The Great Balkhan is a mountain range in the west of Turkmenistan, in the Balkan velayat, near the south-eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. The dry river bed separates it from the Small Balkhan and the western end of the Kopetdag ridge. The highest point of the Great Balkhan is Mount Arlan. The mountains are famous in all the surroundings, and the ridge itself looks like a fortress, towering over the surrounding plains.
Many legends are associated with the mountain system of the Great Balkhan. Thus, there are widespread legends about the valour of people living in the mountains, who experienced many ordeals. One of the legends says that once the Great Balkhan abounded in mountain springs, but during one of the enemy raids, the locals clogged them with felt mats. When the enemies left, people failed to make the precious water come back. There is a hope in this legend that the water will return, and the surroundings of Balkhan will again turn into a blooming oasis.