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Kakhka / Kaaka

Namazga Depe Kuren Kala Karahan Kala
Chugundor - Kufen Anakhita Kara Depe
Khivi Abad Fortress Nedir Shakh Fortress Yadhan
Yarty Depe Ak Depe  

Ancient Cold Store Nedir ShakhKahka - is one of the richest regions with its architectural monuments on the territory of Turkmenistan. About two hundred historical, archeological and architectural monuments were discovered and displayed in this region. Ancient Abiverd, Namazga-Depe, Altyn-Depe, Ak-Depe, Gara-Depe- these are the oldest places, where people lived in ancient times- V-II thousand years ago and applied themselves to the cultivation of grain, applied hand-craft, preparation of fabulous, varied production. Among historical monuments in books and notes that are considered to be one of the ancient monuments the name Abiverd is often mentioned to us. Even at the period of antiquity , in the epoch of the Parthian kingdom, during the reign of Seldjuk empire, even in medieval centuries, when the "Great Silk Route " passed through Abiverd or Baverd, the town was considered densely populated, including in itself several fortresses and was mentioned as the center, that enclosed all these monuments. This region, that is very rich in historical-architectural monuments didn-t have any special organization or facilities in protection, conservation and study of these buildings. First years of independence of our country, on the I-st of April 1993 the President of Turkmenistan C.Niyazov signed a special Decree announcing the territory of medieval fortress "Abiverd", that is situated in Kahka, as the National historical- cultural reserve. "Abiverd" reserve commenced the study of architectural monuments, based on the scientific levels, arrangements and showing them to the present and following generation. On these pages we made an attempt to tell you about some of the architectural monuments, that are situated in the region and invite you for the trip to such places.

Namazga Depe

In the center of Kahka region, about 7 kilometers to the west, occupying a vast territory (70 ha) , the architectural monument Namazgadepe is located. People inhabited this area already in the III millennium BC. At that time the town had 10 000 inhabitants. First archeological excavations took place here in 1930-1940. Masson named the culture of this area Namazga culture. Nam Sufism school and philosopher Abu Said lbn Makneye. Its double dome s was very typical for the architecture of that period of time. In the 15th century the building was partly renovated.

The interior and exterior of the mausoleum are decorated with Arabic inscriptions and the portal is laced with mosaics. Abu-Said Mackneyi was born in 968 and died in 1049. When he was 12 years old he could read by heart three thousand lines in the Arabic language. His father's name was Ibrayim. He owned a perfume shop and paid a big attention to his son's education. Abu Said studied in Mary and gained his education from famous people of that period Abu Zahir and Abul-Fazil. There are lots of amusing stories about Abu Said's life experience. Once when Abu Said was at the mosque in Nishapur, the famous scientist Abu-Ali lbn Sina entered the mosque and joined praying people. They met each other and had conversation, lasted for three days. When Abu Said was about to leave one person stopped him and asked "How did you found lbn Sina"? He answered "lbn Sina knows everything". When the same question they asked lbn Sin, he answered "Abu Said knows everything that I know".

Namazgadepe - the ancient town of the East

In the center of Kahka region, about 7 kilometers to the west, occupying a vast territory (70), lies the architectural monument Namazgadepe. This ancient civilizations history goes back to III thousand B.C, when it grew to yhe high level both in economy and culture.

In 1930-1940 the well-known archeologsts like A.A Marushenco, Ershov held archeological excavations here. Namazgadepe was first studied by the Russian scientist Bukinch in 1926. And he gave a real appreciation to this monument "Namazgadepe-is the place to be learnt and one of the most important cultural heritage. But the main acknowledgements are given to famous Soviet archeologists B.I Masson, Shetenko, Kufty, who worked a lot on this monument and called it " The culture of Namazga".

People lived here both in eneolit and bronze ages. Namazga was the first place where the economic and cultural advancements came together and formed a town. In III thousand B.C living conditions in Namazga flourishes to a great level. Its population grew and first constructions began to appear here. At that time the town had 10 thousand inhabitants.

The mixture of copper with lead and its use in making silver metals took place in this settlement. The craftsmen who produced various kinds of vessels and household utensils moved to working on silver, copper, lead and gold. At the end of the bronze age- II thousand B.C Namazga was on a low condition.

Great works have been done by archeologists who discovered a great treasure of ceramic lampshades, clay vessels and pots, that belonged to III-II thousand B.C.

Kuren Kala

The historical monument Kuren-Kala (Vl-VII c.c.) is located in Kahka region, about 25 km to the north-east from the railway station Artyc. These days one can see the remains of the citadel. The total area is: 100m by 85m. The height of the Kala is 11-12 m. The hill is surrounded by smaller hills-Depe. The second hill of Kuren Kala/9,5m high/ is located about 2 km from the main citadel to the south east. The area of this hill/Depe in Turkmen/ is 71m by 63m. The ceramics of this Depe is very similar to the ceramics of the main hill-citadel. Also coins, glass, copper bowls, khums/jugs were found here.

Karahan Kala

Karahan-Kala fortress is situated in Kahka region. It represents a regular rectangle. In the southern wall of the fortress there are gates 3.5 m long. The oval towers strengthened additionally the walls of the fortress, surrounded by a moat. People inhabited this area were engaged in agriculture and cattle-breeding.They irrigated the land, using the water of the Naurekchag river. Starting in Iran, the river had been dried up in the XIX c. and people had to move to the south.The fortress Karahan -Kala was built by Karahan - the member of the Alili clan.

Chugundor - Kufen

The historical monument Chugundor/the town of Kufen/ is situated about 2 kilometers from the railway station Baba Durmaz. Oval in the shape, the town was surrounded by walls and a moat. The walls were 6 km long and 2 m high. The town had five gates, three of which were located in the eastern part of the settlement. Still we can see the remains of white buildings and the mausoleum. In early medieval historical sources we can fine the other name of the town - Kufen. To the west there is a Mausoleum Chugundor Baba/ the end of XI- the beginning of XII centuries, till I half of the XI-XII centuries on the territory of the settlement was erected a fortification which in XI-XII centuries converts into the flourishing town Abiverd. In early medieval sources the town-s name was Kufen.


Anakhita "The sacred fire" is situated by the mouth of the small river, to the east of the village Baba-Durmaz. Among the river there is the marvelous historical monument, that was first studied in 1928-1930 by the well-known Soviet archeologists A. A. Marushenko who referred this monument to the I millenium BC . Life continued here till the beginning of our era. During a short period of excavations the stone sculpture of the god Anakhit was discovered here. Hence the name of this temple. The Anakhit monument belongs to the I-st thousand B.C. and Anakhit was the God of prosperity, fertility and love.

Kara Depe

The historical monument Kara-Depe is situated about 3 km to the south from the railway station Artyk. The total area of this site is 15 hectares. Moderate climate had created conditions for the long life of this ancient settlement. Adobe dwelling houses and households were located here. The yards adjoining to houses were divided by narrow streets. People of Kara-depe were engaged in agriculture and cattle-breeding. The artisans widely used copper, stone, bone, wood and clay. Archeological excavations testily to the fact that life here was already in III millenium BC. Historians call Kara Depe "the town of ancient artists".

Khivi Abad Fortress

Khivi -Abad fortressXVIII c. is situated 22 km northwest of Khivi Abad village. It is surrounded by walls and a moat. Still you can see the remains of the watch towers and the gates. The northern, eastern and western parts of the walls are well preserved. The southern one is ruined. Each wall had 12 rounded towers. The gates were also fortified by two towers

Nedir Shakh Fortress

Nedir Shakh General ViewThe Nedir Shakh fortress was built by Nedir-Shah's order in the 18-th century. The fortress was surrounded by moat. The southern wall of this historical monument was damaged, however the other walls have been preserved to our days. In the northern corner of the fortress one can see a hill 10 meters high. From the top of this hill the whole fortress and its surroundings could be seen. In the middle of the fortress there are the ruins of the palace.

About 22 kilometers to the north of Kahka region in the collective farm named after A. Tahirov, there is the fortress of the great ruler Nedir-Shah. The fortress was built by the order of Nedir-Shah himself in the 18-th century. It was built in a rectangular form with the walls reaching to one thousand meters and the height up to 3 meters and surrounded by water channels. In every corner of the walls there are 12 round orifices that were once used for protection. Their height is 5 meters. The southern walls of this historical monument were damaged by inundation, but other walls have been preserved to our days. On the northern corner of the fortress one can see a hill with the height of 10 meters and 20 in diameter. From the hill the whole fortress and its surroundings can be seen. In the middle of the fortress there are the ruins of the inner part of the palace. The monument gives a beautiful view to Kopet-Dag mountain ranges.


Yahdan is situated 22 km to the south from the center ofKahka region. There are two Yahdan-snow reservoirs. From the ancient times this place was suffering from a shortage of water.The local people learnt to use and keep snow in winter.Yahdan is a cupola construction, made of raw bricks. In the eastern part of the 1st Yahdan there is an entrance 1.75m wide and 2m high. It's diameter is 12m, height - about 15-20 m. The 2nd Yahdan is smaller in size and less preserved.

Yarty Depe

TheXI-XIII c.c. monument represents a hill (8 m high). Primarily it had a half rounded outline. It's southern part is ruined. As a result of archeological excavations dwelling houses and living rooms were opened .Ceramics, glass and remains of metal products were found here.

Ak Depe

VI-VII c.c. "Ak-depe" is situated 4 km to the north-west of Artyk station. At present the monument represents a very big hill, surrounded by a moat. This castle appeared here at the period of antiquity. The total area of the castle is 74kmX26 km.The entrance had two huge towers. The primary height of the walls has reached 10 m. The northern wall had an entrance. The castle was renovated in the 6 c. During the architectural excavations silver and copper coins were found. Like the majority of other kakhs it appeared at the place of an antique settlement, combining of living and household dwellings.
© 2001-2010 STANtours last modified December 8, 2001