“DEKHISTAN” - is a historical region in the west of Turkmenistan famous for the Great Mashad cemetery with Shir-Khabir Mausoleum (10-th century) and the ruins of Messarian town (10-15 centuries).These lands where known as the lands of Dakhs. So comes the name Dekhistan. Messarian, the central town, appeared between 9 - 10 centuries and very soon became an extremely vivid and prosperous town, as it was one of the points on the Great Silk Road. But by the 15th century it has completely disappeared. Nowadays there are two ancient minarets, remains of the city walls and gates, mosques and other buildings, some of which still keep the spirits of the ancient lifestyle. Excursion with the visit of Messarian, and Mashad.

“PARAW BIBI SHRINE” - A little white mosque Para-bibi is one of the most honored pilgrim places of Turkmenistan . It stands all by itself on one of the Kopet Dagh rocks. According to a legend, Parau-bibi was a beautiful girl who lived in a village. One day the people decided to buy-off their safety and hand her to the oncoming enemies. She managed to escape. Parau-bibi hid in the mountains and started pray ing . Eventually the rock opened and hid her for ever. T his place now is marked by a mosque. 

Parau-bibi was the patroness of pregnant women and children in Turkmen mythology. Before labor woman observed a special ritual . The women from entire Turkmenistan gather there and ask her to help them: they beg for beauty, a good husband and children . 

A curved star case leads to the mosque. Halfway there you can see the prints in the rock - they were left by Parau-bibi's knee, elbow, finger and forehead. Young pilgrims touch them and pray. Another story tells that the crescent stones lying at some distance used to be melon slices which pacing Parau-bibi threw to the approaching enemies. There is a tradition to step on them. If a stone starts rotating after a young woman steps on it - everything is going to be good. If it does not, a woman should come to this remarkable place again next year.


Map of Turkmenistan