Kyrgyzstan: Burana Tower

One of the most interesting historical places on the territory of Kyrgyzstan is Burana tower. The Burana tower is situated 10 km to the South of Tokmok town. According to different archeological findings we can say that this settlement wasn't an ordinary one, it was one of the main political and cultural center. The Tower was in the middle of Balasagun city. This place was the capital of Karakhanids people and it was established in the X century. The area of this city was 25- 30 km2. Walls which surrounded the town were thick enough to have two horse riders on top of it. On the territory of this town were found four religious buildings, bazaars, domestic dwellings, a central fortress, some handicraft shops, a bathhouse, and a khan's palace. In the 13th century, when Mongols came to the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan, they didn't destroy this city because citizens opened gates and allowed Mongols to come in (that meant that people of the city had given up). After this event the city was called as a Gobalik ( "good city"). Chingis Khan never destroyed cities that did not fight against him.

In the 15th century there was a strong earthquake in Kyrgyzstan. People thought that the city was damned, and they abandoned this city very quickly without taking many of their belongings. That is why archeologists found a lot of interesting ancient things on the territory of this place.

The Burana tower itself served as a lighthouse, watchtower and the place from which people were called to pray. Originally the height of the tower was 45 m but after an earthquake in the 15th century half of it fell. And only 25 m remained after that. Burana Tower was reconstructed in 1970. The ornaments were reconstructed from the remains of old, initial ones. Inside the tower there is a staircase leading to the top.

It is possible to get a nice view of the Chyi valley and Tokmok town from the top of the tower. The name Burana is probably a corruption of the Turkic word Murana - Minaret.

It is possible that soon the Burana tower will disappear, because the underground water every day wash away the ground under the tower. That means that you have an excellent opportunity during your travel in Kyrgyzstan to see such a treasure of antiquity. May be you will be the last who will do it.