Exploring Tourism in Turkmenistan
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Mausoleum Of Ashyk Aydyn Pir & Diyarbekir Fortress


From Konye-Urgench, a road heads south to Ashgabat across the very centre of the Kara Kum Desert. There are several sights of interest along or close to the road in its northern journey across Dashoguz Region.

Mausoleum of Ashyk Aydyn Pir

70km south of Konye-Urgench a turning to the west is highlighted by a monument featuring an upright dutar, on which stands a bird, and a slim arch over the road. The tree-lined side road leads to the Mausoleum of Ashyk Aydyn Pir. The patron of singers and musicians, the character of Ashyk Aydyn Pir appears in many Turkmen legendary tales, often helping the young hero attain great musicianship. An overnight pilgrimage to this symbolic double-domed mausoleum is believed to help the faithful in their quest to master the musician's craft. What looks like an upturned colander is set in concrete behind the mausoleum: peer into the well beneath this, visitors are told, and behold your future. The well stands in a graveyard. A statue of Ashyk Aydyn Pir in prayer dominates the car park, which is also decorated by quotations from President Niyazov, praising Ashyk Aydyn Pir as a symbol of song, talent and justice.

Diyarbekir Fortress

Just to the north of Ashyk Aydyn Pir, and visible from the side road leading to it, stands the ruined fortress of Diyarbekir. Rectangular in plan, the medieval walls preserve semicircular towers and battlements. The walls of one interior building are still standing, and the ground inside the fortress is studded with so many fragments of brick as to take on a reddish hue. Diyarbekir is believed to have been first settled as early as the 4th century BC. It was later abandoned, but seems to have been resettled around the 10th century, before being abandoned for good by the 15th.

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