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Travel to Turkmenistan in 2024: Unique monuments of ancient Anau - the cultural capital of the Turkic world 2024
07 February 2024
Travel to Turkmenistan in 2024: Unique monuments of ancient Anau - the cultural capital of the Turkic world 2024

One of the must-see tourist attractions when traveling to Central Asia and Turkmenistan is the monuments of the ancient city of Anau, announced as the cultural capital of the Turkic world in 2024. 

In the entire history of the development of the ancient Turkmen city of Anau, humanity knows only a few centers of culture of the early Neolithic era. One of these few centers of the emergence of global culture is the civilization of the ancient settlement of Anau located in the territory of modern Turkmenistan.  

Two mounds of Anau are located 8 kilometers from the capital of Turkmenistan – the city of Ashgabat. By their location, they mark the territory of the large ancient city of Anau, which are called the Southern and Northern mounds.

Today, Anau is a city, the administrative center of the Ak Bugday strap and the Ahal velayat of Turkmenistan. Archaeological evidence indicates the existence of the settlement of Anau back in the Eneolithic era (IV–III millennium BC). In 2005, the National Wheat Museum “Ak Bugday” was erected in Anau, which houses many ancient exhibits of the Neolithic era.

The presence of stone mills proves that the ancient inhabitants of these places were not only excellent and skillful farmers, but also masterfully ground grain. They learned to raise goats and sheep. 

The main attraction of Anau from the 4th to the 19th centuries is the majestic ruins of the Seyit Dzhemaletdin mosque, destroyed during a terrible earthquake in 1948. This mosque, which served as a large religious complex built in the 15th century, consisted of 17 rooms. We can still see the remains of a square hall covered with a dome. Medieval Arab sources note that the caravan, having left the beautiful Nisa (as this city is figuratively called in the chronicles), passed through the flourishing Anau with the famous mosque and could stop in many settlements along the way. In addition to the original mosque, there is an interesting sardoba, which is a round reservoir. It is assumed that its maximum capacity was 200 thousand liters of water.

Today, scientists from the Institute of History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences are conducting current scientific research in the field of in-depth study of the characteristics of the Anau culture, which are a significant contribution to the historical science and historiography of Turkmenistan and Central Asia.

Last year, the ancient Turkmen city of Anau was declared the cultural capital of the Turkic world for 2024, following the 39th meeting of the Permanent Council of Ministers of Culture of the TURKSOY member countries in Bursa (Turkey).

At the same time, we would like to remind our readers that Uzbek Travel is happy to assist you with planning an unforgettable trip to Central Asia, combining a trip to Uzbekistan with a trip to other Central Asian countries, including Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. You can visit our "Central Asia Tour" ready packages by clicking the link https://uzbek-travel.com/tours/central_asia/, as well as contacting us directly to design a tailor-made tour for you as per your interests and preferences. 

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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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