Towering over absolutely flat, waterless and clay plain of Balkan velayat which earlier was known as Misrian Valley are the mysterious and mystical ruins of ancient Dakhistan - the most remote and isolated city. Once it was a prospering medieval city on the caravan routes between Khoresm and Persian Hyrcania. Dakhistan lay in the center of Misrian oasis and was also called Misrian (Messorian). (The name Dakhistan originated from dakhs - the tribe which used to inhabit the place).  

This unique city is located in the western Turkmenistan near the Caspian Sea. It stands in Misrian Valley - one of the most unusual places on the territory of Turkmenistan. There hasn't been any intensive construction activity; the soil there is not fertile so a lot of historical monuments have survived.

Dakhistan emerged in the late 8th and early 9th centuries, the period of its boom fell on the period of Khorezmshakh dynasty rule. The full area of city was about 200 hectare sand was protected by means of a double ring of walls. The historians of that time reported : «… Dakhistan is a city with a large mosque, being the boundary stronghold standing on the way of Turks-oguzs … ".  

Dekhistan boasts its picturesque towers of ancient settlements and 10th - 12th- century monuments as well as the most ancient mosque up the early Islamic period which stands on ancient entombment Mashat. This city is probably the most remote and isolated. Once it used to be a prospering medieval city standing on caravan routes between Khoresm and Persian Hyrcania.

Dekhistan is considered the most important medieval oasis in southwest part of Turkmenistan. From the 8th to 14th century the city of Misrian ( Misr or Messorian) stood on these lands. It reached its highest power during the rule of Horezmshakh dynasty. The numerous ruins of various structures testify about its former majesty. Dekhistan was divided into fortified "shakhristan" (old area) with a citadel and "rabat" (residential and commercial quarters). Only well-known mausoleum Shir-Kabir ( the 11th - the 12th centuries), two 25-meter-high minarets, a cathedral mosque portal, the remains of clay city walls, the ruins of caravan serais and the mausoleums on Mashat necropolis have survived.

A few caravan serais located behind the fortification indicate the locations of several city gates and the direction of caravan routes leading from city: the south gate led to Persia and Turkey; the eastern - to Bukhara, Samarkand, Merv; the northern - to Russia and Europe

 The city has survived in a very poor condition and the majority of its structures are covered with the desert sands. However , due to the fact that there Firdausi wrote his well-known poem "Shakhname" the city has great historical and cultural value.

Dakhitan did not last long, though. When the armies of Genghis Khan came there they saw already dying city. After Mongolian invasion the life in city went on in the 13th - the 14th centuries, and in the 15th century the life in Dakhistan-Misrian disappeared for good. Numerous ruins of various buildings testify about its former majesty.

[ Back ]