Daya-Khatyn caravanserai

Daya-Khatyn is a medieval caravanserai, the ruins of which are located 170 km from the city of Turkmenabat in Turkmenistan. An architectural monument of the XI-XII centuries.

It was located on the left bank of the Amu Darya River on the old road leading from Amul (now Turkmenabat) to Khorezm. The fortress is a rectangular structure with sides 112 × 125 m, at the corners of which there were once towers. The entrance is located on the east side. Inside the structure there is a square caravanserai building measuring 53 × 53 m with a large courtyard surrounded by terraces. The building is made of adobe bricks on clay mortar and faced inside and outside with fired bricks

The local name of the monument is Bayhatyn. According to legend, a rich guy, according to the slander of a friend, suspected his wife of cheating, and left home in the clothes of a beggar dervish. Bayhatyn (the name of this woman) waited a long time for her husband's return, and in order to facilitate her husband's wanderings in the desert, she ordered to build a large and beautiful caravanserai. Among the workers was her husband, who returned after wandering around the world to his native land. Bayhatyn recognized him, but she remained herself unrecognized under the veil. After the completion of the construction, she made a feast, at which she allegorically told about her husband's delusion. The legend ends with the reconciliation of the spouses.

The Daya-Khatyn caravanserai was built almost in the centre of a huge rectangular courtyard space formed by a fortress wall. Archaeological excavations have established that this fortress wall is the remains of the Arabian ribat Tahiriya, built in the 9th century ruler of Khorasan Tahir Ibn al-Hussein (776-822), who founded the Takhirid dynasty. This is confirmed by the information of medieval authors, in particular Al-Istakhri (X century) and Yakut (XIII century). Judging by the data of architectural analysis and analysis of building materials, the Dayakhatyn caravanserai was built at the same time, and presumably in the second half of the 11th century its adobe walls are faced with burnt bricks.

It was repaired and rebuilt several times. As a result of later restoration work, the portal part of the main entrance has slightly changed. At the same time, several arches and sections of the walls of the main entrance were moved.

The brightest period in the history of the Dayakhatyn caravanserai is associated with the rule of the Seljukids. It was then that Daya-Khatyn received his elegant facing, which now defines the face of this architectural masterpiece and is its main distinguishing feature.

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