That is a quite small and cozy town, which is located on the shores of the Gulf of Krasnovodsk that is, actually, of 520 kilometers to north-west of Ashgabat. The city lies at an altitude of 27 meters above a sea level, surrounded from the eastern side by a semicircle of low mountains and hills. Turkmenbashi — is one of the largest ports in the country on the Caspian Sea. Previously, before 1993 year, the city was called like Krasnovodsk, but then, was renamed in honor of the country’s first president.
The population of that little city, according to statistics of 2005 year is about 68.3 thousand people. Ethnic groups are used to be: Turkmen, Russian, Kazakhs, Tatars, Azeris and Armenians. The main operating denominations are Sunni Muslims and Christians. The official language is Turkmen. However, Russian language is recognized to be the language of international communication.
Region’s climate is temperate continental. Absolute summer maximum temperature occurs in July (+ 44.7 C), the absolute minimum is for January, February (-21.5 C). The largest amount of precipitation commonly falls in spring and autumn. Average water temperature on the coast in the swimming season is + 23 C.
Turkmenbashi is considered to be a relatively young and growing city, it was founded in 1969 year by the military expedition led by Russian General Stoletov. In view of the circumstances, precisely, a severe storm, squadron of the expedition, consisted of several ships went to the shore, but not at the same time (from 31 October to 6 November). That is the reason why the exact date of founding is unknown. The bay, surrounded on all sides by mountains, absolutely without winds, seemed to pioneer the ideal place. Thus, here it was decided to establish a fortified castle and guard fort.
The military settlement was called Krasnovodsk, because the local population, in order to determine the territory, used term of Kyzyl-Su («red water»). The military fort was growing rapidly, engaging the origin Turkmen tribes in trade, economic and cultural relations.
At first, only a tiny town was built, calculated only on the Russian military and government officials. However, along with the development of trade, it was expanded. Such a way, traders- merchants settled here — the Armenians and the Persians. And when at the end of the XIX-th century — the beginning of the XX-th century, the region began to build the Trans-Caspian railway, the town began to grow at an unprecedented pace. Therefore, soon it became a major transportation and commercial center of Turkmenistan.
Nowadays, a modern city Krasnovodsk, which was renamed into Turkmenbashi, is quite a large industrial, commercial and cultural center of the country, one of the main ports on the Caspian Sea. Turkmenbashi is proud of its oil refining, food processing, light industry and ship repair industry, and of course, with rapidly developing tourism and transport infrastructure.
The city has its own airport and railway station, serving both local and distant areas. But of course, the main role is played here by the ferry terminal that links Turkmenistanwith Azerbaijan city of Baku.
And though, there are no monuments of ancient history and the incredibly exciting archaeological sites in that town, nevertheless, curious tourists will definitely find a great of interesting things to see.
Well, for the first, that is of course, the sea, which is warm, tender and almost always calm, with very clear waters and many kilometers of beaches. The developing resort business will enable not only a good rest, but also to improve your health seriously, thanks to the detected nearby the radon waters and mud of the lake Molla-Kara, which are imported into the local motels with tanks.
Secondly, it is an urban architecture, partly preserved from the XIX century. Only one building of the railway station, built by unknown architect in the Moorish style, is the most beautiful in the Central Asian Railway will surely delight keen. And a modern port, structured with a form of the sailing ship, witch includes also many new, modern marinas – is not it an object of admiration for the leisure travelers?
In addition, and in the vicinity of Turkmenbashi, there are lots of interesting places, causing a genuine curiosity. This is mosque of Parau Bibi — one of the most important shrines for Muslim countries, and the mausoleum of Sher-Kabib — the oldest place of pilgrimage in the country, the ancient fortress Dekhistan and Misrian and also Sumbar Valley with its charming natural landscapes, beautiful trees and the famous old oak tree, located near the village of Garrygala and much, much more.
Travel attractions of Turkmenbashi.
That is a rapidly growing sea resort area, which is still under construction, but already has at its disposal several comfortable hotels with international standards of service and a wide range of tourist services.
Mosque of Parau-Bibi.
That is White Mosque, standing in splendid isolation on one of the cliffs of Kopetdag. This is a sacred place of pilgrimage for Muslim women.
There is a beautiful legend associated with the appearance of the shrine. According to this, Parau-Bibi was a beautiful young girl of one of the Turkmen tribes. Once, fierce nomads came, and their head was simply dazzled by the beauty of young inhabitant. Thus, he promised not to destroy the village if case he would be given Parau-Bibi.
The warned about it girl managed to escape to the mountains and began to pray earnestly, God heard her cries. So, the rock gave way, and hid the fugitive forever. At this point, people built a small mosque, in honor of the unconquered heart.
Since then, it is considered to be a holy place, and Parau-Bibi herself — the patron of pregnant women and newborn babies. It is often visited by Muslim mosque, asking the saint for a good husband, many children and long preservation of beauty and health.
A winding staircase leads toward the shrine from the bottom. On the halfway to the top, on the rock surface unusual chips are clearly seen. According to believers, they are marks of the forehead, elbows and knees, belonged to the young fugitive.
Also nearby, a few stones of odd crescent shape are scattered. According to legend, those are chunks of melon, which was thrown into the enemies by Parau-Bibi, before hiding in the rock forever. Women, who visit this place, try to pass them by jumping from one to another, and in case the stone underfoot budges and starts spinning, then all the wished things will certainly come true.
Mausoleum of Shir-Kabib.
The Mosque of «Shir-Kabib» or the Mosque «on wooden pillars» – is used to be the oldest building for such a purpose in Turkmenistan. It is situated six kilometers from Dehistan in the heart of the Muslim cemetery of Mashad. In another way, its name sounds like a mausoleum of Ali ibn Sukkari ‘Shire Kabib».
This monument is considered to be the sample of the famous serahsk school. It is dated to the 10th century AD. The unique carved Mehrabi of tombs is oriented strictly to Mecca, which indicates its destination exactly as the chapel, and it became the resting place much later.
Originally, the walls of buildings from the ground up to the ceiling were decorated with carved designs of Kufic inscriptions and gunch, and in addition were decorated with blue, red and pistachio hues.
Unfortunately, the ancient monument was subjected to renovations for many times, but the interior of the mosque still bears the imprint of the art of earlier times.
The Mosque of «Shir-Kabib» from time immemorial was a place of pilgrimage for Muslims in the country, who claim that this is the only place in the world after Mecca, which was blessed by Allah.
That is a bare, waterless terrain, which lies to the south-west part of the country, near the Caspian Sea. Once it was a flourishing oasis surrounded by flooded rivers, but time is evil. The period of prosperity that came to the III century BC passed, the river dried up, the gardens drifted sand, and a strong tribe of ancient Turkmen – Daham, who came here to replace Massagets, Ephtalites and Sakam, also had to leave. The fortified settlements of Shadura-Kala and Akga-Kala only left, as well as the name of the locality, which was derived from the tribal name of the last residents.
That is ancient city — the largest historical monument in Dehistan’s territory. Here, the ruins of ancient cities only have survived, but even that pieces are able enough to make a big impression. Having looked only at the appearance, one can surely determine that it was a highly developed medieval town, which consisted of a citadel, shakhristan-urban settlement and rabad — artisan suburbs.
Misrian is considered to be the center of crafts of that time, as evidenced by the remains of the destroyed shops at the broken by time rabads. Bbricks, bronze kettles, lamps, metal kitchen utensils, beautiful glazed pottery were all produced here. A wide variety of glass products and craftsmanship of jewelers, characterized by the highest technique and refined taste while creating precious masterpieces is striking.
In addition, the well-developed social infrastructure remained in the city: the system of people-made water supply, sewerage, the city’s numerous baths and bazaars.
During the reign of Khorezmshahs, city had experienced its heyday, but in consequence of the advancing Mongol armies destroyed it to the ground. Therefore, in the 15th century Misrian completely ceased to exist.