Khojapil is an amazing place with a whole collection of attractions. Most of all, among the natural monuments here, the Dinosaur Plateau is impressive. From time immemorial, the imprints of the footprints with which the mountain plateau is “dotted” have excited the imagination – what kind of monster left them? People said different things… Such huge imprints frightened others, “maybe the dragon touched the ground with its paws here.” The old people, in addition, told legends about the Two-horned Ruler Iskander and his great campaigns: “The king’s army passed through these parts, and the imprints of the sacred elephants remained on his route.” In general, Alexander the Great is often remembered in these parts. There is also a legend about the wanderings of a certain raja – a righteous man who traveled on white elephants. And the footprints of the elephants of the holy man/saint seemed to remain forever in the stone slabs. So, by the way, the name of the village was formed – Khodzhapil, which means – “Elephants of the Saint.”
Much later, scientists who studied the plateau found that the footprints are a kind of autograph of ancient lizards. After all, they were left by giant animals on the shallow sea coast, which was located here back in those geological epochs when the Koytendag Mountains did not even exist, almost 150 million years ago. Over time, the traces of the lizards turned to stone and were buried under a layer of sediment, and after millions of years, by the movement of the earth’s crust; they were brought to the surface. Dinosaurs have inherited quite a lot here in ancient times – the lizards left more than 2500 traces. It should be noted that such paleontological objects are known in Georgia and Tajikistan, in Portugal and Mongolia, but still, Turkmen traces are unique in terms of the number of prints and their clarity.