settlement of Darvaza (Derweze in Turkmen) is located
in the Central part of the Kara-Kum desert some 260 km
from Ashgabat to the north. On the way to Darvaza lies
the Kara-Kum desert, withs its moving sands and its typical
sparse vegetation of Saksaul, Acacia and Kandym bushes.
The population of Darvaza is 350 inhabitants. Most of
them are Turkmens of the Teke
tribe. The word Darvaza is translated
as the "Gates". At the Darvaza settlement many people
continue their half-nomadic lifestyle by setting up yurts
in front of their simple houses. A yurt (in Turkmen Ak
Oy) is a traditional Turkmen dwelling of round shape made
of a wooden framework and covered with a felts called
Koshma. The diametre of a common yurt is from 4 m for
a simple "Gara Oy" to a festive and luxurious 9 m "Ak
Oy" set up only for special occasions. The yurt has a
round hole in the middle of roof for ventilation. Lighting
is natural / through this hole, by lamp, candle or by
generator. A Yurt takes 3-4 hours to assemble or disassemble.
The Turkmen nomads have been using yurts since the 6 century.
It matches well with local climatic peculiarities. The
microclimate in yurt is favorable. It is chilly in summer
and warm in winter.
in a Yurt one can feel life style of Central Asia nomads,
traditional Turkmen hospitality and kindness and taste
traditional Turkmen cuisine, mainly based on meat - pilav,
Turkmen bureg, chorba/ lam soup and refreshing soft drink
Darvaza is also rich in high quality sulphur. In 1928
a sulphur factory was founded here. At that time Darvaza
was connected with Ashgabat only by air. Due to costly
transportation in 1961 the factory was closed. This area
is also rich in gas and oil. In 1978 all gas deposits
have been preserved here.