Dashoguz

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Dashoguz.

That is the city in the north-eastern part of the country, it is also the capital of Dashoguz province. Dashoguz is situated in 546 kilometres from the Turkmen capital – Ashgabat city and 76.6 kilometres from the town of Nukus - the capital of Karakalpakstan of Uzbekistan.

The city, which population is approximately 227 thousand people is considered to be one of the largest in the country and is situated on both banks of the manmade channel, called Shavat (a branch of the Amu Darya river) in a disadvantaged region of the Aral Sea.

The current name of the town comes originally from the name of tribal association – “Dash Oguz", which means "External Oguz"(official version). Actually, there is also "Ich Oguz" as well as “Inner Oguz" - the separation of the Turkmen tribes in the territory of residence.

The history of the city started from 1681 year, when it was founded as a place for rest (caravanserai) on one of the trade routes on the outskirts of the Khiva Khanate. After that, a sprawling settlement became fortress on the border of the Turkmen land. In 1873 year, the city with the Khanate of Khiva came under the protectorate of Russia. During some time it was considered to be the center of Tashkent khanate, from 1924 year it was a member of the Turkmen SSR, and in 1925 year it finally became the regional center.

In 1992 year, the former Russian name of the city - Tashauz was replaced by the Turkmen version of Dashhovuz. And only in 1999 year, at the invitation of the President, the city received its present name - Dashoguz.alt

This cosmopolitan city, which consists of Turkmen, Uzbek, Russian, Tatars, Kazakhs, is considered to be very hospitable, and its inhabitants are extremely peaceful.

These days, Dashoguz is a modern and highly developed city. There are industrial enterprises, educational and cultural institutions, sports facilities, including a newly built modern racetrack. Moreover, there are also several picturesque bazaars in the city.

Religious organizations in the city are mainly mosques and Orthodox churches.

Referred to a public transport, you are able to find here municipal bus, taxi, municipal and private taxi.

Dashoguz has the oldest airport in Turkmenistan, which even nowadays serves domestic flights.

City bus station has a fleet of interurban buses, which serve the communication the city with suburban towns and cities in the country, as well as take trips into the neighbouring Uzbekistan.

Train Station Dashoguz is supposed to be the most modern and comfortable, not only in the country, but around the whole Aral Sea region.

Historic monuments and attractions of Dashoguz.

Kunya-Urgench.alt

Nearly 100 kilometres from Dashoguz city in the eponymous province, there is one of the most remarkable monuments of the modern Turkmenistan - the ancient city, called Kunya-Urgench. These days, this is a historical-cultural reserve, which expanded over more than 640 hectares area.

The name of this city, which now is resting in the ruins, was once one of the most significant in the history of the Central Asia. At the end of the X century, then still known as Gurganj, the city was the capital of a vast Empire of Khorezm, stretching its possessions across the Amu Darya delta, both in the north of Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in the west.

Thanks to its favourable geographical location, precisely at the crossroads of caravan routes of the Great Silk Road, the city developed rapidly and to the XI century, managed to eclipse the glory of the mighty Bukhara, becoming known as "the capital of thousand sages." Here, in its walls lived, worked and created their masterpieces such famous figures as philosopher and physician Abu Ali ibn Sina (Avicenna) and the greatest encyclopedist, named Abu Rayhan Beruni.

Until the XIII century Gurgandzh city remained an undisputed center of the East, until a terrible disaster struck onto its ground - the invasion of the Mongols, who almost flattened a wonderful city to the ground for resisting the forces of Genghis Khan.
Having become free from the Mongol invaders, Gurgandzh (Urgench) again turned into the capital of Khorezm and experienced its ascent again. However, soon after that, a great chrome Amir Temur conquered it. Therefore, the just raised rebellious city was once again broken down. By addition, there was another tragic event in the XVII century, which banged the final nail into the coffin of the once great Gurganj.

Unpredictable river Amu Darya river, once again turned its course. That was the reason why the area around the city quickly was turned into the deserted one and did not recover after the invasion of Tamerlane. The capital was moved to Khiva, and after that the residents also moved to more hospitable areas. Thus, an abandoned city was to die, being mercilessly burnt by the sun and covered by hot sand of inexorably approaching desert.

Historical monuments of Kunya-Urgench.

Mausoleum of Il-Arslan.alt

That is a unique architectural structure, built before the Mongol invasion. The shape of the building differs much with unusual concept and definition of constructring: a cubic base leans against twelve sides drum, which is surmounted by a dome with a tent shape.

The Mausoleum of Il-Arslan that is also called as a mausoleum of Fakhreddin Razi is decorated with relief terracotta, laid out in an intricate pattern, consisting of plant and geometric motifs. A very original, medieval technology was used for performing the decoration.

700 years have already passed since the construction of a masterpiece, but it still impresses with its perfection.

Kutlug Timur minaret.

This is a minaret of an unique structure of the Middle Ages, which reaches a height of 60 meters and is considered to be the tallest ancient monument in the whole Central Asia.

altThe minaret is the column that is thinning to the top of, which is dissected by eighteen bands having special ornaments that are interspersed with three stripes, bearing an inscription in "kufi". Once there was a light on top of the minaret, which was lost because of a fire. A quite steep stairs lead to the top of the minaret, where one could get to only being on the roof of the mosque standing nearby, but unfortunately it does not exist nowadays.

Kutlug Timur minaret is deprived of a rich d?cor that is common for the all medieval minarets. However, it exceeds them by the height and slenderness ratios of a bold in conception construction.

Mausoleum of Khorezmshah Tekesh.

Being located near the minaret of Kutlug Timur and along with Il-Arslan Mausoleum, they constitute the necropolis ensemble of one of the ruling clans of Khorezm. Mausoleum of Khorezmshah Tekesh that is also called as Sherepbaba and Huck-Gumbez – is considered to be one of the few surviving pre-Mongolian buildings.

Actually, Tekesh himself was a quite strange person. That Khorezmshah was able due to cheating to connect tremendous areas from the Aral Sea to the Persian Gulf, as well as the territory from the Pamir to Iran. That is why he had to collude with the enemies of the state and overthrow the treacherous brother from the throne. And after that, having already got the power, Tekesh ordered put to death his own mother.

Once upon a time the mausoleum was almost a "skyscraper" for the medieval town. It towered almost for 30 feet height and served as a beacon for those travellers in the desert.

This monument is often compared with the other "symbol of power" - the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar in Merv.


Minaret of Mamun.

The ruins of it were discovered during the process of the excavations near the Mausoleum of Il-Arslan. According to information the collapse of the building happened only a hundred years ago. In 1900 year the local inhabitants discovered the base plate, the inscription on which stated that the building was constructed in 1011 year on the orders of Shah Mamun.

Probably the standing side by side, now demolished mosque is considered to be of the same time. But until nowadays, only the stone bases of the wooden columns could survive from it.

Mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra.alt

That is the Mausoleum of the Sufi Sheikh, the founder of dervish order "kubraviy", as well as the main monument at the memorial complex, named "360".

The complex was given such an unusual name in honour of the last feat of St. Nadzhimetdin Kubra, according to legend, which states: "When a very long time ago Mohammed Khorezm Shah II on a false denunciation executed one of the most favourite students of Nadzhimetdin Kubra, the holy cursed the city, and its curse came true. The city fell under the blows of the arrived Mongols. Sheikh and 360 of his students went out to fight the enemy where they were killed almost everybody". Thus, a necropolis was found on the place of this great patriotic deed, where today stands the mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra, as well as two other mausoleums of Sultan Ali and Piryarvali. A grave of Dzhamildzhan, the burial of the most beloved young pupil of Kubra is directly detached to them.

This place is considered to be sacred and every year receives thousands of pilgrims.

There are two obelisks in the mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra, which also includes entrance hall, two meeting rooms and a hall. The first one is a beautiful headstone, which was put exactly on the spot of falling body belonged to a killed saint, and the second one is a monument indicating the location of the severed head of the sheik. Unfortunately, both plates were damaged in the result of collapsing of the mausoleum dome.

Mausoleum of Tyurabek Khanum.alt

Tyurabek Khanum was a Mongolian princess, the favourite daughter of the ruler of the Golden Horde, named Uzbek Khan. She married the ruler of the governor in Khorezm, called Kutlug Timur. Apparently, it was really an extraordinary person. From time immemorial she was considered to be a saint, the patroness of women.

The name of Tyurabek Khanum was always surrounded by numerous legends. And according to one of them, the young beauty has pledged her love to Gulgardan, who was an architect, in case he will be able to built for her the most beautiful building in the whole world. That architect worked hard and built a mausoleum of extraordinary beauty. But, a proud girl did not keep her word and married the governor of the king. Having been deceived by the girl, the master could not experience frustration and ran from the roof of his creation.

Was it such a way or not, but the mausoleum of Tyurabek Khanum is truly considered to be the most beautiful building in the city, and possibly all around the entire state of Khorezmshah.

The building itself is amazing due to its subtlety and elegance of the external proportions, the richness of interior decoration and the beauty of multi-colored ornaments decor. Unfortunately, a huge blue dome styled as a tent, which covered the building has not survived until these days.

Dashmechet Madrassas.

This is the building, constructed to 80 meters east of the mausoleum of Nadzhimetdin Kubra. This Madrassas, which includes a mosque, was built in the years of 1907-1908 for Muhammad Amin, thanks to the public treasury of the Khiva Khanate.

Madrasah is a one-storey building in brick veneer with four decorative towers on the each corner, which includes 19 cells (hujras) along the perimeter of the building.

Hillfort of Dashkala.

That settlement, which existed in the territory of Gurganj town, from the pre-Mongolian times, is an irregular polygon, surrounded by a high rampart and a deep ditch. There are the ruins, known as the "Gateway to the caravanserai” and the remains of a minaret Mamun, as well as Juma mosque on the territory of the settlement.

However, the decor of the external portal, belonged to "caravanserai" according to scientists, is too rich for the construction of such construction. Such waste could be soon afforded only to decorate a palace or a large Madrasah. It is also well known that the building was deliberately destroyed by Amir Temur, and already after that event, around the ruins, the caravanserai was established.