At-Bashy is a village situated approximately 35 km (21.7 miles) south of Naryn in Kyrgyzstan. It is the capital of the At-Bashi district. It is surrounded at the north by splendid forests of fir tree, and at the south by the great Naryn-At-Bashy River.
In Kyrgyz, At-Bashy means "Horse head". This name was given to the village by a horse breeder who passed there. According to a Kyrgyz legend, a cattle breeder settled down in a pasture to spend the night and left his horse free. The following day, he discovered that his horse had run away. He then started hunting the horse and killed him out of rage. He cut off the horse’s head and left it hanging there. He ate the meat during his trip. This is why he called the place At Bashy.
The first settlement appeared in the region ten centuries ago. In At Bashy, Kyrgyz and nomadic traditions are still preserved today.
At Bashy is an important village which counts a little more than 10,000 inhabitants. It is also the administrative center of the district. The village can serve as a pleasant stopover between Naryn and the Tash Rabat valley, for example. You will find banks, shops and even guest houses if you want to break the road.
The At Bashy village is famous for its animal bazaar which is held every Sunday. Many people go there to buy sheep, horses, cows, goats and donkeys. It is also known for its annual Shyrdack festival, a handmade, brightly colored felt rug found in each Kyrgyz household.
You can also discover ruins of historical monuments with a beautiful background of high peaks. By going to the top of the hill, you will have an outstanding view of the village and the valley. Situated in a picturesque valley of mountains, forests and meadows, At-Bashy is at an altitude of 2,400 m (7,874 ft) and faces very cold winters.
At-Bashy is the last important village before reaching China. The rest of the way has sparse and small villages and huge steppes that give you an impression of loneliness. The region is actually known as one of the most remote on the Silk Road. This region is ideal for off-road driving, horseback riding and hiking. You can enjoy the river and follow its course that extends over 180 km long from one side to the other of the Naryn region.
To go to At-Bashy, take the marshutka from Naryn.