Turkmenbashy Ruhy Metjidi is the largest mosque in Central Asia. Ten thousand men and woman can pray at the same time. The floor of the mosque is covered in handmade Turkmen praying mats and an enormous eight-sided carpet decorates the very center of the mosque. Like all other buildings of the period of independence it differs with its immensity and grandiosity.
The mosque was built in 2002-2004 on the initiative of Turkmenbashi and named after him. Its word-for-word translation means “the mosque of Turkmenbashi spirituality” or “the mosque of spirit of Turkmenbashi”. By the way the mosque is located in Gypjak – the Turkmenbashi native village.
The total area occupied by the complex is 18,000,000 m2. The mosque itself is a one-domed building, surrounded by 4 minarets. The height of the mosque is 55 m, and that of the minarets is 91 m to symbolize the year 1991 – when Turkmenistan gained independence. The building is accessible through 9 entries with arches. Around the mosque, there are numerous fountains as though the mosque stands on the water and it makes the mosque look very good.
The mosque walls are traditionally decorated with suras from Koran and also phrases from Rukhnama. The eight-arched gate provides entrance to the mosque. Inside the mosque, there is a huge praying hall with white columns and richly painted celestial blue dome. Before the prayer, the faithful can perform the ritual ablutions here. For this purpose there is a special hall. The mosque can house for prayer three thousand women and seven thousand men. Not far from the mosque an underground parking lot was built. It is designed to accommodate about 100 buses and 400 passenger cars.
Near the mosque, there is the Turkmenbashi Mausoleum – more modest in décor and size. Turkmenbashi himself is buried in the central sarcophagus, and around it, there are three more sarcophagi with his mother and two brothers, and one in addition, which is empty – a symbolic sarcophagus with the name of Turkmenbashi’s father, buried in another place.
At the opposite of the entrance to the mausoleum one will notice the memorial statute in remembrance of the 1948 earthquake in which thousands of people died.
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