Kyrgyzstan and its history amazes me very often. I ask myself, how can this small country include such huge amount of history inside? The thing is, the history is not only on the books but also scattered by different places. Just taking a tour around this country and sightseeing can as much information as in ten books of history.
What I would like to share today is a one-of-a-kind memorial, located in Issyk Kul province. They call it San Tash (“counting stone” from Kyrgyz language). At the first sight, it is hard to accept that as some important heritage, because all you will see is big amount of stones, put in one place. But just a little legend will make everything clear:
The legends say that the soldiers of Tamerlan first left a stone each to one place before going to the war. After the battle, they returned to the same place to take back the stones and see how many of them were not able to make it. When Tamerlan saw the amount of soldiers killed in the battle, he was so touched and let their stones remain there as a memory from the brave soldiers…
As you enter the Osh city, you will see the monument of a strong man on the horse and the lions or leopards on his both sides. This is the national hero of Kyrgyzstan – Manas. There are so many debates going on, whether Manas actually existed or not, however, the epic of Manas does exist.
The epic of Manas is the pride of the nation. It is said to be the biggest epic on Earth, after it comes the Indian “Mahabharata”, which is twice smaller than Manas. The epic has the 1000 years of history and that huge anniversary was celebrated in 1995.
Manas was passed by the generations not by the books or scripts, but orally. Till our days there appeared more than fifty versions, told by variety of oral poets, who are as well called “manaschi”. The longest version of it consists of 500553 poeticlines and the author was legendary Saiakbay Karalaev.
The second “must see” place in Osh city is the ancient bazaar. Situated in two sides of Ak-Buura River, the bazaar has the perfect eastern atmosphere, which can be felt in only a few places.
Bazaar consists of just about a couple but very long lines, which makes it easier for the new visitors to orientate easier without getting lost. There is almost Anything the person can wish: clothes, shoes, accessories for any taste. If you are not really satisfied, then there is a separate line of fabrics for you to create your own style!
The other side is filled with food: beautiful and yummy Uzbek bread, hundreds of types of spices, candy, dried fruit, fresh veggies and so on! Before visiting the market, the one needs to make sure that he wrote “what-to-buy” list, otherwise the goodies around will just make the head spin around and he may end up spending all money before buying what actually is necessary!
There are special “Chayhana”s by the river. After long walking in hot weather and tiring shoppings, it is a perfect option to stop in these cosy ancient “cafe”s and enjoying the view of the river.
The 3000-year-old city hides some of special treasures of Silk Road, which is situated at the very center of it. We mentioned about it in the last blog. It is the Suleiman mountain, for some the sacred place, for others one of the best places to observe the city, just like the great king of India Zahiriddin Muhammad Bobur. He was the one, who built the beautiful white house on the very top of the mountain.
As we can figure, the mountain is named after the prophet SUleiman, however, there are no certain proofs about his visit here. Even until very recent years, people kept accepting the place as sacred and searched solutions for their problems by tying ribbons on its trees. Some people just go up there to observe the city and visit pretty interesting museum inside the cave.
The guys below in the video tried to share their experiences and emotions on the way up, so let us take a look:
Sometimes really huge events can happen in pretty small places. For instance, tiny little Kyrgyzstan hides such significant treasures, that it takes several chapters to talk about them. One of those pearls is the city of Osh.
Osh is said to be the most ancient city of Kyrgyzstan. According to the Chinese historical scripts, the city is 3000 years old. Kyrgyz people also call it the second capital of Kyrgyzstan, according to its territory and population.
The center of the city is very easy to find, since it is marked not with some sign, but a wonderful Mountain! It is the sacred mountain of Sulayman. There will be a separate chapter about it, so we will go on to the next sight.
So here comes the river Ak-Buura, that divides the city into two parts. In both sides of the river is the famous eastern bazaar. It is the perfect place to taste the life that once existed in Silk Road and still does in only a few places.