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Khanaqah Kyrk-Kyz

Khanaqah Kyrk-Kyz — photo 1

The Kirk-Kyz fortress, which means “forty maidens” (not to be confused with Kirk-Kyz-Kala), is located 3 kilometers from Termez. It is assumed that it was built by one Samanid ruler away from the settlements for privacy and rest, since he liked to spend time in silence, far away from urban noise and bustle. However, as it can be judged by the scale and shape of the ruins, there was not quiet at all. This structure was erected approximately in 9-10 centuries A.D.

It was a large area, on which all main buildings and small square in its center were placed. The corridors of the fortress are crossed and all of them lead to the courtyard. There was also another premise, which purpose remains to be seen. It is assumed that it could be a living room. Massive 54-meter long walls on each side had a jagged upper part. There are archer and observation towers at the corners. In some places, fragments of the intricate painting of the premises have been preserved, but everything was destroyed so badly that it is hard to recognize them immediately.

Khanaqah Kyrk-Kyz — photo 2

The vaulted archwise passages are formed from an original brick pattern, which is quite diverse and interesting. Scientists disagree about the courtyard. Some assume that it was once covered by a huge dome, which collapsed over time, while others believe that it was always open.

The attraction is also interesting with related legends. One legend says that once 40 girls with good military training lived in the walls of this fortress. They were slender, beautiful, knew how to handle arms and successfully held the fortress for a long time They was lead by a girl named Gauhar, the most skilled warrior among them all. One day the enemy troops approached the fortress, and then there was a cruel battle. For 40 days girls held the fortress, but the enemies were strong, their army was numerous, and the help did not come up in any way. One by one, all companions of Gauhar died. But she continued to kill enemies with her arrows until no arrows left. Then she came out of the fortress gate face to face against the enemy and shouted: “No one else survived the battle but me. I wish to fight with your best warrior, and let this combat outcome the whole battle.”

Khanaqah Kyrk-Kyz — photo 3

While the leader was deciding which of his warriors would fight Gauhar, the destitute girl reeled, then helmet fell from her head, and the lush hair crumbled on her shoulders. A loud exclamation of surprise swept through the enemy lines when the warriors found out that all this time they were fighting against girls. Then the amazed enemy leader got off the horse, went to Gauhar and kissed her hand. He did not expect that these girls could be such skilled warriors which not a single soldier from his army could not match with. He deployed his army and took it away. The city was saved, and a help arrived a bit later.

Another version of this legend says that after a long siege the enemies managed to get inside the fortress. And just when the enemies surrounded the girls, they raised their hands to skies and began to pray heaven for salvation. At the same moment, they turned into 40 snow-white birds and, waving their wings, vanished in the skies. The enemies remained confused, shifting their gaze from the empty sky to the military ammunition left in the place where the girls recently stood.

Canaan Travel invites you to visit Uzbekistan, a country famous for its unique historical monuments and unique spirit of the fabulous East.