The Hodja Yusuf Hamadani mosque in the ancient Silk Road city of Merv, also known as Mary - Turkmen authorities have banned citizens from participating in the Hajj pilgrimage this year due to the risk of swine flu. But they have proposed an alternative: a delegation of officials will embark on a tour of Turkmen historical sites.
The Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum in Merv, built in the 12th century - The route covers 38 "holy" Turkmen sites -- some of which are religiously significant, and others that predate Islam. This mausoleum is dedicated to Seljuk ruler Ahmad Sanjar -- a political rather than a religious figure.
Merv is relatively accessible from the capital Ashgabat, but other sites are in remote parts of Turkmenistan.
The 67-meter-tall Kutlug-Temir minaret in Urgench (formerly Gurganj) - This minaret is the tallest in Central Asia, and stands in Urgench, the ancient capital of the Khwarezmian Empire, founded in the 11th century.
The Sultan Ali Mausoleum in Urgench, built in 1580, shows the influence of Islamic architecture.
The Nadj-ad-din Kubra mausoleum in Urgench was built for a Muslim philosopher who founded a Sufi order.
The remains of the ancient city of Nisa, the capital of the ancient Parthian Empire, near Ashgabat
Ruins in Nisa - The Parthian Empire lasted from the third century BC to the third century AD -- well before the advent of Islam in Turkmenistan in the eighth century.