The Burana tower is one of the most famous historical sites located in the northern of Kyrgyzstan, 85 km from capital Bishkek. Today Burana is an open-air architectural complex with very interesting history. This ancient tower still survives as one of the most important Silk Road sites in Kyrgyzstan and it is Unesco World Heritage site. Burana is home of Silk Road history where you can see important archaeological pieces and there are several excavation sites around the base of the tower. Burana tower was part of Balasagun – capital of Karakhanid Empire in 9th century.
Tower height is 24 meters (but before height was 45m), at its base the minaret is 9.4m wide. Today visitors use 2 staircases (one in outside and one inside) to climb to the top of the tower. From the top of the tower you can enjoy wonderful view of Tyan-Shan mountains named Ala Too mountain range and Tokmok city located 10km from the tower.
The Burana is made of 37ha and includes petroglyphs from the 2nd century B.C, mausoleum ruins many more. On the territory of Burana archaeological complex you can see collection of balbals and kurgan stelae. Balbal is a memorial stones to dead soldiers and means “stone man”
History of Burana tower
Burana was built in 11th century by Karakhanids Empire. In the ancient Arabic language Burana means as “Minaret”. There is a legend that the king Karakhanid built this tower to protect his only daughter when a prophet had told that she would die from a widow spider bite.
Due many earthquakes damaged the minaret and it was reconstructed in the 1970.
There is a small museum exhibiting excavation findings like sculptures and fine art.
How to get there
Burana is located near the capital of Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek and take only 1.5 hour by car, that`s why you can visit the tower on a one day trip from Bishkek city. First you should reach Tokmok city by public bus from Bishkek called “marshurtka”. And from Tokmok to Burana tower you can take a taxi, because there is no another public bus.
If you are planning a day trip to Kyrgyzstan, than visiting Burana is the best choice.
Entry fee for the tower: 60 KGS
Entry fee for the museum: 40 KGS