Rich in history, nature and customs, Nokhur (or Nohur) is located about 160 km west of Ashgabat, and set 1,100 m above the Karakum Desert in the cool valleys of Kopetdag mountains in southwestern Turkmenistan. Located in the Balkan Province, not far from the Caspian Sea, Nokhur offers a tranquil retreat and a glimpse into the traditional way of life in this region.

Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Nokhur is known for its rugged mountains, lush green valleys, and panoramic vistas. The village is perched on the slopes of the Kopet Dag mountain range, providing a serene and idyllic setting for visitors seeking a peaceful escape from the bustling city life. It is the first place you must see if you are interested in places isolated from the modern life.

The inhabitants of Nokhur belong to the Nokhur ethnic group, who have preserved their unique cultural traditions and customs over the centuries. The village exudes a strong sense of community and hospitality, and the locals warmly welcome visitors, eager to share their heritage and way of life.

Etymology and local legends

According to legend, the name Nokhur comes from the name of the prophet Noah, whose ark, after a forty-day voyage, moored to Mount Manoman. The local old-timers tell a legend explaining the richness of the flora and fauna of Nokhur. It is believed that in time immemorial, Noah released all animals and birds in these mountains and planted all the seeds that were stored on the ark.

The villagers claim to be direct descendants of Alexander the Great. In fact you can find there fair-skinned people with blue eyes and red hair. Testimony of the unique culture in the village is the cemetery with hundreds of overgrown graves, each one equipped with impressive horns of mountain goats. Varied images in the stunning silk embroideries sewn by local Nokhur women, indicating their particular tribe, make Nokhur silk renowned throughout the country.

Constructing their homes from the stones found around the area, the Nokhur people have decorated these simple homes with handcrafted wooden columns and capitals unique only to this area. See this ancient way of life uniquely preserved and rarely seen in Turkmenistan. Accented by two small flowing streams, the flora and fauna of this region is exceptional too.

Why you should definitely visit Nokhur

One of the highlights of visiting Nokhur is experiencing the warm hospitality and rich cultural traditions of the community. The Nokhur people are known for their craftsmanship, particularly in carpet weaving and embroidery. Visitors can admire the intricate designs and vibrant colors of their handwoven carpets and intricately embroidered textiles, which reflect the cultural identity and artistic skills of the community.

Additionally, Nokhur offers opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The surrounding mountains provide excellent hiking trails, offering breathtaking views of the landscapes, valleys, and neighboring villages. The pristine nature and fresh mountain air make Nokhur an ideal destination for those seeking outdoor adventures and a connection with nature.

Visiting Nokhur mountain village is like stepping back in time, immersing oneself in the beauty of nature and experiencing the warmth of the local community. It’s a place where traditions are preserved, landscapes are cherished, and the simple joys of life can be savored. A visit to Nokhur offers a unique and enriching experience that captures the essence of Turkmenistan’s cultural heritage and natural splendor.