Geography of Ahal Region
2.1 Terrain

Administrative divisions

Turkmenistan is divided into 5 provinces or welayatlar (singular - welayat) and one independent city:
Akhal Velayat

The Akhal Velayat (region) is situated in the center of the southern part of Turkmenistan at the border of the Kara Kum desert its climate is sharply continental with hot and dry summers. The area of Akhal equals 98000 square km and its population is about 700.000 inhabitants.
center of this velayat is an important industrial are Bezmein and Tedjen. The Akhal velayat is an important industrial region of Turkmenistan, having such major industries as natural gas extraction and textile production (the biggest in the world factory of denim, knitted and cotton fabrics have been put into operation in recent years in Geok depe and Kaka), as well as the production of building materials. In agriculture the priority is given to cultivation of fine-fibered cotton vegetables and stock-breeding. The tourist itineraries about the Akhal velayat are diverse and intresting, providing acquaintance with historical and architectural monuments of such towns-fortresses as Khivabab, Abiverd, the ancient town of Serakhs and pilgrim routs to the sacred places of Ak-Ishan, Dawgala, Zendi-baba, Kyrk-gyz, Archman-ata, Shekshi islam, mausoleum of Abul-Seyid-Meikhene and the mosque of Saparmurat Khadzha. Perfect rest and medical treatment can be offered at a hard resort of Archman known since the old times for its curative properties of radon mineral waters. Not far from the city Ashkhabad in a mountain ravine there are wonderful nice picnic in the open air and picturesque rest areas. The Akhal velayat is a magi Archabil and Gokdere where one nificent and beautiful land can climb a mountain in a retaining successive ties company of skilful guide, with its ancient culture and nice a horse or go out for an aspiring to the future.
external image tm_rg_ahal.gif **Nissa Fortress** **Nissa Fortress**
ISO 3166-2
Capital City
Area (km²)
Area (sq. mi)
Pop (1995)

Ahal Province

2.2 Flora and fauna
The nature of Akhal is rich in tens of tlýousands of types of flora and fauna. Many of these types are unique and can be seen only here on the Turkmen land. The nature of Akhal is also a mighty source of material resources for the people living here. With every step in the desert one can feel the mighty breath of life. The nature of sands is not always favourable to man. But it is the living nature, existing in accorsdance with the laws that have been laid down for millenia. The conditions of hot dry climate, caused the development of unique forms of plants able to get at lifegiving moisture from the great depths, to stand still in its development for the period of severe whithering summer heat and to bloom wild and unstopable in the period of short lifegiving spring.
In the common ecological system of desert, thanks to the sharp biological balanse many representatives of the animal world feel fine as well. All these representative of the fauna begining from Ťthe crokodile of the sands ť - varan and ending with Ťthe ship of desertť - camel - are unique mainly because they posess the surprising abilixy to acclimatization to the extreme climatic pecularities.
And skilful and careful handling of life potential of the desert can also bring substantial profit to man. The desert ranges only allow grazing of multithousand herds of sheep and camels.
But most brightly and completely the Nature of Akhal reveals its colourful variety . in those climatic zones, where there is an abündance of water, the basis of life. Vibrant Mooming of life rains in the cool foothills, in the river valeys, in the boundaries between different natural zones.
But even today in the remotest places, hidden from accidental glances one can come across a porcupine, a Ťred catť, a hyena and even a leopard.
Mountain landscapes are not less characteristic of Akhal than those of desert. This is not surprising. In the south there are mountain masses of the Kopet-Dag. If one goes the zigzagging mountain road, every new turn, every new step presents him with inimmitable beauty of canyons, slopes of mountains, alpine meadows, clean rivers and waterfalls. The mountain regions of Akhal is also an invaluable store-house of mineral resourses.
The plant world of Akhal includes a lot of types of wild plants. The animal world of Akhal is represented by manytypes of vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

2.3 Climate
The climate is subtropical desert, with little rainfall. Winters are mild and dry, with most precipitation falling between January and May. Heaviest precipitation is in the Kopetdag Range.

2.4 Lakes and rivers
Akhal area there is also unique underground lake Kov-ata with warm hydrogen sulfide water. The cave is 250 m long, 65 m deep and 50 m wide. The water of this lake remarkably clean and transparent, having admirable amethyst colour.
Turkmenistan main rivers are located only in the southern and eastern peripheries; a few smaller rivers on the northern slopes of the Kopetdag are diverted entirely to irrigation. The most important river is the Amu Darya, which has a total length of 2,540 kilometers from its farthest tributary, making it the longest river in Central Asia. The Amu Darya flows across northeastern Turkmenistan, thence eastward to form the southern borders of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Damming and irrigation uses of the Amu Darya have had severe environmental effects on the Aral Sea, into which the river flows (see Environmental Issues, this ch.). The river's average annual flow is 1,940 cubic meters per second. Other major rivers are the Tejen (1,124 kilometers); the Murgap (852 kilometers); and the Atrek (660 kilometers).

2.5 Protected lands
external image tm_rg_ahal_kr.jpgKarakala Reserve

Karakala is one of the most important protection areas of the Persian Leopard in Central Asia. The World Wildlife Fond is envolved in the protection of this rare species in Turkmenistan.

The Syunt-Khasardag nature reserve includes the ecosystems of the Western Kopetdag mountains (dry subtropics) and the neighboring plains. Here, 37 species of mammals and 217 species of birds can be found.
The Flora of the Western Kopetdag includes 1,266 species of higher plants, which belong to 233 genera and 500 families; among these, 150 species are endemic.

The reserve incorporates the mountainous Syunt-Khasardag regions (since 1990) and the Aidere Gorges west to the Nokhur Region.

external image tm_rg_ahal_kr_aidere_decend_s.gifA 5 hours drive from Ashgabat the Karakala Region requires min 2-3 days to be visited. Special documentation should be arragnged at least 14 days before arrival.

Firuza gorge and Chuli Valley


Firuza Gorge is located 27 km west of Ashgabat in the foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains. A cool stream runs through the magnificent canyons and valleys of this recreation spot. Recently it has been renamed to Archabil. On summer weekends Ashgabat's citizens come to Firuza Gorge and Chuli Valley to hide away from the city heat and for picnics. For people who like active relaxation and especially trekking and horse-back riding Firuza valley is an excellent place. It has been popular among rock-climbers for many years for its great variety of mountain routes. Thanks to its roads and climate Firuza used to be a sport base for cycling training for all Soviet sportsmen. 5 km from Firuza is located Vanovskiy village. Its most attractive peculiarity is horse plant and base of famous Ahalteke horses, the pride of Turkmen nation.
Driving along the Firuza road one comes into a picturesque gorge named after the settlement to its south. The village itself is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range, from the shapes and beauty of which you cannot take your eyes off. In the village there are several hotels with swimming pools, saunas, tennis courts, cafes and restaurants. The other Archabil's attraction is the biggest tree in Central Asia "Chinar" with 7 trunks in one and 4 meters width that is why it is called "7 brothers". It is the beauty of Firuza area why the President's dacha is located in the valleys above the village. You are sure to enjoy the time you spend in Archabil.


Right after Firuza Gorge, Chuli Valley is located 45 km west of Ashgabat in the foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains. If you are tired and exhausted of too much work and the heat, it is high time for you to drive out to Chuli Valley with its cool stream, steep mountains. It is a favorite place for the locals to have a picnic and for mountaineers to do even special climbing expeditions. The 2462 m-high Erekdag mountain runs over to the west, and as this peak is completely within Turkmenistan territory it is possible to do the best climbing there. Passive relaxation is also possible there in the various pioneer camps and in a Turkish hotel complex and the country hotel of Vneshekonom Bank with blue swimming pools, excellent tennis courts, comfortable accommodation, tasty cuisine of the restaurant and outdoors lunch. That is Lower Chuli.
Passing Lower Chuli you come to the best place for picnics in Upper Chuli. You can relax in the shade of the trees, but if you come on weekends you will have to spend a lot of time to find a vacant place.

Репетекский Заповедник
Репетекский государственный биосферный заповедник был создан 27 октября 1927 года для охраны уникальных чёрносаксауловых лесов Восточных Каракумов и прилегающих к ним участков пустыни. В задачу заповедника входит изучение и сохранение уникальной флоры и фауны песчаной пустыни Каракумы. Здесь, помимо этих работ большое внимание уделяется вопросам озеленения железнодорожных станций и разъездов, колодцев на пастбищах.
Репетекский заповедник расположен в центральной части Восточных Каракумов в 70 км к югу от города Туркменабат Дебапского велаята в междуречье Амударьи и Каракум – реки в районе железнодорожной станции Репетек. Площадь заповедника составляет 34600 га.
Организации заповедника в Репетеке предшествовала деятельность Репетекской песчано – пустынной станции, основанной здесь Императорским Русским Географическим Обществом ещё в 1912 году при самом деятельном участии его Вице – Президента, знаменитого географа и путешественника П.П. Семёнова – Тянь – Шанского. Непосредственный организатор научной станции и её первый директор В.А. Дубянский является одним из осноположников пустыноведения Центральной Азии.
Научная станция в совокупности с заповедником просуществовали до 1998 года, когда станция была упразднена, а заповедник передан в ведение Министерства охраны природы из системы Академии Наук Туркменистана, где они находились в общей сложности с 1941 года, в том числе с 1962 года в качестве структурного подразделения Института пустынь.
В 1979 году Репетекский заповедник был включен в международную сеть заповедников биосферы. Эта сеть охраняемых районов, представляющих основные типы экосистем мира, предназначена для сохранения природы и проведения научных исследований в интересах человека.
По последним данным в Репетекском заповеднике зарегистрировано 1343 вида и подвида беспозвоночных. Из насекомых в Красную книгу Туркменистана 1999 года издания вошли 7 видов. Это эмпуза рогокрылая, кузнечик норовый, кузнечик Павловского, пустынница Уварова, короткокрылка Сумакова, жужелица антия и туркменский жук-насорог.
Среди позвоночных животных имеется 1 вид земноводного и 22 вида пресмыкающихся, из которых 2 вида серый варани среднеазиатская кобра включены в Красную Книгу Туркменистана. Среднеазиатская кобра включена также в Красную книгу Международного Союза Охраны природы (МСОП).
Из 202 видов птиц, отмеченных в Репетекском заповеднике, 13 видов (из оседлых, пролетных, прилетногнездящихся, пролетнозимующих и кочующих) вошди в Красную Книгу Туркменистана. Это беркут и пустынный воробей, обыкновенный змееяд, черный гриф и дрофа- красотка (джек или вихляй), розовый пеликан, кудрявый пеликан, канюк могильник, балобан, степная пустельга, украшенный чибис и филин (черный гриф, кудрявый пеликан и степная пустельга включены также в Красную Книгу МСОП).
Фауна млекопитающих заповедника насчитывает 29 видов, из которых 3 вида- каракал, джейран и индийский дикобраз включены в Красную книгу Туркменистана.
Флора заповедника насчитывает 197 видов и подвидов грибов, 68 видов, форм и разновидностей почвенных водорослей. Встречаются 4 вида эпифитных лишайников, 4 видо мхов, 1 вид гнетопсодовых из голосемянных и 120 видов аборигенных цветковых растений. За годы существования Репетекской песчанно-пустынной станции и Репетекского заповедника на их базе была проведена большая научно-исследовательская работа, основные результаты которой изложены, примерно, в 1000 научных статьях, трудах, сборниках и монографиях.
Несмотря на неблагоприятный тренд в естественном развитии, а также на заинтересованность местного населения и заготовительных организаций в топливной древесине, в Репетекском заповеднике сохранены в удовлетворительном состоянии уникальные черносаксаульные леса Восточных Каракумов- концентраторы основной части всего биологического разнообразия региона. В сочетании с крупными песчаными грядами, бугристыми и барханами песками долинообразные понижения с черносаксаульниками представляют единый заповедный комплекс – место обитания немногочисленный (около 30 особей), но стабильной популяции джейранов, гнездования редких птиц – беркута, обыкновенного змееяда и пустынного воробья. Целый ряд других редких птиц находят в заповеднике временное убежище. В Репетекском заповеднике обосновалась группа редких насекомых. Для туркменского жука-насорога это единственное известное место нахождения.

Журнал «Diýar» № 2 (190)февраль, 2008
Материал предоставила учащиеся средней школы №6 г. Абадана Нургельдыева Джахан
Cities and Towns
Old Nisa, the capital of the Parthian kings who ruled from the third century BC to the third century AD over an empire which included Iraq and stretched as far as the Syrian Arab Republic. The national horse stud, Turkmenbashi Stud Farm, is 10km (6 miles) from Ashgabat and pure-bred Akhal-Teke horses can be viewed here. Trips are best organised through a local travel agency.
The modern town of Anau, once the site of the destroyed 15th-century city, is 20km (12 miles) east of Ashgabat. The ruins of the famous mosque (revered for its striking mosaic tiles and 8m- (26ft-) long dragons) can still be seen.
National Museum of Turkmenistan
National Museum of Turkmenistan is located south of Ashgabat in Berzengi.
Carpet Museum

5 Gorogly Street, Ashgabat (next to the Grand Turkmen Hotel)

This museum has a large impessive collection of antiques and world-renowned Turkmen carpets, as well as the largest hand-knotted Turkmen carpet in the world. It also has a carpet shop where visitors can buy new handmade carpets. See exports for information about taking rugs out of Turkmenistan.
Historical Site Annau
The historical site Annau, 12 km to the south-east of Ashgabat, is widely acknowledged as a stopping point along the famous ancient Silk Road. The Great Annau Mosque was built in 1446-1456, and was destroyed by earthquake in 1948. The mosque was unique with its blue mosaic (majoilc) on the facade, which depicted dragons.


Historical Site Nissa
The ruins of Old Nissa are situated near the Bagir Village, about 15 km west of Ashgabat. Old Nissa was the capital of the Parthian Empire, one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Nissa is mentioned in the Zend – Avesta – sacred book of Zoroastrianism. Old Nissa is located on the territory that constitutes the core of the Parthian Empire. It was the land where the Parthian kings started their conquests and turned small Parthia into a huge empire of the ancient world that stretched from the Indus to the Euphrates.
Historical site "Geok-Depe Fortress"

Akhal Velayat, town of Geok-Depe
Historical site "Abiverd"

Akhal Velayat, village of Kaakhka
(An hour and half by car from Ashgabat)
Historical site "Sarakhs"

Akhal Velayat, village of Sarakhs
The Akhal Velayat (region or province) is situated in the center of the southern part of Turkmenistan at the border of the Kara Kum desert. The climate is sharply continental with hot and dry summers. The area of Akhal equals 98000 square km and its population is about 700.000 inhabitants.

The main centers of Akhal velayat are Abadan (Bezmeyin- former name) and Tedjen. The Akhal velayat is an important industrial region of Turkmenistan, having such major industries as natural gas extraction and textile production (the biggest in the world factory of denim, knitted and cotton fabrics have been put into operation in recent years in Geok depe and Kaka), as well as the production of building materials.
In agriculture the priority is given to cultivation of fine-fibered cotton vegetables and stock-breeding.
external image map.jpg external image t_map1.gif

Town in Akhal velayat at about 30 km. from the capital.

A small village in the surroundings of Ashgabat (10 km. away).

Town in Akhal velayat.

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