Ekedeshik [monastery?], (near) Tagtabazar, Mary Welayaty, TM

Raw data

“The cave city of Ekedeshik located in Tagta area has the status of the State historical and architectural reserve. The word "ekedeshik" in Turkmen language means "one hole". Indeed, the huge cave complex has a single entrance which made the city impregnable. The origin of the complex is mysterious. […] Be that as it may be excavations confirmed that people started living in caves from the first century B.C. The cave itself consists of two levels. The ground level was intended for collecting underground waters and the upper one contained living rooms, kitchens, halls and even an altar-like structure (all in all there are 44 rooms). Some scientists believe that Ekedeshik used to be a monastery. It is confirmed by the fact that all more or less spacious cave complexes are used as monasteries in Central Asia - normally Buddhist, sometimes Christian. Now the archeological excavations are in progress there.”

“Ekedeshik, near Tagtabazar, near the Afghanistan border, about 245 km South of Mary, cave settlement with more than 40 rooms, dating back to the Early Middle Ages, eventually a Buddhist monastery” - http://wikitravel.org/en/Turkmenistan

“Tagtabazaar - Ekedeshik Cave Town - Yekedeshik - is a State historical and architectural reserve, located 225 kilometers from Bairam-Ali in the district of Tagta-Bazar. Tahta-Bazar is a district where once passed great caravan routes from Iran, Khorasan. […] Inside the cave there are blocs of rooms similar to modern ones where one can see bedrooms, kitchens and others. The cave consists of two floors. On the lower floor people collected water for their needs. There are 44 rooms and the cave is still under archeological excavations to nowadays.
The cave has been carved by of axe-like tools in the rock of sandstone. A straight, 37 meters long corridor comes up against niche which resembles an altar. On the right and the left there are rectangular rooms and one of them, almost quadrate in plan (3,2X3,3 m) has a spherical ceiling, divided into four segments relief ribs and a dome, the narrow drum of which is decorated with the ornament in the shape of an arcade, and in the keystone there is a cylindrical "skylight" with inserted a stylized rose-window. The idea that Ekedeshik was a monastery, has been suggested by S. Khmelnitsky. He reminds that more or less organized complexes of artificial caves serve in Central Asia as monasteries - usually of Buddhists, sometimes of Christians. There are more reasons to regard the cave erections of Tagtabazar as a Buddhist complex, a great number of which remained in the neighboring Afganistan

“Ekedeshik ("one hole") - a cave near the settlement of early medieval Tagtabazar, right bank of the Murghab River. […] Ekedeshik cave is situated at 100m above the river in the hill and is a long gallery with a semi-cylindrical vault. […] Whatever it was, the excavations have confirmed the use of caves for shelter from a minimum of I in BC.” [=1st c. BC] - https://plus.google.com/107866852144516561514/posts/e76eWAQa2Hh

“S. Khmelnitsky, who explored the city, suggested it was once a monastery. Similar complexes are known from other countries, where they are either Buddhist or Christian monasteries. […] According to archaeological excavations people started to use caves for living during the first century BC in this area.” - http://www.showcaves.com/english/misc/misc/Yekedeshik.html
Input by: tmciolek, Apr 06, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 06 Apr 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Ekedeshik monastery?, TM.

General location of the Ekedeshik monastery?, TM.
Lat 36.0083 Long 62.7722
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2013.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Ekedeshik monastery?

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Turkmenistan:Mary Welayaty

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

or, for Taktabazar2

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • [missing data]

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • [missing data]

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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