For travelers that are students of the past, Kyrgyzstan is a spectacular destination to delve into Central Asian history. There are numerous opportunities to take an educational holiday along the ancient Silk Road. You can visit the sites of ancient petroglyphs, walk where caravan traders once peddled their goods, and learn more at local museums that are anything but ordinary. Here are some places that will give you both a tour of Kyrgyzstan’s history and get you out into the heart of the country to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and culture at the same time:
GREAT SILK ROAD MUSEUM
A historical tour of Kyrgyzstan wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the 3000 year old city of Osh. Osh was a major stop along Silk Road trade routes and wears its heritage proudly. In this southern city you will find the Great Silk Road Museum that tracks events from the times of the Silk Road to the Bolshevik takeover in 1917. Learn about the immigration of the Kyrgyz people from southern Siberia, admire a 60 year old map detailing the different Kyrgyz tribes and clans, and much more.
Tash Rabat is an ancient inn from the 15th century known as a caravanserai that is located in the Naryn Oblast of Kyrgyzstan. It is a mysterious, remote historical structure with a layout that is perfectly symmetrical. Traders, ambassadors, and travelers used it as a safe haven from the elements and raiders on their way to and from China on the Great Silk Road. It has a central dome surrounded by 30 smaller domed rooms including a kitchen and 2 deep holes to hold prisoners (one of which is now filled). When it comes to educational tours, Tash Rabat is must see for travelers that like hands-on Silk Road history.
MUSEUM OF MANAS
For people curious about Kyrgyzstan’s historical leaders, an educational trip to the Museum of Manas is in order. Manas was a legendary warrior that unified the 40 tribes of Kyrgyzstan to fight against a common enemy. Talas is rumored to be his birthplace so a mausoleum and museum dedicated to epic story of Manas are located just outside the city.
The mighty hero of Manas is so integral to the history of Kyrgyzstan that travelers today not only see his name used in storefronts, businesses, and airports within the country but also hear him talked about by many local residents.
As you are travelling in Kyrgyzstan, set aside some time to wander around the open air petroglyph museum in Cholpon Ata. This large fenced off field of rocks and boulders holds some very unique drawings including some images larger than a meter in size and some depicting snow leopard hunts. This makes a unique historical trip during your tour of Kyrgyzstan.
All of these destinations show evidence of cultures and people that have come before, but they also showcase the present day beauty of this Central Asian country in a unique light. These historical sites and museums are merely markers of the challenges Kyrgyzstan has faced in the past that have made it into the spectacular place that is it today. Come enjoy a vacation in Central Asia and experience history and history-in-the-making first-hand.
Photo from source: www.mountpix.livejournal.com, photo by Ula Usmanov