After leaving he capital city of Bishkek, we started driving towards Issyk-Kul. Our first stop to discover the Burana Tower was mesmerizing. History surrounded by colorful mountains: exactly what I love! Plus we were lucky to hear some Kyrgyz music. Do not miss the video at the end of the post.
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Burana Tower
The tower is all that remains of the ancient powerful city of Balasugan. The rest disappeared with the fall of the feudal state and some earthquake.
The tower has been renovated in the 70s as it was in danger of collapsing.
TIPS FOR TRAVEL PLANNING ADDICTS - Burana Tower
Getting to the Burana Tower
- 80km drive East from Bishkek
- 10 km from Tokmok
Visiting the Burana Tower
- Plan 30 minutes to 1hour
- 60SOM to visit the site includes entrance to the small museum. No photos are allowed inside. It contains drawings, photos and sculptures related to the tower
- The inside staircase is very steep and dark. Beware.
The Tower at Burana
When you arrive it does not look like much...
The Burana tower used to be 45 meter high. However it lost the top part and is now roughly 25 meters.
I really enjoyed the details: simple but elegant. This is why I included it in may top 7 places to visit in Kyrgyzstan.
I roamed around looking for angles and nice foreground. I found some colorful flowers!
There is a very small hill that gives an interesting perspective. Here is the view from the top:
The grave markers
The grave markers found in the region have been gathered in the field next to the Minaret. Most of them have faces and it is quite fun to walk around. They date from the 6th century.
But what I loved the most was the pespective when turning around: the idols, the minaret and the mountains! What not to love?
They have also gathered some big stone wheels found in the area.
Climbing the Burana Tower
It is possible to climb the tower. It starts with an outside staircase of 33 steps. Then you enter the tower. The inside staircase of 40 to 50 steps is very narrow with big steps. It is not so easy. To get back down I strongly recommend going backwards.
I did not think it was really worthwhile to climb. I prefered the view from the hill.
Kyrgyz guitars and a song
As we got ready to leave, we were lucky to notice some young Kyrgyz guitar player. They were rehearsing their welcome piece for a delegation.
The woman in pink is their music teacher and at one point she decided to start singing for us. Check out the videos after the photos!
Want to see more of Kyrgyzstan's beauty?
Discover more planning information, things to do and places to see in my online Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide.
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