. These retain some blue and turquoise tiles in geometric designs. Here stands a reconstructed brick cenotaph, considered to mark the grave of Seyit Jamal-ad-Din and an important shrine pilgrimage site.
Reach Ashgabat city, accommodation at the hotel. Dinner at the restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to Ashgabat Airport for international flight according to schedule.
End of the tour.