Koshoy Korgon is an ancient fortress, today in ruins, in the At-Bashy district in central Kyrgyzstan. Located on the Silk Road, it used to be an important spot for Turkish leaders.
The Koshoy Korgon fortress today looks mostly like simple rock formations in the middle of a nearly deserted steppe, with high mountains at the background. Don’t hesitate to visit these ruins during your stop at At-Bashy.
Back in History
Between the 10th and 12th centuries, this citadel was a strategic control point on the Silk Road. Built around 60 km (37 miles) away from the current city of Naryn, it used to expand over 8 ha (20 acres).
In Kyrgyz, the name translates as «Koshoy’s fortress», in memory of Koshoy, one of the closest warriors of the great hero Manas. Paintings depict Koshoy talking to an eagle, believed to be the soul of the deceased Manas.
Discovering Koshoy Korgon
On site, it might be difficult to imagine that there was once here a massive fortress. The construction was almost completely destroyed, and, nowadays, only part of the clay walls are still standing.
You’ll be able to see the ramparts of the castle, now made of walls about 3 m (10 ft) high. Inside, you can discover more of these ruins of the fortress…but watch out for snakes if you step far beyond the walls.
You’ll have to be creative to imagine here the ancient armed guards and why not put yourself in the shoes of a Turkish leader. The site now looks like a large clay formation in which doors and windows were carved.
At the Koshoy Korgon site, you’ll be able to visit a museum that exhibits archeological findings from this territory and from the Naryn region. You’ll discover here instruments, household objects and military equipment, all symbols of the glorious years of the Koshoy Korgon fortress. Another exhibit is dedicated to the culture of the nomadic and Kyrgyz people. Here, you will also learn about the history of the place and its enchanting legends.
How to get there?
Every morning, mini buses (marshrutkas) leave Bishkek from the western bus station directly to the city of Naryn. The trip will take at least 6 hours. You will then have to continue your journey to the village of At-Bashy on another bus.
Once in At-Bashy, you can take a car to the nearby Koshoy Korgon fortress.