Ekedishik, Turkmenistan

Ekedishik is just as ancient and mysterious as history of Turkmenistan. This cave complex is one of the most interesting Turkmenistan landmarks. The cave town is located on the left shore of River Murgab, in Mary Region, a few km away from Afghanistan boarder. The name of the cave complex is translated as “single cave”. The name might refer to remoted location or existence of just one entrance. Ekedishik is not an architectural monument, nor an ancient city; it isn’t a mausoleum and the last resting place for any famous ruler, nor it’s a pilgrim place of pilgrimage. What is it then? Well, it isn’tcalled one of the most mysterious sightseeing places in Turkmenistan for nothing. Despite all archeological excavations that have been done, nobody knows what purpose the cave complex served. 

Ekedishik is a tremendous cave complex dug in a sand rock 37 meters deep; two-storey labyrinth consists of 44 divided caves that are connected by a gallery. There’re 4-5-meter-deep wells on the first floor in every cave and a watercourse system that gathered water from underground springs. No construction material was used, everything is dug out. 

Neither origins of the cave town, nor its purpose is known. This cave town, presumably, was inhabited in 1st century BC. It was mentioned in Turkmenian legends and tales that said that two camel caravans could enter the cave town at the same time. Another legend says that Alexander the Great created Erkedeshik. Some sources presume that genies inhabited this place. Many archaeologists believe that the cave complex served as an underground Christian or Buddhist monastery that inhabited ancient Central Asia. One way or another, this place has to be on your bucket list! Modern Ekedishik is an architectural monument and historical reserve that is full of mysteries. 

Tours, where you will visit Ekedishik, Turkmenistan: