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Abdullah Khan Kala

In the southern part of the Merv site, a group of monuments linked to the Timurid rule in the 15th century make for an interesting supplementary itinerary for visitors with the time available for a more in-depth programme. Begin at the city site of Abdullah Khan Kala, immediately across the road from the central market of Bayramaly. This is roughly square in plan, its city walls of crumbling mud brick the most prominent surviving feature. The moat surrounding the walled city can also still be easily discerned. Abdullah Khan Kala, which lies some 3km to the south of Sultan Kala, was built in 1409 by Shah Rukh, who had taken control of the empire of his late father Timur, known as Tamerlane in the West. Covering 46ha, Abdullah Khan Kala was by many standards a sizeable town, but not by those of the great cities which preceded it at Merv. Bar a few short stretches of wall, little remains of Bairam Ali Khan Kala, the 18th-century western extension to the Timurid city.