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Koshoy Korgon

Koshiy KorgonIn a field behind the village of Kara-Suu are the eroded ruins of a large citadel, occupied during the 10th to 12th (or early 13th centuries), and probably Karakhanid. There is very little information available about these ruins on the outskirts of Kara-Suu village, about eight kilometres from At-Bashy. The structure may well be Karakhanid in origin, although an appealing local legend tells that the Kyrgyz hero Manas built the citadel and a mausoleum here for his fallen friend Koshoy, which gives rise to its name: 'Koshoy's burial place'. Today all that's left is a large square filled with reeds and surrounded by crumbling walls two or three metres high. Ruins display some of the bits and pieces plucked from the site, such as pottery shards and arrowheads.

All that is left today is a large section of 2-3m high crumbling clay walls that delineate the extent of the original building; it is an impressive site nevertheless. Archaeological work was carried out on the site in 2004 and there is talk of a tourist centre being set up in the future.

Despite its decay it's an atmospheric place. Stand in the middle of the citadel in the pulsating heat, with nothing but the sound of wind in the reeds to fill the silence, and you can almost sense the ghosts of long-dead warriors.

To find the ruins, take the first left in the village, through the archway, past a pretty mosque and silver World War II monument, then left at the crossroads to the end of the road. Koshoy Korgon is in the fields on the right. Near to the ruins, Shepherd’s Life has a homestay, which could be a good base for hikes in the At-Bashy range.