Ashgabat and Anau

This morning was spent at the Tolkuchka Bazaar. Until recently it was held on the sand and considered one of the largest markets in central Asia. Now it is housed in several immense outdoor pavilions and does not hold much interest for tourists since it in words of my guide: “it is no longer oriental.” However i wanted to go to see how locals purchase goods at a good price.

You can purchase animals such as sheep, goats, camels and cows.




On my drive into the city the colorful headscarves worn by women in long dresses caught my attention. My guide said that these are worn by married women. Young girls attend school in long green dresses and young women attend university in long red dresses. Boys and young men are in uniform as well.


There is jewelry in abundance.


These are the hats the boys wear.

These are the hats the boys wear.

Even though the market has little tourist appeal, it is colorful.

My guide explains the symbolism of the Turkmenistan carpet.

My guide explains the symbolism of the Turkmenistan carpet.

Turkmanbashi, the first president had this mausoleum built which now contains his tomb and those of his family as well. As with all construction during his long presidency white marble and gold are the dominate motif.

Next to the mausoleum is the largest mosque in central asia. Each minaret is 91 meters commenorating 1991 independance from the USSR. Not only are there quotes from the Koran but there are also quotes from the president’s book inscribed on the walls of the mosque.


The wooden doors are from Morocco.



Turkmen-043055The site of the Anau was already inhabited in the 4th to 3rd millenium BC. This photo gives you an idea of what the mosque looked like before the 1948 earthquake.

The original Jemmalatdin as very curious in that the mosaic decoration above the entrance had two enormous dragons facings each other. This pictorial representation that violates Islamic artistic canons show the influence of Chinese motifs on this mosque of the silk road.

What remains of the mosque today




Muslims come here to prayer and make offerings so their petitions are answered by the holy men buried there. For example, baby clothes are left by those seekimg children

Or houses built for those seeking new houses.

People come to make offerings and walk around the tomb three times in hope their request will be anwsered.