Day 79 (1): The largest mosque in Central Asia (obviously)
Gypjak Travel Blog› entry 112 of 260 › view all entries
Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Arthur (Germany)
Before setting out into the desert we made a short pilgrimage to Gypjak, the birthplace of Niyazov. This village is now the site of the largest mosque in Central Asia, next to which a mausoleum holds the graves of Niyazov and his family. Niyazov's entire family died on this spot in the 1948 earthquake and Niyazov erected the mosque (and mausoleum) in their honour.
The Turkmenbashi Ruhy mosque is the largest mosque in Central Asia, with room for more than 10,000 worshippers. As with all modern buildings in Turkmenistan, the mosque is massive and completely over-the-top. A huge white marble structure with golden domes and four 91-metre tall minarets (representing the year of Turkmenistan's independence). 48 windows resemble the year of the earthquake, 1948. The dome is supposed to be the largest in the world, with a diameter of 50 metres and a height of 55 metres. The top of the dome is 63 metres, representing the age of Muhammed when he died.
The minarets and the mosque bear quotes of Niyazov's book, the Ruhnama, and above the entrance it is written: “Ruhnama is a holy book; the Koran is Allah's book”. Guess it's best not to comment on that one...