Summer holidays are just around the corner, and parents once again face the question: what to do with the child, how to make these holidays interesting for him?
The simplest thing is to send a child to a holiday camp, but not all children like to be among many children and away from their parents. You can also go to the sea with the whole family, but even a seaside vacation is not always distinguished by a variety of impressions. Fortunately, there are many interesting places in Turkmenistan, which will be interesting not only for adults, but also for children.
“The Plateau of Dinosaurs”. The famous mountain plateau in Koytendag, which has been keeping traces of prehistoric reptiles for many millions of years. There are also similar places with traces of ancient lizards in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, but it is in Turkmenistan that most of all - about 150-dinosaur paw prints. Judging by the fact that the size of the tracks is different, both adults and cubs once lived here.
Not far from “The Plateau of Dinosaurs” are the Karlyuk karst caves. It is difficult to imagine a more interesting and intriguing place for an inquisitive child or teenager than the mysterious underground galleries dotted with bizarre stalactites and stalagmites and stretching for many kilometers. Of course, even an adult should not walk through these labyrinths without an escort, but if all precautions are observed, a visit to the caves will become an unforgettable adventure for a child.
A not very popular, but no less interesting place for wildlife lovers is the Kelif Lakes in the Lebap velayat. Schoolchildren who are fond of zoology have something to see here. There are a lot of birds, especially waterfowl, and fish on these artificial lakes. And in general, the area is very picturesque with its small islands overgrown with reeds.
There are many historical monuments on the territory of Turkmenistan, but not all of them may interest a child. However, even here it is available to find something that will arouse interest in children, especially those who are fond of history.
Literally, a hundred kilometers from Ashgabat are the remains of the medieval city of Abiverd. Once impregnable walls surrounded this city, behind which its inhabitants took refuge - the famous artisans and merchants in these places. At present time, only the ruins of the main mosque, the remains of the water supply system, parts of the walls of houses and workshops have survived from the city that was once lively, but completely destroyed by the Mongols in the XII century. Ancient ruins and finds - fragments of dishes, fragments of household items - all this may be of interest to children of middle and senior school age.
The remains of another ancient city - Dehistan (or Mashad-Misrian) - are located in the Balkan velayat. It has survived much better than Abiverd, although it was destroyed in about the same period of time, due to the fact that these places have always been sparsely populated. In good weather (and due to the effect of mirages), the remains of the minarets and the mosque, the famous Shir-Kabir mausoleum and other buildings can be seen for many kilometers in the middle of the endless desert. It will be interesting for both children and adults to wander among the former grandeur of the once beautiful buildings of the city famous throughout the district, from which now only memories and references remain on the pages of ancient chronicles.
Adults are familiar with one of the most famous medieval monuments of Turkmenistan, the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, especially from the movie “White Sun of the Desert”. Schoolchildren can also be interested in it, and not only for its history, but for the fact that it has survived to this day not in the form of ruins, but almost completely. The majestic building of baked brick and raw brick with a huge round dome rises for many kilometers around and always attracts a lot of tourists. The “point of attraction” inside the mausoleum itself is the tomb of the formidable ruler of these places - Sultan Sanjar from the Seljuk dynasty (the remains, however, have not been there for many centuries, they were hidden from the Mongols). No less curious is the legend, thanks to which the mausoleum appeared, about the sultan and his wife-peri. Thanks to the restoration, the Sanjar mausoleum can now be observed almost in the form in which it appeared before the inhabitants of Merv in the XII century.
It is not very difficult to get to all of the above places, except, perhaps, the Kelif lakes, to which there are no permanent tourist routes, and there is no tourist infrastructure there either. To the rest of the sights, domestic tour operators constantly organize trips, which will provide your student with impressions for the whole vacation.
Sources: advantour.com; alpagama.org; turkmenistan.gov.tm; silkadv.com.