Old Fort­ress on the Banks of the Uz­boy

18 March 2022

The wes­tern part of our count­ry abounds with sacred mo­nu­ments. Mas­hat Mes­sa­rian, Pa­rav Bi­bi, Goz­li Ata, Shib­li Ba­ba and Ib­ra­him Ho­ja are located the­re. The­re are al­so litt­le-known his­to­rical and archaeo­lo­gical si­tes, si­tua­ted far away from the ur­ban civili­sa­tion, stu­died litt­le and visi­ted ra­re­ly. One of them is the ruins of the Ig­dy-ka­la fort­ress. Whi­le par­ticipa­ting in field expe­di­tions for ma­ny years, I hap­pe­ned to drive mo­re than once not far from that place – just a few ki­lo­met­res, but I visi­ted the fort­ress on­ly last spring, af­ter I had de­ter­mi­ned its exact coor­di­na­tes through sa­tel­li­te naviga­tion.

…In the spring, du­ring the flo­we­ring and frui­ting pe­riods, the cover of du­ne sands ma­kes an ini­mi­tab­le imp­res­sion. Bloo­ming po­pu­la­tions of stri­go­sel­la are scat­te­red over vast areas and crea­te a kind of mo­saic ef­fect on the du­ne slo­pes – the li­lac-vio­let spots among tall gras­ses, “ra­ging” in the wind, that ri­se du­ring the short ra­in sea­son. At that ti­me, the blos­so­ming and frui­ting kan­dym, who­se flo­wers emit a de­licate aro­ma and who­se fruits lo­ok li­ke bus­hy balls, is char­ming. The bus­hes stud­ded with bright­ly colou­red “balls” re­semb­le a New Year tree.

Alek­sandr PAVLEN­KO,
an emp­loyee at the De­part­ment, Ser­dar Et­rap Cent­re for the Preven­tion of Very Dan­ge­rous In­fections, Mi­nist­ry of Health and the Me­dical In­dust­ry of Turk­me­nis­tan Pho­to: the aut­hor