Land of mountains and many legends, Kyrgyzstan is also inhabited by numerous mysteries. One of these lies in a small village in the south of the country, in the rarely visited region of Batken. In Karabulak, a small hill named Aigultash sees a magnificent and high flower, the Aigul, bloom a couple of days a year. This is the only place in the world where the Aigul grows.
The Aigul flower, which is extremely rare and endemic to this particular hill, attracts travelers from around the world. They travel to this small village in the month of April, hoping to be able to witness this wonder of nature. The Aigul flower blooms for only two weeks every year, after a full moon. Locals say that the Aigul flower promises eternal happiness to those who get to see it.
According to a local legend, the Aigul flower appeared following a very tragic love story. A young and beautiful girl named Aigul, name which translates from Kyrgyz as “flower of the moon”, fell in love with a warrior, Kozu Ulan. They were about to get married when Kozu Ulan, a patriotic soldier, left for war and died in combat. Soldiers brought back his heart to Aigul.
Heartborken, Aigul was desperate. She climbed up the hill and jumped. She hoped dying would reunite her with her loved one, whose heart was buried at the bottom of the hill. Her heart stained the stones red. A few days later, the first Aigul flowers blossomed on this hill, as a symbol of pure, passionate and impossible love.
With its long stem of nearly one meter of height, its numerous green leaves and its upside down orange or red flowers, the Aigul is very impressive. Inside, it has many small droplets, which are believed to be Aigul’s tears.
The Aigul flower can be seen nowhere else in the world. Even in this small village of the Batken region, it is very rare. The Aigul flower blooms from its roots only after seven years. Each year on, a new flower appears on it, which allows scientists to know the age of each plant.
This species, whose scientific name is « ryabchik-eduardo » or « Fritillaria eduardii Regel », is in danger and classified in the Red book of endangered flora. The mysterious Aigul flower attracts so much attention that it used to be cut down for gifts or used in medicine against stomach aches. Locals tried to plant more Aiguls, but in vain. They grow only on the Aigultash. It is now forbidden to cut them.
Photo : Akipress