Balkan Landmarks, Turkmenistan

Shir-Kabir mausoleum, TurkmenistanThe mysterious Balkan landmarks – ruins of ancient Dakhistan, probably the most remote and isolated city, are located on an absolutely flat, arid and loamy plain of Balkan velayat, previously known as Misrian plain. Once it was a prosperous medieval city on the caravan road between Khorezm and Persian Girkania. Dakhistan was located in the center of the Misrian oasis also known as Misrian (Messorian). (The name of Dakhistan originated from Dakhi, the tribe inhabited it).

Dakhistan sprang up on the turn of the VIII-IX centuries, the city experienced the period of heavy prosperity during Khorezmshaks’ ministry. The city with the total area was about 200 ha was protected by a double ring of walls. The historians of that time inform: “…Dakhistan is the city with a large mosque being a frontier fortress against Turk-Oghuz…”.

By the way, Dakhsitan was not a city- long-liver. The Genghis Khan’s troops which came to these lands in the XIII century saw the city that was already dying. Upon the Mongolian invasion the life in the city continued in the ХШ-XIV centuries, and in the XV century the life in Dakhstan-Misrian disappeared for good. And only numerous ruins of different buildings indicate today its former greatness.

The ancient settlement managed to preserve the well-known Shir-Kabir Mausoleum, two 25m-high minarets, cathedral mosque portal, fragments of city’s walls made of raw brick, ruins of caravanserais and mausoleums and also the Mashad necropolis.

Several caravanserais, located around the ancient settlement outside the fortress, define the place of several city’s gates, which indicated the direction of caravan roads from the city: the southern gates led to Persia and Turkey; eastern ones – to Bukhara, Samarkand and Merv; the northern ones – to Russia and Europe.

Shir-Kabir Mausoleum(the IX-X centuries)

6 km from Dakhistan there is the ancient shrine of Mashad, Muslim necropolis with its center occupied by the well-known mausoleum of Ali ibn Sukkari or “Shir-Kabir”. The Mausoleum-mosque building belongs to the structures of the prestige Serakhs architectural school. More...

Tasharvat Caravanserai

One of the picturesque Balkan landmarks is situated in 38 km from Balkanabat city, near the Tasharvat spring. That are mysterious ruins of Tasharvat caravanserai, which is located on one of the ancient roads, on one of the numerous branches of the Great Silk Road. More...


The small white Parau-Bibi Mosque is one of the most revered pilgrimage sights of Turkmenistan. It stood lonely on one of the Kopet Dag rocks. According to the legend, Parau-Bibi was a beautiful Turkman woman, who lived in one of the villages. Once she was promised to be given for farming to the attacking enemies. Trying to escape, she fled to the mountains and prayed. One of the rock parted and hid Parau-Bibi forever. And in this very place appeared a mosque. More...